What Happens When You Outsource Your Link Building to Save on It

Clearly not linking to this mess but for the sake of a live example:


On the surface, it’s a legitimate decently looking 1997 site with a legitimate business model. But if you look at their links page… sketchy is not even descriptive enough of a word. There’s everything there from discounted adjustable beds to ringtones to car rentals to levitra and viagra… A total of 2025 outgoing external links of mostly this kind off that page. What does it all have to do with music? Moreover, how many of those sites are banned already or will be banned in the next few weeks? Repeat after me: want to ban your site – link to banned sites and bad neighbourhoods. Kindergarten SEO.

Now, don’t get me wrong as I don’t mean to discriminate against anyone, we live in the times of global economy, but let’s face it: overwhelming majority of Indian, Chinese, Philipino and Pakistani link builders that invade the freelance sites these days are horribly unskilled. Outsource your link building to them, and you don’t even need to worry about unscrupulous competitors doing negative SEO – you will get your site banned with your own hands – or to be exact, with the hands of those “linkbuilders”. Sure, in case of the above mentioned site it won’t happen very fast – at least the top 1,000 backlinks out of the 3,000 + of musicstaff.com are really high quality – whoever was handling their linkbuilding prior to this outsourcing hell did a good job, with a bunch of authority sites in the mix. But over the last few years since outsourcing link building has become widespread we’ve heard of many others, big and small, who have run into all sorts of troubles, from site bans to reputation issues – all due to poorly done outsourced link building. Sure, not every company can afford an online marketing budget that would allow hiring some of the industry’s best specialists – but if your business depends on your site’s rankings you better think twice before deciding to outsource it to a third world link builder (this is not to say that all US and UK based SEOs are equally good – but you get the idea).

Hence, here are a few tips for those considering SEO outsourcing. Before you decide to go for it, ask the candidates you plan on hiring as outsourced workforce at least the following questions:

  • what are the examples of your previous link building work?
  • how did it affect the positions and reputation of the sites it was done for? (e.g. what positions did the site have before the campaign started and how did they change as a result of it)?
  • what are the principles you use for building links?
  • who exactly will do the actual link bulding and what experience and skills do they possess?
  • who will overview the quality of built links and am I paying for the sheer volume or for the quality of built links?

There is no guarantee of course that you will get honest answers to your questions but at least they will know it might not be a good idea to mess with you, and depending on the answers they do give you you will also know if they are any good or if they are simply bullshitting you and scamming you out of your money, however lesser the costs are.


  1. The same could be said about keyword stuffing. Yet, we’ve all seen sites in #1 positions with tons of keywords still in the HTML comments. The site you mention pulls up #1 for phrases (non-competitive perhaps) off of their main page, and has a toolbar PR of 5.

    While I agree with everything in your post, I also think this is a clear example of where Google allows older sites to bend, or even break, the rules.

    Like a magician, I could take this same exact site and put it on a 3-4 year old domain and watch the pages disappear. 🙂

  2. True that, and I have posted before about the age factor hurting the relevancy of search results in Google… However, forget the toolbar PR, it’s been inadequate for a long time now 🙂