How To Buy Blog Reviews for Effective Link Building

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Purchasing blog reviews is becoming a part of the overall Internet marketing mix, albeit a controversial one. There are many reasons buying reviews on blogs can be beneficial; such as building brand awareness, social media marketing and when trying to get an honest review from a blogger, testing to see how bloggers or target demographics view your service or product for a substantially lower cost than running a market research group.

For search marketers however, we have to admit that the number one reason to purchase reviews from bloggers (via money, incentives or gifts) is to gain links.

Not only do blog reviews represent an easy way to purchase links to a site, but they also can result in multiple links from each review and the possibility of roadblocking certain keyterm results. As an example, if your company targets a niche industry keyterm, it is possible to use blog reviews and a mix of social media profiles from authority sites to own the search results, pushing your competition off the front page or taking up 40% or more of the front page realty.

Blog reviews are a tricky subject however, and since they are under the microscope of Google and other search engines as a possible form of link buying, some best practices should be examined before starting a blog review campaign, or mixing blog reviews into your link buying strategy.

  1. Flying under the radar. Ideally, the most valuable reviews from blogs should be negotiated and handled without any public knowledge of that blogger accepting payola to write a review or link to your site. Try contacting bloggers directly, and negotiating reviews on a payment basis, or try sending them a free demo of your product; whether via FedEx or a free download and software license. If that fails, just wire some money to their Paypal account. By working with the blogger directly, there is less chance of that review being considered a paid review.
  2. Using Blog Review Services. If you don’t have the time or patience to contact and negotiate with a blogger directly, using a blog review service like SponsoredReviews or ReviewMe is your logical alternative. Most of these companies keep 30% to 50% of the gross blog revenue and then pay the blogger themselves, so you can buy hundreds of blog reviews under one simple interface. There are some red flags to look out for in these systems, which will be discussed below.
  3. Pay for some high profile reviews. You’d be surprised at some of the high quality blogs listed under these services, and then the grand number of less than quality blogs. There is a much greater chance of high quality blogs denying your review, so be careful who you pitch to. Also, these blogs are more likely, since they are in the spotlight, to write an honest review of your business, so if your offering is not ready for the public, or controversial in its own right, be forewarned before buying a review on a high power blog. If you’re confident that your service is the best, then go ahead and pull the trigger.
  4. Beware the Review Only Blogs. When sifting for blogs to target using these blog review services, keep a close eye out for blogs which are set up only for reviews. These blogs have the highest chance of being penalized in Google for link selling and will not bring your business relevant or converting traffic. Before purchasing reviews on blogs, make sure that those blogs publish relevant and original content. If all that they publish are reviews, pass on those blogs.
  5. Beware the Review Badges. Besides ‘review only’ blogs, keep an eye out for the blogs which clutter themselves with review badges, these are ads on the blogs which link over to their profiles on ReviewMe and PayPerPost. Such badges take away from the quality of the blogs, and also identify them to search robots as being associated as review blogs. I’m not saying that all blogs with Review Badges are bad, it’s just that some tend to go overboard with their on-blog promotion. I would not want to tell a client that they have a great link, title tag and URL string from an authority WordPress blog, and then they see that the blog is littered with “Buy a Blog Post” or “Get Reviewed for $50” ads.
  6. Mix Up Your Review Themes. When ordering reviews from review services you are given the chance to write a description about your business and guidelines for the blogger to follow. DO NOT guide all bloggers to write similar reviews on your business. Ask some to do honest reviews. Ask some to just say they found your site online and found it interesting. Ask some to do comparisons with other products or better yet, lists of products. As an example, maybe a blogger could write a “10 Things I Want for Christmas Post” with one or two of your products being on the top of the list and then non-competitive products also being listed (with a link to donate to a charity). This would essentially be a very natural post with natural content. However, you’ll be paying a small fee to make sure your business is profiled to their readers.
  7. Mix Up Your Anchor Text. Just like when running a link building campaign, you do not want all blog reviews to link to you using the same exact anchor text. Mix it up a bit; on some blogs ask for keyword friendly anchors, on other blogs, ask for “click here” or “more information” to be linked, on others, ask them to link to internal pages using the link text they want to use. Such incentived linking behavior leads to an end result of more natural linking.
  8. Take Advantage of Review Marketplaces. offers a bid marketplace where the advertiser can list their offering and then blogs bid on the chance to write a review. Most of the time, you can get your reviews written for much cheaper by taking advantage of this system. Be sure to not keep the same opportunity running however. Change the business description, links and requirements on a daily or weekly basis, as stated above.
  9. Watch Out For .BlogSpot and .info Blogs. Just like a lot of the blogs using blog review services may be ‘review only’ blogs, some may also be of very low quality and using virtual freebie blogging platforms or domains such as,, or .info to host their blogs. Not to say that all Blogspot blogs are trash, as there are many high value Blogspot hosted blogs on the market, but just keep a watchful eye on these blogs when approving or purchasing reviews. In addition, some blogs hosted on subdomains can have inflated Alexa stats which influence their review pricing or ranking.
  10. Ask for No Disclosure. If you have the chance to get a blogger to review your product using these services, in your requirements put something like “do not disclose this is an advertisement” and chances are they will not list your review under a sponsored review, advertorial or advertisement category or label it as being so. If your review is not labeled as an ad, can it be proved that it is one? More than likely not.
  11. Think Outside the Box. Don’t buy reviews only based on blog PageRank or relevant content. Chances are if you dig deep enough you’ll find blogs with an RSS following, excellent writers, link bait style posts, bloggers that market their blogs via social media or perhaps you’ll form a relationship with a blogger that can last a lifetime or result in you hiring them to do your writing. You may even want to do some reviews without direct links and ask the blogger to link to other blogs, your RSS feed or search results. How many times has a blogger naturally linked to your site via an alternative course? Given the popularity of viewing blog posts in Google Reader, I get bloggers linking to my Feedburner Feed URL’s daily.
  12. Market Their Reviews for Them. Get a Nice review from a blogger? Then take the steps to bookmark it, Stumble it, get it linked to or post it in Propeller or Digg. Juicing up bloggers who link to you can have long term effects on the traffic generated to your business and its long term web presence.

[Disclosure : I’m writing this from the view of an advertiser and marketer, not from the view of a blogger.]

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Charming, this little corner of the blogosphere thanks you for making tangible the deep distrust we all face already. I’ll definitely keep in mind the fact that you wrote this post whenever I read anything else you write in the future.

  • Marshall, we review various facets of online marketing on this blog, and give tips on everything from organic SEO to paid linking.

    I’d say I’m very open about my ethics as a blogger and publisher. While some blogs mix church and state via advertorials and affiliate links, I tend to keep the two divided. Thank you.

  • Well, I’ve enjoyed this blog and your writing for some time and am really disappointed to see you specifically advise readers to request nondisclosure. I can understand the practical reasons behind it, I just think it’s b.s.

    Good luck to you,

  • Marshall, respect.

    The non-disclosure argument more or less goes back to the paid linking argument in SEO.

    Exactly what is a paid link, or a paid blog post, in this respect and what is not. What should result in disclosure, and what should be kept behind the curtain.

    For example, if I’m sent a Zune in the mail, and I absolutely love it and the fact that I don’t have to scroll around in circles to reach my favorite songs, and continue to bring this up in multiple blog posts, should I disclose it?

    I love Yahoo OneSearch and always bring it up when discussing mobile search. But if Yahoo OneSearch picks up the bill to a $300 dinner, while we’re discussing their future plans, and I cover those plans, does that kill my credibility?

    Or should I just drink water and eat rolls while at the table?

    But, what if they buy me a $300 smart phone to check it out? (this is a totally hypothetical situation)

    I would then feel the heavy pressure to disclose.

    I probably drank $100 worth of Sierra Nevada at the Google Dance and spoke with engineers about their products. Should I disclose that Google gave me free beer to write about them?

    Is that tasty Sierra Nevada that different than a check for $100?

    A lot of paid influence goes on behind the scenes in the world of media, usually by very large companies, and not as direct as paid reviews… but the focus or desired end result is the same.

    Publishers have the freedom to turn down the dinners, or not cover the new products Microsoft is launching, but then feel taken if TechCrunch or another large site beats them to the punch.

    Why can’t smaller publishers or advertisers enjoy the same freedom of influence on the web that larger companies take full advantage of, without being told that they must disclose these relationships.

    I’m glad you brought this up, as I was not going to include that Disclosure recommendation, but did so in hopes that it would stir a debate on the subject. Looks like my wishes were fulfilled.

  • although I was well versed with other points but 6 and 7 were totally new for me (even though they are part of common sense..)

    mixing up anchor text and mixing up review themes is a great idea which will give very small hint to readers that the blogger is ordering reviews on various websites..

    I also totally agree with the point of NOT having the ppp and review me badges on blogs. They do have wrong impression on people and search engines also..

    @Loren: it is good to see that this debate of paid links on different blogs is actually heating up with different perspectives (like this one). Even though I am still not that huge blogger but I have learned a lot during my blogging career and I am confident that bloggers will fight this Google’s war against paid links

    Google’s fight against paid links is forcing people to innovate new ideas to bypass search engine eyes and I am truly loving this.. 😉

    I agree that Google is fighting to clean the unwanted stuff in there search engine but somehow this has made the new bloggers to loose some amount of there daily money (just because they are afraid that Google may penalize them)

    I am happy I never introduced paid links on my blog as I am still working to bring in traffic not money..

  • Hey, if you can drink $100 in microbrews at Google and not get thrown out on your ear – I can respect that! That said, in all of the above examples I’d say you should disclose except for 1. Yahoo buying you dinner (I’ve paid for my own dinner with Yahoo people before for just this reason – but if the only alternative available to you is water and rolls then hey buddy, eat up, I aint going to stop you) and 2. the beer – beer is a blessing from a higher power and not anything that has to be disclosed. May it flow freely for everyone forever.

    All the other stuff should be disclosed every time.

    Reasonable disclosure of relevant financial interests is an important goal we should all strive for and I consider the post above a manual for being an effective slime ball. As for paid links, with disclosure I agree that they are just fine. I posted at RWW on the topic last week and do not agree with how Google is handling it (in as much as I understand it.)

    While I am very sympathetic with bloggers who want to make money writing (I do, I make a nice living doing it) I humbly suggest that you owe all bloggers an apology for this manual on how to do it in one of the least legitimate ways.

  • Doug Heil

    I agree with Marshall totally.

    I will add that Loren is simply writing about ways to “spam Google”. Nothing new here. MANY SEO’s out there LOVE to spam Google.

    And you wonder why the SEO industry has a bad reputation? LOL …. just read the above article.

  • Touche’ Marshall, I’m going to omit that disclosure part out of the recommendations via a STRIKE, to leave the discussion open to comment.

    Doug, I barely ever touch upon these kind of tactics, but Blog Reviews are a part of the industry and I feel that if someone is going to use them, they should be a bit creative. Plus, the advertiser can always opt to use a NoFollow attribute, which would mean the links are not spamming Google for target site rankings.

  • With the PayPerPost marketplace the cost is only approximately 26% of the fee paid, and with their direct service it drops to 9%.

    The mainstream services all require disclosure to my knowledge.

    I look on paid reviews as being at least as legitimate as “thanking your sponsors” and normally much better content, though you should look at the previous work on a blog before making a decision… unless you are going for a mass market with a bigger budget.

    I wouldn’t necessarily agree with 3.
    Google is targeting higher profile blogs that write paid reviews, though I am not sure quite why all sites are not treated equally.

  • ahhh the age old discussion about paid links. It’ll never be resolved.

  • Dave (original)

    Loren, from all the flashing ads and affiliations with link mongers, I would say you have a vested interest in posting about spamming Google.

    Common sense tells me that Google are not going to credit ANY link on ANY page where the site owner can add their OWN link. 1 Million Blog posts, newsgroups posts, forum posts & signatures, FFA pages, Guestbook links and so and so on….will never be seen as “votes”.

  • Brilliant article, I always like people who speak open. What is the point of keeping things hidden? Are you afraid that the blogosphere would get corrupted?? That is utter nonsense.

  • I agree this is very interesting article. I don’t buy links but I sell it a lot 🙂 Regards

  • David,

    Saying that Google should discredit links from pages where site owners can add their own links makes absolutely no sense. Blogs are sites. The owners of those blog add content via blog publishing platforms. These are called content management systems. A rather good amount of sites on the web are run via content management systems. Saying that Google should discredit links from blogs is like saying Google should discredit links from sites, or wikis.

    There are many very beneficial after effects to having blogs besides Google indexing that blog as a part of the Internet, especially quality blogs with followings, review or blog about your business. RSS subscribers, blog readers, news aggregators and other search engines will pick that blog up in time and its readers will make their own decision from the content on those sites.

    You cannot group blogs with Free For All pages and Guestbook links. There is no co relation what-so-ever, except for blog comments.

    And Google does not give much value to link building only from Blog Comment links, especially on WordPress where the comment template can easily be identified.

  • David,

    I agree with Loren on this one. What you’re saying is, essentially, that Google will discredit practically every link on the entire web, if I’m reading your comment correctly. That makes no sense at all, and would require massive changes to Google’s algorithm. I don’t see that happening any time soon.

  • Rowsdower

    At what point is there no longer any “legitimate” way for a retail company to get links if any attempts to influence people toward paying attention to your product is seen as spam?

  • Dave (original)

    RE: “Saying that Google should discredit links from pages where site owners can add their own links makes absolutely no sense”

    I’m not saying they should, I’m saying they likely do. PR is obtained via “votes” if you think you vote for yourself as many times as you like, you are in the wrong game.

    Like I say, you have a clear vested interest in spreading high risk tactics and playing down the risk while boosting up the “benefits”. Me, I have no vested interest in any aspect of SEO. Your method of “SEO” is in clear violation of Google’s guidelines. That makes it high risk and downright unethical. Cheating!

    What you think they cannot do, they have likely done for months, if not Years. Trust me, they are 1o steps ahead of the blackhat game (which is why they are pally with many). They simply cannot afford it any other way.

    RE: “I agree with Loren on this one. What you’re saying is, essentially, that Google will discredit practically every link on the entire web, if I’m reading your comment correctly.”

    I said no such thing. What I said was: Google will not see a link from Blogs posts (excluding the author), Forum posts & signatures, Newsgroup posts, FFA pages, Guestbooks etc as a “vote”. Why? Because any site owner can post a hundred of these links to themselves a day.

    Google have an Army of geeks with wall-to-wall PHD’s etc. Their employees have passion like no other business before and Google has millions of ready cash and billions long term. They live and breath delivering highly relevant SERPs and put their searchers first and foremost.

    Anyone thinking of using this method, should take a leaf from one the most succesful and innovative business in history. I.e, put YOUR users 1st.

  • has a couple of online marketing classes I can subscribe to which is cool, but those are all I can find. Are there others out there that I’m missing?

  • paid blog links are devaluing he results google serves up and google will crack down by end of this year. we have a competitor who is doing this and yes they are moving up rapidly but their back links are all cheesy blogs that just post stuff on truck parts to tvs to skin cream. content is horrible its just anchor text with popular keywords on these blogs, they will be banned and the sites that pay may be penalized or banned, not yet but its coming.

  • Many Bloggers are using for the blog reviews. Thanks for this tips.

  • Hi. You know what guys? I think this is very good idea, but I am affraid but not for me 😐

  • I was just going to buy some comment’s for my site, but however after reading the post in this blog I realize it is a bad idea for all involved. Thanks for the information.

  • Super post… But i want to tell you Arlo Gilbert. Blogger are using blogspot but it,s not pay to blogger, review me and sponsoredreviews pay to blogger on any advertise.

    BTW thanks for post

  • But which of these blogging services use 100% dofollow links??

  • No it,s not use 100% do follow links service.

  • Thanks for the great advice about blog posting is so hard to get through all the false info out there!


  • Nice blog post, I’ve been considering the strategy for a while now for a client site. I think the key is to go direct however, rather than use a company that is brokering the service.

  • Thanks for that info. We are a new SEO company, looking for different methods of link building, and you have just given me one way to include with many others. Thanks.

  • What is wrong with blogspot because I intend to buy some reviews there because of their prices?I used service which has .info blogs and I am very satisfied with the results.Actualy I bought a website with good positions in Google and the seller shows me that way of linkbuilding.His oppinion (and now mine too) is that this is the best price/result method.You can find better offers in webmasters forums than in

  • Thank for tips.
    I want review on Techcrunch, I don’t known effect for me.

  • if you submit your blog to my site you’ll get a free
    link and a review!!

  • nice to hear many informative things… thanks you all

  • Dont forget about the old “free online advertising” sites that give you a do follow link.

  • I find it hard to believe that people are so negative on these paid link systems.
    I mean…If people read all the comments above..its as if you should just make a website and then wait for links to happen naturally. For viral sites it may happen…for normal businesses…paid links is the only way.

    I’ve been doing blog commenting…blog reviews..web 2.0 linking…and All of it mostly works. The only hindrance or rather the only factor that counts most is the number of links/per day(keeping it under a certain level).

    I sometimes feel as if all of you simply want to discourage newbies out there from getting anywhere by scaring them off some of the best methods of backlinking.

    The notion that content will matter in the long term is losing value. Natural linking rarely works.

  • Excellent article – I was searching for a good primer on the topic of buying blog articles. I’m going to give the two services you’ve mentioned a shot.

    Paying to have a review makes excellent sense – it’s especially valuable if they reviewer is free to make their own assesment of the product’s quality.

  • I liked to read this article. We also offer free e-book with information about success blog advertising, you can download it from Good luck! -Oleg

  • Where can i get uk blog links for UK sites

  • I have used blog review websites in the past to connect me with willing bloggers and agree with you that they can be a good asset as long as you are selective with the type of blog you request a review from. Doing your research about the blogger is key to successfully getting any link love from a blog review! Great post about this topic.

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  • to buying the blog reviews for link building sounds good but i think that it is cost effective that for the first time anyone could be hesitate to go for that.

  • dharmho

    3-month-old blog yet so can not yet registered to Sponsoredreviews pagerank is 2..

  • its a new type of blog that i found must help the people who were new in the SEO field it helps everyone who wants to learn and want to get more from the blog.

  • i am 100% agree with the author now its time to buy the review for the promotion of the blog.That's the right thing that i ever seen.

  • i am 100% agree with the author now its time to buy the review for the promotion of the blog.That's the right thing that i ever seen.

  • Hey that is really a very good suggestion. I am agree with your views and impressed too. Thanks a lot for this amazing post. Keep up the good work.

  • Nice ideas for effective link building. This post is really very good from SEO point of view. Thanks for providing this very valuable information. Keep up the good work.

  • sounds good buying effective links, if someone try it out then give me some suggestions for that because i am new in SEO.

  • sounds good buying effective links, if someone try it out then give me some suggestions for that because i am new in SEO.