If you have been following this blog for a while, you might have noticed that all the nice affi banners to link building services have disappeared over time. Reason being that I don’t use them anymore, nor do I recommend this kind of services anymore. Why that is the case, I will tell you shortly. But I am still on the mailing list of a few of them and some days ago I received an email from Build My Rank that was interesting to say the least! Granted, BMR has closed the doors temporarily in the past and might open in the future again, but that is not the really interesting bit. Here two quotes from their email:
- “While we are closed we will be 1) rapidly expanding our network footprint …“
I mean that one is a big ‘OOPS’ and I am sure they didn’t mean to send that out like this! But for those that can read between the lines, it gives a strong hint on what has happened to Build My Rank – they, like a lot of other link building networks, got discovered and de-valued by Google. More to that also later …
- “Please keep in mind that everyone benefits if we can continue to keep BuildMyRank viable over the long-term.”
Every time I see ‘if’ used in this way, it raises red warning flags with me …
OK, you could now say that is only my personal opinion and interpretation, so I spend the last days asking around and investigating on the interwebs, forums and generally chatting with people in the internet marketing niche. Here my findings regarding rankings, Build My Rank users and also other networks:
- Some people report that whilst BMR didn’t work since months as good as it used to, their rankings were still stable. These were mostly people that build few, or only a moderate amount of links, to their sites. When these links got devalued / not counted anymore the impact was less because they were not relying solely on them. Meaning they had also natural backlinks and / or the percentage of links build by BMR and other services were lower, hence the impact was also lower as these links disappeared from the algo.
- Others have seen as massive drop in their rankings, and traffic! These were mostly big sites that relied massively on link building services. They felt the drop painfully because they had an over average amount of links build to their site. As those links were de-counted, it affected their rankings more heavily.
- General agreement is also that Build My Rank is not the only network that is affected. Others seem to have suffered the same fate.
- And, perhaps most importantly, I couldn’t find any mention of recent rankings having improved by recent use of Build My Rank!
Google is cracking down massively on link building networks and services. Don’t kid yourself in thinking that there is something like an undetectable, footprint-less network! There are several ways such a network can be detected, from the easiest (Google employee signing up anonymously and detecting it ‘from the inside’) to employing advanced techno stuff and scripts to discover the footprint. Google is one of the biggest techno companies in the world, they basically invented search engines and rankings, do you really think they can’t discover link networks? So, what to do now?
Build My Rank is closed – What door is opening for you?
First of all I suggest having a good long look at your site(s) and ask yourself the most important question:
“Does my site(s) actually deserve(s) to be on the first page of the Google search results?
If the answer is ‘No’, because your website contains mainly of rewritten content that you have found in turn in the top ten sites in Google for your keyword(s) / topic(s) and ads, then I suggest you start right there and improve it Your chances of ending up on the first page on Google are so much better if your site provides really the best answer a searcher could hope to find when typing >keyword< into a Google search box. And, it will then attract natural backlinks from real people that are recommending it as a source of information and / or a great place to buy things from. Oh, and don’t give me the: But nobody will link to a site about >keyword< naturally! Virtually every problem has its dedicated sites and forums that link to resources, if your site is a real resource that helps people interested in that topic.
If your site is good enough, provided you have been honest with yourself, then you can do several things:
- Add more content.
More, keyword targeted, content that is actually useful to real human readers will attract more traffic and that means more income. Just take the money and time you save by NOT using link building services, outsourcers to write ‘just good enough for link building articles’ for you and use them to improve your own site and not somebody else’s network
- Try a PPC campaign
If your site is actually selling something real, service or product, you can run a PPC campaign in Google adwords which will show you a couple of things. One is the real amount of traffic and conversion you can expect by being in the top spot in Google and secondly you will learn the Adsense game from the other site of the fence. As an advertiser, not as somebody that runs ads on a website. One word of warning, be careful that you don’t burn money that you don’t have doing this, it is a steep learning curve!
- Build back links to your own site by guest posting and article writing.
To do this right, concentrate on real readers and traffic first and then on link. Make a short list of the most important sites and blogs in your niche and approach the owners and offer them unique content that is targeted to their audience. Also don’t forget about forums, they can help you to establish yourself as an expert in your niche and give you a lot of inspiration about what to write next. By concentrating on attracting real eye balls to your content and taking the links as a bonus you might shift your inner perspective
Link building is an constant uphill battle that costs you time and money that would be better invested in building up your own site. There are strong indications that Google has declared war on artificial link building for 2012 in order to improve the search results for everybody. Add to this the recent changes when it comes to personalized search results and the first page in Google as we know it might be soon a thing of the past. But that is material for another blog post …
Like always, questions / suggestions and corrections are always welcome in a comment!
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