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7 Link Building Services That Actually Work

Brian Dean

Written by Brian Dean

7 Link Building Services That Actually Work

Backlinks validate your site authority and ultimately boost organic traffic.

Link building can be complex. In fact, most website owners and SEO practitioners struggle to justify spending copious amounts of time and resources on this service.

I’ve made awful mistakes in this endeavor but you don’t have to follow a similar path.

Need high quality backlinks… but you’re too busy to build them yourself?

If so, you’re in the right place.

Because in today’s post, I will show you 7 link building services that work in 2024.

Link building services save you time to focus on other responsibilities by integrating tactics that bring quality backlinks to your domain.


Your link building strategy should always focus on quality not quantity. In fact, toxic backlinks hurt your SEO rather than boosting your domain authority.

That’s why we start by showing you some of the link building services you should not try unless you wish to jeopardize rankings and in some instances, get Google penalties which can be difficult to recover from.

Let’s jump right in…

First, 5 Link Building Services To Avoid At All Costs

Over the years I’ve tested 25+ different SEO service providers.

And most of them let me down.

(That’s why I decided to learn SEO on my own. But that’s another story. 🙂 )

As it turns out, there are a handful of link building services that simply do NOT work.

So before I share my favorites, let me quickly show you what to avoid.

Anything on Fiverr/Cheap Options

When it comes to SEO, Fiverr is a HUGE waste of money.

(As the old saying goes: “you get what you pay for”.)

And I should know.

I’ve bought 855 Fiverr gigs:

Fiverr – Completed orders

To be fair:

Not all these gigs were for SEO stuff. But most of them were.

In fact, looking back, most of the gigs I bought looked like this:

Fiverr link building gig

Some of these gigs worked OK back in the day.

But in 2024? They’re completely useless.

Moving right along…

Private Blog Networks (PBNs)

When I first got started with SEO, I loved private blog networks.

I even built my own PBN… and bought links from other people’s PBNs.

PBN seller

PBNs worked until 2017, when Google cracked down on them.

Seroundtable – Google algorithm update targets PBN

Not only does the algorithm now filter out most PBN backlinks…

…but Google also manually deindexes any network that gets on their radar screen.

(This means all of those links you just bought are now completely worthless.)


Paid Guest Posts

There’s a place for guest posting in a white hat SEO campaign.

(More on that later.)

But that doesn’t include paid guest post links.


Two reasons:

First, sites that require payment for guest post placements are usually shady.

Do you think a legit site (like TechCrunch or Mashable) would ask you to pay 50 bucks to publish your post?

Of course not.

Second, paid links go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines when it comes to link building.

Google Search Central – Link schemes

This means that paying for guest post “placements” or “editorial reviews” can get your site penalized.

This leads us to…

“Push Button” Backlinks

In other words:

  • Blog comments
  • Article directories
  • Web 2.0 sites
  • Directories

Basically: if you can buy 100+ backlinks with the push of a button, you’re buying spammy links.

(Spammy links that can do more harm than good.)

That’s why I recommend steering clear of most “link building packages”.

Last up, we have…

Press Releases

Press releases used to work GREAT for link building.

But those days are long gone.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop people offering “press release distribution” as some sort of SEO service:

Melbourne SEO services – Press release service

Today, most links in press releases are nofollowed:

Globe News Wire – News release – Nofollow link

Plus, Google has even come out and said that they “ignore” links in press releases:

Seroundtable – Google ignores press release links

Negative SEO links

Negative SEO refers to all activities aimed at decreasing your competitor’s organic traffic and site rankings on search engines. These activities include hacking, spamming the site with toxic backlinks, and content scraping.

While engaging in such activities is purely diabolical, site owners are encouraged to comply with Google’s webmaster guidelines to minimize the impact of any SEO attacks.

Additionally, habitually conduct a backlink audit of your site to weed out any toxic backlinks. It’s hard to point out negative SEO links if unnatural and spammy links exist.

With that out of the way, it’s time for the good stuff:

The 7 best link building services for 2024.

1. Featured

What It Is:

Featured is a platform that connects subject-matter experts with journalists and publishers to create quality, ready-to-publish Q&A content.

And if you become a source for their story, you can get a backlink to your site.

How it works:

First, register as a source on the Featured website:

When you do, you get access to a dashboard with “Questions”.

A question is a quote, statistic, strategy or case study that the journalist needs to finish their story.

All you need to do is reply to their query with something useable…

Brian – HARO reply

…and you have a good chance of getting featured.


Plans range from free to $199/month.

If you want to reply to the occasional query, go with the free plan.

But if you’re serious about getting placements, I recommend testing one of their paid plans.


Paid plans come with cool features… like early access to unlimited answers, editorial support, and domain rating filters.


  • You can get AMAZING links from popular news sites and blogs. For example, I got this link from Entrepreneur (Domain Authority 92) from a HARO query:
    Entrepreneur – Backlinko mention
  • Compared to most other link building services, Featured is dirt cheap (or even free).
  • The vast majority of links that you get are from legit sites. So you don’t need to worry about black hat links or Google penalties.
  • You can get started FAST (literally today).


  • Replying to Featured queries is a GRIND. If you want a chance to get featured on a big site, you need to stay on top of queries and reply right away.
  • No “set it and forget it” option. You or someone from your team needs to do all the legwork.
  • Most of the links you get from Featured will point to your homepage, like this:
    Forbes homepage backlink
    Which means this isn’t a great option for building links to internal pages (like services pages and blog posts).

2. Digital PR Agency

What It Is:

An agency focused on getting your company mentioned in the press.

How it works:

PR agencies usually work with you to create a newsworthy story that they can pitch to media outlets. The story can be your product (if it’s interesting enough) or something that you published on your site (like an industry study).


Most PR agencies work with a monthly retainer model.

PR agencies that work with small businesses tend to charge between $2k-$15k/month.

That said, there are PR pros that sell one-off packages, like press kits:

Press kit PR package


  • You can get some VERY high-quality backlinks. A successful PR campaign can land you links from household name sites, like Forbes and Fast Company.
  • They do all of the grunt work. Pitching journalists is no fun. Most agencies get their hands dirty so you don’t have to.
  • You tap into an existing network. Most PR firms have contacts at big sites that they can leverage for coverage.


  • Most PR firms don’t focus on links. So you might get a “mention” or “placement” on a big site… only to find that they didn’t link to you in the story:
    Backlinko mention in article
  • PR comes with no guarantees. You might be the toast of the town… or find yourself with a single link from a second-tier site.
  • Public relations is an EXPENSIVE process. PR firms usually charge 2-3x more than SEO agencies.

A more affordable option?

You can master this Digital PR approach after taking this free course that explains the strategy in detail.

3. Content Marketing Agencies

What It Is:

An agency that does one thing:

Produces content for your company blog.

How it works:

Content marketing agencies work one of two ways:

#1: Pay the agency a monthly fee… and they write a set number of articles per month.

This content can range from a handful of 500-word blog posts to a single piece of “WOW” content (like a 4,000-word definitive guide).

#2: Pay a set fee for a piece of content.

(For example, $2k for a single long-form blog post.)


Varies widely.

But most content marketing agencies charge at least $1k/month. Depending on scope, this figure can go all the way up to $20k+ per month.

Fixture Media – Coverage program

That said, you definitely get what you pay for. If your budget is $500 for 5 blog posts, don’t expect anything special.

That’s why I recommend working with agencies that focus on quality over quantity. That way, you can get the most out of your monthly investment.


  • Building links with content marketing can work REALLY well. In fact, most of the links that I’ve built to this blog have come directly from publishing great content.
    Backlink Checker – Backlinko
  • This is as white hat as it gets. There’s no need to worry about shady stuff that could get your site penalized in the long-term.
  • You get lots of “bonus” benefits from publishing awesome content… like traffic from social media and brand awareness.


  • Content marketing services ≠ SEO services. So if you need someone to do keyword research or on-page SEO, you’re out of luck.
  • Some content marketing agencies deliver mediocre “me too” content. If you want your content to stand out and get links, it needs to be AMAZING. Despite that, many content marketing agencies still offer worthless “10 blog posts per month” packages.
  • Your fee may or may not include content promotion. If not, you’ll need to get the word out yourself.

4. Blogger Outreach Services

What It Is:

An individual or agency that promotes your content using manual link building and blogger outreach.

How it works:

The agency does the dirty work of identifying bloggers to reach out to, finding their email addresses, contacting them, and following up.

(Some agencies also let you tap into their existing Rolodex of bloggers and editors.)


Most outreach-focused link building agencies charge a flat fee for every link that they build.

You can expect to pay around $200 for a single quality link.

Blogger outreach fees

That said, there are a handful of link builders that charge a monthly retainer or hourly fee.


  • If you ONLY want backlinks, this is probably the service for you.
  • Email outreach is a super white-hat approach to link building (assuming that you don’t spam people).
  • You tend to get quality, white-hat links. Google wants to see contextual links on related websites. And blogger outreach is one of the best ways to get these solid gold links.
  • You only pay for results. Sure, paying 200 bucks for a link may seem expensive. But at least you got SOMETHING for your effort. Most SEO companies and content agencies offer no such guarantee.


  • Most link building companies (like FatJoe) don’t offer comprehensive SEO services. So if you need full-scale SEO help, this isn’t a great option for you.
  • Shady providers add your link to one of their PBN websites and pass it off as “outreach”. Closely inspect your links to make sure they come from REAL websites.
  • You need to publish your own content. Bloggers aren’t going to link to crappy content (why would they?). This means you’ll need some high-quality content on your site BEFORE you start with outreach.

5. SEO Agency

What It Is:

A full-scale agency that handles all of your SEO needs… including link building.

How it works:

You hire the agency and they optimize your site for search engines. This usually includes some sort of link building component.


All over the map.

You can find discount SEO agencies out there for $200/month.

$200/month agency

Or you can go with an agency that works with Fortune 500 companies… and pay $20-$50k/month.

That said, most SEO agencies charge anywhere from $500 to $5k/month.


  • They take care of everything. No need to create content. Or find keywords. Just write your check, give them your URL, and you’re done.
  • Agencies do their work with your SEO goals in mind. For example, they’ll produce a piece of content design to get links… AND make sure that it’s optimized around your target keyword.


  • Most SEO agencies are useless (sad but true). They do some basic optimization… then charge you every month for mediocre content and links.
  • They’re not focused on links. Yup, most agencies build links. But they also do everything else required to rank in Google (mobile optimization, content, etc.). Which means: only a small % of your budget goes towards link building.

6. Guest Posting Services

What It Is:

You hire an agency to write and publish guest posts on your behalf.

(With a link back to your site.)

How it works:

Guest post services take care of the MANY steps involved in guest posting: finding sites that accept guest posts, making a pitch, talking to editors, writing the post… and ultimately getting the post published.

It’s a time-consuming process.


Most guest post services charge a flat fee per guest post, usually between $100 and $500 (depending on the Domain Authority of the site). For example, The Hoth charges $200 for a single DA 30 link:

The Hoth – Guest post link


  • You get legit links (kind of). Google doesn’t want you to build “large-scale” links from guest posts. However, in my experience, publishing a few guest posts on relevant sites is totally safe and can help give you a rankings boost.
  • A guest post on a big site in your niche can send you LOTS of referral traffic. For example, look at this spike in my site’s traffic after I published a guest post on the Buffer blog:
    Guest post traffic
  • Pay per link model. Just like with outreach services, you only pay when you get a guest post published.


  • Fake guest posts are a real problem. Some guest blogging services write a crappy guest post and publish it on a site in their PBN.
  • As I mentioned, Google doesn’t want you to see “large-scale” guest posting. So this approach isn’t scalable. If more than 5-10% of your link profile is made up of guest post links, you’re at risk of a penalty.

7. Infographic Design Company

What It Is:

A company that creates infographics or other forms of visual content.

(With the goal of getting backlinks.)

How it works:

Most infographic agencies take care of the entire process: coming up with a topic, finding data and designing the infographic.

Infographic agency services

But you can also hire a graphic designer to turn your content into an infographic.


For a full-service infographic service, you’re looking at $2k-$4k.

"Full-service infographic" service

If you just want your infographic designed, that’s around $1k-$2k.


  • Infographics don’t work as well as they used to… but they’re still a GREAT way to build backlinks.
  • No monthly retainer or ongoing commitment. In most cases, you pay per infographic.
  • It’s very hands off. You don’t need to be super-involved in the process.


  • Most infographic services don’t include promotion. So it’s on you to get the word out.
  • Infographics are very hit or miss. Some go viral. Others fall completely flat. Which means you may need to publish 2-3 infographics before your first big hit.


So those are the 7 link building services that I recommend.

As you saw, there are pros and cons to each.

That said:

These are definitely your best options.

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:

What’s your experience been with outsourcing link building?

Good? Bad? Somewhere in between?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.


  1. Hey Brian, you should give podcasting booking services a test…would be a great addition to this list!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Good call, Phil. I’ve been on a bunch of podcasts but haven’t tried a service. I might try one and update the post.

  2. Brian, I was reading this as both a customer and a provider of some of these services. You are right on the nose for what works and what doesn’t anymore (and I’ve tried them all) I need to use this as a guide! Thank you.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      You’re welcome, Wes. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  3. A lot of these are paid options. Are you able to point me in the right direction for how to do DIY link building well.

    Thanks Brian!

  4. Great Post Brian!

    I would suggest people to stay away from these “blogger outreach services”, all the 6 other options are fantastic suggestions though!

    The so-called “Blogger Outreach Services” don’t do Outreach by prospecting for pages on Google, finding their contact details and then reaching out.

    Instead, they have relationships with bloggers & Blogs (with little traffic) who they pay to insert a link in their existing posts. And if a blogger is willing to insert a link to whoever they ask for, you can guess how low the blog will be.

    Citation building services (for local business sites)is another good option!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Shaurya

  5. Love this post, Brian! That is why I started a company literally called Full Scale SEO to help with this exact process. Manual outreach is the only way to go. Finding broken links, outdated guides, promoting original skyscraper content, and making infographics have helped our clients a bunch.

  6. Really good post mate. My pet issue is when you work with these outreach services they are super expensive and at the end of the day it could still be a PBN. You don’t know. Do you have a set of rules you used to verify a good guest post link vs a BAD PBN?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks George. I usually go with he eyeball test 🙂

    1. George, a good way to determine if a site is part of a PBN is by how much traffic it’s getting. SEM Rush and other similar tools can help you with an estimate. PBN sites are rarely highly trafficked.

      1. Phoenix Avatar Phoenixsays:

        I so agree, Martin. I tend to trust organic traffic first and the number of ranking keywords, as well as trust metrics (Link Research Tools LRTTrust or Majestic TrustFlow). What level of traffic do you tend to consider “good enough”? I prefer over 1,000 visits a month, but if the DA or DR are mid-range like 20 to 40, then traffic over 400 or so may be okay, depending on the site and trust. What’s your cut-off?

  7. Hi Brian,
    Thank you very much for sharing such a valued article. I am not an SEO expert, but I love learning about SEO. I have learned most of it by reading your articles, and watching Videos.

    Would you please be able to let me know, other than guest posting, what is the best way to create high quality back links? As you have already mentioned above that creating a large scale of backlinks from guest posts isn’t too safe. So what other methods could we use. Looking forward to hear from you. Thank you

  8. Thanks Brian. I love your guides in general and backlink building has always been my weak spot when doing SEO. I have the on-site stuff down, but finding legit ways to build links without losing a ton of time has always been elusive to me. I’ve also tried various Fiverr gigs, even ones I carefully selected that looked for real, but only to temporary benefit. Luckily I mostly tested them on myself first and not clients, but ended up borking my rankings a bit doing it.

    I’ll give these suggestions a try.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Sounds good, Brian. Let me know how it goes.

  9. Hi Brian,
    Thanks for the valuable suggestions!
    I recently started with guest blogging outreach, however, even if the websites don’t mention about any service fee, it turns out they do when I email them. And yes, PBN site are a big big NO. Talking about HARO, I have started replying to niche markets and I haven’t had a luck, maybe because it is a free platform. What would be your take on e-commerce or fintech website, if I have to build links for them? Let’s say the website has more than 100,000 pages, where I have to build links for one of their product. What would be your recommendation on building links for a product?

  10. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for putting out this content. I’ve been dabbling in link building but now I really need to concentrate on it. Been watching your videos and just signed up to your newsletter!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Eric, you’re welcome. Happy to help.

  11. Hi Brian,

    Great Post!! You saved me, I was looking for a company who can build back links from my business website and fortunately I landed on your page and believe me I read it full. Now, I finally decided to do it slow and sturdy to win the race. I will follow all your 7 ways.

    Can you refer me some resource who can find bad backlink profile and can help us remove from Google. I mean the link which is not good for my site and spoiling my rank on Google. So I can remove them. Please send me list or a helpfull free link if possible. Many Thanks!!!

  12. Thanks, Brian! Very Indepth! All very new to me. Trying to get a small landscaping company off the ground in a small market so should be hard to rank as I understand so wondering which one of these fits my profile of need. Also, would prefer to steer clear of monthly payments if at all possible!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Happy to help, Adam.

  13. Thanks Brian, We have tried all of the above and agree with your ‘Avoid at all costs’ section. It is good to warn people, especially about Fiverr. The phrase, ‘you get what you pay for’ hardly covers the sorts of problems that you can get yourself into with Google if you buy into pyramid linking schemes! I’m convinced the production of good content is the key to success. It may take a while, but consistently producing interesting and informative articles does, eventually, have a positive impact.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Well said, Clive. I couldn’t agree more.

  14. Hi Brian,

    Awesome Post! I am confused why you did not mention Scholarship Link Building and Broken Link building strategies in this post?

    Do these two strategies still work in 2019?

  15. Thanks, Brian. Great article! Like Usman, we have had success with scholarships for our trophy business. The interesting thing about it was that we weren’t doing it for the links. It was just a nice, natural by-product that caught us by surprise!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Very cool, Neil! A lot of the times the best link building strategies are most of a byproduct of just doing cool stuff.

  16. Good article Brian. I also see you updated it for 2019. Which brings up another point… what works today may not work tomorrow unless 100% white-hat. In all my years doing SEO I think link-building has been the most difficult and tedious piece of the puzzle. We are always looking for a faster way lol. I have seen many strategies come and go including all of the black-hat stuff. Long gone are the days of “he who has the most back-links wins”. These days it really comes down to creating your own unique, insightful, and quality content while building a genuine, engaged community which interacts with your website and each other. Unfortunately. this takes time (and money if you are outsourcing). There really are no shortcuts if you are in it for the long term.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Well said, Jeff. I couldn’t agree more.

  17. Hi Brian, I appreciate this article, but I would of liked to see more specific businesses and their services mentioned. Though this article gives me an overview of objective services I can use, it doesn’t actually name any businesses you’ve tried and recommend–who I could go hire. Nonetheless it helps me focus my energies a little more, but now I’m off to go do another search.

    Kind regards,
    Lewi Glenis

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Lewi. Good suggestion there.

  18. You mentioned SEOJuice as an SEO agency. They claim guarantee to get you on page 1 of google within 3 months; is that someone that you would recommend?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Where do I mention them?

      1. 4. SEO Agency, the graphic following cost

        1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

          Ahhh OK. I see what you mean. I’m not recommending them or not recommending them. Just using their pricing as an example.

  19. Excellent article Brian. Good to hear that PBNs and other grey-hat strategies are falling by the wayside. Pity for the poor customers who hired seo companies that used these tactics.
    I had a client who had an entire page dedicated to what she felt were the best services in her area for her scope of work (she was a realtor). So I reached out to each service she had on her webpage to link back to her. This worked a treat.
    I wanted to ask your opinion on 301 redirects both within your own website and from other sites?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Richard. Nothing beats old fashioned outreach! As long as they’re setup correctly, 301 redirects tend to work well.

  20. Hey Brian, good to meet you!

    Great blog. I have just started a blog and now have the bug – DA bug and want guest links bad. Im at the starting edge but the good thing is I write quality content everyday, like yourself.

    Well, you have a huge blog. Thanks for the HARO tip, thats huge, I just signed up with them.

    Can you recommend a legit and cheap agency to get guest post links from?

    Awesome job, keep up the great content!

    P.S if you have any recommendations for my site, I would love to hear it! 🙂

  21. Brian, your tip about needing quality content on your site before attempting blogger outreach is spot on. Often times, we get inquiries at OutreachMama for links to commercial pages and real bloggers just aren’t interested in linking to such content. On the other hand, if it’s a genuinely good article, sites that have high traffic and relevance are much more open to the link.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:


    1. Franco Avatar Francosays:

      So what is your objection to clients who specifically want to target money pages, do you always go straight to quality content? To me, it seems there’s no other way but that.

  22. Brain, thanks for the information. Can you suggest a new website should ever buy links? Though we are investing good money in content creation, what do you recommend?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      That’s a decision only you can make based on your risk tolerance. I personally don’t recommend buying links though. To me, it’s not worth the risk.

  23. Hey Brian, do you think anything has changed now in mid-2019? I work for a well-known SEO agency and it seems like much hasn’t but I’d love to get your thoughts or an updated opinion.

  24. How does a small company go about getting backlinks when they can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars each month. What if they also don’t have any technical skills to do it on their own? Ask for a friend, lol.

  25. Thanks for this blog post. I learned a bunch. Many things I want to follow up on. Great, advise. Have used HARO a few times in the early days. It really works well if you get noticed.

  26. Again Brian with his amazing SEO concept. I tried Hoth links outreach, it’s fine but a bit expensive. Doing outreach yourself is also a good option if you know what you’re doing.
    What about broken link building? Do you think, links from existing content still worth doing?

  27. Hey Brian Dean

    What strategies I can follow in 2019 for ranking a e-Commerce website?

  28. Haider Ali Avatar Haider Alisays:

    Hi Brian what is your opinion about post Syndication?

  29. Hi Brian.
    I tried different types of link building services, it worked very well till 2014-15 after that google almost removed my results (I was getting number 1 and number 2 for many keywords). I am a one-man for all digital marketing for my company, what you will suggest getting good results?

  30. Guest posting is the best way to build links in 2019.

  31. You have to carefully vet these guest post companies to make sure they use blogs with legitimate traffic. I am finding out that PBNs are far too often relied upon by these services. However, PBNs still provide many websites link juice without penalties, especially if they are a minor fraction of a backlink profile.

    1. Hello JM,
      Your comment is interesting. Can you please share more details about what “especially if they are a minor fraction of a backlink profile” would possibly mean?

      1. Yes, I did not mean to say toxic backlinks are innocuous. It’s just that search engines understand that all mega successful websites will have a certain percentage of toxicity. It’s just bound to happen with the randomness online. One way to get out of a penalty is to build your way out by having a better distribution of backlinks. So distribution matters – not purity.

  32. Hey Brian,

    What are your thoughts on niche edits? I think as long as it’s a quality website that isn’t a blatant PBN then they’re helpful, but I want to hear your thoughts. Thanks for all you do!

  33. Hi Bryan. Great article. I was looking for the link building services and have stumbled upon your article. IMHO, manual outreach is the only authentic way ahead for building links and somehow it is a frustrating job when you don’t get replies. Do you have any suggestions for eComm based SEO?


  34. Great post Brian, as always. I will test some of these suggestions. About Press Releases being useless-I am not sure that I agree with you on that. We have been buying PRs on a very industry-focused thought tank group (for $250 each) and these get us good buzz in the industry. We are seeing high quality traffic from these links. They certainly don’t harm SEO and I believe that they help. Who can say for sure?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hey David, thank you. You have a point there: “useless” might be a strong word. As I write here, I think that press releases have merit for SEO and for traffic in general:

  35. Thank you for your information Brian. It really helps, I was spending a lot of money on SEO companies but now I do them on my own :).

  36. Hi Brian,
    great article. I always read not to buy thousands of low-cost links, but by observing competitors, they buy thousands of links and use scrapeboxes, and Google seems to favor them, despite their content being 700 words on average. They acquire authority with ease. I have analyzed a competitor with more than 1 million links, very cheap, but it is first on Google. I believe that SEO is now just building useful content for the user. Better 10 good users who convert that 1000 visits on a page with 90% bounce rate. Every have we find ourselves saying don’t do this and don’t buy this, but every year SEO becomes more and more expensive.

  37. Hi Brian,
    Just came across this article and found it confirms my suspicions on some of the link building areas to avoid.
    Great article and gives some new areas to consider.

  38. Darius Avatar Dariussays:

    Jesus so poorly written article.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Can’t please everybody 🤷

  39. I was actually looking for a company to help me with my backlinks (too time-consuming to do it on my own) when I came upon this article. What I have noticed being developed over time, is that the search rankings are now being skewed towards those with a big budget. Indeed, all the strategies listed as currently working will not work for those on a small budget.

    Thanks for these tips though. Good to know what is NOT working anymore, but even more painful to know the high cost of what is working.

  40. I love HARO! It can be frustrating when you submit yourself to some of them that you are sure you can be an expert in, and you really think it would be a perfect fit, only to never hear back. But when you do get one, it is usually great!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Yup! It’s quite a rush when it works.

  41. I tried HARO long time back but got no success. Let me try to do it again. Seems it worth more than other 6 link building techniques.

  42. You mentioned FatJoe in your article above. Is this a backlinking service you would actually recommend?

  43. Hey Brian!
    Bought PBN services from many websites and it didn’t work for us. We’re experimenting with others and great post once again!

  44. Fab article Brian! Definitely can recommend the blogger outreach methodology – it always seems to move the needle for us and feels super white-hat.

    We’ve also had some success with HARO but it can take weeks or months before articles are completed so it definitely requires some patience and persistence!

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks James. For sure: HARO is a grind + long game. But can be absolutely worth it.

  45. As always awesome post Brian. I have been focusing on writing good quality content from a personal perspective and got great traction with link building secondary. About to jump into HARO as been hearing this is the way to go, especially if building a brand. Have always been reluctant to outsource this aspect of the business though but found hiring personally with solid SOPs the way forward.
    One thing that I am curious about is how to reach out to the likes of Forbes and BI. Is it as simply as pitching your idea/business? Or is there a tried and tested process for this?
    Cheers, Adam

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Nice. The short answer to your question is PR. That’s the key to unlocking those mega sites.

  46. Hi Brian – Enjoyed reading this and it has validated some of my thoughts, I had been looking at Fatjow and SEO Juice, so interesting that they appear in your list! I’ll keep checking in on your site….

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Thanks Jon 👍👍👍

  47. It all makes perfect sense and I’m glad to see that those older techniques are confirmed dead.

    One thing that hasn’t changed though is that it’s choice between putting in all the time and effort yourself or paying someone else to do it for you.

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Well said, Ben.

  48. Good overall guidance, and makes me very reluctant about trying link building agencies! As others also mention though, most of the link building services require big budgets. Having a small company I struggle finding affordable ways that is worthwhile time and money.

  49. Great list, generally agreeable for most white hat practitioners. I’d add that unlinked mentions from PR efforts are still well-worth the price. The true nature of PR is to raise brand awareness, and that contributes directly to business-critical KPIs.

  50. How can you have a positive ROI with such SEO services? You recommend only services that cost a lot of money for what they deliver. Very expensive content, very expensive guest posts, very expensive everything… How are you supposed to make the money back?

    1. Brian Dean Avatar Brian Deansays:

      Hi Harry, in my experience, you get what you pay for.

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