Guest posting on other websites is a great way to get more eyes on your brand, while picking up useful backlinks in the process to improve your SEO.
But how do you find sites that allow guest authors?
There are a few strategies people use for this, but blogger and marketing smartypants Glen Allsop of Viperchill came across a great one.
It's a matter of some simple Google-fu, but it opens up tons of new opportunities you might not have known about otherwise.
Glen's strategy revolves around a relatively little-known search operator that you can use on Google: AROUND(number).
This lets you find websites where a certain word or phrase — i.e., your niche — appears in the text close to terms like “submit a post” or “write for us.”
This strategy can be more effective than simply googling “[niche] write for us” or something to that effect.
You can find a ton of new opportunities this way.
Here's how to use the AROUND operator.
AROUND(Number) is a Google Search Operator Which Improves Upon Regular Link-Finding Queries
One query I haven’t seen any other SEO blog touch upon is the AROUND(?) search operator. It has been useful in a number of situations for me in recent months when trying to find specific strings of text in search results.
It has been so useful that I’m surprised I haven’t read about it in the marketing world before — I found it when looking through some programming discussions on Reddit.
What this query allows you to do is essentially find words that are within a certain proximity to each other.
For example, you already know that if you search for niche “submit article”you’ll find sites in a particular niche which accept guest posts. This is a common search query shared on blogs about finding posting opportunities along with “write an article”, “submit your post” and so on.
However, if we search for something like niche “submit” AROUND(4) “article”we can see pages for a specific niche or from a specific website which reveal a sentence where submit and article are not together, but still in close proximity.
Not more than four words apart, in this example.
[image source: Viperchill]
So what I’ve done here is try to find websites which say submit and guest post within four words of each other and also have the world gold in their URL.
Searching for “submit tip” or “submit guest post” would not have revealed this result.
Look how much more natural that search query is. It’s something you clearly wouldn’t find from a typical “submit article” search and opens up a lot of other link opportunities that SEO’s aren’t finding with commonly shared queries.
For example a sentence could have been “If you would like to submit your article” which a simple “submit article” search prior would not have found.
If you change the number after AROUND (the one in brackets) you increase the allowed space you can have between two words.
Let me give another example of how this query is useful. I recently noticed that some WordPress websites publicly show how much traffic their pages are receiving. This seems to be some kind of option in WordPress – I’m not sure where – but the WordPress forums are full of people wishing to turn it off.
Here’s one such website which reveal their daily pageviews for each article.
[image source: Viperchill]
My first idea was to simply scrape their website (using the tools in the first tactic) and see which were the most popular articles they’ve ever written. That being said, I no longer run any viral pages on Facebook so I wouldn’t really have anything to do with the information.
I instead decided to check was which other websites reveal this information publicly.
Thanks to the AROUND search operator, I can do exactly that.
[image source: Viperchill]
(I went to page two for this screenshot since the first page is just people asking how to remove it from their sites)
As we can see, even the USA government are in on the action to help out us marketers.
Now to be totally honest I didn’t find anything too interesting from sites that publicly share their pageviews. I was actually hoping to make a tool out of it but not many big sites share their stats. I found some interesting article ideas on a few sites, but nothing that was really worth the hour or so of trawling through the results.
Just think of all the standard search queries that you can now expand upon and find more natural results. Things like:
- niche “top tools”
- niche “recommended websites”
- Niche “submit a post”
- Niche “favourite links”
No longer do you need the words to be ‘touching’. You can specify how far apart they can be and broaden your link building horizons.
I’m hoping this query gives you some ideas of custom things you can search for you may not have been able to find previously. As I said, I use it far more than I ever expected it would and now that it’s in your arsenal, I hope you find places it can come into play.
You can read about more little-known ways to find link building opportunities over at Viperchill.
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