Backlinks are an essential part of search engine optimization which can improve search rankings for target keywords and for your overall website. Buying backlinks can be effective part of an SEO strategy provided they are relevant and authoritative.
Fiverr.com is a popular outsourcing website which allows hiring freelancers for various “gigs” including graphic design, web development, social media management, SEO or if you want a video of some guy dressed up as Jesus to read your script.
Purchasing backlinks is a risky endeavor according to Google Guidelines however if you qualify freelancer websites correctly then it can provide SEO value and improve your websites search ranking.
Having seldom used Fiverr, I’ve found it can be useful as part of a link building strategy if websites are vetted properly and a little bit of luck.
Although quality backlink gigs may be difficult to find, there are bloggers and site owners available willing to sell backlinks for a as little as $10 USD which can be quite a bargain, especially if you’re starting out on a small budget. Do note that finding credible backlink gigs can be a challenge.
I usually only purchase backlinks on Fiverr for my newly launched affiliate sites when I’m looking to build domain authority, index pages and target keywords. However I never overdue it and only purchase links that I feel will have a positive impact.
Lets look at 7 Fiverr gigs you should avoid when buying backlinks.
1. Buying subdomain baclinks
Matt Cutts who was head of the search team at Google once stated that subdomains are viewed the same way as subfolders on a domain (ie primarydomain/folder).
A subdomain is a subdivision of a primary domain. For example seotools.nextoronto.com is a subdomain that offers free SEO tools and a separate entity from the primary domain of this website: nextoronto.com.
Even if subdomains are treated as a separate entities, they typically share the same IP address which is simple enough for Google’s algorithm to figure out.
I’ve come across several Fiverr gigs selling multiple subdomain backlinks based on the same primary domain. Aside from the fact that the quality of the sites were usually poorly designed and had poorly written content, these are not the type of backlinks I would ever pay.
I prefer to have a backlink from the primary domain once than paying multiple times for multiple subdomains based on the same domain.
2. Website is not niche relevant
It seems like most freelancers on Fiverr offering backlinks through guest posting will literally post anything to their site as long as you pay money. While this makes getting backlinks easy this also allows anyone to submit content no matter what the subject or however poorly written. This completely devalues their website in my opinion and takes the entire website off topic.
If you’re looking to get a quality backlink, it’s important to make sure that the blog is within the same niche or industry of website you are trying to promote.
If you’re trying to build domain authority to a fitness blog, it would make no sense having a backlink from an automotive blog.
Too many off-topic articles and not niche focused? That’s a hard pass for me.
2. Site has poor or scraped content
If a website provides quality content that is informative, helpful and engages readers; this typically translates to more traffic, lower bounce rate, higher time on site and better overall search ranking.
Unfortunately many of the websites that offer guest posting have content that is written by non-native English speakers or spun articles. Guaranteed nobody is reading any of the content and it was merely placed on the site as filler. Afterall, how can you sell a guest post on a website that has no content to begin with.
Always make sure to check the website’s content quality prior to making a purchase. If the site is just an archive of crappy content then having a backlink isn’t going to carry much value.
3. Site has a low Domain Authority Score
Domain Authority (DA) is a score developed by MOZ that provides a score between 1-100 of a websites reputation. Usually, the higher the score the more reputable and authoritative the website is which can affect how it performs in the search results. Having high DA websites within your niche point to your website can have a positive impact.
While this metric can be argued as to how it impacts website rankings, it has been adopted by many experts as the barometer for website success after Google abandoned it’s Page Rank metric.
Generally I don’t purchase backlinks from websites that are below a DA of 20 that I’m trying to get off the ground. Unfortunately there are several freelancers on Fiverr selling backlinks from sites that have a DA of 1-10. In my opinion they shouldn’t even have posted the gig and need to invest in their own website. Don’t bother buying backlinks from low DA websites as it will have little to no impact in the long run.
4. Mixed Topic Blogs
Similar to #2, you’ll find many freelancers on Fiverr selling guest posts or backlinks on sites that have no focus or niche. As long as you’re willing to pay, no matter what the article is about or how poorly it is written, they will add your article. In the end their websites are a mish mash of various topics.
One thing I’ve noticed is that many of these sites have high Domain Authority scores that I’ve concluded wasn’t earned through the site owner but they merely picked up an expired domain that already had high DA and built a new website using that domain. A simple tell is the domain itself that has absolutely nothing to due with the topic of the website.
5. No Follow Backlinks
The point of creating backlinks is to improve organic search ranking. A Dofollow backlink acts as a point towards your website.
A No Follow backlink includes an attribute rel=”nofollow” inside the HTML tag for the link. When added to a link it basically tells search engines not to count them. Knowing this piece of information, you’ll want to make sure that you’re paying for links that do not include this attribute. When a freelancer tries to sneak in a nofollow into the link it’s like a slap in the face.
However, if I know the site is very authoritative and a well known website, then I would still pay for the backlink or provide a free blog post for a No Follow backlink. Unfortunately these types of sites typically aren’t going to be found on Fiverr.
Fiverr freelancers that include the nofollow attribute to links are only benefiting from getting free content without providing any value to their customer. If they ask for more money or simply won’t change the link then I would just request a refund.
To check your link, right click on the link and select “Inspect” from the menu to make sure it doesn’t include this attribute to your paid link.
6. Post cannot be accessed through site navigation
This is one of the sneakiest tricks I’ve come across and actually quite common on Fiverr. Freelancers will offer a backlink or guest post on a website that is established and has a high DA score but will place your backlink on a rogue page that is not indexed anywhere on the website and would be invisible to Google crawlers.
For a link to carry any value it needs to be found by search engine spiders. Therefore having a link on a hidden page that isn’t part of a websites sitemap or navigation will provide zero SEO benefit and would be a total waste of money.
In a gig I ALMOST paid, the freelancer offered a guest post on a website that had a domain authority score of 72 and had content that was focused in the ‘home repair’ niche. The website had decent content and for $10 the backlink would’ve been a worthwhile purchase in my opinion.
If you pay for a guest post on a website make sure you can search for the blog you provided, featured in the blog category or overall navigable through the site menu.
What I found equally annoying from dealing with some freelancers trying to pull this dirty trick was they would try to resubmit work for approval without any changes.
7. Buying Link in Bulk & Private Domain Network
Private Blog Network’s (PBN) is a network of websites that operate on separate hosting, IP’s, have different backlink profiles and other ways that try to hide the fact that they are associated to one another and owned by the same person(s). This strategy has been known to be quite effective and was all the rage for a long time until Google started to crack down and penalize websites associated with PBN’s.
This method has is viewed as gray or black hat SEO according to Google and can come with a stiff penalty which can mean getting your site removed from search entirely.
Fiverr has several freelancers offering to post links on their Private Blog Network which essentially is a cluster of poorly made sites that are built on expired domains that previously had high domain authority to give the illusion they are authoritative sources. These sites are typically poorly designed, have poor or duplicate content, are on the same IP or hosting and overall just a recipe for disaster if you’re looking to improve your search rankings.
10 or 15 years ago buying backlinks might have had a pay off but today it’s just a terrible idea and even surprises me that this service is still offered today when it’s quite clear that it’s likely to have the opposite effects of what is promised by sellers. Software’s such as XRUMER would automatically spam links on forums and blog comments with your preferred anchor text. When Google launched the Penguin algorithm update years ago they cracked down on spammy link building tactics. Today, this is a surefire way of getting your website penalized.
Both methods mentioned above are extremely unnatural in Google’s eyes and should be avoided at all costs.
Buying backlinks on Fiverr can be beneficial for your website if they are posted on quality websites that are niche-relevant and authoritative.
The cost of buying backlinks on Fiverr vary from as little as $5 USD (closer to $10 if you’re Canadian) to hundreds of dollars. It’s important to audit the website where your link or guest post will be placed to make sure that you’re getting SEO value.
Having link diversity is good thing and you can certainly find valuable backlink opportunities on Fiverr but you need to be aware of the common scams or gigs that should ignored.
If you’re about to purchase from a freelancer be sure to take the following actions:
- Ask for the domain where the link or blog post will be placed
- Review the website content for quality and relevancy
- Check the domain authority score
- After the job is submitted for approval, check to amek sure the link doesn’t include the rel=”nofollow” attribute
- Make sure your guest post is accessible through the site navigation or sitemap
If you happen to come across one of these scams it’s important to report them to Fiverr support who are always willing to resolve these types of issues and provide a full refund.