Testing Link Building Services
I was asked recently by email (email@example.com) how I test link building services so I thought I’d reveal my methods to you.
Part of the reason why I have to write this page and make it a prominent part of this site is because this information is already on this blog but you’d have to do a lot of reading to find it.
Why I’m qualified to test link building services:
One of my most-hated classes in college was Statistics because the test were incomprehensible to me, but the one thing I got out of it that has proven invaluable is that there is faulty logic behind a lot of testing done with almost everything.
There’s more information on this at this blog post.
If you don’t know how to test something properly, you’ll never know how effective it is and this could hurt your SEO client’s sites and will cost you a lot of wasted time and effort.
When testing, you need a baseline and a parallel comparison entity. A comparison entity is a phrase that I just made up because it sounds good and fancy-like but it’s what I meant to write.
A comparison entity in the world of link building and SEO would be a similar site with similar content and backlinks (IE. SEO strength) that you can use as a baseline against which to judge other “things” and in this scenario the other “things” are the effect of other link building services on the comparison entities/sites.
I own and operate close to 30 websites, about half of which are in the “IM” niche, so I have a glut of entities from which to draw comparisons.
When I test out a link building service:
I write 3 or 4 blog posts and let them get indexed, then I wait a while for those sites settling point to be reached. A settling point is another phrase I coined to help me describe where a site finally settles in its rankings after it’s been indexed, but without any links.
You can go here to read more about settling points.
NOTE: You’ll notice that all throughout this page I will be linking to other posts to read so you get a fuller understanding of all that I’m describing to you here, and it’s also good for SEO to inner link to other pages and posts on your site whenever appropriate.
If you do a search for the term “backlink solutions review” on Google you’ll see that I have 5 or 6 listings on the first 2 pages, but that’s no big deal because there’s not much competition for those terms.
So, obviously I have 6 comparison entities that I can test different link building services out on by using different services to link to those urls.
I keep the number of links obtained and the keywords the same when I am in testing mode to give as good a test as I can.
Then I wait for those links to be spread and check on the SERPs once in a while, but it’s still difficult to test these things out because not all the SERPs listing are the same, some sites are going to be ranked higher than other and at some point they’ll be competing with each other for positions.
I also don’t have every single websites on a different IP address so that affects things a little, too.
NOW do you see what I mean when I mentioned earlier that it’s hard to create a good baseline when the comparison entities aren’t equal, especially when we’re dealing with the vagaries of the search engines and their ever-changing algorithms?
Anyhow, you’ll not get a better tester than me because I’m pretty fanatic about trying to weigh all the variables against each other.
The variables to take into consideration when testing similar sites are:
- The age of the domains,
- Are these similar sites getting links for the same keywords on the same IP addresses?
- How many links does each site have credited to it
- how many site content pieces does each site have (how much content you have waters down the link juice being obtained)
- Does the domain name help or hurt in ranking for this term ( my sites rank well always for any term with the word “reviews” in there because my domain names often have those words in there.)
- Does the site title help or hurt here (is the word reviews in title of site?)
- and so on ….
When I test a link building service I take all these factors into consideration and give them some thought.
I also take into consideration how much it costs me in time and money to achieved desired results because I might have to write 10 articles and spin them, then wait 3 weeks to see results with certain services (My Article Network, for example) or I could spend more on a service like
Backlink solutions or LinkVana to see results quicker with less effort expended.
The final thing to take into consideration is how each of the different link building services work:
The article syndication services such as My Article Network and Unique Article Wizard tend to get your article titles spread out and indexed all throughout the web and makes for decent site referral traffic, but that usually ends up in giving brief bursts of traffic while those sites have your article as their most recent post. If the sites hosted your articles add content too frequently it doesn’t give the search engine spiders enough time to deep crawl their site and this affect the “spiders’ ” chances of crawling your article on that site so this tends to affect them finding the link back to your site.
With a service like LinkVana your article will probably never get read by human eyes but the links are powerful and will “stick”.
So there are these variables to take into consideration, too.
When testing a link building service, you need at least 60-90 days to see if they’re effective, which is why I can only scoff at the jokers promoting these services right out of the box without having any quantifiable proof or means of comparison by which to text or to enthusiastically recommend a service.
More likely than not, they’re just trying to recoup the membership fees by being the first to promote the service on their sites.
To know what the heck you’re talking about when it comes to recommending link building services, you have to use more than one service at a time and test comparable sites and keywords.
I am currently testing Unique Article wizard ($57.00/month), LinkVana ($147.00/month), My Article Network ($47.00/month), and Backlink Solutions $97.00/month).
The reason I am telling you that is to let you know that I’m spending about $350.00/month on just these three link building services to find out what’s really working the best.
And the sad fact is, I’m under-using all of them because I don’t want to be guilty of overlinking, and like I said before, you need comparison entities not just for sites, but for the link building services, too.
You can go here to read more about the dangers of overlinking
Suffice to say, I am using at least 4 services at any one time and I test them out on similar sites.
However, for my niche sites, I don’t have a lot of comparison sites to use so what I do here is I will use one service to link to 3 different posts and another service to link to 3 other posts, and another service to link to three other posts,and so on.
When I test 3 or 4 services out on one site, I will gather a list of 12 keywords and their post urls and do something like this:
- Post url #1, and its keyword – Service #1
- Post url #5, and its keyword – Service #1
- Post url #9, and its keyword – Service #1
- Post url #2, and its keyword – Service #2
- Post url #6, and its keyword – Service #2
- Post url #10, and its keyword – Service #2
- Post url #3, and its keyword – Service #3
- Post url #7, and its keyword – Service #3
- Post url #11, and its keyword – Service #3
- Post url #4, and its keyword – Service #4
- Post url #8, and its keyword – Service #4
- Post url #12, and its keyword – Service #4
To bring this down to earth a bit, let’s use some examples here:
keyword #12-green widgets information
- It has the least searches of the 12 keywords, less SEO competition than the 11 above it
- url is site.com/greenwidgetsinformation and we use link building service #4 for this kw and url
green widgets free – kw term #11-
- has less searches for it than the 11 terms above it
- url is site.com/greenwidgetsfree and we use link building service #3 here.
The reason we do a leapfrog method of jumping from terms 12-8-4-1 is so each link building service is targeting a similar term in regard to search volume and competition.
In case I skipped this section or in case the point is not clear, with my niche sites I have a list of keywords that a relevant and targeted that I want to write about. If the keywords list for the site is 12 keywords long, I will start from the bottom and work my way up the list, and try to get backlinks to all posts as time goes on.
For my niche sites, I usually get a list of the top 60 search volume terms that I’d want to get traffic for, so after 12 posts are live on the site and indexed, I started using the 4 link building services to build backlinks to those sites.
After all these posts get their links over a measured period of time (gotta avoid that overlinking don’t forget..) I wait a week after the last links hit and see which services did better.
Again, this is as exact as it’s going to get because the rankings of those sites could also be affected by their competition and how well the site content itself affected the rankings.
So with all this said and done, head on over to the link building services section to get the inside scoop on what services you will do well with
Go back to Link Building home page