Right now guest blogging is HOT and big name sites and blogs are buying up as much content as they can so they can continue to build incoming links back to their site. While most people are buying and selling guest posts based on the PageRank of a site, this isn’t the only thing you should be looking at.

I’ll be the first to admit it, I do a lot of guest blogging… but it’s almost always under my own name and for the branding and exposure of my sites at BloggingTips.com and ZacJohnson.com. You will often see my posts on well known sites like Basic Blog Tips, BlogWorld, Search Engine Journal, Daily Blog Tips and many others.

While I would love to get my content on PR4-7 sites all the time, it’s not always the best solution. Instead of looking at just the PageRank of a site, you should also be looking at it’s backlinks from other sites, where they are coming from and what their social following and domain rank is as well.

An easy way to find all of this information is through a free tool at MajesticSEO.com. When you visit their site you can click on the “Backlink History” link, which will allow you to search all the backlinks for up to 5 different sites. If you sign up for a free account on their site you can search up to 20 different sites.

In the screenshot below you will see an example of a report done with a few different high authority sites that have offered guest blogging in the past. While they range differently in PageRank, you will see it’s not the only determining factor in deciding the overall quality of the site.

Pay special attention to the external backlinks, referring domains and trust flow.

Trusted Blogs

Now lets look at another report that features five sites from a guest blogging network. These sites range from PR1-4, but you will see from the report below that they have very little link activity and when they are loaded up with guest blogging and outgoing links, this can be a sign for Google to punish both the site and the sites they are linking to.

Lower End Sites

The incoming backlinks to a site is important… and so is the number of domains linking to a site as well. A site can have 20,000 links coming in to it, but if they are all from only a few domains, then there is usually little value. The more links the better… only if there is a bunch of different sites and domains linking back to the site as well.

When is Google Going to Bring the Smack Down?

The big question with guest blogging right now is when and if Google is going to take action. There are right ways to go about guest blogging and wrong ways. Stick with quality content and building up your authority and you should be fine, but in a recent article on SeoMoz they talk about how guest bloggers are sleep walking their way into destruction.

The article talks about how Google can easily find all of the sites that are offering guest blogging and can punish sites posting the content and those who are buying/providing the content. This is all based on Google searching, keyword/text results and their algorithm to see where all of the different links to a site are coming from. The chart below shows what it might look like if a site was doing a lot of directory and forum advertising, and leaving out the other methods.

Chart of Blog Links

What is the Future of Guest Blogging?

Until Google does take some form of action, guest blogging will continue to rise in activity. Once action does take place it will be interesting to see who and where it’s done, and also who gets wiped out.

Be sure to leave your thoughts on guest blogging and the road ahead.