First off, let me be honest here. I dislike link building. I dislike it so much that I rarely do any.
I have multiple sites on various topics where I just write content and I enjoy it. I'd rather write content for hours than troll the internet to get other sites to link to me or wade through manual article submissions. I post links to my content to a handful of social networking sites and generally leave it at that. About 10-15% of my posts find their way onto the first page of Google for the keyword I target in the article.
However, I've noticed lately that it doesn't take much SEO juice to kick one of my contented targeted keywords up the rankings from page 5 to page 1.
Everyone has their opinion on which link building technique works best. Some people swear by article marketing, some swear by directory submissions, some live by forum profile links, some spam blog comments.
Everyone has their opinion, but no one seems to be presenting any hard facts to back up their opinion. I'm a facts kind of guy.
Which of these options is best? Can a link building service actually work to drive a site up the rankings for a fairly competitive keyword? Are article submissions better than optimized content farms? Are they better than profile link blasts?
I'm too nervous to try this on any of my current sites. I'm a white hat good content site builder. I've never had a site deindexed or deranked by Google in the 2.5 years I've been doing this and I don't want to kill my current income stream.
So I'm starting a bunch of new sites, throwing on my Grey Hat and running The Great Link Building Service Experiment to check out which link building services work the best.
Not having the time or inclination to do a ton of manual link building, I am going to focus on testing different link building services.
To start I scoured the web for opinions on the best link building services.
And what did I find? A sea of people and companies all pushing their own link building services. They were all different prices for different numbers of links. Some have their own content networks, some create forum profiles or posts, some article marketing, some spam blog content. But they all have the same problem, it's impossible to tell if they work from the sales page or reviews. Some seem to do far more for $47 a month than those who charge or sell software for $197 a month.
All the reviews I could find online are untrustworthy junk by affiliate marketers trying to get you to click. Heck, I have no problem buying something through an affiliate link, but the affiliate damn well better earn their commission by actually telling me something useful about the service that I couldn't find anywhere else.
So I'm putting my money where my mouth is to provide YOU, Fellow Warrior, with the data you need.
Which Is The Best Link Building Service?
Here is exactly what I'm doing:
- Register 5 very similar domains for a specific keyword on the same day. I've already done this step. I've kept them as close to the keywords as possible. For example, bestseoexperiment.org, bestseoexperiment.com, bestseoexperiment.net, best-seoexperiment.org, and best-seoexperiement.com. NOTE, those aren't the domains, I'm picking a product keyword with medium competition that at least makes the investment in SEO services worthwhile.
- Install Wordpress on 5 different shared hosting accounts - This way all five domains will be on distinct IP address. Also completed!
- Create main page content. I will create and manually spin a home page article for each site. I will try very hard to keep similar length, similar keyword density and similar SEO value (number of h2 and h3 tags with the same keywords targeted, each good sized at 800-900 words, etc). Also completed!
- I will submit each of the 5 sites to a couple social media sites and RSS feed sites using different profiles. This is simply to get Google and Yahoo to find them before the link building starts. I'm doing this step today.
- Buy a subscription to the five candidate link building services listed below. I'll point each subscription at one of the sites. I'll try to keep the linking natural by mixing up my submissions as much as allowed on the service (50% main keyword targeted, 35% related keyword targeted, 5% URL targeted, 5% "Click Here" targeted).
- Create new content. I'll create new similar content subpages on each site and point the next month's link building service 50% at the home page and 50% at one of those new pages for related keywords to get some deep link love.
- Track the results! On at least a weekly basis I'll track the Yahoo reported number of links, the keyword positions and search engine traffic for each site and make pretty charts and graphs. At the end I'll do a overall backlink value analysis on each site
BuildMyRank vs LinkAloha vs Unique Article Wizard vs 1WayLinks vs Good Old Fashioned SEO Elbow Grease
Here are the five services in the running. I chose these based on cost and opinions around the web as the best bang for the buck with minimal effort.
Unique Article Wizard
My SEO Elbow Grease
I have more details on each of these services and why I chose them on my site (check my sig below) and which services I decided to pass over.
I plan on running this experiment for at least six months so as to give each service a chance to shine. I will post updates throughout.
Depending on how this goes, I've got many more of these hard data experiments up my sleeve that I'll be sharing over the coming months.
If anyone has a very compelling argument why I should test a different service other than the five above, make your case fast. I'm signing up for all these starting early next week.
Questions, comments and advice always welcome!
UPDATE Week 2/3: Seeing some rankings!
UPDATE Week 4: Moving Up Fast
UPDATE Week 4.5: More Data Per Request
UPDATE Week 5/6: BMR Hits Page 1
UPDATE Week 7: UAW Finally Kicks In
UPDATE Week 8/9: The Ignoring
UPDATE Week 10/11/12: The Ignoring Ends
UPDATE Week 13/14/15: Sandboxed And Back Again
UPDATE Week 16/17/18/19/20/21/22: Five Months In
If you find this experiment useful, please click the THANKS Button right below --------------VVVVV