Imagine the scenario. It’s 2004. The Internet just started becoming a global thing. You’ve just built something called an online business.
As an early adopter, you’re in the position to understand the market better than most others do. The key to start getting those sales is to rank high on search engines.
Fortunately, you know what to do. All you need to do is find a link building agency and buy a few of those link building packages.
Get links => get rankings => get profit. The future is bright.
Or is it?
The word spreads fast on the Internet. What’s accessible to one is usually accessible to many.
Although rightfully stigmatized today, the quantity of backlinks was at least equally important as quality. The era of spamming the Internet with irrelevant content and links began.
Google didn’t like that so it started changing its ranking algorithm.
From the backlinks perspective, this resulted in a constant narrowing down of what acceptable and beneficial backlink criteria should be.
On one side, there was an ideal backlink that was built organically on a relevant, authoritative site, within quality content that adds value. On the other end, we have a backlink built artificially, often using bots and ‘brute force’ on sites with low or no value, topically irrelevant, and without any context.
Everything in between was a vast jungle of various backlink types, all kinds of SEO services often sold in the form of pre-made packages.
The problem with link building packages
Fast forward to 2022, the times have changed.
Most low-effort and low-quality backlinks not only won’t help your site, they might even hurt it.
The fun fact is, however, that SEO companies still sell poor and shady backlinks – and they often do it in the forms of predefined link building packages, which often look something like this:
DISCLAIMER: Not all companies that offer link building services in the form of packages build crappy backlinks. But a lot of them do. Check out our list below to understand why.
It’s convenient, one might think, to acquire links this way. Surely these SEO companies know what they’re doing.
It might be convenient, but it’s far from the best approach if you want to be serious about your search engine rankings in 2022 and beyond.
Here are nine reasons why.
1. Backlinks from SEO link building packages are often mediocre at best
When setting up a link building campaign, we always try to develop a strategy based on the specifics of the industry and the client we’re building links for.
The initial state of their backlink portfolio and the goals set will define the pace we want to take. The audience we target will define how in-depth our content will be. You’ll also probably want to neutralize any potential competitors’ advantage by landing those few backlinks from relevant publications they have links from and you don’t.
A personalized approach includes all that and much more. With premade link building packages you often end up with links that might have worked in 2004, but not today.
2. Lack of strategy and flexibility
Do you have a link building strategy you’re confident in? If so, kudos to you. However, many businesses do not. At best, they have a few pages they want to see “rank better”.
But are those the right pages to focus on? Which anchors should be used to link to those pages? Are they properly optimized for specific keywords? In the end, do those pages have what it takes to rank in the top 3 positions in SERPs?
Two out of three clients that come to Point Visible adjust their strategy and content based on our recommendations because they are not able to answer the above questions. And that is completely fine. After all, we are the experts and this is something you should get with a quality link building service.
If you opt for one of those link building packages, more often than not, you will get X questionable links in the select Domain Authority range. Nothing more, nothing less.
Is that going to bring you the results you are looking for? Maybe, if you have a good strategy and know exactly what you need.
The truth is that most brands need help beyond just getting links. They need a partner who has their best interests at heart and can steer them towards long-term success.
3. Authority is not being built
SEO and link building work best when done with a great deal of personalization. When building links through premade packages, you can miss out on the opportunities that are really relevant in the industry.
Oftentimes, you’ll get links on generic sites without real connection to the vertical your business is in. Even if those links are not spammy, they won’t be a strong signal to Google.
4. Brand awareness is not being spread
Links are important, sure, but there’s a lot of other things that matter when building an online business. Links are speaking with the Google algorithm, but your audience is human.
By building links on the right publications, you’re not only telling Google your site matters, real people from your target audience group will gradually start noticing your brand as well.
When getting links through various link building packages you’re missing this element completely as you’re getting mentioned on irrelevant sites or your content doesn’t even get published under your name and brand.
5. There is higher risk involved
The search engine rankings you get through SEO and link building are usually the bread and butter of your online business. They bring relevant, search intent based traffic to your site. Consequently, rankings bring organic leads and sales.
Imagine working on those rankings for years, investing in links among other things, only to wake up one day and realize your traffic went to zero overnight.
These things happen more often than you might think. It’s called Google penalization or, lately, nullifying. It’s a notorious Google’s way of fighting link spam.
Building links on real sites means discussing with real people, AKA editors on those sites. Most of them have a strict review process which takes time and requires a personalized approach.
Links acquired through constricting SEO link building packages are more prone to the penalization due to the fact that there is a lot less personalization involved. Without personalization, one can only target lower quality sites that do not have strict editorial processes. Such generic links violate multiple guidelines, which makes them more vulnerable to penalization/nullifying.
6. Your reputation is on the line
When the above happens, ranking lost is not the only bad thing to worry about. Your reputation is also on the line.
The fact is you’ve been caught in a dark alley doing shady business. This can lower the trust in your brand but also position your brand in the ‘cheap’ basket. Once destroyed, reputation can be hard to recover.
7. Link building services packages often fail to build brand trust
Building links through personalized outreach is more expensive. There is a good reason for that – it takes a lot more time to execute and often includes the use of expensive SEO and outreach tools.
However, the benefits that come with the personalized approach are worth it – and we are not talking only about the SEO value of the backlink.
Every industry has their expert publications followed by the decision makers in the field. Getting in front of their eyes through controlled content is making them build a positive association with your brand. And when it comes to the decision making time, brand trust plays a very important role.
8. Competitors will steal your gains
At this point, it’s probably clear that a personalized approach to link building is superior to fixed packages.
However, the lower cost of an average link building package is still very alluring for many businesses. Costs need to be under control and, in the end, no one has an unlimited marketing budget.
But saving money on something as important as backlinks or content – which directly affect your organic traffic, leads, and sales – may not be the smartest decision.
There are winners and losers for every keyword someone types into Google search. Beside the quality of the content and on-page optimization, the real difference maker are the types of backlinks you have.
To position your brand as a winner for a specific keyword, you need to build a good infrastructure for that keyword. Prepackaged links are not the foundation you are looking for.
If you don’t seize this opportunity, one of your competitors will.
9. Higher long-term marketing costs
Stealing market share takes more time than winning it in the first place. If your SEO efforts are serious and not only a side project you can afford to fail with, you might want to include that in your business plan.
Link building packages are by definition against Google’s guidelines. Starting your online marketing efforts based on the approach Google doesn’t favor is a huge financial risk. You’re investing into something you don’t control at all, and the side that controls it is one of the largest corporations on the planet.
Just consider how expensive it would be to get penalized and be forced to (re)build your backlink profile from scratch.
Even if that doesn’t happen, low-quality backlinks with inconsistent link building strategy will not give you the authority you are looking for. To increase organic traffic, you have to invest resources in getting high-quality backlinks based on a sound strategy.
So why not do it the right way on your first try?
The solution is personalized outreach
Link building campaigns in 2022 shouldn’t be just about links. If they are, you’re already on the wrong track. Backlinks are important, but there are other important reasons to invest into content and link building:
- Increase brand awareness
- Build brand trust
- Develop relationships with editors and influencers in your industry
- Get more referral traffic
- Ensure sustainable business growth
Personalized, outreach-based link building does all that and builds a solid foundation for any online venture. The links built this way become long-term assets that will help your rank on search engines, but also testify about your values for years to come.