Find Guest Post Opportunities With One Powerful Query

by Yaniv Kimelfeld September 25th, 2012 

guest

There are a lot of guides for discovering guest post opportunities. However, these guides usually require to perform a long list of search queries in order to find all the relevant opportunities. And while every search yields results ordered by rank and relevancy but you can't compare two results from different search queries.

In order to unify all these queries into one query we should advance from simple queries to complex Boolean queries. However, many people may find Boolean search very formalistic and even counter-intuitive. In this post I'm going to focus on the practical aspects of Boolean search, and hopefully help the readers to phrase highly complex queries without the need to deal with formal definitions.

Practical Boolean Search

While I'm not going to get into the formal definition of Boolean operators, I would like to clarify one formal aspect of Boolean search first.

When you search for something like [first page of Google] you actually search for [first AND page AND Google]. The search engine searches for web-pages that contain these three words. Search engines add the 'AND' operator automatically when there is no operator between two keywords. This is called implicit AND.

The 'OR' operator has two important usages: to group different queries into one query and to search for web-pages that include one or more of the synonyms of a given term.

For example, suppose we manage a social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. In order to get some ideas for our campaign, we may search for [Facebook marketing] and for [Twitter marketing] and for [Google Plus marketing].

But we can compound them into the query [Facebook marketing OR Twitter marketing OR Google Plus marketing] which in turn is the equivalent of [(Facebook OR Twitter OR Google Plus) marketing].

Now, suppose we want to focus on small business social marketing. While there are plenty of results for [(Facebook OR Twitter OR Google Plus) marketing small business], there are also a lot of highly ranked web-pages for [(Facebook OR Twitter OR Google Plus) marketing local business]. Since the terms 'small business' and 'local business' are largely identical we would like to search for web-pages with both terms. The query [(Facebook OR Twitter OR Google Plus) marketing (small business OR local business)] or [(Facebook OR Twitter OR Google Plus) marketing (small OR local ) business] will yield results with both terms ordered by their ranking.

Find The Patterns

If we look at the queries the guides suggest to find guest blogs, we find four groups of terms:

1. guest, contributor, freelancer.

2. blogger, writer or author.

3. post, article or story

4. 'characteristic keyword'

The first three groups are synonyms, at least in the context of guest blogging.

The first group represents a person that is not part of the blog. The second represents the skill required from this person, and the third represents the needed outcome.

The fourth group is less homogeneous, and it includes a call for action keywords like "submit" and "become", and other characteristic keywords like "submission" and "guidelines".

Actually, a lot of these queries are taken from titles of calls for guest bloggers. Although most of these titles are 'partial sentences' like "become a contributor" or "contribute to our Site", we may safely assume that most of these calls would include at least one keyword from each of the four groups in the body or in the anchor text to these web-pages.

Building Our Query

After we have analyzed the calls for guest bloggers, we may finally formulate our desired query.

The raw query would be:

[(freelance OR guest OR contributor) (blogger OR writer OR author) (post OR article OR story) (intitle:"write for" OR intitle:"contribute to" OR intitle:guidelines OR intitle:submission OR intitle:submit OR intitle:submissions OR intitle:Wanted OR intitle:become OR intitle:Suggest)]

I used the 'intitle:' operator to limit Google to search the 'characteristic keywords' only in the titles of the guest calls.

To make sure we find guest post opportunities in our keyword area we should add our own keyword(s). Example:

[music (freelance OR guest OR contributor) (blogger OR writer OR author) (post OR article OR story) (intitle:"write for" OR intitle:"contribute to" OR intitle:guidelines OR intitle:submission OR intitle:submit OR intitle:submissions OR intitle:Wanted OR intitle:become OR intitle:Suggest)]

And again, we can use the 'OR' operator to join different queries, i.e.:

[(jazz OR chess OR basketball) (freelance OR guest OR contributor) (blogger OR writer OR author) (post OR article OR story) (intitle:"write for" OR intitle:"contribute to" OR intitle:guidelines OR intitle:submission OR intitle:submit OR intitle:submissions OR intitle:Wanted OR intitle:become OR intitle:Suggest)]

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy A Quick Guide to Guest Blogging

Yaniv Kimelfeld

Yaniv is an independent writer that inquires search engines in general and topical search engines in particular. He also explores methods for optimizing custom-built search engines.

Topical Search Blog

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6 Responses to “Find Guest Post Opportunities With One Powerful Query”

  1. John says:

    Didn't know these types of queries
    Gonna use it to find guest post friendly blogs
    Thanx for the tip!

  2. Shamelle says:

    Like John, I was also not aware of these. Yaniv your post made it easy grasp. Special thank you for including examples with links.

    I'm off to trying this out to land some guest posts :-)

    • Yaniv Kimelfeld says:

      Thanks Shamelle. You have some intersting blog posts. I have tweeted my favorite ones :)

  3. Travis says:

    "Find The Patterns" – so happy you talked about this. It is the most important thing to look for when building search queries. Patterns make your queries better by miles.

    I wanted to mention sometimes my queries return lower quality results when using an excessive amount of the OR boolean. Also, even though AND can be implicit, I typically type it out so the logic I'm working out in my head is in front of my eyes – silly me.

    Good post, Yaniv.

  4. Yaniv says:

    Thank u Travis.