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Is a Link Building Service Right for You? 5 Things You Absolutely Must Know

Written on November 13th, 2014 by

The right link building service can do a lot for your SEO, rankings and business. The wrong one can sink your site faster than the Titanic.

Yup, you could go from “King of the World” to near frozen solid, hanging onto a floating dresser while some gal tells you she’ll “never let you go” while simultaneously letting you go so she can survive.

And while the above might seem like the bitter rant of someone whose high school girlfriend made him watch that movie 10 times, it’s actually much more.

Jack and Rose’s roller coaster love affair is the perfect analogy for SEO link building: Great things can happen (you find the love of your life, yay!) or things can go south pretty quickly (you watch hundreds of people die before you become a polar bear popsicle, boo!)

Layers like an onion people! But let’s get back to subject at hand...

There are many benefits to using a quality SEO link builder to do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to this necessary, but often dreaded, task of site promotion. But with those benefits come risks that you must be aware of before you decide to hire a link builder.

Before you even consider a link building service, here’s the five things you must know.

The Good

If you’re reading this there is a good chance you’ve seriously considered using a SEO link-building service.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, in theory. Link builders have many advantages, like:

  • They are experts (hopefully) in their field and do it well (again, hopefully).
  • Link building can be tedious, mind numbing, repetitive work. Didn’t we get into this business because it looked fun and exciting?
  • You get to focus on what you do best instead of trying to master something that you might invest a lot of time and resources into and get nothing in return.

The Bad

Yes, link builders can bring a lot to the table, but they can also be the iceberg that ruins your transatlantic trip.

For example:

  • Unless you know them personally, it’s hard to know exactly what anyone is doing when it comes to link building. They could be building junk links or outsourcing the work to unscrupulous freelancers who don’t give two hoots about your business. Or, they could just not be effective.
  • You can pay money and invest your time waiting for results only to see nothing, and have no recourse. We all know SEO takes time and if you hire an ineffective or bad link building service they could string you along for months before it’s apparent their links don’t work.
  • Google and the other search engines can change their ranking algorithms or spam filters at the drop of a hat. If your link builders were using tactics that are not counted or banned, your rankings could be lost and your money wasted.

The Ugly

If you did hire a link builder that created toxic links, your site and business could pay a huge price. 

At the very least, the links you had built will be disregarded by the search engine ranking algorithms and all of those resources you put into them will be wasted. Chances are you’ll then have to either get rid of the links manually or just walk away from your site. The first option will cost you more money, time and work, while the second just stinks.

However, in the worst case scenario your site could be completely deindexed (it won’t show up for any search at all), and basically cast into oblivion, never to return.

Now, if you’ve created a site more as a hobby than a business and don’t really need the income it generates to survive, then maybe you just don’t care. But, if your website is the digital-facing property that brings customers into a business that is your primary source of income, you should care a lot what happens to it.

Consider the Source

If you decide hiring out your link building is the way you want to go, then you need to look carefully at the sources that you are considering.

There are sophisticated link builders who are part of big organizations with a quality product that delivers results. But they aren’t going to be cheap. You can easily spend $1,000 a month on some campaigns.

But, you will also come across link mills that churn out automated links in the tens of thousands per day. If you have $5 and a Fiverr account you can find these guys with little or no problem.

And while it’s easy to identify these types of providers, it’s the ones in the middle that will confound you. You might be paying top dollar and think you’re working with an experienced link builder and all he is doing is outsourcing your work to some low-quality freelancer.

Put on Your Detective Hat

This is your business and your site, so put in the work and check up on anyone you let work on your site.

Hopefully, you wouldn’t let someone just waltz in off Craigslist and start working on your house, fixing your car or watching your kids. You’d at least speak to them about their experience, get references, inquire about their methods and so on.

Likewise, you need to get a hold of any potential link building service and ask them questions like:

  • How do you build links?
  • What kind of links are you building me?
  • What kind of anchor text variation and randomization are you using?
  • Who have you worked for before?
  • Can I get some references?
  • If you’re building links in violation of search engine’s policies, what measures are you taking to protect my site and business?
  • Do you hate the movie “Titanic” as much as I do?
  • And so on…

Talk to (or email) former clients, verify claims they have made, search internet marketing forums and anything else you need to get a good feeling about  your potential provider.

The business you save might be your own.