How To Buy Link Building Services (Without Getting Ripped Off)
For those of you who don’t know, I have a unique position in the industry that provides me with the opportunity to use quite a lot of online marketing services. As a result, I’ve had the opportunity to thoroughly vet every conceivable type of link building service from thousands of sellers.
Due to this, I wanted to share my knowledge on link building services in the form of this guide
Types of Services
Not all link building services are the same, and choosing the right one for your needs is important. Below, I’ve gone over some of the most common link building services you’re likely to encounter whilst shopping for link building services.
This type of service has been gaining popularity in the last few years. Essentially, niche edits are a type of outreach service where the link builder contacts a site owner asking them to add a link to a website on one of their older articles. They either use one of the keywords already in the article as the anchor text, although it’s more common for a whole new relevant sentence to be added into the aged article, with the anchor text being your keyword of choice. The purpose of this is that these older articles are already indexed, have links pointing to them, and have traffic; this means these links will pass on more link equity and be “safer” in the long run in theory.
Issue with these – sellers can sometimes be hackers who hack into old websites that aren’t maintained and inject your link into the article.
Private Blog Networks
Also known as PBNs, this type of link building service is extremely popular in the black hat SEO community.
My personal opinion is that anyone looking to buy backlinks should avoid most PBNs at all cost. Don’t get me wrong, private blog networks have their uses… when they’re private. If you don’t know what I mean by this, allow me to explain.
Private blog networks are meant to be a group of websites owned and used by a single person. The creator of a PBN is meant to go to great lengths to hide any footprints that could lead to the detection of their PBN by Google or a competitor (e.g., using the same domain reigstrars, using the same web hosts for all of the websites, etc). When a PBN owner decides to sell links on their PBN, this opens up the network to the risk of a competitor reporting their blogs. Additionally, once the network owner starts sending customers reports showing all of their websites, the network is no longer private.
In order to “protect” their network, some sellers refuse to provide reports to their customers. However, this has resulted in a ton of PBN sellers pretending to fulfil orders and not building a single link, thus scamming their customers.
Additionally, out of the hundreds of PBNs I’ve used, the vast majority of them did not cover basic footprints, putting their network and the links of their customers at risk of penalisation from Google. It’s because of these issues and more that I’ve found buying PBN links to not be worth the hassle.
Of course, if you manage to come across someone with a PBN who’s more selective about who they sell links to, then by all means look into it further.
A common problem I came across with these services is that their in-house writers, or the people they outsource the articles to, do not understand the English language well.
Therefore, if you’re going to order a press release service, ensure that you’re either able to provide your own article or, in the case of press release services that write the article for you, ask to preview the article first.
Blog Commenting Services
These had a purpose at one point, but in 2022, blog commenting services are often offered by new sellers who use a bot to create a bunch of low-quality blog comments that have nothing to do with your website. The content is not something you want associated with your website or brand, so it’s better to avoid these at all costs.
Guest Posting Services
One thing you need to watch out for is that a lot of guest posting services are PBNs in disguise. Always ensure you ask the seller to provide you proof of the outreach they did. This is usually in the form of an email conversation where they iron out the details with the website owner.
Additionally, run any links you receive through SemRush and check to see how much organic traffic the websites are receiving. If they’re not receiving organic traffic, they’re most likely PBNs.
Finally, some guest post sellers send their potential customers a list of websites they can get them a link on. Look through a handful of these websites and see if any of them have contact details. If they do not, this doesn’t automatically mean that it’s a PBN as the guest post seller could have a business relationship with the site owner, but it is better to be wary.
When done right, these services can be pretty decent.
When done right…
The problem here is that these services are often not done right. What you want to receive is a report showing how the seller created various web 2.0s that compliment your website, because then, as written by Tommy McDonald on the internet marketing forum Black Hat World, you can build up these parasite pages and direct the traffic to your main website.
Sounds nice, right?
Unfortunately, what you’ll usually receive is a report linking to hundreds of WordPress, Blogspot, and other web 2.0 websites that just haphazardly rip off the content from your main website’s homepage.
Common buzzwords to avoid:
Marketing in general is full of a lot of fluff words that don’t have any meaning; they’re just there to catch your eye.
No link building seller can promise safety, let alone 100% safety. Remember, these sellers are not affiliated with any search engine and they can’t control whether or not your website gets penalised by Google. Speaking of which…
For the reasons stated above, they can’t promise this.
“We’re a white hat SEO agency”
Think about this one for a second: link schemes are against Google’s guidelines.
If they’re this desperate to mislead consumers, you have to wonder how else they’ll try to mislead you.
If they’re still claiming their PageRank is ‘x’ six years after it stopped being publicly updated, then they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Avoid any seller claiming the backlinks they’re building are natural. If they’re building them, they’re not natural, and they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Some sellers start getting romantic in their listings and begin talking about how much Google loves them, or their service, or their type of links. I’m going to let you in a little secret: they don’t know what Google loves.
Where To Buy Link Building Services
Digital Marketing Forums
Forums such as Black Hat World have a link building marketplace you can use to search for sellers.
The main thing with forums is that you want to use their search function to find sellers who sell the specific type of link you’re looking for. If you don’t have anything in mind, that’s fine, just scroll through the various services listed and vet each seller (which we’ll be covering later in this article).
I’ve purchased backlinks from Fiverr in the past for some project websites I have. The main thing with Fiverr links is that you’ll want to search the company and see if they have a presence anywhere else. Sometimes, they’ll try to sell the links either at a reduced price or a marked up price on Fiverr, and you want to make sure you buy from wherever they have the reduced price.
Some people sell their backlinks on Facebook. I don’t use Facebook, so I wouldn’t know how effective this is.
Local SEO Agencies
If you’ve got a local business and you know someone locally who can get you backlinks on other local websites, then this is definitely a great option to consider.
Just don’t. Please don’t do this. The number of people who fall victim to Skype impersonators (i.e., people pretending to be legitimate businesses) is astounding.
If you find a seller you like the look of, you’re going to want to vet them. However, getting past all of the fluff in a sales listing can be a daunting task.
If you’re browsing an internet marketing marketplace for link building services, avoid any sellers who drowns out their negative reviews with a bunch of positive reviews from new accounts. They’re not smart about the way they do this, and it’s obvious when it happens; a negative review shows up in their listing, and then suddenly, a dozen new accounts come out of the woodwork saying how amazing the service is. Yeah, nice try.
Remember that anyone selling link building services is in the black hat SEO game, which means they focus a lot of their time to gaming systems. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this in the least bit, I’d be a hypocrite if I thought so; but do keep in mind that they may not hesitate at the chance to game their buyers as well.
Next up, you’ll want to look at their sales listing. If they use any of the buzzwords mentioned earlier in this article, go to the next seller. If they don’t, take a look at what their link building service claims it can do for your website. Most services, even decent ones, have something fanciful in them, so skip over those claims. Ignore screenshots of rankings as well; you can’t verify these are even real or from their clients.
If nothing bad sticks out, try reaching out to them with a short message and see how they respond to you. Below, I’ve provided an example message, but feel free to use it as a template
I’m reaching out to you because I’m interested in your link building service. Do you by any chance have any samples of your service and could you tell me more about what you feel sets you apart from the competition?
It’s a short message, but I intentionally worded this message in a way that’ll get you the following types of responses that’ll tell you just what kind of seller you’re dealing with.
- If they just send you a sample, avoid them. If they can’t be bothered to read your full message, they don’t deserve you as a customer.
- If they say they can promise you good rankings and that sets them apart, avoid them. Nobody can promise anything in terms of rankings.
- If they say they’re the best and that’s what sets them apart, avoid them since they can’t even give you a specific reason.
- If they’re rude or arrogant, you know to avoid them.
- If they send you a follow-up less than a day later, be cautious and don’t feel rushed to make a decision.
- If you feel pressured to buy their service, avoid them.
- If it takes them several days to respond to your message, avoid them. Obviously, you should avoid anyone who’s rude or arrogant in their messages.