I am not going to explain what GSA Search Engine Ranker is – the target audience of this post knows it very well. Being the most advanced and flexible link automation tool as of today, I’m afraid it has become a bit too popular for its own good (however, its flexibility is what saves it – that and the awesome developer team).
You know what used to happen to almost every other blackhat tool that ever came out (that is, if it was an honest tool and not something its authors started offering to the public after it stopped working for them) – once it became too popular, its footprint automatically became too visible because of too many people using it, mostly out of the box with no tweaking and no thinking involved, doing the same thing over and over, killing it as they go. It happens to everything in SEO sooner or later. Spam Matt Cutts’ blog with your sneaky viagra site link once, go celebrate and rip the benefits (or at least flatter your ego with the fact you did). Spam it a thousand times – and you piss the guy just enough for him to go out of his way and sort it out globally and nobody else can do it, nor does it work any more. OK this is just a very theoretical example but you know what I mean. Rule #2 of blackhat SEO (or any SEO, for that matter): tweak everything you do, don’t just follow the crowd thoughtlessly. Rule #1 being STFU (if you know something works – or else you kill it both for yourself and for everybody else).
GSA is just too flexible to go down that easy, and with their development speed they seem to always be one step ahead of their mass users. Before you exploit something to death, they tweak it. But the clueless wannabes will be clueless wannabes – they create their own traps even if the software does everything to prevent them.
Search any blackhat forum, or GSA forum itself, and you’ll see tons of offers of pre scraped, checked, dofollow, high PR, kiss-my-arse GSA link lists. It might seem like a good idea because it will save you tons of time and server resources, right? Just plug in a ready-made list and run with it, guaranteed results, sites ranking, blah blah…. NOT! Because, just like you, a bunch of other clueless lazy wannabes have done the same, and by the time you’re buying the list it’s probably been abused to death already. Unless you’re an eejit or a scammer, the sites you are using it for are not exactly the cleanest whitehattest sites out there anyway – so it’s not about the neighbourhood but it’s about the same thing begin repeated countless times. It stops being effective not because the lists are bad – they might have been as good as advertised when they first got put together. It stops being effective because everybody is doing the same feckin thing – banging the shit out of those lists. This is exactly the reason why GSA Search Engine Ranker, as opposed to the same developers’ earlier, now defunct, GSA Auto Website Submitter, for example, comes with NO preloaded database of sites – but with a ton of footprints and search engines and a bunch of other very tweakable options you can use to build your very own perfect target lists, just for yourself and nobody else, and rip the benefits of what you have found without having to share it with anyone else. Using prebuilt lists purchased from somebody else is reducing this fantastic, nearly perfect tool to email spam offers a la 1999 from some third world provider who “will submit your site to 4,000 search engines and directories – all for only $15” – and reducing the value it can bring just the same.
But of course tweaking tools and building your own target lists (or make it better, building a custom target list for every site you run a GSA project for – how about that? I actually do it) requires skills, and time, and effort, and a certain mindset not everyone has. It’s not a thing for the lazy – infact blackhat SEO is not for the lazy at all.
That explains the low price point of most GSA “blast” (God how I hate that word) services – if you use out-of-the-box settings for every site you run, and a prebuilt target list, it’s only a matter of pasting a URL and a few keywords into a cloned project. How long does it take – probably 5 minutes or less? How much do your 5 minutes cost?
For a properly set up GSA project, you will need anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour. You will need enough previous experience to understand what you’re doing, what you need to tweak and what exactly is needed to achieve the desired result for each particular project you’re setting up. You will likely need a few other tools as well – and proper knowledge of those tools – to get everything ready for the GSA project you’re setting up and ensure it runs properly once you set it up and start it. Oh, and properly watching over several running projects on several servers is a full time job. And those servers better be really, really powerful because GSA is pretty resource intensive and eats up CPU and memory like mad. How much is all that worth?
GSA is not a newbie tool, nor is it an out-of-the-box tool. It’s a state-of-the-art, advanced, complex, modern, continuously developing system (anybody wondering yet how come there is no affiliate link in this post so far?). And as such, I think it’s terribly underpriced. A tool like that should not be this accessible. Heck, useless shite like XRumer costs 5x the fee of GSA, and comes with a yearly fee on top of that. Though that bit might fix itself as well over time – if, as the tool keeps developing, it keeps requiring more and more powerful servers to run properly on, and good servers are expensive, so that might filter out the clueless. Although, its developers are so good they take care of optimising its performance too as they add up more and more incredible functionality… So there is probably only one way – license people before selling them the tool. Sadly, I don’t see that happening either.
One thing is beyond me though in this whole marketplace. I understand there are clueless newbies hence there is demand. But if you’re good enough to build a quality list, why sell it? Why not use your skills to actually, you know, rank sites and get an income off them? It’s not about “sharing with the community” – otherwise those lists would have been free (yes, I’ve seen eejits sharing perfectly good but sensitive stuff for free, killing it for themselves and everyone else). And it’s not their dire need of money – like I said, why not profit off your own sites ranked by using the links for yourself. Then what – ego?