Do I dislike link building? I dislike it so much that I rarely do any.
One of my main strengths is content creation. Whipping out a 500 word article on a subject is a trivial task for me, typically taking less than an hour to do some quick research and type it out. I have multiple sites 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.
However, no one will find my content without links to it, that’s a fact. Doesn’t matter if it’s links to directly drive visitors or links to drive search engine ranking.
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 has any hard facts to back up their opinion.
I’m a facts kind of guy.
BuildMyRank vs LinkAloha vs Unique Article Wizard vs 1WayLinks vs Freelancers
Here are the top five services I decided to put in the running (affiliate links included of course):
Site #1 – Non Spun Content Network Link Building Service
BuildMyRank – This is the Non-Spun Content Network entry. You submit 150+ work articles and BuildMyRank pushes them out to their content network. Articles can be written for you for around $2 or you can write them yourself. I’ll likely end up going with the paid version to save time. It’s similar to other content networks out there BUT also goes the extra mile and creates backlinks to your articles from social media sites and is about a third of the monthly price of other content networks. ‘Nuff said.
The runner up:
- LinkVana – I can’t find many non affiliate related glowing reviews of LinkVana. Most people said they tried it for a few months then dropped it as they didn’t see much change, especially for the price.
Site #2 – Spun Content Network Link Service
1waylinks – This is the Spun Content Network entry. This one got me started with this experiment. I found a really lame cookie cutter niche site beating out one of my better content pages in the Google rankings for a keyword I wanted. The ONLY backlinks I could find for that site came from a link building network and it was beating my nice content page! It took a couple of days worth of hunting, but I eventually became 99% sure their links came from the 1waylinks service. I backtracked to the content network and went trolling through. I discovered at least 25 other sites similar to the first one, ranking high on page 1 for their targeted keywords and the ONLY backlinks were from the 1waylinks network. My site valuation tool tells me this one guy was making over $15,000 a month with some bland but very well keyword targeted pages, all for the price of $47 a month for a 1waylinks subscription. $47 to make $15,000+! I have very high hopes for this one because I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
The runner up:
- SEOLinkVine – Same as LinkVana, too many reviews from people saying that the links they received didn’t amount to much. True or not, there can be only one spun content network in this competition, and I’ve seen someone win the keyword race using only 1waylinks.
Site #3 – Forum Profile Link Service
LinkAloha – LinkAloha’s service seems to be automated Forum Profile links using an automated tool called Xrumer. Xrumer itself costs around $500 and the learning curve is supposedly quite huge, and LinkAloha just takes care of it all for you. It registers a bunch of profiles on forums, then sticks targeted keyword text links in the “My Website” fields for those accounts. Some people swear by forum profile links. I don’t have high expectations here, but you never know.
There were many runners up here, lots of individual people claiming they will give you time on their XRumer server. I’m going with the professional looking outfit that seems to be winning the keyword race themselves.
Site #4 – Article Link Service
Unique Article Wizard – This is the Article Directory Submission entry. Unlike SEOLinkVine or BuildMyRank which host their own content network of sites, Unique Article Wizard lets you create different versions of articles, then automatically submits spun versions of them to thousands of article directories and blogs. It’s the oldest entry here, having started back in 2007, and many people swear by it. Seems like more work than the others, but it has stood the test of time so far.
The runners up:
- Article Marketing Robot – This was a tough call, I read a lot of good things about AMR. But the length of time UAW has been around and the testimonials to the article quality pushed it over the top. Tough choice too, as Article Marketing Robot is a one time cost of $97, vs the $67 a months with UAW. Since all the other competitors have a monthly cost, UAW seems the better fit. For many of you reading this, Article Marketing Robot is probably a better value.
Site #5 – Good Old Fashioned SEO Elbow Grease
I’m going to put in around 10-12 hours a month doing blog commenting and article marketing, about what you’d expect for spending $50-$60 on a virtual assistant service.
But Which Of These Is The Best Link Building Technique?
I’m throwing on my Grey Hat and running The Great Link Building Experiment to check out which link building technique works best.
Not having the time or inclination to do much 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.
All the reviews I could find online are worthless keyword stuffed summaries 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.
Here is what I’m going to do:
- 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 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.
- Create main page content – I will create and manually write 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) while making them each 90% unique.
- 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.
- Buy a subscription to the five candidate link building services listed above – 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, 40% keyword variations targeted, 5% URL targeted, 5% “Click Here” and other junk links 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 reported number of links, the keyword positions and search engine traffic for each site and make pretty charts and graphs.
- Determine a winner – After 6 months, whichever site has the best overall keyword ranking wins. I’m looking at promoting about 8 keywords per site. One main keyword, four main keyword variations to make the linking look more natural and five related sub keywords for the different pages on each site. I’ll add up all the ranks for each keyword and whichever service has the best total will win.
Again, the goal here is to keep the sites and content similar enough for a good test, but unique enough to avoid any duplicate content penalties.
I plan on running this experiment for at least six months and will post updates throughout.