We Bought $100,000 Worth of Backlinks (and Here’s What Happened Next) | Ep. #607

In episode #607, Eric and Neil discuss what happened when they purchased backlinks. Tune in to hear whether this is still a valid marketing method.


  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: We Bought $100,000 Worth of Backlinks (and Here’s What Happened Next)
  • [00:40] Eric and Neil no longer buy links, but did so during the earlier parts of their careers.
  • [00:55] They purchased random sites with no relevance to their industries.
  • [01:30] Link buying is bigger than it used to be and Google isn’t banning any of the purchased sites.
  • [01:55] Sites will spend $100,000 on backlinks, but they are not getting the traffic that they used to.
  • [02:02] Google is now using a lot of factors such as brand queries, user metrics, on-page SEO, Hummingbird, and Rank Brain.
  • [02:45] Paid advertising is the biggest trend right now and it’s working.
  • [03:00] Buying links is the old SEO, instead you should think about ways to repurpose and create great content.
  • [03:26] Neil uses blogging, video, and podcasting as marketing methods.
  • [03:31] This all can lead to bigger and better opportunities.
  • [04:12] That’s it for today!
  • [04:16] Go to Singlegrain.com/Giveway for a special marketing tool giveaway!

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The post We Bought $100,000 Worth of Backlinks (and Here’s What Happened Next) | Ep. #607 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Intro: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School, with your instructors Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: And today we're going to talk about how we bought $100,000 worth of back links, and here's what happened next.

Neil Patel: Before we go into this, Eric and I don't buy links anymore. We've been marketers for years, I've been 16 years, how many years have you been a marketer for?

Eric Siu: Eight.

Neil Patel: Eight years? That's a long time. But during the earlier part of our careers, we would buy links to random sites. We don't do it for any of our own websites these days, my Neil Patel site is clean, I'm assuming your Single Grain site is clean. But we used to both have random sites in different verticals, like web hosting and I don't know-

Eric Siu: Raves, freakin', I don't know. Just random stuff like poker casino type of stuff.

Neil Patel: Yes, poker casino, yes. And we would just buy links and skyrocket to the top. Eventually, we would ... what happened, eventually?

Eric Siu: You'd skyrocket to the top and then get banned- [crosstalk 00:01:20]

Neil Patel: I got banned.

Eric Siu: Most of the time.

Neil Patel: Yeah, you always get banned. It comes crashing down. But here's the crazy thing these days. I've noticed this trend with Google and I bet you have too. Are you still seeing people buying links right now, Eric?

Eric Siu: Even harder than usual, than before.

Neil Patel: Yes. But what I'm finding is, Google's not really banning a lot of the sites that are buying links these days, and that doesn't mean Eric and I are gonna go back to buying links, we don't believe in it, we don't want to touch it with a 10-foot pole. But what we're finding is, these days, sites are buying links and most of them aren't getting penalized.
Instead what we're finding is, sites are spending hundreds and thousands of dollars, sometimes even millions, on back links, and they're not getting the rankings that they used to. And it's because Google is using a lot of other factors, such as brand queries, user metrics, what else are they using ... On-page SEO.

Eric Siu: Hummingbird.

Neil Patel: Hummingbird, right. RankRain, all this kind of stuff. And what we're seeing is, our guess, if we had to throw something out there, isn't that Google doesn't know, hey, you're buying links or you're not buying links. It's not that it's a time game, that hey, these links need to take time before they kick in. It's, I believe they know that a lot of links through things like guest posting are paid, or PBNs, and what they're doing is, they're saying, "Hey, you know what, you go and burn the money, we're just not going to count them and we're not going to tell you. SEO's going to become so expensive you're not going to get ROI, and then what are you going to turn to?"

Eric Siu: Paid.

Neil Patel: Yep. Paid advertising. That's how they have that $700 billion market cap. And that's the big trend that we're seeing these days.

Eric Siu: Yeah. So we talked about, in the last episode, it's not just ... Don't think about buying links all the time, that's the old way of doing SEO, where back in the day you could just buy links and in two to three weeks you're ranking at least top five position. Doesn't work that way. Instead, we talk about this all the time, just think about how you continue to write great content and then repurpose it, use some kind of workflow out there. And then also think about diversifying your channels. 'Cause Neil, he started with blogging first, but he's no longer just doing blogging. Neil, what are you doing now, what's your content mix?

Neil Patel: My content mix is blogging, videos, and podcasting.

Eric Siu: Yeah. And then that leads into other things, too, right? That's your speaking gigs, too, and then there's sometimes, you do video trainings and all that kind of stuff.

Neil Patel: Yeah, it's a mixture of everything.

Eric Siu: Yep. So I guess the point I'm trying to make is, you're going to stop focusing on ... All the people that talk to me all the time, "Eric, I'm looking to buy 500 or 600 links a month. Do you know anybody that can do that?"
First of all, that's probably not going to work out that well for you. And when you're looking to go that kind of volume, and just blast it out, that kind of mindset is wrong already. You're looking to do 500 in one stop and then you think you're just going to rank for everything. So, something to think about, I think you should be cautious, just think about playing the long game. It's just not sexy for us to talk about, but we keep emphasizing it over and over and over, it's what works.

Neil Patel: Yep. That's pretty much it for this episode. If you want our goodies, make sure you go to singlegrain.com/giveaway.

Outro: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review, so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow, right here on Marketing School.

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