It would be wrong to suggest that most link building services are shady and you ought to avoid them, but the number of bad ones are on the rise. When you're new to the web, or aren't current on search engine optimization tactics, the thought of link building can overwhelm you. Most WAHMs don't have time to dedicate to a link building project, and outsourcing seems like the right thing to do. However, there are 4 reasons to avoid link-building services:
1. Shady Methods
Google and other search engines are not forgiving of "black hat" or "illegal" methods used to score a higher page rank. Your website will be blacklisted and lost in cyberspace as punishment. Although you may not intend to use shady methods to increase web traffic, the link building service you hire might be infamous for using those techniques on behalf of clients. You don't get to say to Google or Yahoo!, "It's not my fault, my link building service did it." You're responsible, because it's your website or blog that benefited. When you work on link building yourself, you avoid this risk and you're in complete control of what methods and best practices to use.
2. Comment Spam
If you own a blog, you've had to deal with more than your share of comment spam. These are the "Hey, really like your post, please visit www...". You see them in forums that aren't moderated, or they slip through the cracks every once in a while on moderated blogs and forums. The comment spams add no value to the discussion, and readers ignore them. Link building services make commenting on blogs and forums a key part of their link building strategy, but too many services utilize comment spam. You get charged for the link, but it's useless to you.
3. Bad Advice
There are some things that link building services cannot do without getting permission (and additional money) from clients. To sell you on a strategy, they offer bad advice. Some examples are:
- Buy links to get a higher page rank faster (you lose those links when you decide it's unethical or unaffordable)
- It's okay to put links on "link farms" (the website has no content, just links)
- Building two-way links should be the bulk of your strategy (one-way links from an authority website to yours are harder to obtain, but those are the best).
When you're not familiar with search engine optimization rules, relying on a link building service for advice is natural. The wrong advice, though, could cost you time and money.
4. Low Quality Links
Link building services promise that you'll see an increase in web traffic if you hire them, and some do deliver on those promises in the short term. When you analyze the increase in traffic, you might notice that people visit the site, but "drop off" within seconds. The reason being is that the link that directed them to your website or blog is a low quality link. The links were placed on irrelevant websites, where the readers would have no interest in your product or service. However, low quality links add to the number that a link building service will say they obtained on your behalf.
Link building services can save time, if you find one that holds to high ethical standards. You can learn to do it yourself though, and it might be better to avoid one altogether until you learn how to do it on your own.