Link building is essential to the success of any reputable website. However, if you’re only starting, it’s easy to fall into scams. After performing several link-building activities, we provide accurate strategies to help you identify scams in less than 10 minutes.
Since several platforms littered all over the internet offer cheap link-building services, you have to be extremely careful because they fail to live up to expectations. It is tempting to think most of them are the best options because it is usually very affordable compared to other genuine options. To avoid falling victim, you must understand that link building is not cheap; it involves complex processes, and you will get value for your money.
Take a glance at most freelance platforms, and you will be amazed at the rate at which people are offering link-building services at ridiculous prices. Does that mean that every ridiculously cheap link-building service is a scam? That’s far from true. It only means the market is saturated, which creates an avenue for scams to pose as authentic.
With years of experience in link building, our agency puts together this list to help you spot link-building service scams easily. This way, you can save yourself from unnecessary costs and prevent your website from falling into Google’s bad books.
Link Building Scams Are Everywhere
As a result, you must be adequately informed if you plan to outsource your firm’s link-building to any link building agency.
Be extra careful of the “cheap”link-building services.
Ignorance will cost you a lot because building the link wrongly will negatively impact your website by destroying and reducing your Google search rankings.
Google spells out its regulations in the Search Guidelines. And they are particular about using the wrong kind of link and other suspicious activities like:
- Purchasing and selling links.
- Superfluous link swapping.
- Using links that were not generated manually.
- Building bookmark links that need to meet the required standards.
If the agency you decide to go for uses any of the aforementioned methods, it is not safe because your website will be penalized by google, which will, in turn, affect your Google ranking.
That said, watch out for the common link-building scams below – and steer clear of them.
5 Link Building Scams That Hurt Your Search Engine Ranking
Private Blog Networks are networks of websites that can be used as an easy way of building large amounts of links for SEO purposes.
Without a doubt, PBNs work. They are an excellent way of increasing your ranking. But this is only possible before Google discovers your network.
Once Google discovers your PBN, the ranking effect generated as a result of the link will be reduced to the barest minimum, and it also gives a manual sanction to other sites linked to yours.
Despite the sanctions and unsustainable rankings, you might wonder why people still use PBNs. The reason is straightforward!
Link builders can’t get enough of PBNs because they are quick fixes.
Also, PBN websites can often look like a typical site. They can even look like the real deal with valuable links if you don’t understand link building.
So, the scammers know you won’t suspect any shady dealings.
Furthermore, spam sites can also have good metrics. That is why aged sites, built on expired domains where an authentic site was previously located, are used as PBNs.
Summarily, high metrics on some software can make you think there is no big deal in trying out these spam sites, but there is nothing to gain from these links, especially if these sites are now part of a PBN. Going ahead to use such sites can destroy your website’s ranking on search engines.
How to Spot Link Building Services That Use PBNs
Observe and notice red flags like:
- Multiple links from a huge number of different, unrelated sites.
- Assured placement on high-traffic and metric websites.
- A fixed amount of links.
- Links are going live within a short period.
- Affordable prices
- You have no say on where your links would be posted – you can’t even know the sites, let alone reject or accept them.
Be cautious if the agency you have in mind promises all these; that might indicate that you need to double up your effort in verifying that the agency is legitimate.
Domain Metrics Can Be Deceiving!
When measuring your website’s Domain Rating, you must base it on something other than metrics like Domain Rating and Domain Authority. Ensure you pay keen attention to its content, traffic, and the keywords it ranks for because many dubious SEOs have manipulated these metrics to sell fake links. Domain Rating and Domain Authority can be easily manipulated, so on their own, more is needed to decide a website’s quality.
The fact is that there are so many websites that rank due to high DA and DR, but studies have shown that some of these sites are of low quality even when they have high metrics. Building a link using these sites will be detrimental to your website’s ranking, and this might be disappointing when you have outsourced link building to an agency to build a high-ranking website with high DA and DR.
Link farms are presently one of the predominant issues as long as avoiding spammy websites is concerned.
Scams don’t happen only when you outsource your link-building activities to an agency; they are also likely to happen when you handle your outreach without external help.
Let’s assume you have contacted some automatically generated sites, and within the shortest possible time, you get a response informing you of how much you are expected to pay for the website to be linked to your money site. It might look unusual, but it happens a lot.
Most website owners know that links are of great value, and in turn, they charge a fee sufficient to cover all the stress they must endure placing the post. If you have verified the link and done all necessary findings at your end and you’re fortunate enough to get a link that has good quality, it will increase the site’s Search Engine ranking and will be worth every penny spent on it.
But how do you confirm that the price you were asked to pay covers the entire process and that the site is not a link farm (a website that generates lots of money when linked to other websites)?
How To Spot a Link Farm
Fortunately, it does not take so much to spot a link farm. Here are some basic telltale signs:
- A simple prototype design.
- Inadequate contact information of those in charge of the site.
- Articles that need to be properly authored.
- Fake content and a setup that does not allow guests to contribute anything.
- False ranking by using spammy keywords
Once you notice these signs on any link-building agency’s website, trusting them with your link-building process will be a total waste of time and cash. In addition, it will hurt your website’s ranking. Most times, there are tons of these websites on the same network, so you must be cautious to avoid getting disappointed.
Low-Quality, Quick-result Directories
Agencies that use spammy methods can’t get over them if it offers seamless ways of building links on a page without having to do so much. That way, they get your money without actively working for it.
Creating low-quality links on directories, comments and forums is another way unreliable agencies rip people off by providing fake link-building services. Most of them know that they can bank on these methods to generate many links within the shortest possible time.
Directories are not bad at all, and the only problem is that building this kind of link does not affect Google’s ranking as others, but it might cost you a sanction from Google for building unnatural links.
How to Spot Spam Directory Links
Directory links are one of the easiest to spot because they often sell themselves out by mentioning exactly all you need to identify them.
The flip side sometimes is that they will try to present it like a service that provides immense value when that is different in the actual sense. To spot link-building services or agencies that use directory links, look out for the following signs:
- Assured Links.
- Ridiculously Cheap price.
- An enormous amount of links within a short period.
Fake Guest Posting
Naturally, guest posting is GOOD and sustainable. It is a strategic way of generating links.
As long as it follows due process, the results are very effective.
Unfortunately, link-building agencies understand the advantage of guest posts. So, they try to game the system. Here is how:
Spammy link builders try to play fast on people by providing guest posts that are not valuable after collecting their hard-earned money. Often, the value is only sometimes commensurate with the value obtained when one falls into the hands of scam link-building agencies.
Most times, these agencies will put up guest posts on PBNs; once in a while, they put up authentic guest posts on legitimate websites to avoid getting caught.
How To Identify Scam Guest Post Services
Fake guest posts are not easy to identify because it is also present in authentic link-building. Guest posting on PBN is okay in itself, but the distinction between a real and a fake guest on a third-party website needs to be clarified.
Be careful of any agency that promises to provide the following:
- Unverifiable claims of affiliations with websites or blogs
Hearing this might make your heart leap for joy, thinking that you have come to the right place, but there is a high risk of fake guest posts on the website.
- Suspiciously low rates
Have it at the back of your mind that writing guest posts is a costly undertaking. If the price of any service cannot even cover the basic requirements, that’s a red flag.
- Super-fast turnaround time
This often reveals that there is an existing relationship between spammy link builders and bloggers, making guaranteed posts easier. In reality, this is not possible.
Different blogs and sites have processes in place to get contributions before they are live – regardless of the relationship with contributors.
So, before trying out a link-building agency, politely ask the operator for the details of the site they will place guests on. You can now observe before making a decision.
Unproven Link Builders
Often, you will find an agency that has extensive knowledge of natural link building. They offer impeccable services for an affordable price and promise to take your website to the next level.
The only drawback, in this case, is that you can’t find details of previous campaigns and link-building processes they have successfully done. These kinds of agencies promise mindblowing results but don’t have a portfolio to show for it.
In this case, you may be dealing with an amateur link-building agency. They often brag about their achievements and expertise without providing them with solid evidence.
It is important to note that they might even be as good as they claim to be, but if they can’t find solid proof, hiring them is a gamble, and it might not turn out well at the end of the day, or you might be lucky. There is no point putting yourself through that stress; just go for agencies with a proven track record.
How to Choose a Trustworthy Link-Building Service
We have successfully worked you through the red flags to look out for when choosing a link-building agency.
The next thing that comes to mind is: How do I know that an agency is trustworthy?
- Case studies with specific details
- Links directing you straight to their website
- Realistic guarantees
- Display of high skill level
- An appropriate price
You can rest assured that you will get all these benefits and many more when you outsource your link-building process to SERPreach. With SERPreach, you can sleep with your two eyes closed, knowing that you are in safe hands. We offer genuine and organic link-building services that will blow your mind completely.
Give us a chance to transform your link-building process today completely; it’s the best decision you will ever make!