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Guest Posts, Free Links and Why it is Bad for your Business

Let's imagine you are emailed by someone asking to add a guest post to your website or blog.

They write the post and then insist that you include a link or two (or more...) in the post to websites that they own / work for by building advertising.

In other words they are looking for free advertising via free links.

While you gain content in this deal, your website ultimately loses because you are giving free links away and it damages the SEO quality of your website.

I don't have to imagine because it happened to me recently.

I posted the guest post, removed any links, and sent her the URL. I also explained that for that particular website it was $60 per link if she wanted any links added.

Her response:

Thanks a ton. Could you please add one clickable link to my site?

Beth

Hey Beth!

Certainly. Which link do you want added?

You can pay the $60 fee via PayPal or Interac Email Transfer.

I only want a clickable link to my website in the author bio. I would really appreciate if you do it without a fee. I am currently low on budget and cannot afford to pay for it.

I wrote the article with much of my efforts, I will consider it a kind favor from your side.

Beth

Hey Beth!

#1. I am running a business.

In order for my business to be successful I need clients to be able to find my website and contact me.

In order to find my website and contact me I need to ranked highly in Google searches.

If I am not ranked highly in Google then I need to spend more money on advertising.

My Google rank is dependent on having lots of quality links coming into my website and very few going out.

If I add a link leaving my website, my rankings go down and my business suffers financially.

If my rankings go down then I need to spend more money and time on advertising.

If someone pays for a link on my website, I take that money and spend it on advertising.

If I give a free link out, then I actually LOSE money because my business suffers and to fix the problem I have to spend money on advertising. So either way, in that scenario, I lose money.

#2. I am married and my wife has a baby on the way.

If I start running a business that is losing money because I am giving away free links to people, I go into financial ruin, my wife divorces me and I rarely get to see my child in the future. Not a guarantee, but why risk it by wasting time and money giving away free links?

While I like the idea of being nice to people, where are the benefits for me and my family? None. I would be losing money and that is money that should be spent on diapers / baby food / clothes.

#3. I am in the SEO business.

I know how the link business works.

Here is some free SEO advice. You will find it very useful for growing your website:

http://www.designseo.ca/SEO-Advice.html

Pay special attention to the SEO Checklist, as it is particularly important.

http://www.designseo.ca/SEO-Checklist.html

If you want free links check out WebRing, StumbleUpon and similar websites for sharing links.

You should also check out online newspaper style publications which allow authors to write articles for them and post links within those articles. eg. http://www.thecanadiandaily.ca/

Have a nice day!



So yeah...

In the future when people ask you for free links, send them a copy of this page and hopefully they will understand why they are wasting their time and yours asking.

Also for those who don't know, the character shown below is called "Link". Not Zelda. Zelda is the princess he is trying to rescue. Understand the difference? Good. Stop calling him Zelda. His name is LINK.

Link from Legend of Zelda

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