How Guest Posting Destroyed My Klout Score by @rdempsey
This post you’re reading just lowered my Klout score. How is that possible you ask?
Why Do We Guest Post?
There are only few reasons why bloggers guest post on other blogs. Here is why I do it:
- To extend my online influence (Klout)
- To rank better in search results (google)
- To tap into the host-blogger’s audience
- To reach a wider circle of followers (Twitter)
I don’t know exactly how Klout calculates my influence score. No one does. It’s their secret sauce so we don’t know for sure. But we can guess based on little information that we do have.
Klout tells us that they use three factors:
- True Reach: How many people you influence
- Amplification: How much you influence them
- Network Impact: The influence of your network
So here’s my question for you.
If your guest post gets a lot of social play (on G+, Twitter, etc), and lot’s of comments, but none of those are attributed to you as the author of the content, who gets the credit?
Do You Get Search Juice?
By connecting to G+, Klout is looking to Google to tell it how far your content is reaching and how much interaction it gets.
But Google has NO IDEA that the content is attributed to you since the content resides on someone else’s blog.
Google doesn’t know, so Klout doesn’t know either.
The content is attributed to the host-blogger. The owner of the blog. The master of the house.
So if Google doesn’t know you’re the author, Klout doesn’t know either.
Ergo Klout is unable to attribute your content’s influence to you, instead they give it to the host-blogger.
Do you ever really, truly, tap into the host-blogger’s audience?
Sure, there’s the author box on top or the bottom of the post. Your pretty face is in it. Your bio, plus some links are there, but…
How many times have you seen a commenter address the blog owner in a guest post rather than the author of the post? Yeah…
If you can’t grab a new audience, your sphere of influence is not extended, ergo your Klout score plummets.
More Twitter Reach?
Do you gain followers, @mentions, and Twitter love when guest posting?
When someone goes to tweet this post, Tweet button automagically appends “via @host-blogger” handle at the end of it. But it does NOT append “via @guest-blogger”.
No “via @mention”, no Klout love either. Your score keeps on plummeting.
Plummeting or Simply Not Increasing?
A keen observer might notice that you are not losing Klout, but you’re simply not gaining. Alas, that’s not true.
All this is the equivalent of writing a book and not getting credit for it.
You’ve put in the time, and you have nothing to show for.
Work goes in + nothing gained = loss.
In this case, loss of Klout, loss of search juice, lack of audience generation, and lack of Twitter mentions.
Fix It Before I Cry
After all this, you may feel little depressed. I know I did. But don’t worry, I have a solution.
We fix Klout by fixing other pieces that Klout looks to, to make its determination.
Welcome to the interactive portion of this post. What follows are few actionable steps that solve your plummeting Klout score.
We’ll start with search juice and proper author attribution inside the post. Get ready for a little bit of geekery.
Google looks to an HTML tag inside your post to tell it who the author is.
As you may have guessed, the default “author” on any post is the owner of that blog. Not you. But if you change the tag…
Rel=”author” is the HTML tag that provides attribution for a piece of content. It tells Google who the author is.
In order for Rel=”author” to work you need the Author tag to point to YOUR G+ profile, and a link from your G+ profile to point to your blog.
Having this linkage between my blog and Google+, using my name as the anchor text, lets Google know that I am the author of the content. And therefore, tells Klout to attribute the resulting wave of adulations in my favor.
And just in case this Rel=”author”, HTML business sounds too complicated…
Making Attribution Simple
I’ve created a free rel=”author” plugin that works with WordPress and ensures that you and all your fellow blog authors get full credit in the eyes of Google for every post you write.
All the instructions and everything you need are available via the link.
Download the plugin now and urge the blogs you’re guest posting on to do the same.
Why The Plugin Links To G+
You may be wondering why the plugin links to your Google+ profile and not somewhere else.
Search is becoming more personalized based on who is in your social circles and who is connected to those circles.
It is completely “normal” for two people to search for the same thing and get two COMPLETELY different results; all based on their social circles.
Plus, Google is not going anywhere. Pun, totally intended.
We still haven’t resolved the attribution issue on Twitter.
The host-blogger (in this case @dino_dogan) gets the social mentions every time someone tweets this post that’s written by me.
Dino was kind enough to place “by @rdempsey” in the title of the post, and while that’s a right thing to do in order for me to get the mentions, it looks terrible as a part of a headline.
No sharebar performs this function correctly, but I have it on good authority that your favorite blog amplification platform is working on just such a sharebar.
Twitter’s official Tweet Button should do the same thing, alas, it doesn’t…yet?
You may have noticed that I conveniently skipped over the solution that would drag your audience over to my blog.
I think that the ONLY way to generate an audience for yourself whilst guest-posting, is to write the best post ever published on that blog.
You have to make the reader’s jaw drop with the sheer awesomeness of your post. Otherwise, it won’t make a dent.
Also, you have to make their jaw drop with sheer awesomeness on more than one occasion.
Only then will your awesomeness get cemented in the reader’s mind and next time they want to read something useful, they will seek YOU out.
But I’m willing to consider your take on all of this.
- Let me know what you think in the comments below.