The SEO Apocalypse

After the Google Penguin update, I find many of my old tactics are void. For those who don’t know, Google went on the attack April devaluing and  penalizing sites using spammy SEO tactics.

Many sites were hit and devalued on the search engine results pages. I watched sites go from 20,000 unique visitors a month, to 1000 overnight.

Some of the tactics Google has frowned upon are paid text links, comment spam, link schemes and exact match anchor text. Above all, they’re looking for unnatural links. In the past, buying a bunch of directory links and sponsored reviews with the anchor text example – “Ohio Jeep dealer,” killed it. This no longer applies.

Gaming Google just got a lot harder

So What’s Next?

One of my biggest pet peeves at automotive conventions is the line “Content is King!” It seems that’s the only advise any speaker has. All you have to do is write a few articles with content on a subject that fits within your topic of interest. Easy enough – right?

Content is great but there’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s for another article. So let’s say you have some great articles full of great engaging content – know what?

Guest Posting

Guest posting is completely within Google’s guidelines (for now at least), and is a best practice for many bloggers. First, you will need to find some relavant websites that are willing accept your guests posts.

You can grow your list of potential guest posting spots by doing a few Google searches. Combine one of your primary keywords (Jeep) with a few variations on the phrases “guest post” or “guest blogging” like examples below:

  • Jeep “write for me”
  • Jeep “guest post”
  • Jeep “guest blogger”
  • Jeep “guest blogging”

This can result in several possible results to get you started. Once you find a number of sites, you will then want to determine if the website are of good quality. Posting guest articles on just any website isn’t going to do the trick. You need to find websites that have some great traction, traffic and a strong social driven community to receive the best from your work.

TIP: Search out the Blog Rolls typically found on leading blogs to potentially find additional websites / blogs you could guest post on..

Finding and evaluating the websites is easy. However, getting a response back from the webmaster can be a challenge. Here is an example of an outreach email I use:

— Light example —


My name it Blake Arbogast. I really enjoyed reading many of the articles on your ABCJeep website. I work and blog for I was wondering if you were looking for new guest posts? Working at a dealership, I have access to great information and content. I would love to write a few posts highlighting:

–  4×4 Jeep Trails in Ohio
– How to Find a Jeep Club in your Area
– Top Ten Places to go in Your Jeep

Thanks for considering my offer. I look forward to hearing back from you.



–/ Light example —

I can tell from you experience, you’ll need to be persistant and continue to follow up with the webmasters until they answer you! Be ready to send samples of your writing if necessary. Don’t get discouraged if you send out 30 requests and only get 3 responses. This is hard work, but worth it. 

If a webmaster agrees to post your article, don’t forget it’s critical to get a link in your post or author bio linking back to a relavent page on your dealers website (or dealer blog).

Before Penguin, you wanted to be sure your anchor text was keyword relavent, but now not so much. Continue this process and your guaranteed to increase your rankings increase.

Guest posting is not only a great tool to obtain quality links back to your website, it can also provide targeted traffic while building a positive reputation and authority within you’re online and even local community.



Have you been successful with guest posting on relevant blogs and niche websites?

How bad were you effected by the Google Penguin Update?

What are you now doing to obtain valuable links back to your dealership website or blog?

Photo of Blake ArbogastBlake Arbogast is the eCommerce Director of the Dave Arbogast Group in Ohio.  He is a self confessed car and SEO addict. Make sure you catch up with him on twitter @blakearbogast.