Dangers of using paid SEO services

by DrDarko

When Google decides to go on the warpath, you never know where and how will it end. Getting slapped by Google is never fun and using paid SEO services can invite ruin.

From its early days and first implementation of Page Rank algorithm, Google forbade selling links. After all, if people link to your content without monetary incentive, it has to mean that it is useful or important to them in some way.

In those early days, first paid SEO services showed up. Most of them had no idea what they were doing but the Dot Com bust was just starting. A lot of money ended up wasted on some useless linking services and soon, Google coined the term “link-farm” and first Google slaps ensued.

Latest Google slap of sites using one paid SEO service shows how expensive SEO shortcuts can be.

What can paid SEO services offer?

Most of us, eventually, stumble upon such services. For only $149.99 a month, you can get dofollow back-links from high page ranking sites, they would submit your site to hundreds of web directories, your articles would be spun and submitted to hundreds of article directories, etc...

While you could do a lot of that stuff on your own (and for free), you would never have enough time to do so. So, people started paying for all those link wheels, link pyramids and other link geometric shapes...

Of course, most of those article sites and web directories were initially created, and operated by paid SEO services. Since it became almost impossible to get listed at some respectable web directories like DMOZ, paying for inclusion at many others looked like the best possible solution.

For a while, it even worked. The greatest danger of using paid SEO services was that they could be an inexperienced service that does not fulfill their promise. Soon, most of those services started doing the same thing so it did not really matter which one you selected.

Fast Forward to Google Panda

In time, many paid SEO services started using copied, spun and computer generated content to populate sites. That was the best way to avoid “link-farm” label, and keep the page rank.

Google Panda update introduced penalty for such content. Sites hosting such spun, copied and low quality texts got named “content-farms” and search engine semantic analysis became a reality. As a side effect, many revenue sharing sites got slapped and lost their rankings.

Fortunately, most of the revenue sharing sites quickly reeled and started monitoring content quality and climbing out of the Google sinner’s pit. New, post-Panda sites like Wizzley implemented constant content quality monitoring and it showed that revenue sharing could still be success as long as rules of the game are observed.

BuildMyRank paid SEO solution

BuildMyRank created large network of high Page Ranking blogs. All the blogs in the network produced original content by high quality writers so it was not obvious that they were a part of a big link-building network.

Customers of BuildMyRank were paying a monthly fee to have access to their network where they could submit original articles with a back link in each. Once the article was in the system, it ended up submitted to one of the high Page Ranked sites in their network.

This solution worked great until Google started investigating more than just the site’s content.

Enter Google Intelligence Department

In the Google’s war on SEO and SERPs manipulation, algorithms were not enough. So, Google decided that humans are necessary ingredient in determining real quality and relevance of sites. Those official Google “quality raters” could notice what algorithms could not. At least, they could see the adverts for BuildMyRank services.

I am making a guess here but it seems reasonable that Google has some kind of Intelligence department to analyze and interpret collected data as well as work on improving algorithms for automated analysis. Well, for them, it was quite simple to map the entire BuildMyRank blog network as well as all the sites using the same.

Since both selling and buying links was prohibited practice from the early days of SEO, Google decided to make an example of BuildMyRank.

Making good on a threat

In the case of BuildMyRank, as an example and warning to everybody else, Google decided to wipe it out of business.

In a single update, Google completely de-indexed all of the sites from their network. All the sites using the service lost those expensive back-links and BuildMyRank was forced to close the shop.

Nobody is too sure, but it seems that Google was not satisfied with just de-listing all the sites from BuildMyRank network. Overnight, many sites that were using the service to increase their rankings went from Google’s page one to page 15 in search results.

Slow and steady SEO is the only right way

There are many quality books on Internet marketing that will help you run the SEO for yourself and on your own. Stay suspicious of various gurus offering a quick fix. You are your best and most reliable worker.

I do not consider it wrong to pay for SEO services. However, make sure that you know what you are getting into. Immediate results often mean “black-hat” and “bending the rules.” If you wish your site to have any kind of bright future, stay clear of those.

There are companies out there that can create a successful and positive marketing campaign for your site. Using proven and acceptable methods of link building, social media campaign and promotion, those companies can work wonders.

Let the knowledge that
There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
keep you on the right SEO path.

Have you ever used paid SEO services?

Related posts

Wizzley does a lot of great on-page and off-site SEO work for you. However, this does not mean that you should not help make your Wizzley articles rank high in search engines.
Anybody who ever made any money online went through these four stages. If you are just starting to make money online, you might find it helpful to know what awaits you.
After one month and twelve published articles, it is time to write my review of Wizzley and my current view of the site’s ease of use, earning potential and my plans for the future
Updated: 03/26/2012, DrDarko
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terry on 07/13/2012

I'm grateful for the new update, over night I went from not listed (a site that was less then a month old) to first page on a few keywords.

gugu on 06/13/2012

Very informative article - its better to implement along term SEO strategy and steer clear from the quick-fix measures that can land you in big trouble with Google - writing and publishing quality content has placed my pages and sites at the top of the google search page for certain keywords even those that I have not been intently targeting! Try to Google this this query fro example - Does Google prioritize freshness over relevancy?
thanks for the article

Thamisgith on 04/01/2012

I think that variety is important with SEO and backlinking. If you put all of your eggs in one basket, then you will certainly run the risk of losing your position in the SERPs at some point. It doesn't even need to be a cataclysmic event like BMR getting trashed - it could just be that something that you rely upon doesn't work quite so well for some reason.

Diversity is the key I think.

katiem2 on 04/01/2012

You've got me thinking, very good information here, you never know whats going to wash out here in the internet stream of panning. Very useful and practical food for thought. Good things come to those who wait seems to be the theme.

DrDarko on 03/27/2012

So far, reports vary. It's great to hear that you've had no bad side-effects from Google's de-indexing of BMR network.

I think that you are right about possibility of killing-off the competition and that Google should consider that possibility. Still, I read about people who lost their AdSense account simply because somebody submitted their sites to traffic exchanges. It is a crazy world out there...

Lissie on 03/27/2012

I've seen no drop at all with the sites I used BMR aggressively with. In fact some seem to have popped up a couple of places. I'm surprised because just the de-indexing of the links should have caused some drop.

I very much doubt there will be any penalty though -apart from the loss of links - otherwise it would be trivially easy to kill off your competitors - just by sending links to them.

DrDarko on 03/26/2012

True, the rules change constantly and there are no shortcuts that can't turn around and bite you when you least expect it.

flowski on 03/26/2012

You really must resist temptation and stay away from all that kind of stuff. You never know when they will change the rules in the middle of the game to serve their best interests and all your work goes down the drain. This is a good article, thanks.

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