There has been a lot of chatter online recently following some prominent Google employees making recommendations on the best practices for link builders who utilise guest blogging as part of their strategy.
It's not surprising that these comments have caused quite a stir in the online marketing community as a recent survey by SkyrocketSEO showed that 46% of businesses are using guest blogging as their link building tactic of choice.
With any link building activity diversity is crucial and relying solely on one tactic and not varying your profile may lead to your site coming under manual review or suffering a significant drop in rankings due to an algorithm change of some sort in the future.
#1 Site Quality and Relevance
#2 Regular Contributors
I prefer to work with bloggers who have regular authors on their sites and don't have a very high percentage of hit and run guest posts on their blog. If you notice that the last few articles on the site are by writers who have only posted once on the site it might suggest that the blog is nothing more than a glorified article directory.
#3 Guest Post Authors or Categories
You should try to avoid guest posting on sites that publishes guest posts under a generic "Guest Author" or use a "Guest Post" category. If you do still want to post on a site even if they use these taxonomies then you should ask the blogger whether they would set you up your own author profile so you can add Google+ authorship for example.
#4 Link Networks
There are more and more sites being created with the sole purpose of charging link builders for guest posting on their site, however there are some really helpful bloggers who own several sites within a niche or sub niche. If a blogger tells you that they are happy for you to write for more than one of their sites you can use whoishostingthis.com to check whether or not the websites are using the same hosting company and leaving an easy to identify footprint.
You may feel that some of my recommendations are a little over-kill but I really do believe that investing a few minutes investigating the websites you are prospecting may lead to fewer issues with penalties or expensive link removal work in the future.