There is an abundance of fiverr-like sites out there with the idea that you can pay a small fixed amount and get whatever you need done. Furthermore, there is an abundance of BHW users who seem to make a living by selling their services on sites like that.
Google’s recent propaganda has certainly sounded scary, but one look at any more or less competitive SERP vertical can reveal that sites still rank with backlink profiles like this one:
So you have a look around and you see this:
and even this:
You get out your credit card and buy buy buy, ok now is the time to sit back and relax and watch your traffic skyrocket while all those cheap providers are building you links like crazy, you can even start wondering what you will do with all the affiliate commissions earned from this traffic, and you figure your ROI on this one might as well be 10,000,000%… but it’s time to get off your cloud unfortunately and face the reality. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.
For shits and giggles, I ran a few tests on different sites with different providers, and here’s what I found out. You can run one too and share your results below but I would be very surprised if they turn any different. For this test, you will need a throwaway site that is of no special value to you, and definitely don’t run these tests on client sites if you are the agency type. Ideally, you will even want to use a new domain that had nothing done on it before, and definitely don’t run several tests on the same domain as it would be difficult to tell what exactly caused any effect.
So here’s what I did: I quickly threw together 3 sites as subdomains on 3 different free hosts (parasite power!) and ordered 3 different offers:
1. 2500 High PR Permanent Backlinks + Ping The Url
2. 50,000 Backlinks
3. 45,000+ backlink blast
I imagined what I would get would be the results of running the likes of Xrumer or Sick Submitter or SENuke or something along those lines but heck, in proper hands these tools can achieve really impressive results. Here are the results that I got, however:
The first gig: instead of 2500 promised links I only got 340 listed in the report provided to me, and even those were off less than 200 domains. Not a single one of those links ever got picked by MajesticSEO. Needless to say the site never ranked for anything and never got any traffic.
The second gig: the report I got listed exactly 1,034 links instead of the promised 50,000. These links were the result of pinging the “stats” type of sites. The report was a plain log of the pinging tool, and I could see that out of those 1,034 only 892 were successful. Part of the pings were even sent to dead domains so the provider does not even bother to keep their list of sites current. Again, Majestic did not pick any of those links and all the traffic the site ever got were my own 3 views of it.
The third gig: I have no idea how many links I am supposed to actually get with this one as the provider just disappeared and the job is long overdue. By the looks of it, this one is quite a poorly planned SENuke run – in my backlinks I see a WordPress hosted blog with a scraped article and 3 links off it pointing back at my site so no proper interlinking with the rest of the network if it ever got built. The total of the current link profile is 4 links off two domains: this WordPress one and search results at the Norwegian Lycos (I’m surprised that even got indexed). Surely not ranking anywhere either, and no traffic.
Was it just my bad luck? Here are the results of another test, for an unrelated kind of service – namely, traffic.
Do you want conclusions? here you go:
- Like I said, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is;
- This is not blackhat or even proper spam, this is just clueless half-arsed nonservice;
- Consequently, this shit not working does not mean blackhat in general (when done properly) is not working – quite the contrary, it’s just that proper blackhat cannot be purchased cheap;
- The reason it still exists is nobody will likely bother with a chargeback for $1 or £5;
- $1 or £5 apparently does not even cover the costs of keeping the list of spam targets current (=an extra run of a script);
- All the good tool operators are likely running their tools for themselves making money off their own sites or if they do offer their services for sale, they cost much more – and rightly so because they would actually have a desired effect;
- Same is true of any outsourced SEO work. Good quality is expensive. Get over it.