SEO Pro Tip: Use Google Blogs to Find Fresh, Relevant Blog Posts for Link-Building

SEO Pro Tip: Use Google Blogs to Find Fresh, Relevant Blog Posts for Link-Building

Summary: Here's a unique idea using Google Blog search to help in your link-building efforts. It can help you find to-the-hour fresh and hyper-targeted blog posts that relate to your keyword terms!

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TOPICS: Google
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As I've mentioned previously, link-building is one of the most important aspects of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It seems that there are SEOs these days who would like to see blog and forum commenting done away with completely, but I disagree with that (as I imagine most people actually doing SEO full-time today do as well). It can be a challenge to find good, relevant, non-spammy blogs to either guest post on or leave genuine feedback on, so I hope this method helps out a few of you who are faced with the timeless and inevitable challenge of building links. In order of steps:

1 - Visit Google Blogs.

2 - Type in one of the keyword terms that the content on your landing page focuses on. Don't be afraid to use quotes around your keyword term if it contains more than one word. Ex. "Nickel Cadmium"

3 - On the left-hand column, you can sort your results by time/date. I usually like to start with "last hour," then work my way down to "past week." This will allow you to find fresh, hyper-targeted blog posts to browse through and cherry-pick the best-of-the-best!

When you do this, make sure that you're not just picking spam-filled blogs that scrape content from somewhere on the Web. It's pretty easy to figure out which blogs are spam/auto blogs due to how they look, how their content reads and how their content is formatted. Because the content you will be finding is so new, it won't behoove you to check out any of the metrics that exist for gauging the strength of a page, so if you're concerned about that, just go take a look at the home page of the site and gather all the metrics you typically do (PageRank, mozRank, mozTrust, Alexa Rank, Compete score, et al).

Additionally, if you want to see how that site's content typically performs, try using SEOmoz's Open Site Explorer to find the strongest pages and number of unique root domains linking to them. If you don't know how to do that, then go to Open Site Explorer (sign up for a free account so that you can view stats for 20 pages), search for the domain you're interested in (don't forget to consider both www and non-www versions of the site if they don't 301), then click the "Top Pages" tab in the results. Voila!

As for "nofollow" and "dofollow," it's your judgment call. Do you want to have a more natural-looking link profile? If so, then just go ahead and leave comments (not spammy, of course -- always make your comments constructive and relevant) on some "nofollow" blogs. Do you only need "dofollow" links? If so, then your blog searching will inevitably be a bit more exhaustive (hopefully, you're using something like the SEOmoz Firefox plug-in to quickly see which sites/blogs are "nofollow"). Although commenting will suffice, one of the best things you could do is ask to guest post on that blog and provide an article based on the topic you're interested in; so, take that into consideration, too.

That pretty much does it for the method I wanted to demonstrate in this post. For your consideration, I've decided to add a few additional tips below that will play well with this method. I hope that you find them useful in correlation with the method above and/or with your other link-building endeavors. Good luck and have fun searching!

Bonus Tip 01: If you do decide to leave a comment on a blog, try submitting that blog's home page and RSS URL to pinging services like Ping-O-Matic and Pingoat. There's no guarantee that the result will be Google's bot revisiting that blog and finding your comment any faster than if you hadn't submitted the blog, but it takes all of 15 seconds each to submit and you very well may be doing yourself a favor by doing so!

Bonus Tip 02: If you are curious as to seeing if/when Google has cached a page with your comment, simply search for that page in Google, click "cached," then look up at the top where it says, "...a snapshot of the page as it appeared on..." The time and date you see will be the most recent cache of that page! If the time and date are later than the time and date you commented, then scroll down and see if your comment was cached along with the page.

Bonus Tip 03: Set up Google Alerts and have Google email you whenever they index a new blog post related to a keyword term you're interested in! Simply visit Google Alerts, put in your keyword term, select "Blogs" from the type selection box, select how often you want to receive results, then select the volume of results you want and enter your email address and you're all set!

Topic: Google

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16 comments
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  • Unethical.

    Doing what you suggest is tantamount to spam. Using the comment section to promote a commercial interest is against the rules on this site, why wouldn't other blog authors NOT want you doing the same to their site? It's called common courtesy. I have serious problems with the ethics involved in "link building" by targeting random people's blogs... Those people wrote the content which you are latching on to, not you.

    One of the big things people HATE about SEO is the spam that SEO companies will generate on their sites. When I see that kind of crap on my forum or blog, personally I just deleted it... Meaning it gets you nothing.

    I realize back-linking is important in ranking, but there are other ways to do it without being a spammer. Then again anything for a buck right? The reason SEO people are despised is that they do exactly this. You say your goal is to remove that stigma, this is exactly the wrong way to do it.
    snoop0x7b
    • Ethical.

      @snoop0x7b Thanks for your feedback.

      I must say that I'm truly baffled by why individuals like you continuously harp on blog commenting as being unethical in and of itself. Just because many SEOs abuse it, that doesn't make it an unethical means of building links. I'm not suggesting for people to say, "thanks for your post that I found on Google" and leave a keyword as their name while linking back to an interior page on their site. Not even close.

      There are completely ethical ways of building links through blog commenting. If you offer a constructive and relevant comment (at least a paragraph or two), you are populating that persons blog with additional content that will help them rank for the content related to their blog post. Again, I'm not saying to fill a comment box with two paragraphs that thank them for their beautifully-crafted work of penmanship (i.e. spam); I'm talking about writing a truly beneficial and engaging piece of content to help contribute to the overall strength of the page.

      If the keywords I'm searching for result in the finding of their content, how can you say that their post wasn't written for someone like me? I mean, turn comments off if you don't want people leaving feedback, right? Or nofollow everything. Or set up akismet. Or just delete the comment if you think it's spammy.

      I understand the people you're addressing, but the way I've always gone about blog commenting (once I learned how to do it in a non-spammy manner) has been to add *value* to a blog; not detract from it. How is it that I could possibly add value to a blog post through a comment? By contributing additional content to the page that's relevant to the post and will help aid in ranking them even more for that content. Maybe they don't care about that or maybe they do.

      My goal is absolutely to remove the stigma, but if you're not willing to at least meet me halfway, then you may just have to be one of the individuals I can't convince. I'm fine with that, though, because it's bound to happen at some point. I mean, "anything for a buck?" Come on, man. You've obviously been keeping up with my blog since I've seen you comment before and all you have to do at this point is continue to grind your SEO axe with me? I get it that you feel the way you do, I really do; but I'm not the one you need to vehemently react towards; I'm one of the good guys of SEO. If you think I need to add more clarity and/or transparency, then I can respect that but *clearly*, I'm not recommending what you're suggesting I am.

      Just try to understand that I'm giving a method which absolutely stands to provide benefits for those building links *and* the blogs they comment on. How a person chooses to go about populating the blog with a comment is their decision, but I also pushed for much more in this post than simply blog commenting. I had hoped that someone like you would have picked up on those other suggestions as well.

      Blog commenting: Unethical? No. People just need to be educated on how to do it in a manner that will provide value both to them *and* the blog. Perhaps I should try to clarify that in a future post, because I do appreciate where you're ultimately coming from.

      -Stephen
      StephenChapman
      • Maybe a bit too far..

        @StephenChapman <br><br>I've seen SEOs simply fill comment sections with spammy comments in order to link build, it's annoying, and it's an arms-race between spammers and software developers. I understand you're not really advocating for that behavior and it definitely touched a nerve having written filtering software. <br><br>I suppose if you actually try to contribute content it isn't a bad thing, however you offered no tips on contributing actual content beyond explaining how to find relevant blogs. I think in writing the article you probably should have included tips for how to write useful and content filled comments or perhaps an admonition that content should be useful to the blog's owner. <br><br>My grief against SEO companies tends to be focused in part on how some companies try to mystify it and make it a separate concern from content and the development process. I've always believed that and have tried to make it a view-layer concern from the start of every project.<br><br>I'm not really even against you or SEO in general and I think we're probably even on the same page as far as some best practices. I guess what I'm really against would be just how inefficient it can be for a company to hire some SEO firms. I'm generally an advocate for DIY SEO and creating content correctly the first time because I genuinely think that with a little bit of research anyone can do it. Also, admittedly some of the things I write are written with a more extreme opinion in order to elicit comments.
        snoop0x7b
      • No worries, my friend.

        @StephenChapman<br><br>I absolutely agree with you in regards to the arms-race. It's perhaps *the* most aggrivating aspect of SEO for anyone doing SEO as ethically as possible.<br><br>I appreciate your feedback and suggestion for delving into content creation. I guess the main reason I didn't dig into it here so much is because I've had a post I've been working on off-and-on which details best practices for content creation in regards to blog commenting, on-site copy, press releases, et al. My goal is to touch as many bases as I can and give a solid overview of all that I can.<br><br>Anyway, your suggestion reaffirms that I should go ahead and get that piece done so that I can link to it from a post like this. As for SEO companies mystifying the process, I agree with you there as well. I'm certainly all about transparency for the most part. I would say the one differing factor between your view and mine, though, is where I believe an SEO firm can (and should) offer the most value -- and that is through generating leads/conversions. Many companies simply do not have the time or resources to continuously implement SEO, monitor the ROI, make adjustments as needed, analyze, etc, so hiring an agency can definitely have a great ROI for them.<br><br>Having agency experience, I completely understand why SEO firms exist in the first place... but, here again, the agency I worked for used SEO as a catalyst for generating leads which should always be the goal if you are considering hiring an SEO firm.<br><br>As for your comments, I'm all for a little controversy, so don't worry about tempering yourself. The end result can be very educational after a good bout of people hashing it out. =)<br><br>-Stephen
        StephenChapman
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    Well Google Blogs are best for every kind of information. and discussing their with people all the time solves my big problems.
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