UPDATE 10-16-12: Dana Raam at Sorezki has contacted me with some notes about our review. Read what she had to say after the jump.
I can’t remember exactly where I found out about Sorezki Linkr, but at first blush it seemed like the ideal tool for a small SEO firm like ours. Promising to place “high quality” links using professional link builders, Linkr appeared to be a great tool for expanding our throughput.
Unfortunately, my first impression was as good as it got. Here’s what I ordered, what Linkr gave me, and why I think this product is a bad deal.
Sorezki’s Rebuttal to My Original Review
If you haven’t read the full review yet, these notes won’t make a whole lot of sense…so you might come back to this section after reading the rest.
Based on my email exchange with Dana Raam at Sorezki, here are some fixes:
1. After your trial investment is complete, you can buy as little as $250 worth of links at one time rather than $500. You can also purchase a trial amount as small as $50, not the $100 I reported.
2. Dana had this to say about my link quality experience:
The poor quality of the links you received (and we do agree that they are poor) is the result of your links being built by a single, substandard link builder. As you ordered a small volume of links, your order was pulled from our link building pool by a single link builder (as opposed to a few different link builders, as occurs with larger orders) whose work ended up being substandard.
From the hundreds of link builders who build tens of thousands of links, the significantly vast majority of them are extremely proficient and produce excellent, high quality links. Occasionally, it is possible that a link builder produces below standard links- which is why we created the Dispute process. If after our various automated quality control systems (such as scans for negative words and broken links) a substandard link is still published and delivered to the customer, it is in our customer’s best interest to dispute that link. Disputing the link both ensures that the customer will receive a high quality link to replace the low quality one and helps weed out problematic link builders so that they are removed from the system. It’s unfortunate that you didn’t use the dispute process as it would have given us a chance to show you what Linkr is really capable of (and normally delivers).
3. Sorezki will not be refunding my unused $33 credit.
4. Raam apologized for the low quality of the links I received as well (only it took a little goading on my part to get that acknowledgement):
We are very sorry that the quality of the links you received was so poor and to make it right we are offering to re-start the 30 day warranty period on your links so that you can dispute them and they can be rebuilt in a way that reflects the normal quality of our company
My notes on this response: First of all, I think it’s a bit unreasonable to expect me to dispute poor quality links. I’ve never used the product before, so how could I have known that the links I received were poor?
Additionally, if one single link builder can create a bunch of bad links for the same client, I think there’s a fundamental problem with the system.
However, I will take Raam’s offer and see what comes back this time around. If the quality is substantially better, I will update this review accordingly.
Final Update November 13, 2012 – Here’s What Happened After the Re-Do
As you read above, I took Dana’s offer and all my links were re-done. Here’s what I got:
- A inline text link in a http://lockergnome.net comment on a related question. Cached by Google. Not a great link, but not terrible…but the cost for this link was $15.
- A blog comment on a Typepad blog (i.e. blogname.typepad.com) that’s about 3 years old.
- Another typepad blog comment, only this one is just 10 months old.
- The most relevant, most valuable link was on a Subaru BRZ forum. It was a forum footer signature link for $12.
- A bookmark on http://www.folkd.com that has not been cached by Google (go figure) after 2 weeks.
- A link on http://directoryfuse.com that has not been cached by Google after 2 weeks.
While I appreciate Sorezki’s attempt at working with me, my conclusion hasn’t changed. This is a lot of money to pay for links of negligible value.
However, I will say that the odds of a penalty are much lower if the quality in the 2nd set of links is more representative. These links have marginal value, but they were largely relevant so the odds of a problem are low.
— Original review continued below —
How Linkr Works
First, after requesting an invite, you’re given access to the Linkr tool. The user interface is very business-like: you define a campaign, the keywords you’re targeting, the country, etc. (see this Linkr review from Search Engine Journal for some good screenshots)
Next, you’re asked to buy credits. Linkr offers a one-time only $100 credit purchase that you can use to test, but after you buy that $100 test credit, you’re required to spend at least
$500 $250 on credits from that point forward…which brings me to my first gripe:
Gripe #1: Why do I have to buy so many credits after this initial test buy?
$500$250 buys a lot of link-building – I can hire an hourly worker on Craigslist, train them in the basics, and then send them out in the world to do 20-2510-12 hours of link-building for $500$250, and that includes training time.
Once you’ve got credits in your account, you can start the process of requesting links. Here’s the current pricing as of this review date (September 2012):
- Forum backlinks – $12 each
- Links from bookmarking sites – $3.50 each
- Directory listings – $14 each
- Links from Q&A sites – $15 each
- Blog comment links – range from $6 (PR zero) to $50 (PR 6)
While I don’t typically buy links in this manner (in my experience, I’ve found that links like these are low value), the promise that Linkr’s professional link builders would create “high quality” links encouraged me to try the tool. I ordered $67 dollars worth of links in mid-July 2012 – two blog comments, and then one of each of the rest. Here’s what I got:
- A bookmark on a website that no longer exists (only it did exist once, and it was ugly)
- A directory link from aquarius-dir.com, which I won’t link to because it’s just too spammy looking
- A link from a generic Q&A site that has no user base (the site is BodyCapitalism.com, and the Q&A section looks like a generic WordPress plugin)
- A forum post signature backlink from a site dedicated to helping students at the University of Duhok…which is in Kurdistan (formerly part of Iraq). I’m not making this up.
- Blog comment links from a couple of Typepad sites – one comment link was minimally relevant, while the other was not at all relevant and has since been deleted.
Gripe #2: If you’re following along at home, I spent $67 on 6 spammy links, two of which were deleted or removed 60 days (or so) later.
How Linkr Could Be Better
The positives of the tool are
- The easy to use interface and
- The very logical approach to link ordering
If this interface could be combined with some talented link builders – people who knew how to get a link dropped in an active forum thread or on a relevant blog post – that would be a huge step forward.
Additionally, if the company focused exclusively on comment and forum backlinks, while leaving social bookmarks and cheap directory links in the past where they belong, Linkr would be a nice tool for generating a handful of quality comment and forum links. While forum and blog comment links aren’t going to help your site rank #1 all by themselves, they can help if the quality is high and they’re relevant.
If nothing else, well-placed forum and blog comment links can generate traffic.
Unfortunately, it seems that Linkr is using the same low-quality link builders that you can hire on Fiverr.com, and then selling those links for far more than they’re worth.
What’s The Bottom Line?
First, understand that the types of links created by the Linkr product have minimal SEO value. I’m not going to say they’re worthless, but it takes someone with a lot of time and a really sophisticated process to rank relying upon these types of links. What’s more, these types of links are far too easy for Google to devalue in a future update.
Second, if I was inclined to buy these types of links, there are literally hundreds of less expensive alternatives. You can hire SEO companies overseas that offer hundreds of these links in packages that cost a couple hundred dollars. Based on my experience, Sorezki’s Linkr is incredibly over-priced.
Third, as you might have guessed, 6 backlinks didn’t boost rankings for my traffic site, nor did I recieve any significant referral traffic. While I wouldn’t have expected 6 links to boost rankings, good quality blog comment and forum links usually refer a few visitors.
Finally, I would never order links from Linkr without being a little concerned about a Google penalty at some point. One of the forum profile links I got was from a user who had 36 forum posts…pretty sure that means the same link builder is posting different links all over the place using the same account. If they’re doing that with forum backlinks, who knows what other easy-to-trace link behavior they’re up to.
Gripe #3: After completing my $67 order, I requested a refund on my $33. No one from Sorezki has replied to my request (which was made about a week ago).
- The links I got using Sorezki’s Linkr tool weren’t worth paying for.
- Based on my experience, Sorezki’s Linkr is overpriced.
- Linkr creates low-quality links that could earn you (or your client) a penalty from Google.
My Rating? Don’t buy it.