The Dangers Of Paid Link Building: An Honest Review

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The Dangers Of Paid Link Building: An Honest Review


First off, I would like to apologize to anyone and everyone who reads the blog and has noticed most of my topics are predominantly SEO driven. I am not doing this purposefully, SEO is just something I am really passionate about – Hence the constant fade away from the broader digital marketing topic.

That said, I recall writing a post here that emphasized a point on why editorial links and contextual links are the kinds of links that Google likes, what I however forgot to mention is how this fact is not a secret and a lot of people use spam techniques to try and game Google for results.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common spam techniques used in link building:

  1. Article Directory Submissions
  2. SPUN Article Syndication
  3. Paid Editorial Links (Side bar & Footer Links)
  4. Paid Directory Submissions
  5. Social Bookmarking

There are so many other techniques but these five encompass the general scope of the problem. Not all five are contextual links of course but all 5 techniques are methods that work or used to work as white hat link building techniques until some knuckleheads somewhere decided to start overdoing everything.

Article Directories

There used to be a time when writing a 1500 word article on EzineArticles and getting your content picked up by many blogs and what not was great for your SEO. The story has long since changed as this is a clear cut spam technique that holds almost no value in the eyes of Google. Here is why – the kinds of blogs or websites that will pick up your content from places like Ezine are trash. Spammy blogs with Low Domain Authority just looking for free content all over. Links from these kinds of places will not only probably hold no value for your brand but will potential hand you some problems along with it.

{Spun Article {Syndication|Submission}|Spyntax Articles}

So the year is 2015 and there are many other spammy article submission sites all over (most created for the purpose of gaming search rankings), just pay some money to spam overlords like SubmitEdge and they will help you submit a spun poorly written trash article either provided by you or them to say 100 article directories. LOL.

Please note I am not saying that these type of techniques do not work in the short term, I’d be stupid to say that because I know they do give some semblance of a short term result but in the long run you will regret doing it. You just will! Asking for a link take down in directories like this will cost you maybe 10 times the amount you paid your “{Spam|SEO}” team to get all the articles published in the first place. In many cases when a consumer then “Googles” your brand and has the decency to go all the way back to page 2 he/she begins to see trashy articles filled with anchor texts posted about your brand all over the internet.

The beautiful thing about this kind of links is that they don’t have to be spammy, some webmasters and users are just so lost in the foolishness they don’t even want to bother anymore with quality. There are a lot of big name websites that have a blogroll “Sites We Like” or whatever and add a rel=”nofollow” link to a few useful sites, Infact, I have one in my footer here pointing to a couple of websites I own and manage, only because I know these are the only places online where you can actually find me asides my personal blog here – hence – useful. What I would not do however is link to a website about popcorn and call it “Sites I Like” after receiving 200 dollars from the lad that owns it. This is obviously a lie, anyone who knows me well enough will know I loathe popcorn – pop corn has nothing to do with SEO or Marketing – be it full on digital or just content marketing.

My point here is, when you pay some webmaster with a website about fabrics to link to your site about machine guns from his sidebar just because he is a page rank 5 and has high domain authority, you are essentially throwing your money away. That link right there has no value added to your brand whatsoever. But when a nice young marketing enthusiast finds this blog here and decides to add it to the sidebar of his personal blog about his marketing/learning experience so far – that is a quality link. Or maybe by some miracle that I know will never happen, a website like WP Beginner finds my post about 5 WordPress Plugins to Improve your SEO and then links to it – Quality!


I will never be able to explain or stress this any better than Matt Cutts did in one of his webmaster videos from 2011 so as opposed to typing and boring you I will just leave the video below and let you get a bite of it for yourself.

Matt Cutts Said It Best!

It may be a 2 minute video but he left nothing out…

He called them “fly by night directories” because that is exactly what they are. It is incredibly easy for me to go grab an high PR expired domain and install drupal and tell you I am a PR5 directory with domain age of 11 years and I will link to you if you send me 50 dollars via PayPal. Very easy!

The fact that a lot of knuckle heads around the internet know that you are looking to pay for these kinds of links is enough reason for them to create a 50 directory link network then charge you hundreds of dollars to get in. It is simple common sense!

When I was young and stupid I fell for a similar scheme from “SEO Companies” like submitedge, you will already be able to tell that spam is deep in their blood over there because they constantly recycle the same 999 USD & 499 USD quotation for every website that comes to them for “SEO”.

If you need to use real quality directories that have a meaningful impact on your website’s TrustFlow – Try Yahoo Directories or Best of the web. Yahoo alone will cost you 300 USD a year and you might still be rejected… for real – the only thing you are paying for is the time it takes an editor to thoroughly review your website. So you know this kind of link is quality as opposed to that directory that wants your quick 5 bucks and lets you pick the anchor text and what not. Nuff said!

Social Bookmarking

This one is so annoying to think about I am not sure I want to bother! Just go on fiverr one afternoon when you are bored and you will find people willing to automate a keyword reach blast of your url and keywords to over 700 “quality” Social Bookmarking sites for just 5 dollars. They will even add an extra 10,000 blog comments for you on tier 2 because what is this life if not a giant pot of ikokore?

It hurts me to say this or admit it but the crowd that is choosing to bang the content marketing drum seems to be winning. The problem with this however is that small businesses and entrepreneurs like yourself will suffer big time. You clearly don’t have the budget to help your small hand-made bead eCommerce website compete with the Rocket Internet backed Jumia or the slightly shittier Konga. So the solution is to open your own store on Konga as opposed to trying to make a name for yourself or pushing your personal brand. Very hard life!

Light At The End

Good news is, there are still a few guys like me who can help you without necessarily breaking the bank. Bad news is you really will need to break the bank to hire guys like us anyways so what in the name of Francis Odega do you do now?

Here is an idea, read my blog as often as possible. At very random times I share some mighty useful tips that will help you get it done by yourself… Like THIS POST about getting Facebook likes for as low as 2 Naira per fan. Maybe even less.

I am also available to answer your questions if you use the contact form (Fair usage applies!). Any questions about anything I have said in this post please leave a comment.

If you need music to inspire you to ask me a question I recommend Jon Bellion’s “The Definition”. Amazing mixtape that!

Till next time!


Ifemidayo LayGiri

Ifemidayo LayGiri

Search Engine Optimization expert, digital marketing & product design. In the mood to quit everything and become a young handsome billionaire.

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