21st February 2008

About a month ago I decided to try a new link building tool called Linkvana, and I wrote about it on my blog.

Now, about 30 days later, I AM still impressed. I HAVE seen ranking improvements, spidering frequency HAS improved, and all can be traced directly related to our LinkVana use, in my opinion.

Once again, I’ll repeat that this is NOT not a “total” solution, but it’s a DAMN good piece of pie for $149 a month. It’s like having a little vote out there, with proper link text back to the page of your choice.

I’m STILL not impressed with the PR or quality of most of the blogs, but it’s WORKING. For slightly longer tail phrases, (three or more words), and for “less competitive” ones (even one and two words, but with LESS than 2 million competing results) it’s really helped more than I even thought it would.

CAN Linkvana be abused, and used for evil? Sure, I guess so, but they’ll just kick you out, so why would you bother?

After about 5 weeks, I’m happy, I’m keeping it, and frankly, I’m TOTALLY surprised that it’s not sold out. I think it’s just one of those poorly promoted new programs, and with only 300 members to fill total, none of the “email blast gurus” figure it’s worth promoting on an affiliate basis.

Also, I’m finding that the 3 to 5 minutes per link to write the posts ourselves is tiresome, so I’m using the outsourcing they offer more and more too. At $2 apiece, it’s almost too easy, and all I have to do is choose the link text and landing pages I want.

Finally, I’ll say AGAIN, that it is NOT a cure-all, that can be the one answer to your linking woes, but just like a couple of aspirin, it sure helps make the headache tolerable.

And I;ll say again that this is NOT an automated black hat sort of thing. It’s up to YOU to intelligently disperse your incoming links with GOOD traffic phrases, that DO appear on the page you’re linking to, (or in the title tag ). That’s going to matter a LOT, and you’re going to kick some serious a** if done right, but it’s NOT going to be effective for link bombing unrelated pages. Got it?

In my opinion, anyone that builds links for multiple sites can be VERY well served by spending just a little time in LinkVana daily, assuming they know what they’re doing, and spread the link love to their internal deeper pages. You might want to try it yourself, before it’s too late.

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    49 Responses to LinkVana Review – 30 Days, Pretty Impressive

    1. J says:

      I just tried this after watching your video on the other post. You’re telling us this actually works? You’ve seen rankings improve?

      It way seems too easy to me – and it can’t be white hat. But, if it really does work… hmmmmm…. Think of the potential!

    2. Jason says:

      Scott, I appreciate all the info on LV. I have been a member for about 3 weeks and I am impressed with how fast the posts are being spidered and indexed on Google. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement I think I am going to stick it out. Do you think this is dependable enough to put SEO clients on the system and expect results?

    3. Scott says:

      The comment J made above – “this can’t be white hat” – Well, I’d have to agree, it is too easy, and must be frowned upon by G – However, there’s no TOS violations going on in my opinion, and at worst, it’s “grey”. and Yes, I’ve seen rankings improve.

      @Jason –

      In my opinion it’s absolutely dependable enough to put clients or any other website into, although it REALLY can’t be the sole source for the link building.

      Yes I’ve taken brand-new domains, and had them indexed by Google in under 72 hours using nothing but LV to get them discovered.

      Yes a few weeks later the site is ranking for many phrases, receiving decent traffic, and it almost feels on the surface like I could do nothing else but regularly feed a few LV links.

      HOEWVER, I know that this is a precarious perch to be sitting on, and building all my links from any single source, no matter how diverse the network claims to be, is not a smart thing.

      It’s tempting to get carried away, but if all the LV members use it wisely, and not abusively, it will continue to improve.

      So yes, for clients I’m using LV to supplement the link building process, but not to replace it entirely. For the deeper links and anchor text precision the two dollar posts can’t be beat.

      Another downside to putting clients in the system would be the generally lower quality websites from which you are building these backlinks…

      If the site you’re building for is a WordPress site, as so many are these days, then the client sees these backlinks showing up in the admin console, and wonders what the heck is going on!

      I actually pointed them out to one client, and he was sort of sad, thinking he had real fans out there that were writing about him ;) – Pretty funny!

    4. Jason says:

      That is funny, I am not using Link Vana with any wordpress sites but I will keep that in mind. How many links are you sending out a day for your sites? Does it vary on how long the site has been around?

    5. Scott says:

      I chose to stick with their (new) minimum distribution, which is just 1-3 per day – I’ve not overdone it at all with LV, and kept most of my domains between 10 and 30 new LV links per month.

      For a domain with lots of diverse inbound links already, I wouldn’t say age has much to do with it – although yes, a brand new site getting links daily is an oddity, and may raise a red flag….

    6. Jason says:

      I have to say that I did a post for one of my keywords that has very little competition (around 100,000) in LV about one week ago. I just did a search for that keyword and the blog it was own held the number one spot in Google in less than a week! Very cool I think.

    7. Jason says:

      Scott,

      I was wondering if I should be concerned that none of the links from linkvana are showing up in Google’s webmaster tools under external links? They are showing up in yahoo’s site explorer though. I have seen some good jump in ranking though.

      Also, I had a site that all the links were dumped in Google to 0. I think its because several months ago I thought I would see what happened if I put it on link trinity. An Automated 3-way scheme linking project. I removed the site after I saw that my site would be linking to some adult content within a week, however they never removed me from their network. I thought the worse that would happen would be that those links would not count, however all other links were dropped and I have completely fallen all the way off of Google. I am still indexed, just not in the top 1000 results (I was at 43 for my main targeted keyword). Should I scrap the site, change the IP and start over or just do the SEO the right way this time with the current site?

      Are other sites that I own in danger of being penalized for that one bad site because they are on the same server?

    8. Scott says:

      Sorry for the delayed response, I was out of town for Elite Retreat.

      Actually, I just spot checked a few, and 6 of 8 were in Google. If I were you, I’d report to their tech support though, and leave it up to them to explain.

      I actually had a question sort of like this in the beginning with them about the text snippet surrounding my link in a few of the posts, that I couldn’t find in Google when I searched for it in quotes.

      I assumed that meant the page was not in G’s index, but he actually pointed out that i was incorrect, and showed me how to tell.

      Far more important than whether a particular link shows up or not, are rankings and visitor landings from those keyphrase searches improving?

      re: the second question – if it were me, I would go into my Google Webmaster tools account and request a reinclusion, explain exactly what you did, why you did it, and cross your heart and hope to die that you never do it again.

      if you’re sincere (sounding) that in my experience you should see a reinclusion although don’t expect an actual answer. I had a domain reappear mysteriously after about a week, yet the question is still remaining honey answered in Webmaster tools since November.

      Finally, are other sites you own in danger? They’re not “supposed” to be, but there seems to be an awful lot of hand editing going on. I spent some quality time with some serious people this last week to tell me some stories I would not have thought could possibly be true.

      Once you’ve been identified as pushing the envelope of their Webmaster guidelines, it all depends on the mood and attitude of the reviewing engineer, and it seems like anything is possible now.

    9. Jason says:

      Scott, thanks for the advice. I hope you enjoyed the Elite Retreat. I went into my webmaster tools yesterday and found that 121 links had been given back to me and I had moved back up to 143, which is a 100 less than where I was before, but better than being banned. I am just curious how all this happened and if my site(s) will be under further scrutiny.

      When you private register a domain, does that keep Google from knowing who owns it? I guess I will be switching my email address at Google, setting up a fake IP for my home and registering new domains at a different host. Sounds like alot of trouble too me though.

    10. Scott says:

      You’re welcome, and yes I did enjoy it, thanks ;)

      Theoretically, registering with privacy is SUPPOSED to keep your info private, but…
      1. I don’t believe it
      2. Having a mini-net or something with all private registrations is a flag in itself
      3. Do like I do – Just don’t do anything that for any reason you may want to hide yourself for. – heh ;)

    11. Jason says:

      Yes, I agree with you.

      I had absolutely no clue to anything to do with SEO 8 months ago, I read someone’s blog and bought the pitch (I am sure that it was an affiliate) and purchased a linking scheme service. I inadvertently violated Google’s terms of service by purchasing links (I also joined a free version of the same type of site). I stopped the service not long after the purchase, however I was just concerned that those earlier blunders would hinder my current “white hat” SEO efforts. I am getting some results for other sites I am managing, I guess I should not jump the gun on being “blacklisted”.

    12. Faisal says:

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks for the excellent post. I really need your advice on something. I have about 30 sites and a very healthy adsense account. I was making a very good monthly income, until about April 3rd, all of my sites suffered a huge Google penalty and dropped out of the 1st 10 pages of Google…

      The weird thing is, each and every site within my adsense account has been penalized, even though they are NOT inter-linked, target completely different niches, and even reside on two separate hosts! Most of the domains are owned privately.

      I will admit, some of the sites have spinned content but some of the sites don’t. Regardless, each and every site has suffered and I cannot understand why?

      Any advice?

    13. Scott says:

      Without knowing more, (not that I’m asking ;) it’s of course hard to say.

      However, there’s talk of others that have seen drops in Adsense sites ranking too, as they try to improve the quality of the network.

      Perhaps there’s something in Google Webmaster tools that would point to a clue? Are your stats showing crawls? New content added regularly? Have you tried the Adsense Google group?

    14. Jason says:

      Faisal,

      One thought about site association would be through your google account. If one site is banned for something Google considers a violation of TOS, they may have associated the other domains through adsense, analytics or webmaster tools.

    15. Faisal says:

      Dear Scott & Jason,

      Thank you for your feedback. Currently, I’m not using Google Webmaster Tools (I know I should be).

      Some of the sites have a blog that gets updated regularly, and some of the sites haven’t been updated in quite some time. Some sites have spinned content in the backend, while others don’t.

      What’s strange is that all the sites in my adsense account have been penalized even though they are so diverse. The only thing in common is the 3-4 adsense blocks per page…

      Moreover, my sites haven’t been completely penalized, some have fallen to the 5th or 6th page of Google so I don’t see it exactly as a TOS violation. Other sites, however, can’t be found.

      I didn’t receive an email from Google or any other indication of what could be wrong.

      Its just hard for me to accept that Google would indiscriminately “penalize” each and every site in my account without distinguishing one from another. Its just all very strange.

    16. Tom says:

      Faisal,

      Your sites may not be dropped out of the previous ranking positions just because they are Adsense sites. It’s likely to be other factors. Are they all or mostly getting links from the same or similar sources? If those links get dropped or devalued by Google, then it’s no wonder all your sites are affected at the same time.

      My advise these days is already to play clean and safe with sites that monetize with Adsense. Too many people had been able to get away with it for far too long, but got caught by Google eventually. And they end up crying foul when their adsense income got wiped out completely when they should know better not to play with fire in the first place (I’m not implying you do).

      I have even seen sites that comply with their rules closely got dropped from top rankings overnight. That’s why I would not depend on Adsense for my livelihood. It’s a good supplement of income but too risky to rely on it fully.

    17. April says:

      I used to be a member of backlink solutions but cancelled when the network got deindexed. I’m interested in LV but concerned that it will go the same way. My feeling is that I will try to exhaust all other legit means of link building first.

    18. Pat says:

      I have a question in regard to the kind of Blogs that are in the LV network

      I have several websites that promote Physical products of various sorts and am concerned that it would be unlikely that any of the blogs would compliment any of my niches and therefore the links would not be of much quality.

      Does LV have a vast array of niches or are the more inline with the “Make Money” Niche

      Your thoughts are appreciated

      Thanks,
      Pat

    19. Scott says:

      Yes the array is vast – lots of very general subject driven blogs. But I stopped even looking at them after the first few weeks, because All it did was suck my time.

      I went to every blog, researched it, usually determined that “it could be better”, but the links and rankings kept adding up.

    20. Pat says:

      Thanks for the reply,

      I was under the impression that the list of blogs was kept secret, so I am confuse3d as to how you “went to every blog, researched it”

      Am I wrong about the list being secret?

      Thanks again
      Pat

      • Scott says:

        Not sure how I never answered this, I’m sorry – Anyway, yes they’re secret, but I simply went to them after discovery of my own backlink.

    21. Scott says:

      Well by monitoring my own backlinks, it was relatively easy (if not tedious) to check out sites that were linking to me.

      Mostly, just pingbacks on WordPress sites made it pretty easy to find ‘em.

    22. Hey Scott,

      Thanks for the write up. I’m wondering what you think of linkvana for a newbie with only a couple or so new sites? I really want to see some more payoff quick… would it in your opinion give me sizeable results in lets say a months time frame for low to mediumish competition keywords?

    23. Scott says:

      As a newbie with just a couple of sites, I’d probably have to say that your results would be limited, and unless those sites were highly profitable niches, it would be a tough recovery of your investment. 30 days would be awfully fast.

      You can only do so much for a single domain with Linkvana, and you have to be using lots of other techniques for link building as well.

      Linkvana is a fantastic resource, but overuse WILL result in penalty, and you do have to do a lot more to remain “natural”.

    24. Jason says:

      I have seen some great results with linkvana. Of course I have not used it as a primary link building.

      Scott, In your opinion, what is the maximum percentage of linkbuilding should linkvana be?

    25. PLR Dude says:

      As with most of these types of service, once they are open to the public they eventually get abused and shut.

      In the mean time however, use LV to promote and build your own link farm so that you are ready for when it closes;-)

      Never use it to directly promote your money sites, keep some distance. Link LV to sites that link to your money sites.

    26. Scott says:

      @plrdude – Good advice. I think that if others used it the way I do, it would be around forever, but people get complacent (read lazy) and pound things into the ground…

      @jason – i can’t answer that, I’m sorry. I’d say “as little as possible and as much as necessary”.

      There’s a certain responsibility that comes with “playing with fire” and sometimes you have to be willing to sustain a loss to figure things out.

    27. Daphne says:

      hey Scott, thanks for your reply. I asked about what you think of LinkVana for a newbie. I also got other advice to the same effect, that it would be hard to make it worth it with only a couple sites.

      I’m stubborn and was really frusturated with the whole link building process, and decided to go ahead and give it a go. I hadn’t made any money online yet, and I figured if I could make it even slightly profitable it would be worth it if not just for the morale boost.

      It definitely works. One of my sites has been making a few sales a week.

      It probably wasn’t the smartest choice for me as it really eats into my returns, and there’s probably better things I could have done with my money as a newbie. But still, if it’s managed to bring me profits off my one meager site.. then I’m sure that it will benefit most people even more.

      Now from reading these comments I’m getting worried about getting ‘caught’ because LinkVana has been pretty much my only link building method. I just don’t really know what else to do right now other than blog commenting and such, so I may end up learning the hard way…

      Thanks again for your advice! Great posts you have here! It’s often hard to find honest feedback for a product with an affiliate program, but your review struck me as very honest.

      • Scott says:

        You’re welcome. Using anything as your “only” method is liable to get you noticed, and I think you have to really start thinking long-term, and create things of actual value that will cause people to want to link to you. Be creative, and you might read this – Why should anyone link to you? that I wrote quite a while ago. A couple of easy things to create are screensavers and toolbars, then distribute them with this process (aff link) that’s totally white hat.

    28. Zibby says:

      I just joined LV and am really impressed with it so far (as far as the ease of use of the system… I haven’t been using it long enough to see any results.) I am planning on using it as just one of many link building methods so I’m not too concerned about any penalties or anything… Anyway, Just wanted to say I read both of your LV posts and all of these comments and it’s been quite interesting… I’m excited about the possibilities of the service.

    29. Scott says:

      Just be sure you don’t “abuse” the service and go crazy with it. Although it seems tempting, just use it to enhance, not replace, any other linkbuilding efforts.

    30. Daniel says:

      Hi Scott,
      I appreciate the info on Linkvana as I have been considering using their service. Just a couple things I have questions about:
      1) Are you still now 1+ year later seeing SEO value from the links you get from their network to the sites you originally linked to? Is it as much value?
      2) I have been able to track down a few of their sites, and I have found that they are all or all seem to be registered to the same person. I also have seen that the blogs have no comments and are comprised of only the posts through their network (ie each post has exactly one link formulated within the text). Also, none of the posts have pictures… So, long story short: Its been over a year… If the value in SEO results is still there, do you think google will pick up on this soon enough?

      Thanks and your comments are greatly appreciated!!

    31. Scott says:

      Yes Daniel, I do still use it and yes I do see lots of value, although I use it in moderation. Early on, I also identified some of their domains, and just looked a few up after your comment – most are domains by proxy, some through Godaddy, and yes I suppose that is a footprint that can be identified to a degree. Unfortunately yes, you’re probably right, but until that time comes, I’m content to plink around with it and currently still real happy…

    32. Fred says:

      What are some other automated linking tools you recommend?

      I swear I’ve met you before. Can’t remember where though.

      • Scott says:

        I’m not sure why your comment bounced into the spam folder Fred, but it did… I’m sorry for the delay –

        When it comes to “automated linking tools” that phrase right there should be a red flag – If there’s anything that “automates” the entire process, it’s likely going to be frowned upon by Google and others –

        That said, I’d recommend that you read these posts…

        Increase Spidering Frequency
        Think Beyond the Link
        and this one on Instant Linkbuilding

        Finally, if there were a single underpublicized method of linkbuilding out there that I could call “automated” – but still White Hat squeaky clean – I’d call it “utilizing the software directories via PAD file submission”.

        Michelle McPhereson wrote a definitive guide to the entire process and we DO use the exact same steps she outlines and recommends for both affiliate sites and client sites alike, with enormous success. (aff link – still highly recommended)

    33. Fred says:

      Do you have a link to the McPhereson guide?

    34. Scott says:

      Oops – all the links above are now fixed – Yes the “definitive guide” is an infoproduct, but it’s one that I highly recommend, we use for clients, and it’s guaranteed totally, 100% white hat squeaky clean.

    35. Linda Grimm says:

      How are you feeling about Linkvana now? Is there a need to link to a site that links to my main site? I don’t readily have such a site, but don’t want to risk Google’s wrath. Really appreciate your comments. Linda

    36. Scott says:

      I still use the heck out of it ensuring however, that it’s NOT making up the entirety of the backlink profile. You HAVE to vary where your inbound links come from, and no single source would ever be acceptable.

      As far as linking to a site that links to your main site, i’m not sure I follow. If you mean “Should you build links to your links” I’d say yes, that’s a very wise strategy.

      If however, you mean “Should you link back to sites that link to you?” (i.e. making your links “reciprocal”) then I’d say not, unless you want to share that site with your readers for some reason.

      If neither of those scenarios answer your question, please clarify…

    37. Hann says:

      Hi Scott,

      Just found this review when I was doing some research into this blog network. Do you also use LinkVana for your adsense sites? I was under the impression that it’s not a good idea to do so since a visual inspection would clearly be able to determine that the backlinks were from a paid link network which is against the adsense TOS.

      Also, if you’re in a competitive niche and ranking well then you can bet that your competitors are going to check out your backlinks and possibly even report you if it notices paid links. Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you tried Backlink Solutions at all? Thanks!

      Hann

      • Scott says:

        I don’t do much Adsense, but you’d never want t violate anyone’s TOS, especially Googles! As far as reporting these as paid links. I have no fear of that, since the links aren’t really paid, it’s an article being written for (or by) you, and the sites that go on are not obviously “selling” links, of the type you’d find in a sidebar or footer. I’ve never personally reported anyone for anything, and I doubt anyones backlink profile could stand up to close scrutiny anyway. – Furthermore, it’s my belief that Google will NEVER penalize anyone for buying links, lest an entire industry crop up to “damage your competitor” buy buying them links. Google simple devalues or “doesn’t count” inbound links that they determine to be paid.

        Nope, not tried Backlink Solutions – I see it’s closed though… ;(

    38. Hann says:

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks for the reply! As far as not being concerned with paid backlinks, you might not report anyone but there are still those that might report you especially in a competitive niche.

      There’s probably a lot of link selling and buying that goes on under the table that Google conveniently turns its back on but it’s still something I worry about. The guys who did those PPP (pay per post) things got hit hard in terms of having their PR slammed to 0.

      Then again, I noticed that you wrote your first LV review in 2007 so I’m assuming that you’ve been okay since then. As far as Backlink Solutions, there are actually backways to get in. I’m going to be signing up for them pretty soon so I’ll be sure to let you know how it performs.

      Hann

      • Scott says:

        sure, there are some that would turn others in, but as I said, these are not really distinguishable as “paid links” anyway – they’re in the context of a blog post. Sure PPP got hit hasrd, and so did / do the link rental networks, bu that doesn’t mean it’s been stopped.

        The sad truth is that there’s NO WAY for someone to break in to a c1ompetitive market without some sort of paid link exposure. None. Anyone doing well without buying / renting / bribing for links has a well aged domain that’s been there for years. —-

        Do let me know About BL solutions – sounds interesting – Back ways to get in, huh? ;)

    39. Merlin says:

      I was doing research on Linkvana and I found your site, and I see you been with then since 2007, and are you still a member and you recommend the services, I also notice that you can make unlimited post per day with LV do you recommend this or 3 or 4 per day it good enough.

      • Scott says:

        It’s impossible to say what’s “good enough” because every niche / market / website has different needs and competition. You can use LV for many different sites, but if you d o3-4 per day for any domain it’s likely going t obe FAR too many unless you are building 10+ per day through other methods too. The key to success for me withLV has been MODERATION and I’d never let it be more than 1/3 of the total links I’m building for a given domain.

    40. Adam says:

      I just signed up as I have several adsense sites I plan to use this with. Plan to use it until a Backlink Solutions spot becomes available.

      And this is not considered PAID links by Google, I can guarantee that. Read up on what Google considers paid links and how the LinkVana system works and you will see what I’m talking about.

      Another good linking solution is Link Juicer, as it’s far cheaper and you don’t need 1 full blog post per link, which I think is total overkill and ridiculous. Been using it for awhile with decent results.

    41. Ken Schmidt says:

      Thanks for the info Scott, trying to decide between this software and another one that is on the market that is about the same price. Tough decision.!

    42. Angel says:

      Why are you using the link http://www.link-vana.com to it, when domain is http://www.linkvana.com – is that your affiliate link with a redirect?

      • Scott says:

        Yes, that’s an aff link, and there was no intent to deceive on my part. Sorry if it looks otherwise, and I used to have a review page there with a video, but we lost it after a hacking and never replaced it, just redirected instead…

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