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Attention All Newbies/People Struggling: The Truth of SEO

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by jb2008, Aug 20, 2012.

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  1. jb2008

    jb2008 Senior Member

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    Preface:

    The following set of posts was made by me in the Jr VIP section, on the issue of SEO services. I am posting in the Black Hat SEO section with the kind permission of BigBuddy, because I am tired of newbies (as I once was) getting sold the false dream of SEO and losing all their money to SEO services. I know how it feels to be new and lost in SEO, and if I hadn't got some merciful guidance from some talented BH SEO dudes who opened my eyes, I would probably be making $0 today. Still, I was in two minds as to whether to post, even though I had permission, because I did not want to cause trouble (in particular SEO service providers will not like the post). However I saw Ranko Jones' recent thread about "losing the will to live" and it reminds me of the PMs I receive from newbies asking me what they should do in SEO now, saying that they paid X person to do Y service and person G for H service and now they are broke. For every post describing success in IM as a result of selling SEO services, there are 100 newbies left broke. This is not "blackhat SEO", which is gaming Google (= morally sound). In my eyes, black hat doesn't equal unethical. The unethical part comes from deceiving eachother and making newbies broke. If that continues, Google will forever win and the community will crumble into a place like other forums whose main purpose is to separate gullible newbies from their cash. SEO service providers realise that they cannot successfully (read: profitably) game Google, so they turn on their fellow members, the newbies who come here hoping to learn how to do SEO properly and be successful. This is wrong and must stop.

    I must also make it clear I am NOT entirely opposed to people buying products and tools (for example Xrumer, hrefer, SpinChimp and hostamus VPS have been great for me) but this post applies to cases where services are so expensive that it will be impossible for you to make a profit. Capitalizing on the lack of knowledge of newbies is wrong and causes posts

    If you don't like what I have to say, please keep it respectful. This was the condition imposed by BigBuddy (i.e. no flaming). This thread is NOT intended to flame anyone, it is meant to help newbies, not to flame any particular SEO service provider. This is supposed to be BHW where people with no knowledge of SEO come to learn and become successful with it, not as a place to make them even more broke than they already are. I would like to see this restored, and it personally gives me a great satisfaction when I read posts (albeit rare nowadays) about black hat SEO practitioners who have successfully gamed G's algorithms through their own hard work and ingenuity, and profited greatly from it. That's what this forum should make out of its members, it should not make people broke and depressed like Ranko with whom I've had a lot of correspondence since the time when I was quite new to SEO as well.

    The posts were not made consecutively so they may look quite disjointed. But together they form the truth of SEO, so stick in there throughout the wall of text and if you're a newbie, you will save yourself thousands.
     
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  2. jb2008

    jb2008 Senior Member

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    Post #1

    The reason for so many services popping up is because people have realised that there is a huge ROI to offering SEO services. Instead of earning X amount of money trying to rank your own sites (or perhaps losing money after costs are factored in), you can now make many times your potential profit if you just peddle the SEO as a service instead. What's more, payment is instant instead of waiting for G to rank your site. It is sad, yes, but it kinda makes business sense as well. The vast majority of people who buy the services have to be losing money, because unless those services are responsible for ranking of one keyword (most services only offer 1 URL and 1-2 keywords) that generate hundreds of dollars, or even thousands, then there is negative ROI. Doing SEO myself on my own sites, I think SEO services in general are overpriced in astronomical proportions. On BHW, they are not as terribly priced as some local company which has an office, secretaries and other overheads, but services are anywhere from 300-1000%+ of what I personally would be prepared to pay for them. I rank my own sites with $50 budget, that's around 10 URLs with around 1-3 keywords each. If I bought that on a BST it would run me at least $1000. This is BHW, an SEO site; people should be learning to rank sites as cheaply and effectively as possible by THEMSELVES. Not hiring someone else to do it and expecting a giant payday if that one keyword you paid $300 to rank ever manages to make it near the top. Please use common sense: If those services were that profitable, the owners would be keeping their strategies and services to themselves and use them to rank exclusively on their OWN sites. I don't have anything against SEO service providers personally but I think it's an area with a lot of scamming and a LOT of grey area as to what actually constitutes a scam. For example, a naive buyer pays $100 for some service targeting 1 URL, 1 keyword. The SEO service provider completes the service and provides a report, it costs them $20 to complete and they pocket the $80 profit. The service provider would argue that the service was completed as specified. The ridiculous markup, in my opinion, borders on scamming where the naive dreams of newbies are capitalized on. Fools here are separated from their money; the mods/admins are supposed to try their best to protect against this, but what really can they do? Guaranteed rankings for X money, although controversial in the SEO community, would at least make the service providers sweat a bit and put their money where their mouth is, but with the whims of G that's not entirely fair. No less fair than the current situation for buyers in many cases, however.

    People inherently don't want to work hard for anything. Manual work is seen as abhorrent and primitive in the eyes of many newbie to BHW and fantastic automated tools such as Scrapebox. I use Xrumer for a lot of my link building, but it is a custom built setup which has required many months of hard, mind numbing toil. It's much easier to create a slick looking sales page and sell services targeting 1 URL for $200 with the promise of fantastic results. Newbies don't want to see the cold, hard reality and so they are quickly separated from their money by the many SEO service providers who have realised that fact. They have also understood that WF, the WF, DP or elsewhere have their members coming to BHW as well, being now completely mainstream and less of an underground forum.

    My opinion on SEO is that the scamming, overpricing has to stop. On this forum there should be more of a focus on directing newbies as to a few of the fundamental truths of trying to make it in performing SEO on your own sites, rather than cashing in on their naive hopes and dreams by selling them services every 2 minutes. This should be more of a self-education rather than commercial forum. I have been privileged to come across a tiny handful of members, who in fact no longer seem to post here, who sent me in the right direction as far as my own pursuits in SEO. I fear the current situation of selling overpriced services to the masses is doing nothing to help the experience and education of the general visitor to this forum, and is only lining the pockets of the high volume service providers on here, many of whom are prominent names on this board.

    I quite often receive PMs from newbies who tell me they have bought X, Y or Z service, but saw little to no results, and basically lost most of their money, and are asking me what to do. Most of the time I do reply because I feel sorry for these dudes. I have had my fair share of mistakes in my past, it's not a crime to be gullible, they do have some resposibility for their own affairs but also those service providers as well as mods/admins who know better and know the reality of SEO should also prevent this kind of thing from happening.
     
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  3. jb2008

    jb2008 Senior Member

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    Post #2

    Ranking 1 keyword/URL for $200 is ridiculous, in my opinion. I would be very curious to see how much profit you get out of that, it must be quite substantial. I pay around 5 bucks absolute tops.

    You mention about the staying on your toes and constant updates, etc. But by providing a service and not having your own sites, you could provide SEO services, bank $50k from it, then G update comes out and all your customers' sites get wiped out. Your customers have had their incomes wiped out but you still have the money as you are not dependent on the algorithm in real time.

    You will have time to adjust for the new algorithm, and if you can't find a successful solution, yes, eventually, your business will die. But you don't have the chance of losing your investment, and you could probably get away with saying your service is X update proof or whatever, for a few months while you bank some more, or until you find a successful solution.

    I reiterate, if your ranking strategies were so powerful and profitable on a per dollar basis, then you should be able to make big money ranking sites yourself. But instead you charge $200 - so the answer must be that there is some difference between the actual profit you could make if you did SEO on your own sites, vs doing SEO on other people's sites. In many cases this will be a huge difference, the difference between a loss making and a profitable business. This (often large) difference is met by naive buyers who are mostly lost and have no clue about SEO. In a way it is feeding on their stupidity, i.e. that you need to pay $200 to rank your average keyword. We could blame them for their stupidity, exploit them and make money from them, and become like X Y or Z, or at least try to help them. Selling products or services is not bad, that is not what I am saying, but at a reasonable price which allows the buyer to recuperate the investment quickly and helps him/her on his/her way to success. Sometimes a product can be kickass, for example, I paid $590 for Xrumer+hrefer but it was worth it to me quite easily. In order for this place to be different from what the original thread title infers, I think more of a consideration to these naive people should be given. A good help would be some kind of sticky thread listing all the considerations (due diligence, as mentioned above, and by Big Buddy as well) that the buyer should make BEFORE purchasing any kind of SEO service. I would be glad to help with that if moderators want any input. Mainly talking about learning SEO as opposed to lazily blowing all their money as they don't know any better, ROI (vital in any business), and reasonable prices for keywords/URLs based on projected earnings of their site. E.g. If you have an adsense site, $1 CPC which gets you ~$0.50 per click, a keyword has 5000 exacts per month and you get to #2 (a good result). Let's say you get around 1000 visitors per month from that keyword. You get a very good 10% CTR. So, 100 clicks per month. 100 x $0.50 = $50 per month. These are figures which are realistic and a lot of people should be able to relate to. It will take 4 months before that keyword even sees any profit. Assuming every time you need to rank a keyword you pay 100-200 bucks for it. The 4 months before profitability will still remain the same. And in SEO terms, 4 months is a long time, especially with the aggressiveness of Google of late. You need to bank on it staying stable for 4 months until you even see any profit. I am factoring out (aged) domain, hosting and design of the site itself (which actually constitutes half of my total site+10 URL ranking cost of $100). THIS is the precise reason why, with no disrespect intended (As it does make sense), SEO providers are choosing to offer services rather than run the gauntlet of being at the whims of Google's algorithm and the long wait for profitability. You would have to have some SHIT HOT, extremely high converting, high payout product/offer to make $200 work in any realistic shape or form. And again, with respect, I believe that all SEO service providers (the biggest, most established ones more than any, since they need to be meticulous with their process and costs) know this glaring fact all too well. However, if they do what I personally believe to be the 'right' thing and let the buyer know the traffic+conversions requirements to make $200 per URL profitable within a reasonable time (not more than a month), and before they purchase they should inform the buyer that if they can't meet these requirements they are far, far more likely to lose money rather than gain any, yes, even in the event of a successful first page organic results placement. But of course, if service providers did this then they would not get any sales!

    I can't blame any of the service providers really, there are so many popping up because it's just so damn profitable to jack up prices by 500% over what could be considered realistically profitable, taking into account the ever dynamic SEO environment, rather than choosing to modify tools and generate content, the vastly increased chance of failure and all the black hat craziness that goes with reducing costs to a bare minimum. While I do maintain that there are actually some genuinely golden WSOs out there (no, really), that form and the other one have both become so busy because of the gullibility and desperation of newbies to make money online. They see SEO as "free" traffic so then they pay $200 per URL to get it. Taking candy from a baby is much easier than taking candy from Matt Cutts (he likes to eat a lot if you hadn't noticed).

    Oh well, at least I can use the search function to see some of the awesome posts of old, by the guys I mentioned who no longer post here. This was once a very niche forum, for BH SEO , but has now become mainstream and with it will come the masses of newbies and masses of SEO service providers from various countries all over the world looking to capitalize on this juicy traffic. I would love to have discussions about advanced BH SEO stuff, you know the kind of jedi russian shit, but unfortunately the blackest it gets nowadays is how to REMOVE one's links using Xrumer. :-O Even if he made a lot less than leading SEO providers, I still respect guys like Expertpeon, who are some of the few BHers posting on here doing exceptional things in manipulating the search engines for himself. That's what I think this place should be about but maybe I'm being too idealistic, maybe with the increasing traffic and people spilling over from WF/the WF/DP etc., this was always going to happen.
     
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  4. jb2008

    jb2008 Senior Member

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    Post #3

    I don't purchase any SEO service. I do it myself using custom Xrumer setup and some heavy hitting manual submissions. Most of SEO cost is attributed to domain, hosting, VPS and captchas. You have to be meticulous and serious about cost cutting. The answer to success in SEO is efficiency: cost cutting via automation and where it cannot be automated, becoming as fast and effective as possible. Cost cutting. Cost cutting. Repeat that 50 times. Then make a plan to do it, chisel away at your costs. Optimize , just as people would optimize a PPC campaign by cutting losers, constantly reducing cost.

    The opposite of this (i.e. the way to fail) is to go to any SEO service and pay $200 for them to rank 1 URL. If you have 10 URLs in your site, are you gonna pay 2 grand to do that or what? I've seen the results of many SEO companies and they are just like (Crappy) robots doing repetitive jobs without any thought as to what works and what does not. Then they charge you hundreds or even thousands of dollars every month to do that. I can get 10x better results with a measly 50 bucks. That's not boasting, it's what you can do if you cost cut like a steam train, be relentless with that shit, you can bet your ass Matt cunts and his cronies ain't sleeping... If they charge you $500, can your site make that back? If not, it's too expensive, so back to the drawing board. As a general rule, though it may be a generalizaton, it is pretty darn accurate -- SEO services are too expensive so don't consider them. You need to learn to rely on yourself and yourself only. Because the cold hard reality of the world is no one is going to help you in substantial amounts. From every single direction, people and companies want to take your money, they don't give two shits about you. Google want your money and don't care if they fuck you in the ass. Ebay don't give a shit about you. Your accountants don't give a shit about you, they may save you money but if you don't give them fees forget about it. SEO providers don't give a fuck about your success -- if they did, they would advise the 99% of their clients who are highly unlikely to recoup their investment on that particular service, that their service is not the right choice for them as you would lose money. Ultimately, if you're lazy/gullible there will always be a queue of SEO services that will gladly separate you from your cash. So you have to go to the only person who cares about your own IM success - your god damn SELF. First of all, BHW should not allow any SEO service which does not have their fellow member's ROI and profits at heart. They call white hat 'ethical' SEO but it is in fact anything but. In my opinion, ethical SEO is whatever fucks Google in the a-hole and gives the little guy a chance to get a foot in the door, and an ethical SEO service has to have the interests of this little guy at heart, however naive he may be. How many services can you see that do that? Pretty much none, so by default, even if BHW does not take action against SEO services, don't worry about it, just ignore that entire section. Ignore it. Do it yourself and cut 95% of the cost away. Fail and go through the pain. When your brain hurts at the end of the day because you are trying to compute your way out of problems, failure and you're trying new, innovative ideas, even if you're failing, as long as you take note of your mistakes and learn from them by trial and error, eventually you will succeed and you will grow. This is ultimately what BHW should be about. It has been for me but I used the search function a lot for posts back in 2009 and stuff. And even then, I took a general idea that someone mentioned, and I went away and tested, planned, failed and made my own things, twists, worked my ass off. Providing SEO services here, is against all that this forum should represent; it inspires laziness, it attracts and fleeces poor newbies who have absolutely no concept of ROI whatsoever (i.e. if you think of ROI automatically when you do PPC in prosper202, why don't you look at ROI for your SEO as well?). This should be a place for stretching the mind, gathering thoughts in these most pressing of times, with Matt cunts on the rampage, on the forums we're rarely touching upon new thoughts or concepts beyond 'diversify your anchor text' (btw, didn't work for me), instead members who are clued up about ROI (consciously or subconsciously by choosing to provide the service vs keeping methods secret and doing SEO on their own sites) are choosing to profit from this instead of tell the truth. Even fiverr sellers who sell SB blasts (it must be a really tedious job, btw) know that mass direct SB blasts can often do more harm than good these days, and they just don't work. Same with AMR. So they opt to take 4 bucks per blast. The buyer most likely won't even make 4 bucks back as a result of that blast, and the seller knows it. But that's peanuts compared to $200 a pop. $200 per URL is , for me, crazy talk. Yet I've seen this widespread here and it's actually a lot cheaper than what US SEO companies provide. Some of the prices are simply incredible! Due diligence people, keep cost and ROI on the front of your mind ALWAYS.

    Even myself, I can give all these general points which will save you many thousands if you take it on board, but I can't/won't spoon feed anyone. If you spoon feed, people don't appreciate it anyway. Self reliance is a wonderful skill that can be applied in almost all other areas of life, being inquisitive, learning by yourself, trial and error, working your own way around problems etc. The lazy and unhealthy and ultimately destructive way is to turn your brain off, pay someone $200, and hope for your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If it were that easy, we would all be rich.

    /rant over, I'm off to blast with my own custom bot that requires an ice pack under my laptop, good times. No I'm kidding, I can't wait to get out of SEO. I hope this helps at least someone anyways.

    (The End)
     
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  5. Leith

    Leith Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    You raise some fair points but one thing I was curious on was:

    I haven't read all your posts so maybe you answer it in one of them but Id like an answer to this here. How do you get a good service that ranks your keyword for $5?
     
  6. HostStage

    HostStage Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member UnGagged Attendee

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    I didn't read through the wall of text especially when i agree with the first lines.

    No you can't rank a website with 1 service neither a service would provide a customized solution for your SEO plan. When you order a service you should know why you do it, the timing of it and why you are choosing those kind of backlinks. I'm not getting into the ROI of your expenses which is obvious.
     
  7. jb2008

    jb2008 Senior Member

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    Those are my costs, in post #3 I mention that I don't buy SEO services.

    Yes, it is a wall of text, no denying that; but if you're new to SEO or struggling it's more than worth the half an hour or so to read it. That's who it's aimed at.
     
  8. monk13

    monk13 Power Member

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    Leith, he's not counting his own time and effort in that 5$ cost, he's only counting operation expenses.
     
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  9. jb2008

    jb2008 Senior Member

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    Yes monk, you are right. But now I've automated it, it just involves loading in project files and pressing start. And the occasional heavy hitting manual submission. It was prepared with a lot of work; a lot of people new to SEO are cash poor but time rich, so use that to your advantage. You can't profit in SEO without working your ass off. But now that I automated it way back in January, I don't have to build much else anymore. Speaking of automation, it's impossible to succeed in SEO without a majority of it being automated; employing people would cost too much, and you would never have enough time to do submissions manually on your own.
     
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  10. Jasonlf

    Jasonlf Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Confirming the darkest fears of most: "No easy button"

    Consider the Disney Seo method: "whistle while you work" cheap and effective :)

    Aloha,
     
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  11. Dan Da Man

    Dan Da Man Elite Member Premium Member

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    Head on with everything you have said. Man, I got tired of offering SEO service because people kept coming to me asking for guarantees and shit and "how much money can you make me" questions. Any guy who legimately knows his shit is not going to do SEO for others... Why? because if he can do it for himself why do it for others? Well, if he doesnt know SEO (which i didn't at the time) than you might as well act like you do and make bank bank off it.

    Not saying everyone that sells services are a joke but the majority are. The problem is that learning SEO for yourself is time consuming, head banging, shitty and I would not do it again lol. But, if you are going to do SEO, there is no option. You must learn it for yourself and you must be willing to burn sites like no other. You must be willing to sit on your ass for hours and hours testing mutliple sites. Majority of people in the world will not do this. Majority of people in this world want things easy. Get rich quick and lose weight fast is the mind set of 99% of people trying to make money.

    If you knew how much time, effort and money I have invested in the last two years I would say that 9 out of 10 people here would have already quit. You need an amazing drive, focus and a sickening will to succeed. It's not SEO... It is success.

    When I see people trying to start SEO or start their own business, I really want to say STOP! Stop now and get a job. Why? because I really doubt that they have what I have and what a select few have. When your willing to die for what you believe in, that is when you will succeed. When you are willing to give up everything in your life for what you believe in, that is when you will succeed. Man, I have lost so much but gained so much as well.

    Honestly, I see your point but you need to remember that majority of people here are not destined for success and are merely just a waste of bandwidth. When you can look at yourself and say, "I have failed more times in one year than people have in their entire lives and I still have the same drive, resilience and determiniation as when i started," than you can say you have what it takes.

    You and very few others here got it. Others are merely living this "dream".

    You bring up very valid points. Just know that that is why there are less than 1% entrepreneurs int the world. In California where I live, there are 520 entrepreneurs for ever 100,000 people. That right there tells a lot right there.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  12. Roland32

    Roland32 Regular Member

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    I am glad you took the time to make the distinction between services and tools. If you are going to make it you have to invest in yourself. NOt your sites but yourself. Thats means time, energy and yes $ on tools. Learn the tools and they will set you free.
     
  13. Nauthiz666

    Nauthiz666 Senior Member

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    I agree with what you say and only buy a few cheap services here and there because like you said, there's not enough time to do it manually. So are you proposing the only way to effectively rank a site is by using modded xrumer($900 dollar software right?)that surely newbies also will have no idea to do? Also SEO for clients is a bit different and using xrumer may not be the best route. Content marketing is usually the best route for corporations and that does require a hefty investment. I'm also curious, you say you wanted to quit the SEO industry? Care to share why?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
  14. HostStage

    HostStage Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member UnGagged Attendee

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    @Dan Da Man : I'm sorry but i can't follow you on the fact that people knows shit in SEO when they offer SEO services. What they offer is not to rank your website top 10 but a specific kind of backlink(s) which is mellowed in a sales copy. WHen i pick personally some SEO services, i know what i'm picking and why, and most of all what place does the service belong in the strategy. There is no magic service that i do agree ;)
     
  15. Dan Da Man

    Dan Da Man Elite Member Premium Member

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    Like I said, not every service. But I know a heap of people who know nothing about SEO who make a killing off others. You cannot deny this fact.
     
  16. assphuck

    assphuck Senior Member

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    An excellent discussion going on here. Many noobs have so little to work with that they need to spend more time manually seeing what does and does not work. Without doing it themselves, or getting pretty damn lucky, their chances of achieving anything that can be defined as success or remote.
     
  17. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    You lost me where you said paying $200 to rank 1 keyword is ridiculous. I would pay 10's of thousands to rank one keyword. I actually rank easy keywords in forex which make me £2000+ a month, so $200 for one of these keywords is nothing.
     
  18. -Joe-

    -Joe- Junior Member

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    $5 is ridiculous to rank a keyword, quite frankly. How much do you generally make from one of these sites? And how much do you spend in time, if you value your time at $10 an hour? (The hourly wage in McDonalds, at least over here)
     
  19. knockoutlocal

    knockoutlocal Junior Member

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    I agree with everything. I've purchased so many services and they were all crap. I only use specialized services here and there as part of an overall campaign. If I want quality press releases, quality articles distributed... etc. I setup 5 domains with the same niche and bought 4 services from BHW while doing the seo myself on the 5th site. I was able to rank my site higher and faster using my methods (nothing crazy just stuff learned from BHW). I look at the backlink profiles of the sites they worked on and it was crap social bookmarks, scrapebox blasts, etc. I realized when they say (100% manual work) that means they manually press the buttons on scrapebox/BD/senuke...
    I think if you take the time to put some quality content on your site, engage the visitor, create quality backlinks, you don't need to spend sh*t and you can get some great results.
    Heck you can even use Imacros, sikuli, autoit to automate a ton of stuff if you don't want to buy tools.
     
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  20. T2tkid

    T2tkid Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Another reason why i loved blackhatworld, Can Someone makes this Sticky? I don't buy too many service, I personally do manual SEO on my sites and i can tell you, if you do it right, you can rank any keyword. Oh and how I love reading Expertpeon posts... He is an expert in seo topic.
     
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