To put it simply, Google’s algorithm looks at 3 elements to decide if your page is worth displaying to a user doing a search:
- The first is the semantic relevance of your content. In short, Google analyses your page and its content and considers whether it answers the user’s question.
- The second is the technical aspects of your site. Was Google able to discover your pages? How long does it take for your site to load, etc.?
- Finally, and this is where backlinks come in: Google evaluates the authority of your site in the domain. To do this, Google analyses all the web links pointing to your site. If many reference sites in your field mention it, the engine will consider that you are an authority.
A “good” SEO link usually ticks the following 4 boxes:
- It has a thematic proximity to your site. For example, if you have a site that talks about horse training, a link from a site that talks about photo drones is not going to be particularly relevant.
- It comes from an authority site, i.e. a site that has itself received quality links.
- It is placed in a relevant context (article dealing with a theme close to your field, etc.)
- It is dofollow: it does not contain a “nofollow” tag in the code, which would indicate to robots not to follow this link. In other words, it returns traffic AND SEO authority.
The point of guest posts is that they do meet these criteria:
- Since you choose who you write the guest blog for, you can select sites that are thematically close to your website.
- Selecting your “targets” will also allow you to focus on authoritative sites.
- As you write the content yourself, you can ensure that your link will be surrounded by quality content.