Kill Switch For Guest Posts (How Do You Do It?)

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Hi

I'm about to get a ton of guest posts but want to add in a safety switch.

A Few Quick Questions
1) What are the top platforms to use for a kill switch?
2) How much link juice gets lost due to it?
3) If using a link shortener how do you do it?
- any specific platforms I should use?
- I'm worried of spending a year building up a ton of guest posts and then in 1.5 years the service shuts down (like Goo.gl, etc, and a few others)
4) Doesn't this nullify the point of getting contextual links from a wide range of domains? Since if they go through the kill switch, it's all coming from the same root domain (e.g. via a shortener)

Any advice and personal experience you share here is greatly appreciated!

This is that one area of SEO (amongst others), that I've never really understood.

Many Thanks!
Alex
 

Ryuzaki

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Traditionally you have two options for a kill switch (there are more but trade secrets are secrets, and these two will suffice):
  1. a 301 redirect that you control
  2. a website that you control that links to your target
The key word in both of those options is "control". You don't control a bit.ly link or any other shortener service. You can control a $10 per year domain, though. Or even a URL on the same site you're targeting that 301's to the target. That's for redirects.

The other classic option is essentially tiered link building. You aim your guest posts at pages on sites you control (private blog network) and then link to your target page from the page receiving the guest posts. Now you can kill the URL and make it 404, you can change and control your anchor text profiles, etc.

Page rank does get dampened through a link hop. I'd assume it's somewhere between 75% and 85%, completely depending on where the link is in the article. If it's contextual those numbers make sense. If it's sidebar, footer, or navigation I imagine the share of page rank they pass is not only smaller but the dampening factor is different too. You should be using contextual links regardless.

It sounds like these guest posts might be dangerous for you or you wouldn't be going through this effort. We use a kill switch for Links on Fire and describe it as such to bring comfort and safety to our clients, but it's not there to be a kill switch.

It's there for the 2nd utility which is you can move all of the page rank around. An example would be that you build up an amazing amount of juice to a redirect or PBN page, and for whatever reason your target page or site gets trashed and not at the fault of the juice flowing through your redirect. You can them aim your link or redirect to a new target and not lose all of the money and time you put into building up the power of the link or redirect. This is why we use a similar method. Why let anything go to waste, you know. So if a client burns their site by buying goofy links, we can point their links to a new target and they still get the value they paid for in the past. Nothing is lost if you're doing things right.

For your 4th item, the redirect passes on all of the signals of the links aimed at it. So it won't reduce the number of referring domains down to one. But using a page on a site you control as the target would do that. So that's a question you need to be asking: do you need the referring domains too or do you just need the page rank juice alone?

This is an area you really want to think clearly and deeply about. As you've noted, you could lose all of your work if some shortener you use kicks the bucket. You want to control everything. Create a shortener, use a redirect on the same site, create some private sites to act as buffers, etc. Each has pro's and con's.
 
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just to clarify you want to own the tier 1 property? for your link network are you building these or buying domains?
 

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just to clarify you want to own the tier 1 property? for your link network are you building these or buying domains?
You want to control it in the sense that you can aim it elsewhere if desired or cut it off from the initial target. You want to own it in the sense that if you use any other shortener or domain that allows redirects, they could decide to end the service or drop the domain, then you lose all the links you built.

Of course, if you're talking about mass spam, whatever. If you're talking about high quality links, you don't want to lose those. I wouldn't even build those through a redirect kill switch but if I did it would only be because I was also mass spamming the site, which I wouldn't do now. People used to do that in the past though.
 
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@Ryuzaki I've been thinking about your answer a lot and trying to get my head around it.

1. If you're building high quality guest posts do you build directly at a moneysite or through a kill switch or tier?

2. If you're using a redirect domain for your guest posts, how many guest posts do you use per redirect domain? 10? 20? 100?

3. Would you consider using the moneysites subdomain as a redirect for the guest posts?

Thanks for your detailed reply in your first post. Full of gold nuggets.
 

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@AlexR, my question to you would be "how are you defining a guest post?" because in my mind that's something that is of high enough quality to not worry about a kill switch. If you agree with that, is it the case that you also intend to build other types of links that will eventually destroy your money site?

1. If you're building high quality guest posts do you build directly at a moneysite or through a kill switch or tier?
Direct. If it's high quality I don't want a kill switch, unless I have some reason to later point the redirect to a different destination.

2. If you're using a redirect domain for your guest posts, how many guest posts do you use per redirect domain? 10? 20? 100?
I don't think this matters. Maybe the decision making factor shouldn't be based on #'s but on relevance or something, categorizing and organizing them in that way. Because the only reason to do this is to later aim them somewhere else, right? I'd provide myself more control over that if I was trying to set up multiple redirects.

3. Would you consider using the moneysites subdomain as a redirect for the guest posts?
Probably not, though you could. I would disconnect it from any of the projects that may be the destination of the redirect.
 
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@Ryuzaki thanks again for your patience. This is the one area that I've held back on due to not fully getting it. Spent the last 18 months focussing on UI, onpage and systems.

1. If you're building high quality guest posts do you build directly at a moneysite or through a kill switch or tier?
- the reason for a kill switch is you could over-optimize anchors, the site might actually be toxic, despite it's large traffic, etc. It's more of a control thing. These aren't Forbes, and large editorials, I'm more thinking high quality guest post sites. The DA45 to DA55 kinda range. The kind of guest posts you'd want to tier with some other links to power up.

So you'd just point these direct?

2. If you're using a redirect domain for your guest posts, how many guest posts do you use per redirect domain? 10? 20? 100?
Again, let's say you build 20 guest posts (DA 45 to 55), and you then tier these. You'd want someway to redirect or move the guest posts up a tier if it all goes south. So if you do decide to redirect, if you had 20 guest posts, how many redirect sites would you split this up over? The more you use the more spreadsheets you need, and I'd rather keep it simpler.

Basically, where I'm stuck is:
You build 20 guest posts (not shitty ones), and aim at your moneysite. Then you tier these. How do you 'keep' control so if it goes bad you can move stuff around?
 

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Basically, where I'm stuck is:
You build 20 guest posts (not shitty ones), and aim at your moneysite. Then you tier these. How do you 'keep' control so if it goes bad you can move stuff around?

No disrespect intended: it feels like you do understand it and you're being indecisive because you're overwhelming yourself with the minutia. I'd just say to do whatever makes sense for your scenario.

I would go direct with those guest posts and I'd use redirects for the tiered links behind them (if I even did that... I'd build the tiers in a way that were safe instead). But you seem to have a concern about something going wrong on the money site, so you could definitely push the guest posts through a redirect too to salvage them later if needed.

My suggestion would be to not worry about the number of tier 1 links going through a redirect and worry more about building "purpose-based sets" so when you do need to move the redirect you have more granular control.

Because at the end of the day, each redirect can only point to one URL destination. So you could mark them off like "product review - topic X", "product review - topic Y", "high volume info topic Z", "non-branded anchor homepage links", and so forth.

I'm not sure I can really answer the question because I'm not sure there's some best practice, objectively rational answer. I think you'll just need to decide what fits your site's needs and go from there. But I'd try to wrangle some granular control out of it while I'm at it.
 

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Basically, where I'm stuck is:
You build 20 guest posts (not shitty ones), and aim at your moneysite. Then you tier these. How do you 'keep' control so if it goes bad you can move stuff around?

No disrespect intended: it feels like you do understand it and you're being indecisive because you're overwhelming yourself with the minutia. I'd just say to do whatever makes sense for your scenario.

I would go direct with those guest posts and I'd use redirects for the tiered links behind them (if I even did that... I'd build the tiers in a way that were safe instead). But you seem to have a concern about something going wrong on the money site, so you could definitely push the guest posts through a redirect too to salvage them later if needed.

My suggestion would be to not worry about the number of tier 1 links going through a redirect and worry more about building "purpose-based sets" so when you do need to move the redirect you have more granular control.

Because at the end of the day, each redirect can only point to one URL destination. So you could mark them off like "product review - topic X", "product review - topic Y", "high volume info topic Z", "non-branded anchor homepage links", and so forth.

I'm not sure I can really answer the question because I'm not sure there's some best practice, objectively rational answer. I think you'll just need to decide what fits your site's needs and go from there. But I'd try to wrangle some granular control out of it while I'm at it.
 
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@Ryuzaki - I think I'm following.

Maybe a better way of asking the question is.

When & where do you use a kill switch effectively?

I thought it wise to use it between any external links you don't control, but it seems I've misunderstood that if you're building guest posts directly to your moneysite.