I’ve been in the SEO industry for a while now.. Caused a stir more than once and grafted my way through to own an agency, affiliate sites and even having an office with a 5 man team in the UK.
It doesn’t come easy to say then, that the state of some of my industries link building companies is downright dreadful.
With misrepresentations of the links being sold (Like PBNs being sold as “Guest Posts”), site owners changing links to NoFollow and even the media not wanting to give their share of traffic to the source of the info they’re likely lying about on some dying newspaper website.
So, What Should You Look For From A Link Building Company?
Well, considering I own a link building service.. and have been buying & selling links for the better part of 10 years now, I feel uniquely qualified to let you into the world of media manipulations where everyone, and every property, has a price.
The Valuation of a Link
Something is only worth what someone will pay for it.
In the link game, there are several different things you could be wanting out of a backlink.
- Link Juice — A Backlink that directly impacts the rankings of your site. Any sort of links like this would be classed as “Black Hat” by Google, according to the webmaster guidelines.
- Traffic Juice — You’re looking to generate actual, real life human being clicks through a link.
- Link Diversity — A Backlink that is meant to diversify your profile. Something like a NoFollow social profile.
- Citation — Looking to get your physical business listed somewhere.
- Egobait — You’re looking to get one of those cheesy “As Featured On” Forbes, TechRader and USAToday.
All of these would have varying uses and price points.
For example, a traffic based link is going to be more like the cost of an advertisement — Mostly, either in affiliate commissions or monthly payments.
Getting links for Egobait can cost several thousand dollars just to get your face or your companies logo featured on one of these huge websites.
Citations are normally free, it’s just about the man hours that go into choosing which citations you need and manually signing up for those specific websites.
But if you really want to know the ins and outs.. You can get a full feature on the likes of Forbes & Entrepreneur.com for well under $2,000 a pop.
One of the things that I hate most about the available link building services, agencies and companies on the market.. Is a REAL lack of analysis.
Each and every site will need a unique link building strategy to rank. Unless you’re going for 10 monthly search middle of nowhere terms.. Then you’re going to want to have done your due diligence before throwing money towards trying to manipulate a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Likewise.. This is business. If you want to go into a SERP where an affiliate with a dedicated, 100 site private blog network has been top 3 for the past 5 years, then you’re likely never going to outrank them with your well written articles. At least, not any time soon.
You owe it to yourself to at the very least understand the tactics your business rivals are using so you can properly analyze the position you’re going to need to be in to outrank them. Otherwise, you just aren’t going to be able to give realistic quotations to either your clients or your own projects.
The Future of Link Building
2018 has been the first year in which there hasn’t been a mass distributed, standardized algorithm. There’s been bumps for different niches and different weaks/filters that haven’t even necessarily made the SERPs any better.
I do not believe that Google is going to be moving away from links any time soon. In fact, I think the types of links you have will just continue to play an even bigger role as internet real estate expands even further.
That being said — SEO can very much so be a game of averages.. And if you’re trying to do local SEO for a 1,000 MS City search, then I believe it’s fairly easy to still create a site that is better from both an OnPage perspective and a link profile perspective.
Link building hasn’t got any harder than it has from 5 years ago.. It’s just got more expensive.. Because Google’s algo’s just continue to favor large “authority” sites.
And as more people realize that, then the price blossoms.
The #1 way to still see how to outrank a competitor with link building.. Is to look at that very same competitor.
Google is already giving you the site it likes the best at #1.. So just look into what they’ve done, and beat them out on every point.
I understand that some people may not want to use PBNs or automated link building tools.. but if that’s what your competitors are doing, then you’re just putting yourself at a disadvantage in both time and financing campaigns.