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?
 

Ryuzaki

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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.
 
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@Ryuzaki - I'm about to test this all out. I'd love your 2 cents on 'When & where do you use a kill switch effectively?'

Hoping I haven't misunderstood this whole thing!
 

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When & where do you use a kill switch effectively?

Isn't this what the whole thread is about and what we've been discussing?
 
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Isn't this what the whole thread is about and what we've been discussing?
It's been interesting but I'm still trying to work out when you'd use it.

From what I understand (and reading your posts, which I've read a lot) you're all about control, which would mean I'd assume you're using it between the guest post and your money site, but then you suggested rather using it at a tier above the guest post, which implies less control.

Then you said you'd rather build direct and not use it "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).", so it seems like I'm not certain the use case for a kill switch!

Current Scenario
I've bought 150 PBN links and was thinking of running them through a redirect to a GSite or guest post to a moneysite.

That way, if it goes badly, I can redirect them elsewhere or move them up a tier, etc.

Thanks for your patience, this is an area that's foxed me for a while.
 

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In your current scenario, I'd definitely call these 150 PBN links "pure spam" as would Google. They sound like a low effort network that will probably get discovered and deindexed, with the problem possibly following you on down to your money site. Thus you'd want a kill switch.

Since they're pure spam (as would be bulk links like 30,000 blog comments), they absolutely need to go through a kill switch. And since you're using one, then it doesn't really matter where in the process that redirect comes since you can move it around.

If you wanted those 150 PBN links aimed right at your money site then the PBN links would all feature links to your kill switch URL, which would redirect itself to your money page.

Maybe you want to hammer those 150 PBN links with 500 social bookmarks each (I wouldn't do this type of thing). You could go direct at the PBN links but you could also build out another kill switch so you aren't compromising the PBNs by being lazy, which would only come back to bite you later anyways.

Essentially, anywhere you need control, you can have a kill switch:
  • Between spam and your site so you can remove them if needed.
  • Between spam and your high quality backlinks so you aren't spamming someone else's site directly.
  • In order to salvage high quality links later and point them elsewhere, to save future money and work.
  • In order to re-use very spammy bulk links in the same niche later once the main site gets burnt.
I'm sure there's more scenarios. I personally only see two reasons to actually do any of this, which is in alignment with your 150 PBN link scenario: 1) these are so spammy and dangerous that I know I'll need to remove them at some point, and 2) I need to bring assurance to someone else that the option is there, even if it's not needed.

I'd never be caught dead in the #1 reason in the paragraph above. There's better ways of doing it that I can't get into. And the #2 reason has the "even if it's not needed" because there's better ways of doing it (that I can't get into).

But yeah, I guess I stand by my original opinion. They exist for control. Use them where you desire control, either to mitigate loss or mitigate future expenses by re-using link assets.
 

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Just an FYI, the kill switch scenario doesn't take into account link echos. This is where links that are removed still have a residual effect onto the page.

@Ryuzaki's friend Rand talked about it here: Link Echos aka Link Ghosts

4.5 months later the page was still showing signs of the link impact. So to be "safe", this thing can take 6-12 months to see the kill switch in-acted after pressing it... or wait till a massive core update.

You know me, I'm going to say a smart-ass comment, your time might be better spent doing something more productive like increasing your brand signal versus going down this spammy route. Months are an eternity on the internet.
 
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@Ryuzaki - that really helped me understand it! Thanks.
@CCarter - good point about the link echo. I forgot about that.

ALSO - these are PBNs I bought on Black Friday and I haven't used yet as I wanted to treat them carefully. I think I'll push them a tier further back based on your comments.
 
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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
1) You don't need a kill switch if you follow certain rules
2) You'll definitely lose some link juice because of it. You can use pbns as tiered links for guest posts, which might help
3) Why use a link shortener? Why not go for regular guest posts?
4) If the links are contextual and relevant why would you want that to use a link shortener? It is again not really something I would encourage

My advice: use the pbns as tier2 for guest posts

If you are unsure about using the pbns, maybe ask someone to have a look at them