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Link Building: Taking Action to Rank Higher.

Link building remains one of the most influential ranking factors in Google. While links are becoming less potent in the top 10 positions, getting to the top still requires them. I’m going to show you how an agency does link building towards sites.

I will cover the topic extensively, so there are likely some sections with which you will not agree. It’s crucial to approach search engine optimisation holistically and scientifically. While link building is an important ranking factor – it’s not alone.

I have broken this into six categories, so feel free to jump ahead or read through from start to finish:

  1. Basics of Link Building.
  2. Tools for Link Building.
  3. Content Marketing.
  4. Email Outreach.
  5. Engineered Link Building.
  6. Link Suppliers.

Link Building Basics.


Before we dive into the more advanced link building tactics, it’s important to find common ground and define our terms. This section looks to provide a refresher for veterans and induction for beginners.

I will be covering the terminology and components of an external link, as well as other filters that impact performance. It’s important to consider these points on any project you do work. Failure to follow these principles will likely increase your chance of losing rankings through algorithmic penalties.

How does PageRank Work?

Pagerank is an algorithm that Google created, and it’s designed to calculate a value for each page based on their inbound and outbound links. This topic is covered in-depth in the Node Ranking Patent owned by Google.

The underlying principals are that the more outbound links a page has will reduce the weight passed, while more incoming will improve your total weight.

In this diagram, A passes two links worth 0.2, to B and C, while B only passes a single link. Since document C has received links from B and C, it passes more authority through its link towards A.

Summary: The more links you have from pages with higher authority and fewer links – the better. However, over the years Google have added more algorithms to help PageRank to improve.

Google Page Rank

Backlinks.

Backlinks are the individual anchors that connect two pages. In HTML these are always inside <a href=” “></a> tags and can surround text or images. The small amount of text placed between the open and close tag is your anchor text.

In the past, Google and other search engines weighed up the number of backlinks towards your website. Back then, software such as SENuke and GSA were prevalent. These tools helped to create thousands of backlinks without any trouble.

Backlinks in Ahrefs

Referring Domains.

A referring domain is any other website that gives one or more backlinks towards your site. These are created the same way that backlinks are but only counted once. Having 100 backlinks from the same location will count as one referring domain.

Soon after people started abusing backlinks, Google realised it would be harder to manipulate referring domains. The theory is that getting 1,000 links from a friends site is a lot easier than getting one link from 1,000 friends sites.

To this day the number of referring domains is a more significant correlation with ranking than backlinks or any single ranking factor available.

Referring Domains in Ahrefs

 

Anchor Text.

The anchor text is whatever written content is between an opening and closing anchor. For example:

<a href=”example.com”>Example Anchor Text</a>

In this example, the text “Example Anchor Text” would be picked up and used as a signal for Google. The search engine benefits from relevant anchor text, as does the user.

However, it’s important not to use too many exact-match anchors. By creating too many targeted anchors, you risk showing Google that you’re looking to manipulate the algorithm. This strategy will likely result in a Penguin penalty or a manual action.

If you are linking with an image, the alt text for the image becomes the alt text. This is because Google reads the alt attribute as on-page text, just like with any <p>, <h1> or <h2> tags. The alt text should be related to the image, which should relate to your site.

Anchor Text Distribution in SEMRush

DoFollow & NoFollow.

By default all links are DoFollow, and unless specified, they are rarely considered NoFollow. This behaviour is the default that users and robots prefer, based on the philosophy of HTML and web connectivity.

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, and the original idea was for websites to interlink with hypertext. These links would allow documents to connect through the use of hypertext references (href). By default, you would follow these links to find related content.

Today, things are a little bit more complicated. When you specify NoFollow to a robot, you’re telling it to avoid that link. This behaviour is strange, and you should use this for private areas of your website only.

However, like all good things in this industry, it was ruined by search analysts. To abuse the referring domain algorithms, webmasters decided to use comment sections on sites to embed their link. To stop this manipulation, the NoFollow attribute became prominent.

Summary: Search for websites that can give you DoFollow links instead of NoFollow. The results will be more powerful and help you rank higher, but at the same time don’t be scared to get NoFollow links too.

DoFollow and NoFollow in SEMRush

Link Distribution.

The linking distribution is the ratio of links pointed at your homepage and the internal pages. It is essential to have a natural blend of links towards the home to avoid detection. Typically, most authors will use a branded anchor text towards the homepage.

Penalties are likely to occur for websites that have too many inbound links towards the internal pages. However, once your site becomes authoritative, it becomes a lot harder to get link related penalties. For example, websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Forbes are exempt from link penalties.

I use the Best by links section in Ahrefs to check my link distribution. First use the filters to find status 200 links, then sort by the number of referring domains. This view helps you to see which pages have the most links towards them.

Summary: A natural blend of links between the homepage and internal pages will help to keep your website safe. Too many links towards money pages will likely lead towards a penalty.

AHREFS best by links tool

Outbound Links.

An outbound link is any link pointed from one domain outwards to another domain. The more outbound links that a page and domain has, the less powerful each of those links will eventually become. This rule is partly why spam directories are not as powerful or harmful.

If a page linking towards you has a large number of outbound links, then it will not pass as much authority towards you. If you’re looking to do tier 2 link building, the number of outbound links are important.

You can check this using a chrome extension called Check My Links, which I cover in more detail below.

An example of Check My Links.

 

Link Building Tools.


People say that a good craftsman never blames his tools, and that is the same with SEO. There are tons of excellent tools available, and you can get results with almost any of them. I’ve not attempted to hide that I’m a fan of Ahrefs.

However, with that said, I know some great analysts that use SEMRush, Majestic and Moz for their projects. If you’re able to access a paid version of these tools, then you’ll have a lot easier time with ranking websites.

When I first started SEO, the eCommerce company I worked for wouldn’t shell out for any of the tools. Instead, I used Google to find link opportunities and then picked up a phone to call the site owners. This bizarre strategy worked surprisingly well.

Ahrefs.

For me, Ahrefs is the industry-leading tool right now. They have the best crawler out of all third-party tools, and it can do a lot more than just review backlinks. There are tons of great features; you can check out my Ahrefs guide to find more.

ahrefs site explorer

SEMRush.

SEMRush recently teamed up with Majestic to combine their resources and stay competitive with Ahrefs. The tool boasts some handy features, including their domain prospecting tool. You can easily do link building with SEMRush.

Domain Overview in SEMRush

Majestic.

The older brother to Ahrefs, this tool has been around a lot longer. While the crawl rate of Majestic is slow by comparison, it has a much larger historical index. The tool is starting to feel outdated, but it still provides excellent value.

Dashboard for Majestic

Valuable Chrome Extensions.

Using a Chrome Extension can quickly improve your performance. It helps you get instant insights into your content, page or domain. If you want to become fast and as efficient as an agency analyst, you’ll need an arsenal of extensions at your disposal.

Scraper Tool.

When you’re searching for websites that could link towards you, the Scraper Tool can be a real treat. It allows you to right-click the page title from the SERPs and instantly scrape the results. This feature can be great for creating unqualified prospecting lists.

Scraper Tool for Link Building

Check My Links.

If you want to check where your link has been inserted, or see how many external links are on a page, then you need to get Check My Links for chrome. It quickly picks up all the links on your page. Be careful though; I’ve logged out of WordPress a few times because of misclicks on this extension.

Check My Links Chrome Extension

Ahrefs SEO Toolbar.

The Ahrefs SEO Toolbar provides lots of great insight into each page and domain. With the most extensive and most updated live index from all the third-party suppliers, it has great insight on the go.

Ahrefs SEO Toolbar

MozBar.

The original SEO toolbar and my first ever chrome extension for SEO, the MozBar provides some insight. With such a small index that they rarely update, it lacks the power of Ahrefs SEO Toolbar. It still offers some unique features, but I no longer use this plugin.

Mozbar

Email Marketing Tools.

Doing any form of email outreach or content marketing is going to require some tools. To get started, I’ve provided a few of my favourite tools plus some I’ve encountered over the years.

What you’re going to need is anything that makes contacting and tracking prospects easier. You’ll also want to monitor performance to help with A-B testing your different approaches.

Hunter.io.

This tool is super useful for finding your mailing contacts, enter a list of domains, and it will try to find your contact details. It does this by looking for contact details on their website as well as using their contact forms.

If you’re looking to do email marketing, then Hunter.io can save you a great deal of time. It’s worth paying for if you want to do this in bulk volumes.

Hunter.io Check

Yet Another Mail Merge.

If you’re looking to scale your outreach, you will want to consider getting Yet Another Mail Merge add-on for Google Sheets. It allows you to create a spreadsheet with data, then create an email format and bulk send.

This tool can be fantastic for guest posting and sponsored links. Just write an email proposal and include some bespoke information. Most of them will want money, so the personalised email approach will not matter.

 

Content Marketing.


Content marketing is the safest and least expensive form of link building in the market, but it takes the longest. The goals for content marketing are to provide users with valuable content that is shareable and generates traffic.

If Google had to pick a form of marketing that you would use, then they would choose this. Value is given to the users by generating unique content that is easily digested. There’s no end to the consumption by users and the internet needs more articles.

By itself, this form of marketing is hard to acquire links. The main focus is to reach out through social media and networking. If enough people find your content valuable, you should be able to generate a gold mine of leads and links.

Infographics.

Data is not the easiest thing to digest, but the public loves to digest information. Using half-facts and small truths to justify arguments is part of what creates exciting debates and discussions. This fact is why Infographics are great.

Taking data that same data and concentrating it into a single infographic is an excellent tactic for link building. You can use this as part of your email outreach campaigns, or leave it on your website with HTML code to copy.

Summary: If your data and presentation are on-point, infographics can be a great form of content marketing.

Anatomy of Infographics

YouTube & Video Content.

Everybody loves digesting video content; it’s one of the most massive online consumptions in 2018. Paid services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime offer full television shows and movies, but there are also social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Above all other services is YouTube with their enormous catalogue of video content and content creators. No matter what you’re looking to learn or laugh at, there’s an excellent opportunity for sharing your content.

Within your YouTube descriptions, you can include links towards your core pages, which helps to funnel those shares and links. It’s just another great way to improve your brand visibility. It can also be great for on-site content.

Summary: Video content is a great way to improve on-site dwell time, as well as create link opportunities. Not only can you link to your website from YouTube, you can link towards the video.

Referring Domains to YouTube Video

Journalism.

One of the most famous forms of information consumption for the past few decades has been newspapers. But in the past few years, many publications have moved away from print and press.

It’s an excellent time for your company to start doing journalism within your industry. You’ll need to create a team of content writers, and appoint an editor for all the content that goes live. But if you’re willing to put in the time, you can score big.

One of the main advantages of using a news section on your website is the ability to be cited by others. Whenever somebody wants to prove their point, they look for data or news articles and then link.

Summary: Creating a latest news branch on your site can pick up links long-term. It can also get you listed as a news source in Google. Here’s an example of a loans website who used this strategy to get links.

Example of News Website

Annual Awards.

Every year millions of people tune in to watch the Oscars, Grammies, and Brit Awards. It’s a celebration for what was achieved during the past year and an ideal space for networking with industry leaders. The same can happen digitally.

Become an industry leader by doing your own annual awards. Look for websites that want to enter your awards, or pick them yourselves. Then once you’ve drafted your nominees, email them to let them know.

Conduct a fair assessment and then pick your winners. If you can send them a real prize as well as a digital badge, you may get noticed by the industry. This approach can lead to impressive social media campaigns and network opportunities.

The best bit is when you create the digital badge. Send the winners a piece of code with their badge code to enter onto their website. Include a link to your prize landing page, where you can then interlink with the rest of your site.

Summary: The best way to grow organically is through great content. An annual award can create networking and link opportunities.

Award for People's Choice

 

Email Outreach.


An email outreach campaign is one of the most effective methods for acquiring links and coupled with content marketing it can bring lots of value. The downside is that most people are expecting an editorial fee. This approach is against the Google guidelines.

However, there are still ways to acquire links for free, and so it’s worth discussing here. While many of the opportunities we’re about to present will ask for payment, some webmasters won’t charge.

Keep reading to find out long-term strategies that acquire natural links with authority and relevance.

Step 1: Creating Personas.

Link placement is a hell of a lot easier when you’ve built up a reputation within your niche. In journalism, these are called personalities, and they’re used to represent a demographic. Owen Jones is a great example of a personality.

Whenever a newspaper or TV show wants to get a Socialist view, they bring in Owen Jones. This approach should be the same for your link building. Create a persona that represents your brand; it could just be your CEO or an employee.

Whenever you want to do link building, use this persona as the go-to name you attach to each article. Preferably, there should be a company LinkedIn account, as well as Facebook and Twitter. Regularly engage with your audience and network through this channel.

Having a strong personality within your industry is a vital ally in link building towards top-tier websites.

LinkedIn Persona

Step 2: Competitor Backlink Analysis.

An excellent tactic for finding link prospects is to review your competitors. Check which websites have linked towards the competition with 1 or 2 DoFollow links. You can do this using the Ahrefs Backlinks Tool.

First, you want to view their Backlinks report. Next, you will need to filter by one link per domain, and the link type is DoFollow. Then to get the best results, select the links in ascending order. This should help find guest posting and review opportunities.

Alternatively, you could try using the Ahrefs Link Intersection tool. This allows you to select multiple competitors and compare them against your link profile. This can be great for finding referring domains – but not all of those will link towards you.

A combination of various techniques will help get you the most opportunities. Here’s a video from Ahrefs to help you out:

 

Step 3: Other Link Opportunities.

The next approach you can take to find link opportunities is by using Google. This will help you find recently posted content that’s not just linking towards your competitors. Great for getting ahead on the competition.

To do this, you will need to use a combination of the following search queries, along with the Scraper tool.

  • target keyword “guest post”
  • target keyword “write for me”
  • target keyword intitle:”write for me”
  • target keyword intitle:”contribution of”
  • target keyword inurl:”guest-post”
  • target keyword inpostauthor:”guest”

Then if you use the search tools to filter by posts within the past week, or month – you can quickly find lots of great link opportunities.

Link Building Opportunities in Google Search

Step 4: Contact Details.

Creating great content isn’t enough for ranking, you’re going to need to reach out. Using a combination of tools and forms, it’s easy to get in touch with websites. My personal favourite is hunter.io, but you can often just use contact forms.

I’ve secured links from DR60+ websites, by merely messaging them through a contact form. Unsurprisingly, the more sincere you are about collaborating, and less marketing jargon you throw their way – the more cooperative people are.

Try to remember that with high-quality websites, you’re dealing with professionals. These are people that want to be respected and valued. If you’re offering them value, they’re more than happy to give something back in return. Start with how you can help them, then see if they can help you.

Hunter.io Check

Step 5: Personalised Emails.

There are lots of different approaches you can take, and many of them will work. If you’re doing this at an agency scale, you’ll need to bulk email and use a tool such as Yet Another Mail Merge. But that’s only for scale; it doesn’t mean you don’t personalise the contents.

It’s a great thing to introduce yourself, who you’re contacting on behalf, and how you’re interested in a collaboration. I prefer this type of dialogue; it’s professional and easy to empathise. You’re not looking for links, you’re looking for partners.

Once you’ve done this, you should be able to secure some links. Here’s my very simple approach that worked for me:

Heya [Name],

My name is [Persona], and I’m working with a company called [Client]. We deal with [Service].

Your team wrote an article a couple of years ago about [Topic], and we wanted to find out if you’re looking to update this content? We’re happy to help you get some more recent information and source any material that you need.

The article we saw is here: [Link]

Perhaps we could help you expand the existing article, or better yet, write a new one for [Year]? Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Kind Regards,
[Persona]

 

Engineered Link Building.


An engineered link building strategy focuses on creating links where they otherwise wouldn’t be possible. It’s about proactively acquiring links in a short period to manipulate the algorithm. Is it outside of the Google Guidelines? Absolutely.

The main reason to consider the engineered link building approach is that you’re taking control over your rankings. It increases your autonomy by reducing dependence on Google’s algorithm. This tactic comes with a lot of risk and rewards.

In my experience, some engineered link building is safe when balanced carefully. But there are some forms of engineered link building that aren’t good any more. In this section, I want to help you understand the different options available.

Expired Domains.

Domain names are purchased for 12 months or more, and in that time websites can be built, acquire links, become redundant and then expire. Once a domain reaches its expiration date, it drops and becomes expired.

For years, search analysts have been using these expired domains to build private blog networks. These were used because they often had high-quality backlink profiles and a history of good quality content.

As time has gone on these became less reliable, with many of them not passing link equity over once dropped. There are methods to help boost the effectiveness of an expired domain, but generally, these aren’t reliable any more.

You can typically tell when a domain has expired by checking their keyword history. In this example, the domain expired around June 2017 and started to lose keywords in July. It was then repurposed and started to rank in March 2018.

Expired Domains in Ahrefs

Auctioned Domains.

When a domain name is valuable, some registrars will purchase the domain name and auction it for a price. GoDaddy is a great example of a registrar that does auction domains for a profit.

These domains don’t incur the same difficulties of expired domains. Since the domain never dropped, its treated as still alive. Many studies show auctioned domains offer considerably better results than expired.

This approach can be a lot more expensive, so it’s rarely worth doing this to scale. Instead, look for suppliers who offer auctioned domains that they’ve caught, or purchase private blog networks from a reputable source.

GoDaddy Auction Domains

Private Blog Networks.

When I first started doing search engine optimisation in 2015, private domain assets were at their peak. Since then they’ve produced less reliable results and are quickly becoming too expensive and risky.

The main benefit to a PBN is that you get complete control over the page titles, content, outbound links, anchor text, and almost every off-site ranking factor. This tactic gives you a lot of power to control your rankings but is considered high risk.

I don’t want to scaremonger too much, because they still work and you might want to consider them. Just be sure to take time creating high-quality domains, or purchase them from a reputable supplier.

Bad Example of a Private Blog Network

Tier 2 Link Building.

One way to manipulate the PageRank algorithm is to use tiered link building. This approach requires you to find high-quality links pointing directly towards your core pages and then build links towards those domains. This method helps to sculpt the PageRank for your site.

The main advantage of this approach is how much you can get away with. Since big websites like Forbes can’t be taken down easily, links that would normally be harmful to your website are less dangerous.

I would strongly advise focusing on Tier 1 link building in most instances. However, if you already have a fantastic link profile, beefing up those referring articles could have more impact than direct links.

Warning: This approach is something frequently abused by search analysts right now, so be careful of future updates. Low-quality tier 2 links may come back to haunt you.

Tiered Link Building

 

Web 2.0 Backlinks.

A Web 2.0 website is considered sites such as Blogspot or WordPress that allow you to create your website on their subdomains. These websites are considered independent of the root domain.

Since these are free to set up, a lot of search analysts use them to power up their rankings. The vast majority of these have little or no value whatsoever, so it’s not a strategy that I recommend. However, they can be useful for indexation, relevance signals and tiered link building.

These websites are controlled to pass targeted anchor text towards your site. These help Google to understand your page relevance. I would strongly suggest doing this internally rather than externally to reduce risk – but both are viable.

Example of Web 2.0

Free Directories.

There are thousands of online directories that you can join. There are almost as many services offering to build these free directories for you. To save yourself a lot of time, you should pick priority directories.

Some of them are great for all local businesses, such as Yell and Yelp. You can find some that are geographically relevant, such as Thomson Local. However, the best type of directories are the topically relevant ones.

Look for niche related directories that only include similar websites. If you’re a hairdressing salon, then search for directories that only list salons and beauty parlours.

Thomson Local Free Directory

Paid Directories.

Some directories exist that you can pay to be included within. Many of these are broad and apply to a whole variety of niches, such as Best of the Web. However, others are more niche related such as Treatwell.

Acquiring links from premium services such as Treatwell can bring in lots of referral traffic, as well as improve rankings. It’s essential to search for paid directories that could offer you both. The link by itself is not very valuable, but referral traffic can be great.

Treatwell Paid Directory

Press Releases.

Content syndication is one way to build up a lot of links towards your website quickly. A long time ago doing a press release would be a fast way to get news sites linking towards your content. Some individuals still use this to date.

In the years that I’ve done search engine optimisation, I’ve never seen a press release service make a difference. This tactic is one I think that Google has figured out and stopped valuing those news sites. I would avoid these publications at all costs.

If your company has made a significant discovery or breakthrough into the market, organising your own press release could still benefit. Bringing in national newspapers for a press conference could be a way to gain links.

Press Releases

C-Block IP Addresses

Many hosting providers like to mislead their customers about C-Block IP Addresses. They stand to make a premium by offering to host with a unique IP address per domain. Read my article about this to find out why it’s a scam.

The more important thing is to have a natural link profile, with domains hosted around the globe. Since it’s possible to have hundreds of IP addresses from the same geographic location, it’s easy to be picked up for link manipulation.

If you build links naturally, then you will rarely have to worry about referring IPs, geographic location, or those types of footprints. But if you’re hosting private blog networks, you’ll want to be careful of this.

Referring IP Addresses in Ahrefs

Guest Posting & Sponsored Links.

Appearing on another person’s blog and guest posting can be a great way to build the brand exposure and earn some high-quality links. But many marketers fail to do so. Instead, they go for low-quality posts and pay money.

These types of links are beneficial for ranking websites, and the price is relatively low. Most of them are mommy blogs and cover a wide range of topics. They’re happy for you to get targeted links and control the content.

This approach is an area that I expect Google to tackle soon. These websites have many footprints such as topical ambiguity, high numbers of outbound links, pages that give instructions on guest posting, or titles such as a sponsored post.

There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to prominent industry leaders and looking to appear on their blog. If you’ve got a product and website that’s worth sharing, most of them are happy to hear from you. I regularly ghostwrite and guest post on other SEO blogs.

Sponsored Guest Posts

 

Link Suppliers.


Before we start looking at some of the link suppliers, it’s important to note that I strongly recommend doing link building on your own. Not only will it be faster and cheaper, but you will also get better results.

Some of these suppliers are covered here because they are trustworthy and decent quality. Others are more nefarious, and I have covered them to help you steer away from those websites. I have no affiliation with any of these companies, so the reviews are not biased.

FatJoe.

FatJoe is one of the industry’s most famous link suppliers, I’ve seen lots of great work come out of this supplier. The links are inexpensive, plus I’ve checked for geodiversity, and they passed with flying colours.

However, like the rest of these suppliers, the quality of the links are mediocre at best. Using my content strategy and email outreach will provide much better results long-term.

Order Process: 5/5 – very easy to order, you have to pick the type and quantity of the links, a spreadsheet view makes it super easy for large orders, by copying and pasting the details.
Turnaround Time: 4/5 – delivery for orders over 100 links is roughly 30 days, smaller orders always delivered on time.
Quality of Customer Support: 4.5/5 – always happy to help with any issues, quick responses and most problems are usually solves within a couple of days
Features: 5/5 – spreadsheet view for bulk orders is excellent, suitable for all budgets.
Overall Score: 4.5/5 – great for quick links/quick order process.

FatJoe Link Suppliers

Authority Builders.

Authority Builders is a link building supplier that delivers decent quality links for a price. It’s one of the more expensive portfolios but provides slightly better links than the rest. It’s great for the odd few links here and there.

They claim to be a completely white hat service and scalable enough to help over 2,143 SEO agencies. This claim is rich considering their other advertisement stated that white hat link building is not scalable.

Order Process: 3.5/5 – most links cost over $120 so slightly more expensive than competitors, but the quality is also slightly better. Have to pick a site ID based on the niche and then add the anchor/URL details.
Turnaround Time: 4.5/5 – usually delivers links within 1 or 2 weeks, unless a replacement is needed.
Quality of Customer Support: 4.5/5 – excellent customer support, very responsive and most problems fixed within a few days.
Features: 4/5 – one of the cool features is you can see which links you’ve ordered before for a site, so you don’t double up, however, if you have a low budget, there isn’t much choice; also payment is per link rather than per order.
Overall Score: 4/5 – overall higher quality websites, but not as much choice if you have a small budget.

Authority Builders Dashboard

LoveToLink.

Like many link suppliers, LoveToLink suffers from having not enough links to choose from. Therefore I wouldn’t recommend this for an agency. However, this service could be great for individuals.

Order Process: 2.5/5 – a small number of site to choose from and the process is very time-consuming. You have first got to pick the site ID, add it to the cart, then manually insert the anchor/URL/niche for each link – not great for large orders.
Turnaround Time: 4.5/5 – most links delivered within a week, sometimes even in a matter of days.
Quality of Customer Support: 5/5 – incredibly responsive, solves most problems within a few days, very open to ways in which the service can be improved.
Features: 4.5/5 – also shows you if you’ve already ordered a link from a particular site, easy to track orders that are in progress and that have been completed.
Overall Score: 4.5/5 – the range of sites to choose from, the quality of links is decent (but perhaps could be better), great support and delivery time.

LoveToLink Link Suppliers

InValley SEO Packages.

The pricing from InValley is very affordable, and the links are fairly well placed. However, I would suggest that you don’t use too many of these links. They’re expensive considering what you get and the links are not natural.

The service doesn’t check if your website already has links from those sites, so instead, they just create new profiles. This approach can lead to duplication and unnatural link profiles.

Order Process: 4.5/5 – a straightforward order process, you have to fill in a form with the details for the links.
Turnaround Time: 3/5 – usually delivers on time, but have been several occasions where links are provided late.
Quality of Customer Support: 4/5 – excellent customer support, responds within a couple of days, most problems solved within a week, messages to and from support can be seen within the order.
Features: 3.5/5 – the dashboard is great – everything is easy to access and understand and easy to keep track of orders.
Overall Score: 3.5/5 – the quality of links is average, and the price is quite high.

InValley Link Building Suppliers

Avoid: SEOButler.

Another popular name in the long list of cheap link services. Their main products are press releases, citations, social signals and guest posts. They also offer a DFY link building service with some on-site tacked on.

As discussed in the engineered link building section, press releases are not effective. Not only that, but they’re good signs of link manipulation. Other products such as social signals offer little to no value – it’s worth avoiding.

I’ve never come across a client that’s built links with their guest posting service, but it looks too expensive. The metrics don’t quite fit the bill of $227 dollars for a high-quality post. Doing this in-house would be much cheaper.

SEO Butler Link Suppliers

Avoid: Outreach Kings.

I strongly recommend that you absolutely avoid using Outreach Kings. I did some testing with them a while back, and a lot of the links they provided were hacked or part of a private blog network. These links are not white hat, and it’s obvious.

While the websites you get links from may have good metrics and the low prices – it’s not worth the risk. The apparent footprints are their lack of geographic diversity and the link crowbarred into random parts of the code.

For me, the give away with services like these is the vast number of links they’re willing to offer for such a small price. Had the links been good quality, you would be looking at something a lot more expensive.

Outreach Kings Niche Edits

 

Avoid: Web 2.0 Ranker.

If you want a fast penalty for your website, head on over to Web 2.0 Ranker, where you can get low-quality links on demand. I first found out about the service when I was removing a link related penalty. They used a lot of Blogspot websites with random names.

These links are $2.45 per website, so what you pay is what you get. There’s no authority in the links, and in the volume that they’re selling, you could overcook your pages. Too many targeted links or internal links could cause a penalty.

If you want my advice, avoid using this service unless it’s towards a Tier 2 or deeper link. Websites with over 100,000 referring domains will not be hurt by these pointed at the site, but won’t benefit either.

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My name is Rowan Collins, and I am an SEO Specialist based in London. I started SEO back in 2016 after moving from an eCommerce company to an agency. Since then, I have enjoyed years of experience on websites from a plethora of niches. I pride myself in my Christian beliefs and focus on helping others to improve at digital marketing.

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