The Great Link Building Experiment of 2011 – Final Results

by on September 19, 2011

Wow, time certainly does fly doesn’t it?  When I kicked of this experiment sitting in coffee shop back in February I though six months was going to be an awfully long time, yet here we are.  Actually, I started by registering the sites in January and started building links in early February, so it’s now actually been over 7 months.

I took some readings at the 6 month mark and they haven’t changed much at all from the final results below, so these rankings have stuck for about 5 weeks at this point without any more link building what so ever.

So, for those of you that don’t like to wait, here are the final results for my main three word targeted keyword:

I think the biggest takeaway here is that the majority of the services I tried actually work.  Now that being said, Google is constantly looking to improve their search algorithm and these rankings might not hold forever.

But heck, I’m ridiculously excited by these results.  Last month the BuildMyRank site made over $250, and the 1WayLinks site earned about $30.   Yeah, I’m not going to retire on that money, but if the rankings hold those sites will bring in over $5000 in the next year with the holiday season bump.  And considering the effort it took to make all five sites and use these backlink services for the past 6 months totaled well under 100 hours.

So do the math here.  If I spend 20 hours to make one site and all the backlinks to get it on page one, I can probably do 20 sites in the next year in my spare time at around 8 hours a week.

Maybe you’ve noticed that I haven’t been posting much on the Electron Plumber lately.  Now you know why!

Backlinking and SEO have always been the weak link in my website strategy and now I’ve really found something that works.  The top three services really did far better than I was expecting here.

Here is the final breakdown, from worst to best:

LinkAloha Site (.com):

  • Google Rank: 63
  • Harder 2 Word Keyword Google Rank:  not in the top 200.
  • Sub Page 3 Word Keyword #2: 179
  • Sub Page 3 Word Keyword #3: 101
  • Pages Indexed: 9
  • Yahoo reported Backlinks: 10
  • PR: 0
  • Links Generated: 2500

The LinkAloha site took a dive in the past month, but only because it’s dropped back into the dreaded SANDBOX.  The main home page is indexed, but that page no longer appears in the search results for the main keyword I’m targeting. The #63 ranking is actually for a sub page.  Don’t forget that the Google algorithm penalizes/sandboxes PAGES, not whole sites.  If your whole site is gone from the index, it’s almost surely a manual de-indexing by a Google Quality Engineer.

Since LinkAloha v1 uses auto generated profile links, it’s likely that only a small percentage of them are found and recognized by Google and I probably have too high a mix of keyword targeted links.   I’ll have to adjust the mix between the keyword targeted links and the “junk” links here.


1WayLinks Site (.net):

  • Main 3 Word Keyword Google Rank: 8
  • Harder 2 Word Keyword Google Rank:  141
  • Sub Page 3 Word Keyword #2: 200
  • Sub Page 3 Word Keyword #3: 106
  • Pages Indexed: 10
  • Yahoo reported Backlinks: 57
  • PR: 1
  • Articles Generated: ~1150, 3 links per article

The 1WayLinks site makes a very respectable showing here in the experiment, ending up on page one after the full six months.  Note that I tried very hard to use 1WayLinks in it’s raw form here to make the experiment fair.  But from what I’ve read one of the greatest strengths of 1WayLinks is that it outputs a full and accurate listing of every URL your article is published at.  Most people using 1WayLinks successfully say that building an RSS feed for that link list and/or using the built in spinner to backlink those older articles and that RSS feed in future 1WayLinks articles really makes the service take off.


UniqueArticleWizard Site (.org)

  • Main 3 Word Keyword Google Rank: 5
  • Harder 2 Word Keyword:  142
  • Sub Page 3 Word Keyword #2: 65
  • Sub Page 3 Word Keyword #3: 144
  • Pages Indexed: 9
  • Yahoo reported Backlinks: 6
  • PR: 1
  • Articles generated: ~900, 1-2 links per article

Ok, so I crapped all over UAW at the start of this.  I take back every bad thing I said!  It was a few months after the other services had started showing rankings and UAW was no where to be found.  Then around month three the UniqueArticleWizard site started to climb in the rankings and ends up at second place.


BuildMyRank Site (.org):

  • Main 3 Word Keyword Google Rank: 1
  • Harder 2 Word Keyword Google Rank:  34
  • Sub Page 3 Word Keyword #2: 23
  • Sub Page 3 Word Keyword #3: 20
  • Pages Indexed: 8
  • Yahoo reported Backlinks: 16
  • PR: 2
  • Arties Generated: 98

The BuildMyRank site did far better than I had ever hoped at the start of this experiment.  I figured if any of these services could get onto page one for my chosen keyword then it would be a great addition to my link building toolbox.  Not only did three of the services get me into Page 1, but this number #1 ranking is really like striking online gold.   The current good ranks for the subpages with very little targeting shows just how strong these BMR articles are.

Since hitting #2 this site was on a $150 a month pace, now at #1 it looks like a $250-300 a month pace for affiliate earnings.

This site is obviously the keeper here.  I’m going to start more heavily targeting some sub keywords using multiple services and see if I can’t kick this site up into the $500-$1000 a month range.


And so that’s it!    Check back as I’m creating a write up and final review of each service I looked at here.  Also, every once in a while I’ll report on the general health and earnings of the top site in this experiment as I continue developing it.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Jerry Tellier September 19, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Thanks for the experiment and this wrap-up post.

I’ve been sitting on the fence about BMR for some time and this just may be the little push I need.

Are those earnings through Adsense, affiliate product sales or both?

What kind of traffic are you getting to them?

Thanks again!

Darren September 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Hi there,

just came across your site for the first time, and it is great to see your putting out some clear information in this spammy world of MMO. Even better to see testing like your doing in this article, there is not enough people doing this these days and it leads to a lot of “noise” and very little fact..

I have used a number of link building service too, and I have found buildmyranks and 1waylinks to be very effective, so I use these – I also use postrunner (.com) which I also think is excellent. I can attribute these to making me a full time income online with my sites.

I am, like yourself, very surprised with the result you got from UAW! WHile I have used it on the past and found it useful, I haven’t had too many great things to say about it in the past year or so. The results here are making me think twice. I will be looking forward to see how your rankings hold up long term with UAW, as it is my experience that they can fall away a little.

Great experiment!


El Plumber (admin) September 19, 2011 at 9:00 pm

The earnings are strictly from affiliate product sales. I haven’t added Adsense to the site yet, but might soon. Here are more details:

The main three word keyword I’m targeting reports 1900 exact matches a month according to the Adwords keyword tool.

My recent 30 day stats put 800 visits from that keyword alone, and 400 total visits from other keywords that I never targeted (misspellings, long tail terms, etc.) for a total of 1200 visitors.

So that site is hitting at $0.20 per visitor. Note these are fairly well targeted visitors. If someone searches for this three word phrase in Google, they are looking to buy.

Thirty day click through to Amazon is 975. That click through rate is skewed since I’m tracking totals only and there are 3 different very well targeted product affiliate links on the page. So I strongly suspect that some visitors are clicking all three links.

I have had 86 Amazon sales in the past 30 days totaling about $245.

Can you tell that I like statistics?

Robin September 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm

BMR sounds real good, too good to be true. I think it is considered paid link? Tell me if I’m wrong but isnt it against webmaster guidelines and risk site penalty or maybe adsense? Do you only use for Amazon sites?

El Plumber (admin) September 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Yes Robin, I’d certainly think BMR falls on the Grey Hat side of the world. Some people argue that it is more like an article network or PR distribution site, but since the Google TOS state that ANYTHING you do that builds links to affect your search engine ranking is a nono. That means guest posting, link exchanges, article submissions and all the rest are also against the Google TOS. Find me a site that is ranking well that isn’t guilty of at least a few infractions here and for everyone you find I’ll show you about 1000 that are guilty.

Create good content that deserves good rankings and a Google Quality Engineer will ignore many things.

I am only doing Amazon on these sites. If they really start driving more significant traffic (maybe 10x) I’d get a new Adsense account for that site and maybe couple of others. It’s not cheap, you have to incorporate a business, get a bank account for that business and all the rest. I’ve talked to a few people that have over 50-100 Adsense accounts using this method. It’s all on the up and up. Each business is a legally separate entity and thus entitled to it’s own Adsense account without breaking the rules.

michael September 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm


I have 2 quick questions about BMR,

how many links did you build/day using BMR?
also: how many links in total did you build using BMR?

mark October 14, 2011 at 11:25 am

I started using BMR and I saw instant results, but then they seem to have hit a wall. It has only been a month though and I only have around 45 links. I try to target a different phrase and inner page for every link. Did you vary your anchor text and where you were linking to, or did all of the links go to just one page?

chris October 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Thank you for the great info…

What are your affiliate commissions for each site from this experiment? I am just wondering if the page ranking is directly relevant to the earnings?

Any good article writing or forum posting service providers would you recommend ? (I like to provide value to the audience..)

Jerry November 23, 2011 at 10:36 am

Do you have any updates on the site that you were doing the LinkAloha daily link building on? I know you were using some generic keywords and full URLs just like with the BMR site. If you are doing this, then why did the LinkAloha site get sandboxed?

El Plumber (admin) November 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm

The LinkAloha site did eventually pop out of the Sandbox and is now ranking #50 for the main keyword. Why did it spend so much longer in the box? I think it has to do with the fact that that the vast majority of the profile links DON’T ever get indexed or seen at all by the search engines.

So with ~3000 Profile links, only 10-20% of them might get indexed. Since I only mixed in around 10% generic links (300 out of 3000), it’s extremely possible most of of those links never got indexed at all. So instead of 10% generic keywords I could have ended up with only 1-2%. Near the end I changed the mix on LinkAloha to around 50% generic links which I think finally did the trick.

Note this is with the OLD LinkAloha that was just profile links, not the NEW LinkAloha v2 which includes articles and social media links as well.

Julian November 23, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Hey electron plumber. I just had a quick question for you. I have read your entire series for the great link building experiment of 2011. I do not have the time to read every word of every page in this series again.

So, my question is, what setting did you use when you were sending links with the Build My Rank service? What i mean is did you put it on the 1 post per day setting, the 1-3 posts per day setting, the 4-6 posts per day setting, or the 7-10 posts per day setting. Or did you use one of the other two settings called “random”, and “scheduled”?

I am just curious because i have started an experiment like what you have going here and i am going to be experimenting with the 4-6 posts per day and the 7-10 posts per day settings to see what i can really get out of this backlink service. Thanks in advance for your reply!

El Plumber (admin) November 24, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Julian, I submitted less than 100 articles to Build My Rank over the six months of the experiment in blocks of 8-10 at a time using the Import from CSV function with no dates specified. I just accepted whatever the default setting was and they pretty much all seemed to go live over the next 24 hours.

Adam Bate December 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Awesome results here, thanks for doing this and sharing.

Off topic a bit, but what do you use for keyword research?

Alex Wolk January 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Do you recommend using these services together on one site?

Vladimir February 18, 2012 at 3:15 am

Hi, your write:

“I have had 86 Amazon sales in the past 30 days totaling about $245″

This earnings from one site or all sites?

El Plumber (admin) February 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Vladimir, one site.

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