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High DA Guest Post List of Top Tier Sites

If you are drawing up a guest post list of decent quality high domain authority sites, the following list might be helpful. Some of the sites could be harder to obtain a guest post than others, although at the end of the day, journalists are grossly underpaid and exploited – which means that if your outreach is effective and attractive, success might be around the corner.

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Below we will share a few suggestions of sites that can be contacted for guest posting. A featured guest post with a DO-Follow link should be most preferred – and remember, if the advertising team does not speak your language, keep looking until you find a good contributing journalist who is willing to make it happen.

Guest Post Valuation Metrics

How much should you pay for a guest post? Well, this is one of the most important questions. It is a known fact that lead magnets, such as the ones we create in our link building program can attract organic links at no cost. But what were one of those companies who, against Google’s guidelines, felt you need to pay some sites for additional site to link to your content, or if it was simply a matter of good online PR?

The answer is that guest post valuation can be quite subjective and it relies on qualitative factors. For example, when our company dealt with, their sales department charged us $700 per “spotlight” post, but the editor sneakily deleted it without informing us – all this within 2 months. That means that in reality, under the current CEO Ryan Shea, the value of a link on is less than $200 – because it can get deleted overnight. If you were to deal with the paid media team at Forbes, PCMag, Techradar or ZDNet, for example, then more integrity could be shown by management and therefore a higher valuation might be attributed. If, for example you manage to obtain a sponsored post directly with Bloomberg under CEO Mike Bloomberg – you can bet on their integrity, which explains the high valuation we attribute to it below.

It is fair to argue that quantitative factors in guest post evaluation may indeed be metrics such as domain authority or domain rank, traffic stability, overall traffic levels – and industry. Yet qualitative factors certainly include the reliability of a sites management, it’s reputation in the industry, and it’s overall level of difficulty.

Guest Post Valuation List

In our view, based on numerous factors, the following difficulty levels and realistic value per guest post can be assigned to certain popular publications:

Website Domain ranking Difficulty Level Value 90+ Medium $3000 90+ Easy $200 90+ Medium $900 90+ Medium $1000 (New York Post) 90+ Easy $500 (Fox News) 90+ Easy $500 90+ Medium $900 90+ Easy $200
OK Magazine 90+ Medium $3000 90+ Medium $3000
US Weekly ( 90+ Medium $2500
Bloomberg ( 90+ Hard $9000 (San Francisco Gate) 80+ Easy $1000 80+ Easy $500 (The Star) 80+ Easy $1000 (Newsmax) 80+ Easy $700 (Vogue) 90+ Medium $3000 90+ Medium $9000 90+ Hard $5000
The Independent ( 90+ Easy $1000
Yahoo Finance ( 90+ Easy $2000
Business Insider ( 90+ Medium $3000 (Before its news) 80+ Medium $500 80+ Medium $500 90+ Easy $0 (Market Watch) 90+ Easy $500
New York Times ( 90+ Easy $3000 / wire 70+ Easy $100 80+ Easy $200
Sitetrail does not sell guest posts on the above sites. It is our recommendation that you find journalists who work at these sites and strike your own deal with them, based on specific niches and content guidelines.

Can buying guest posts harm my SEO?

You bet it could be harmful to SEO when people engage in obvious link buying. This is why sites should be selected carefully, and commercial discussions need to take place confidentially. Google is attempting to prevent manipulation of the search results. However, for as long as journalism remains grossly underpaid, this will be widely open to exploitation.

The fact remains – that when contacting top tier sites to submit a guest post, 0.2% of inquiries will succeed, whereas a 1% success rate is expected with payment for non-sponsored content. That figure can climb up to 15% when dealing with a well connected SEO and digital marketing agency that takes the journalist route.

What are the differences between sponsored posts and editorial or guest posts?

This is an important question. You will see many articles in that are not marked as sponsored, with a DO-Follow link. In a publication like Forbes, or the New York Times, a lot more of the articles will contain a NO-Follow attribute and will be marked as sponsored. So what are the differences?

Sponsored Posts:

These are clearly indicated as paid advertising. The verbiage can be more advertorial. Their SEO value will be ZERO, so it is almost completely worthless when seeking to improve rankings.

Editorial and Guest Posts:

These posts appear organically, not marked as paid adverts. Therefore, the verbiage is more carefully construed and often balanced with competitor mentions. When these contain a DO-Follow link, they are powerful and can increase your rankings.

Can Free Guest Posting Sites Help?

Did we not say all earned links are supposed to be free in order to be valid for Google? Yes we did so if you want to subscribe to the false narrative from marketers that promise only “earned” links and no “paid” links, you should only opt for free sites. But will a site rank well if only has links from Quora, Reddit and Medium? Probably not. So a few free sites will help, but it will not be enough to measure with the might of the big dark world of backhanders, where the emperors of media name their price for highly authoritative links. 

What about link exchange?

Google truly dislikes this and will make a point to penalize sites who participate in this. For this reason, indirect, non-reciprocal exchanges are safer and more common these days. Both three way linking and direct reciprocal linking are considered NO GO areas for SEO. One simply has to be smarter when it comes to link building strategy and outreach – which exactly what Sitetrail operatives will do.

Clearly, this article did not venture into the morals of digital advertising – because Google’s reason for discounting “manipulative” links sound valid, but their conflict of interest in earning revenue from pay per click, provides them with a great incentive to keep sites tumbling from the top and to keep shifting organic results around.

Conclusion on Guest Posting

The industry is made up of various components. Some adhere strictly to Google’s guidelines and will never hesitate to mark paid advertising with a sponsored label as they should. Others, will sell a portion of paid advertising and not label it appropriately. This is always down to organizational policy. But the worst players to watch for, are those who charge a fee and delete your content after receiving a fee.

The unlimited PR access pass from Sitetrail gives you access to a wide range of Google News sites. Since you do not pay them for the service, the articles are usually not marked as sponsored, in line with Google’s guidelines. What you do pay for, is for Sitetrail to provide you with editorial guidelines and unfettered access to the right platforms.

Picture of Adriaan Brits

Adriaan Brits

Adriaan Brits is the CEO of He works with clients around the world on digital marketing strategy and PR. When it comes to scaling a business, he is one of the top 10 consultants with the biggest media list globally.

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