I Suggested My Friend Buy Backlinks. He Ignores That, He Plans to Stick With Paying for Ads for Traffic


Tried to help a friend with his new e-commerce site, shoots himself in the foot. Just can't convince idiots.

My close friend recently launched his new e-commerce website. I explained to him how SEO actually works and all the important factors to rank for keywords and basically how quality content + links is the perfect formula. I told him to think of it as a long-term marathon, not a race. However, he gives me the same response. "I want results now. Why do I gotta wait? I want sales now". I wanted to help him charge an X amount for a certain period of time. But of course he gives me the same "that's too long, i want results now" type of response and brings up Fiverr and how the SEO services he found were much much cheaper there. i explained everything i can. the consequences his site will face when buying links and all that.
He completely ignores the value of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and only plans to stick with paying for ads. I did all the explaining I can. Weeks later, he told me he was really going to use Fiverr for SEO services because the seller had many excellent 5 star reviews and said he was going to bring results in such a short time frame. This includes link services. I advised him many times not to use Fiverr but he goes on ahead to use it anyway. I hope he doesn't come crying to me when his site gets slapped with a manual penalty and destroys his website. Sometimes, you can do all the convincing in the world but to idiots like my friend, it's just talking to a cow's ears.
that's my rant of the day to kick off Monday morning.
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Well it depends on what he's buying. If he's buying High PageRank (PR) links, those do no harm. I bought them myself they didn't do any harm nor did they do anygood. If he buys Private Blog Network (PBN) links or blog comments he's screwed. That's a penalty for sure.

drinkyafkingmilk ✍️
So you're justifying that it's OK to buy backlinks from Fiverr? PRetty sure they're all low quality spam links that will harm your website. I mean come on, $20 link services from some sketchy dude in India or Pakistan. Links should not be bought anyways, you need to earn it naturally or through manual outreach…

I agree with your statement 100%. But then again I said PR links are fine but that's subjective. I'm pretty sure they're not useful anymore. PBN links are however can be VERY powerful if done by the right person. This is going to get down voted pretty fast but it's the truth. There's only one guy I trust with PBN links and he's on konker.
Regarding manual outreach (if you're talking about guest posting, infographic, skyscraper technique, broken link building etc) , it's getting pretty tough these days. If you send out 100 emails 95 of them will ask for some money for a link, 3 of them will give out a no follow link and 2 of them will give out dofollow links but they'll have shitty Page Authority (PA) Domain Authority (DA)/backlinks/tf cf.
To be fair, if 95 of them want money for a link and your goal is to get links as fast as possible, I'd pay the money as long as it wasn't a ridiculous amount.
I'm going to share my experiences here, not to discredit your comment but to offer an additional perspective for anyone reading this to learn about link building.
β€’ Guest post links rarely make a difference and aren't scalable (due to the constant need for more content) unless you're working with low quality sites who accept anything (which Google identified long ago and ignores). Great for brand building when you find sites where your audience genuinely hangs out and you have something of value to add to the conversation; better in niche industries.
β€’ Infographics aren't a link building technique, they're a form of content. Just making an infographic won't guarantee links and publishers tend to be wary of them these days (because SEO users ruined them). Content before form. Having said that, promoting any kind of quality content that adds unique, expert value will result in links if the promotion is handled strategically.
β€’ Skyscraper – see above, content done well and promoted strategically will work well.
β€’ Our success rate with broken link building is waaayyyy higher than you describe here. This is one of the few scalable techniques that still works, provides good traffic and results in SEO growth. Like everything else, success of outreach depends on having something quality to link to.
Hope this helps. In summary, content quality is the foundation upon which success with all of the above is built.

Nobody on Fiverr is selling high PR links.
β€’ Nobody outside of Google knows what the PageRank (PR) is for any page on the internet.
β€’ No high PR page is going to link to a website for $5. They are selling snakeoil. They give you PR 0 links on domains where the home page has a high PR. They are worthless, links that are weak AF.


I want results now. Why do I gotta wait? I want sales now

There are ways to get results now, to get sales now, but Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not the way to go about that and you should be telling him that. If you want sales and traffic NOW, you drive the traffic with advertising. If you want to attract organic traffic and sales that naturally just show up on your site, that's an SEO play. There is room for both, and any business that isn't doing both is the real idiot. So stop telling your friend that he's an idiot because he wants results/sales now – there are ways to do that, not SEO related of course, but he's not an idiot for wanting things to move quickly. You should be pointing out that if his goal is sales/results now that SEO is not the approach to focus on right now.

This should be higher!
This is the reason most successful ecommerce startups are backed by external funding. They expect to lose money in year one because they know it's a journey.
Most organic traffic comes through brand searches for the vast majority of ecommerce clients I work with. For this reason, building up a brand using advertising, display, social media, ATL etc. is the first and most important thing to do. The generic market is obviously more competitive so ranking for non-brand terms takes longer.
I hope your friend doesn't find out the hard way that there are no shortcuts to this.


This is the reason most successful ecommerce startups are backed by external funding. They expect to lose money in year one because they know it's a journey.

I don't entirely understand what you're saying here. If you put all your eggs into the SEO basket and do nothing else, then yeah expect to lose money. But you can turn on traffic and sales like a fire hose if you know how to advertise. There's no reason you should expect to lose money in year one because you're building your SEO profile… cut to the chase and drive traffic. Too many people get stuck in this mindset that SEO is the end-all, be-all of a successful website. It's not, in fact SEO is almost an afterthought when it comes to the initial success of most startups.
Sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm not suggesting SEO is a good way to start – but ecom businesses can't expect to automatically turn a profit in year one, most of the time. Most of them can't hold enough stock to generate the level of sales needed to cover their overheads even if the cost of sale on paid channels was strong.
Reaching profitability on Pay Per Click (PPC), for example, takes time. Building up enough data in the account to be able to negative out non-converters requires significant investment, but it's an investment in data and strategic direction. Once this is done and the account is optimized and running at a profitable level, then a business can ramp up the volume and build up enough profitable sales to cover costs.
Obviously there are many exceptions but this requires the right business selling the right product in the right market at the right time. Anyone turning a profit in year one has done really well.
It really depends on the business IMO. There are even more channels than just SEO and PPC, and yes both of those take some time to get optimized properly. I was part owner in a startup that was grossing $350k per day in its first year. Admittedly that's probably unusual and I was partnered with a couple guys that had built many startups prior to that, but my point was that it's definitely possible to have sales and traffic come flooding in pretty quickly with the right offer and know-how.
At the end of the day, I think there's really too many variables at play to make a blanket statement about whether an ecom store will be successful or lose money in its first year without knowing all of the specifics.
Yep, totally agree. All I was saying was that most lose money in year one (I work for an agency that's dealt with enough of them, and the majority have financial forecasts that allow for this).


SEO is a rich man's game. If he wants to rank, he's going to have to buy really good, high-priced links for him to rank quickly. He'll also need a solid SEO strategy. Just buying links isn't enough unless he is in a very small niche with little competition.
Either way, he is about to learn what millions of other people have learned already: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn't just a matter of buying quick one-off link services.
SEO isn't my strength but I'm so frustrated with small businesses that I have created websites for completely ignoring my suggestions that they get some decent quality blog posts and pages that people will be searching for in their niche and to concentrate on at least one social media account.
I have one long term client who is a lovely guy that runs a small business making and selling items that are very niche. He has frustratingly had a direct competitor open up very local to him who is also killing it in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and it is destroying his business. I keep getting calls and messages from him asking what is wrong with his website and why his Google ads are not getting him the hits be used to. I have tried to show him and explain over and again just what the competitor is doing on their website with articles, blog posts, competitions Facebook, Instagram and a YouTube channel with a lot of on topic and helpful videos. Then he asks again about meta keywords and ads and does nothing for a few weeks before complaining again.
It's really frustrating as he is a lovely guy and this is his only income, he's just at an age where it's hard to grasp modern technology. I'm looking for ways to help him but I can't afford to spend the time researching his niche enough to write articles for him.

If he is your client, why aren't you saying, "You need to do X, Y, and Z like I showed you. Do you not have the time? Let me do that for you for $$." You don't even have to write the articles, nor does he, outsource that shit to someone who enjoys it. You can tell your clients what they need to do until you're blue in the face, but until you offer to do it for them odds are it's not going to get done.

If it was for some other niche that is what I would do but it involves what can be a hard to keep animal and I wouldn't want to be responsible for any wrong information any outsourced articles may contain but I agree with your sentiment.
To be fair I haven't worked much the last few months as I've been too ill and am just starting to get back on the ball so it's something I need to look into for him.
The other problem is that in response to the competitor he is afraid to put prices up yet his items are far superior. With rising costs and plunging sales his profit margin has plunged. Also whilst the items he makes are excellent there is no need for most customers for repeat buys. He has stocked some related sundries recently to try and offset that though.

People demanding an instant return off of SEO are like a farmer yelling at his crops to grow faster.
I don't understand how people can think SEO is as simple as hiring some dude off Fiverr and a week later you're rolling in money. If it was like that, wouldn't everyone be doing it? No, you're just the only genius that thought of something so brilliant.


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