There seems to be a few misconceptions around how the marketplace reviews are carried out. Like everything else the mods/admin do on bhw, there's a reason for the way we work through this and we try to maintain consistency across this as much as possible. There's no secret process or hidden votes/decisions, we're keen to make it as transparent as we can. I'll describe the process I go through when looking at a thread and I'm happy to answer any constructive questions. It's a long process, so it'll be a long post but, if you're a seller or buyer, it should be useful. Firstly, the main misconception is that getting a thread reviewed is a fast process. Rarely, if it's something that's easily verified - for example ownership of a domain, then it might be a fast turnaround. For most, approval is not going to happen quickly - if it doesn't meet our criteria first time round, it'll go to the back of the queue to be re-reviewed on a second attempt. There's a moderation queue for the sales threads and we'll pick them up in turn based on time the member's been waiting and availability of test sites/accounts we can use for review. I have a limited amount of test sites which I replenish whenever possible but overuse in review will result in them getting de-indexed and useless for future sites. Any FB/IG/twitter accounts I use for testing are blocked after a couple of uses, so we'll recreate them regularly. Marketplace services that create test sites / accounts are useful because these review copies are fed back into the rotation for testing other services. Sample Marketplace thread I'll pick this thread up and make a list of the quantifiable features. Things like "our team are dedicated" or "we chose the name lightning strike because you'll rank like LIGHTNING!" I'll generally ignore because it's just filler and isn't measurable in any way. pro-tip: If you want to make me happy, cut out as much of this crap out as you can. If I've got bored by the 5th paragraph of how awesome you are, then there's something wrong. I HAVE to read all of it but your customers don't and won't - get to the point, please. I'll check to see if there's anything immediately wrong - in this case, I'll pick up on the "guaranteed indexing for all links" because, unless they're offering a specific refund or return, it can't be guaranteed. So we reject the thread, then get a slightly modified one with the hyperbole removed. At the next attempt, I'll tell them we need to review the top-level package they offer. Not because we're greedy but, if they're offering a service, we need to see that they're capable of providing it without any major difficulty. If you're offering to build PBNs from 5-50 sites ranging from $20 - $800, then you should be prepared to provide 50 sites. I'll then provide a url and keywords. The seller will then carry out the service and reply when it's ready to review. The review: For the review, I'll pick out the promised features in the thread to check against. In this case, there's 500 blog links matching these promises: 100% do-follow links Anchor text using your keywords All comments posted will be relevant to the blog content All blogs we post on will be relevant to your money site All our blogs are high quality, well-established Low OBL, we'll never spam the blogs 100% approval rate manual submission, hand-written unique comments guaranteed indexing for all links Metrics: PR3+ Actual inner page PR DA: 15+ TF/CF 20+ average score We'll carry out automated checks wherever possible on the whole service to see if there's any major flags. In addition, I'll pick 30-50 links at random for manual spot checks which is where I tend to find most issues. For this thread, I'll carry out the following: Inspect element on the link, looking for a nofollow tag. Text is checked with copyscape for uniqueness Does anchor text match? Is there any natural distribution offered in post? Check amount of OBL's for both page and site 100% approval rate - all spot checked links must be visible and present to all visitors Is comment relevant to the blog content, is the blog relevant to the test site's niche? Manual submission / hand-written - this is subjective. I'll try to allow for language differences but not laziness. This sort of thing would be rejected: "I recently came across your blog and I don't know what to say except it is very interesting. Buy office supplies." PR3+ Actual inner page PR. Too many people quote the root PR, this is a bugbear for me. Not a deal-breaker on its own but I'll mention it if there's a big disparity. In this case, the seller's specified ACTUAL page PR, so it MUST match. DA 15+ and TF/CF 20+ average score - I'll bulk check these across the domains and then average it to check these match. If there's any issues, I'll pick up figures for the spot-checked domains individually from moz/majestic and average them out myself. A tolerance of +/- 2 or 3 points is ok, but any more and it won't be approved. If the review sample I see matches every single promise made by the seller, only then will it be approved. What the review DOESN'T cover: Ranking results. The seller hasn't promised a specific improvement. Also, the test sites are often spammed or low-quality so we're not able to check performance as a result of the links. This is something we're working on for the future but as different niches / value / competition will have different results, we're not able to predict how it'll work for a customer. Link profile - again, lots of the test sites are overused so it's not always possible to identify a definitive effect from a specific service. I'll check it and as long as there's no dramatic change or flatline, then that's fine. If there's been any flags raised while checking, I'll look at the other OBL's to see where they're going to, see if the same username is repeated or there's clusters of posts made using similar language. Given all this, I'll make a value judgement on whether I consider the service to be "high quality". This will generally be rejected or if it's a minor thing, I'll give the seller another chance to make good. In addition, we're working to make the mod reviews more specific. Recent reviews will include information on what's been checked and how it measured up. This is a work in progress, so it's not perfectly consistent across the board but you should have noticed improvements. Also, if a service *just* meets the sales copy but it's not great, we will post this in the review - they're not universally positive and wonderful. Look through recently approved threads and you'll see us making comments like "the metrics are fine but the content's poor ". I've had numerous requests from sellers to modify or improve my review. If it's a subjective thing like content, I may post a sample instead for people to make their own judgement but otherwise, if it's not a good service, this will be clear in the review. Do your own due diligence! It's important to remember that this is a marketplace, not a nursery forum. We don't recommend newbies should start buying services without a good understanding of black hat SEO. We can't and won't police every possible channel of communication and unfortunately, there are always people who believe sellers when they say "you can use my spam blast service for your tier 1 links". Buyers hearing that they can rank in a competitive niche, quickly and cheaply want to believe it. Unfortunately, they're likely to learn a harsh but valuable lesson. The sellers who do this are letting down the marketplace, their customers and themselves. When a newbie gets his site deindexed and doesn't understand why, he'll go straight back to the seller and complain loudly. There are lots of sellers on BHW who will actually refuse someone a service if they suspect they don't understand it - we love these guys (and they're the most successful sellers on the forum). Ultimately, the goal is for any knowledgeable buyer to have a realistic expectation of the service they're buying. tl;dr: Sellers: If you promise a feature, we WILL check it and it will need to pass. Buyers: We'll do our best to make sure you know what you're getting, but it's critical that you understand the service.