Site Growth Case Study – Guest Post Links in March and April

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This is the fourth update for this case study. Here’s the main idea:

  • I bought a site in December 2019 with about 25 articles.
  • Then, I improved some of the content with the FAQ method.
  • Then, I added 8 new posts.
  • Revenue grew from $1,600 in 2019 to $2,600 in 2020.
  • I’m adding about 321,000 more words in about 139 articles in 2021.
  • Check out the first post here.

I’m working with Brand Builders to do the work.

Part of the work is to build links via guest posts.

What are the current backlink metrics?

The site has very few links which is one of the reasons I picked it up. It was ranking with very few links.

I usually ignore the total backlinks and just look at the referring domains. That’s normally more accurate, but if a site had 5 links from a single big site (CNN, NY Times, etc…) all 5  would be helpful and meaningful.

There were 8 do-follow referring domains before working with Brand Builders. These were all-natural, all organic.

They published 10 guest posts so there are 18 total referring domains at this time.

However, there are 30 referring domains reported by ahrefs as of May 2021.

So there are 12 other referring domains and they are mostly spammy links (blogger.com) or SEO related (keywords basket). We can pretty much ignore these.

Other observations: The Domain Rating is only 4.5 and the Domain Authority is 7 which are remarkably low!

Where to link?

There are about 60 posts at this point so we have a lot more options for links. Like before, I’ve deferred to Brand Builders to select where to link. This provides the closest similarity to what any customer might experience.

Brand Builders selected 10 different posts to link to. Normally, I would have picked 2-3 different posts to build links to in hopes of stacking the power of the links up on fewer URLs. I think they looked at posts that were close to ranking in the top 10 or that used to rank in the top 10.

What is the process for finding linking opportunities?

I asked my account manager what they do:

The process basically is we outreach to sites depending on the domain rating, then we write the content.

So they just send out emails and try to get guest posts. In looking at the specific guest posts and sites overall, the majority of the sites seem to accept guest posts or some kind of advertising.

That’s the reality of getting links and guest posting these days. The supply and demand dictate that bloggers will request “admin” fees. It’s essentially untraceable so Google can’t really find that posts are paid for.

BUT Google can see if most of the posts are just short posts that link to a site with rich anchor text. So if I see a site with mostly guest posts and money keyword (i.e. buying keyword) type anchor text, it makes me think the link isn’t as good.

Guest posts and mentions are normal on blogs, but a large percentage of them would be odd.

What are the metrics for the first 10 links?

The average Domain Rating is 25.75.

All the sites get some traffic, though a few of the sites get a very tiny amount. Some of the sites get a healthy amount of organic visitors each month.

Check out the metrics

While the average DR is 25.75, there is a DR 50 and DR 49 which is great.

Three of the sites are getting significant amounts of traffic, over 6,000 visitors per month. Those are estimates, of course, from ahrefs, and that’s based on the Google rankings for keywords.

The average Do-Follow referring domains for the links is about 612, much higher than I would have expected.

Did the Links Increase Traffic?

Not yet. That’s the thing with links – it usually takes time. And we don’t know which links help either.

I can see that some of the links are on great sites that get traffic and Google likes the sites. However, some of the sites barely get any Google traffic and/or have low authority.

So we wait. At this point, we’re publishing a lot more content and finally getting some much needed backlinks.

Here is the latest Search Console data, showing the last 6 months. You can see the retail season increase.

I hope in the next 4-6 weeks that we’ll see an uptick of traffic and impressions for the new content.

About the author: Doug Cunnington is the founder of Niche Site Project. He shows people how to create Affiliate Sites using project management and a proven, repeatable framework. Doug loves creating systems, using templates, and brewing beer (but usually not at the same time).

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