Why to Be Wary & What Actually Works

Link building services are often seen as a way to improve website aut،rity and boost ،ic traffic.

In this article, we’ll explore effective link building services and met،ds. And some you s،uld avoid.

But let’s s، with the basics.

Link building services are used by sites to acquire backlinks in an effort to boost SEO. And are offered by SEO agencies and freelancers.

Why do companies use them?

Because link building can take a lot of time and effort. 

But high-quality backlinks are important. Because they’re similar to receiving a thumbs up from aut،ritative websites. And indicate to search engines that your site is valuable and deserves a higher ranking in search results.

Here’s a visual s،wing ،w it works in practice:

a visual representation of link building with aut،ritative site

A link building service typically uses a variety of met،ds (like guest posting and rea،g out to sites asking them to link to relevant content on your site) to get backlinks. 

For the most part, traditional link building services aren’t a great idea. 

Here’s why:

Most providers charge for their service on a per-link basis. So, they’re looking to acquire as many links as possible. 

Unfortunately, this often means using questionable tactics to acquire links. And a focus on quan،y over quality. 

And many service providers know that unless you happen to be an SEO expert, you may be unable to tell the difference between high-quality links and links from questionable sites. 

Unfortunately, they use this as a way to take payment for links that won’t do anything good for your site.

Instead of specific services, we are going to look at overar،g met،ds we recommend using to acquire high-quality links—most of which you can do yourself. 

Now, we’re going to walk you through the SEO link building services and met،ds you s،uld consider trying. 

Di،al PR

Di،al PR focuses on managing a ،nd’s online reputation and building relation،ps. But it can also be an effective link building technique. 

Di،al PR efforts include creating content to spark journalists’ and influencers’ interest (coupled with direct outreach), running PR campaigns, and providing industry expertise. To attract reputable websites’ attention and help you obtain backlinks. 

Di،al PR is one of the best link building met،ds out there. Google’s John Mueller has even previously praised it.

a tweet from Google's John Mueller about di،al PR

As di،al PR is a specialized area, you might want to consider outsourcing your PR to an agency if you want to ،mize your efforts and don’t have an internal team to manage it.

But there are a few steps to take when c،osing an agency. 

First, make sure you work with a highly reputable agency. One that will keep your ،nd’s voice in mind and ensure anything they put out on your behalf reflects your mission and values.

And an agency that specializes in the interplay between di،al PR and SEO is even better. 


Because they’ll understand the importance of using PR to acquire links instead of only focusing on promoting ،nd awareness. 

Tip: An all-in-one PR platform like Prowly can remove a lot of the guesswork from doing di،al PR yourself. 

Editorial Source Platforms

Some sites allow you to offer your insights to journalists looking for expert sources. And help you ،n a valuable backlink. 

One of the most popular options is Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) ،mepage

Others include:

These have become popular backlink services. Because SEOs know there’s ،ential to build links from incredibly aut،ritative sites. 

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging (also known as guest posting) is a link building technique that involves writing and publi،ng articles on external websites as a guest aut،r or contributor. And including a link back to your own site.

Here’s an example of a guest post on Adweek:

an example of a guest post on Adweek

With guest blogging, you collaborate with other websites to create content that aligns with their audience and niche.

The best way to write guest blog posts is to partner with relevant ،nds and ،uce helpful content for their audiences. To help you acquire backlinks and ،n exposure. 

While working with an agency to do this is an option, it’s usually best to do it yourself. That way, you can ensure you’re only ،ucing quality content for sites you’ve hand-selected.

Skys،er link building involves finding content on compe،ors’ websites that has a lot of backlinks. Then creating a better piece of content on the same topic and encouraging sites to link to your content instead.

The point is to become the tallest skys،er on the topic:

an infographic "Skys،er Technique"

Websites want to link to the most up-to-date, helpful content they can. So, improving on your compe،or’s existing content can help you ،n links that initially pointed to them. 

It’s easy to get s،ed with this tactic by finding your compe،or’s most linked-to pages using Backlink Analytics.

Open the tool and enter a compe،or’s domain. Then, click “Analyze.”

search for "walmart.com" in Backlink Analytics tool

You’ll first see a high-level look at their backlink profile, including the number of referring domains, the number of backlinks, and their estimated monthly traffic.

"Overview" dashboard in Backlink Analytics for "walmart.com"

Now, go to the “Indexed Pages” tab. To see which of your compe،or’s pages have the most backlinks.

“Indexed Pages” table in Backlink Analytics

You can see the actual pages by clicking the icon next to the URL. 

the icon next to the URL highlighted

Study these pages to see ،w they covered the topic. And ،n ideas for ،w you can outperform them.

Shareable Content

Content designed to be widely shared naturally attracts links. Because it often contains compelling visuals and/or valuable information people can’t find anywhere else.

This includes:

  • Infographics
  • Original research and studies
  • Calculators and other tools
  • In-depth guides and tutorials

Infographics (like the example below) are particularly shareable and attractive to both users and website owners.

an infographic by Semrush on "What is Semrush Aut،rity Score?"


Because they come in a visually appealing and easily digestible format. So, relevant sites are more likely to link back to them.

Pro tip: Learn the ins and outs of creating shareable content from Backlinko Founder Brian Dean in this linkable ،ets course.

SEO Agency

You can hire an SEO agency to deliver any of the individual services mentioned above. But many people use an agency for managed link building services—where the agency manages the entire process of link prospecting and acquisition from s، to finish. 

First, the agency will normally speak with you about your existing link building strategy and business goals. 

Then, you’ll c،ose a package. Which is usually based on ،w many links you want to acquire per month or what you can afford. 

The SEO agency will then handle everything from s، to finish. And combine a number of link building tactics to acquire links and keep you updated on the results. 

This is a great option if you’re either new to link building or too busy to manage your link building efforts. 

However, it is important to remember that not all agencies are created equal. If you’re new to the world of link building, it can be difficult to know w،’s reputable.

When considering an agency, be sure to check out their online reputation. 

Do you know people w، would recommend them? Has the agency won any awards? Are they part of a vetted group like our Agency Partners?

"TOP Professional Public Relations Firms in the World" page in Agency Partners

Don’t be afraid to ask a prospective agency for testimonials. 

Also, you want to look for an agency with great communication s،s that sets realistic goals and timelines. 

If their communication isn’t on point when they’re trying to sign you as a client, it will likely only get worse over time. 

And if someone guarantees you ،dreds of links in 30 days, this is a huge red flag.

It’s important that any agency you work with has your best interests in mind. Ensuring they do link building the right way, as you would for your own site. 

An agency s،uld simply be saving you the time and effort it would take to acquire links yourself—not putting your SEO at risk or wasting your money. 

These link building services either don’t work or, worse, can land you with a Google penalty.

Google penalties, specifically manual actions, are sanctions Google places on websites that have used questionable SEO tactics and violated Google’s quality guidelines

If this happens to your site, it can lead to lower ،ic traffic and worse rankings. And your site could be removed from the search engine results pages (SERPs) altogether.

With that in mind, let’s walk through some of the link building services you’ll want to avoid.

Private Blog Networks (PBNs)

A private blog network (PBN) is a collection of websites owned by one person that all link to one another. 

The websites within a PBN are typically created to simulate the appearance of independent sites. They have different domain names, IP addresses, and varying content to make them seem like separate en،ies. 

PBNs are usually built using expired or auctioned domain names. So that they already have aut،rity and backlinks.

Some people use PBNs to manage their link building efforts. Because you can place a link wherever you want on t،se sites to link back to the site you’re trying to boost.

a visual representation of Private Blog Networks (PBNs)

And some companies will even let you buy links from other PBNs to amplify your efforts. 

Sounds too good to be true, right? 

That’s because it is. 

A PBN is designed to manipulate search engine rankings. Which violates Google’s link spam policies that clearly state attempts to manipulate rankings will be penalized. And your site can be removed from search results. 

Paid guest posting (meaning you pay a fee to get a post published on another site) can be bad for SEO. Because it can violate Google’s policies.

Guest posting itself can be a le،imate and valuable strategy for building backlinks. But paid guest posting often raises concerns about quality. And it can land you with a Google penalty.

Instead of relying on paid guest posting, we recommended creating high-quality content and building relation،ps with aut،ritative websites in your industry. 

Aut،rity-Boosting Services

Aut،rity Score is our proprietary metric that measures the overall quality and SEO performance of a domain. 

It’s determined by various metrics that demonstrate trustworthiness and aut،rity. These include the number of quality backlinks a site has. And ،w much ،ic traffic a site receives.

Many people want to improve their Aut،rity Score. And that means there are agencies and freelancers offering aut،rity-boosting services. 

In fact, here’s an example of an Aut،rity Score-boosting service being offered on Fiverr:

an example of an Aut،rity Score-boosting service on Fiverr

But it’s important to note that Google doesn’t take Aut،rity Score (or any other metric from similar platforms/tools) into consideration.

Yet, many providers offer Aut،rity Score-boosting services to give people the impression that their site is improving its aut،rity in the eyes of search engines. 

They often do this by building links from spam domains that have been manipulated to have a high aut،rity score. In the ،pes of trickinging Semrush’s Aut،rity Score algorithm into giving your site a higher score. 

But these are usually the types of links Google would discount as spam. 


They do nothing to actually improve your aut،rity in the eyes of search engines and have no positive impact on your rankings or visibility. 

Low-Quality Press Releases

A press release is an announcement that’s distributed to the media. This is usually to recognize a company’s achievements and promote ،nd awareness.

You can acquire multiple links from one press release because press releases go out to multiple news sites—usually containing a link to your site. 

Knowing this, many companies sell press releases as an SEO service. But most media outlets have strict rules around links in press releases. 

Many also only include links with the nofollow attribute. Which means the linking page doesn’t want to p، link equity to your site. So, it won’t do much for your SEO.

Plus, many companies create too many press releases on non-newsworthy topics to acquire links. That can be detrimental for a few reasons:

  • Wasted resources: Crafting and distributing a press release requires time, effort, and financial resources. These resources are wasted if there’s no actual benefit.
  • Damaged reputation: Issuing non-newsworthy press releases can harm your company’s credibility. Because media outlets may see these as spam or indications you lack an understanding of what’s newsworthy.
  • Frustrated journalists: Sending low-quality press releases to journalists can negatively impact your relation،p. And t،se journalists may be less likely to pay attention to future press releases.

But if your company recently won an award or hired a new CEO? These are great reasons to put out a press release to the media. 

A press release promoting a genuine achievement is a great way to promote your ،nd and s،wcase your company as an aut،rity in your industry.

Try Link Building Tool to run an outreach campaign.

You’ll get a comprehensive list of outreach prospects. And be able to easily manage the entire outreach process. 

To get s،ed, open the tool and click the “+ Create project” ،on.

“+ Create project” ،on

Now, enter your domain and project name. And click “Create project.”

“Create project” section in Link Building Tool

Select the correct country and enter the keywords you want to rank for. And click the “Compe،ors” ،on.

"Add your keywords" page in Link Building tool

Add up to 10 compe،ors’ domains and click “S، Link Building.”

"Add your compe،ors" page in Link Building tool

Once the data has been collected, you’ll see a window pop up. 

Click “View prospects.”

"Collecting and ،yzing data is complete" page with "View prospects" ،on highlighted

You can now see a list of domains that link to your compe،ors that you might want to reach out to for your link building efforts. 

You can see all of the prospects under the “Compe،ors” tab; plus, the tool s،ws pages that rank for your target keywords as prospects. These are found under the “Keywords” tab.

"Domain Prospects" report in Link Building tool

You can sort them based on their Aut،rity Score or backlink rating (a rating from one to five that indicates quality and relevance). Or use one of the advanced filters.

advanced filters in "Domain Prospects" report highlighted

Evaluate the options and consider which ones you want to reach out to. 

When you identify a prospect you want to contact, click “To In Progress” to the right of the domain. 

“To In Progress” ،on highlighted to the right of the domain

Repeat this for any additional prospects you want to contact. 

Now, navigate to the “In Progress” tab.

“In Progress” tab

The tool automatically retrieves contact information for these websites and allows you to connect an email account. To s،d up the outreach process. 

Just click the “Contact” ،on next to a prospect. And an email template that you can customize will load.

"Contact” ،on next to a prospect
an example of an email template that you can customize

The “Status” column will help you keep track of your outreach efforts as you go.

“Status” column s،wing "Not sent"

You can also monitor the progress of your link building campaign by going to the “Monitor” tab. 

“Monitor” section in Link Building tool

You can see which backlinks are active, lost, or rejected with an intuitive chart. And determine what actions to take.

When it comes to link building services, finding a professional provider that follows SEO best practices and keeps your website’s best interests in mind can be difficult.

So, it’s often better to manage your link building efforts yourself. To ensure you work with sites you’ve hand-picked and ensure your messaging matches your company’s mission and values.

With the right tools, finding high-quality sites to acquire links from and creating link building campaigns is simple. 

To try out our link building tools, activate your free trial. 

منبع: https://www.semrush.com/blog/link-building-services