Link Builders Have Ruined Everything (Again)

So this just happened…

Gary Illyes of Google dropped a link building bomb on Twitter.

It looks like he received an unsolicited link building email and went nuclear on the guy – making sure Google’s algorithm considers his list of 700 sites worthless (allegedly).

Have you ever received an unsolicited email like the one Gary received?

Here’s an example:

“I will post your article in the world top level sites! This is (name). I will provide you the high quality contents and will post it in my high quality genuine blogs. I have more than 5,000 high quality sites.

Here I’m sending to you my some high quality sites please look at them choose the sites in my list and send a trail order.”

This sender is mass spamming 1000’s of people with his/her list of sites with all metrics, prices and domain names fully visible, like this:

I remember a time when link building vendors protected the identities of their blog partners at all costs simply to avoid giant fuck ups like the one above where the 700 blog partners are screwed and everyone who purchased a link from those 700 sites are screwed.

These days, vendors are more brazen and careless than ever, putting the ease of getting the initial sale over protecting their blog partners and clients who already paid them money.

This should definitely have your attention.

It’s 2019, and the SEO industry is changing again fast.

Just 5 years ago there was a massive change with Penguin where PBNs were much easier for Google to detect and penalize.

Since then, guest posting has become the new buzzword, because that was the easiest way to get a link on a site that you don’t own.

Just recently, guest post became a more popular term than pbn.

I think Gary V said it best: “Marketers Ruin Everything”.

At it’s core, guest posting is an incredibly viable and useful way to secure quality, niche relevant backlinks.

Then former PBN sellers joined the guest posting service train, gathered up a bunch of connections and started indiscriminately cold blasting everyone (even Gary Illyes, a VIP at Google).

If you get such an email, you can be sure that the sites fall into one of these 3 categories:

1. PBNs with a makeover masquerading as real sites you can guest post on

Random blog topics, no footer, no favicon, no real author and bloated DA/DR metrics without organic traffic numbers to back it up.

2. Websites that got started with good intentions but got seduced by the “Unmarked Sponsored Post with a Dofollow Link” money.

Building a profitable blog is hard, and many people start their blog with great intentions, great content and are super careful about protecting their brand.

Then a link builder comes along and offers $100 for the blogger to click the Publish button. No social media sharing or newsletter promoting necessary. About 10 minutes of work and $100 out of it is very enticing.

They may start off with just accepting the most relevant posts but fast forward several months, they are on “Site lists” for 15 different vendors, getting new articles to publish every day, and raking in the cash.

These type of sites could have easily been on that list of 700 that Google just devalued.

3. Writers for authority sites that can include your link

Vendors come to an agreement with third party writers of well known blogs and pimp out the connection in unsolicited cold emails for link building.

These are usually the safest, most valuable and expensive links but in some ways, it’s also become a short-term tactic as high-end publishers like Forbes and Huffington Post ended up no-following all links due to this type of abuse.

So that’s the landscape here in 2019.

– “guest post” has eclipsed “pbn” in search trends, and
– link builders are fully in “ruin everything” mode, and
– Gary from Google showed just how easy it is for them to make these sites worthless

It sounds like a really good time to review your own link building strategy and stay ahead of the game.

If you were to ask me, I’d say custom blogger outreach is the way forward.

In fact it’s always been the right way to do it, but real outreach is incredibly difficult so it’s remained far under the radar.

If you’re looking for a vendor that can help you with real blogger outreach and deliver links that won’t show up on site lists, check out our blogger outreach service.

It has all of the service ingredients necessary to avoid falling into the mess I covered above:

1. It’s a monthly service that delivers quality, niche relevant links from pure outreach

2. Each month, we devise a new pitch, prospect 300-500 bloggers, prepare email sequences and make contact

3. A certain percentage of bloggers respond positively and we work with them to publish content on their site or update an existing article with our client’s link

4. The cost per link ranges from $125 to $280 depending on the Domain Authority. All prospects are reviewed to make sure Ahrefs Traffic is healthy before pursing the link.

5. We work together with you on deciding the target pages, and even though we don’t like adding a content approval and website approval step into the workflow (slows things down so much), we work together with you to ensure deliverables are up to your standards.

6. We monitor rankings and report on links and changes frequently.

If you’re interesting in getting more links and our service sounds interesting to you, you can create a free account here and request sample links, book a strategy call with me, or make an order.

If you have any questions, just shoot us an email at