In case you haven’t read it yet, BuildMyRank has closed it doors:

http://www.buildmyrank.com/news/its-been-a-great-run

Lately I’ve been offline, enjoying book sales and painting my house (my wife can’t stand plain white walls, I used to be a remodeler with skills in painting)…so haven’t been building links lately. It was news to me.

Actually, I’d heard about it through LinkAuthority – another network that was competing with BMR…at first I didn’t believe my eyes.

The other thought was, “Great! I just released CJ Tactics and recommended BMR…” So to my CJ Tactics customers: the rest of my “Content Marketing 3.0″ method still works and applies.

Anyhow, regardless of my own recommendations, the fact remains that Google de-indexed yet another blog posting network.

What Does BMR’s Demise Teach About Link-Building?

Some will say that it’s just a matter of time before Google shuts down all link-building efforts. Fine by me, have at it.

It’s not like Google owns traffic online – those who are going to make it in this business know better than to trust one resource of traffic anyway, or one resource of links.

If you were one of the many who relied on BMR exclusively: sorry, but shame on you.

Seriously:

Always diversify.

One of the weaknesses of BMR was that it ran on 100% WordPress blogs for their links. Another weakness was that it was totally privately-owned.

Compared to ArticleRanks or Unique Article Wizard – which allows users to donate other, non-WP websites to the mix – BMR didn’t really take the best precautions in that regard.

Shame on me for not thinking about that ahead of time, but BMR isn’t and should never have been the only resource for links for anybody in this industry: and that goes for every “type” of link you build.

Never just build links on one platform. Never just use one anchor text. Never just use one tool or subscription.

In fact, don’t just build article links – or the new “article snippets” of 150-300 words (I always built 450-600 words, even on BMR). There’s video, podcasts, PDF links, press releases, forum signatures, blog comments, guest posts…

And no, I wouldn’t bother with the stupid .edu wiki links everyone’s raving about: talk about a spam footprint…

Anyhow, I’ve been hammered lately with tons of panicked IMers wondering:

If you don’t use BuildMyRank, what else is there?

BuildMyRank Alternatives

Because of the success of BMR and before them, Blog Blueprint (which incidentally got hit by Google too: another privately-owned blog network) – there have been other blog networks competing with similar results.

So far I’ve used and enjoyed the following:

Edit: I’ve removed my recommendations (Authority Link Network, Link Authority, Free Blog Network) because comments from readers showed that ALN has been hit, too…and I’m actually offline currently so I need to experiment myself with what I’m replacing BMR with.

So before I give out more bad advice, I’m going to be doing content on my sites and then experiment with other solutions. I’m sharing my opinion at this point of what I plan to do, but stay tuned for actual case studies. Just don’t hold your breath. Painting my house is taking longer than expected. :)

Thanks to all the commentators informing me of ALN and their issues as well – until I find other solutions, it’s back to the drawing board for me.

So you could go on with business as usual, link building…but…

What’s a Safer Alternative?

That’s really the question – or another like it is: isn’t it just a matter of time before all these blog networks get de-indexed?

Google has a spam team and they’ve shut down BMR for a reason: they consider the network a link scheme. So if you’re building links this way, you have to know that’s Google’s take on the matter.

I’m in this business for life: not a part-time newbie here, this is my living, so thinking outside the common box is something that’s kept me afloat.

So my suggestions:

  • Get Duct Tape SEO. Use those methods for 100% safe linking and ranking, use that in your mix of marketing, if not all your marketing efforts.
  • Build your own blog network. I can’t advise you here, but I know someone who can. More details to follow later. The benefit is a smaller network has a smaller footprint.
  • Diversify your links. Don’t just use one type of link like blog post snippets. Master a few link-building methods and use various forms on different pages of your sites.
  • Always use manual links like guest blogging, press releases, manual forum links and blog comments (not automated spam-lord chum). Depending on automated means and spammy services is not something I’d recommend…
But make no mistake: Google shut down BMR because links from BMR were working.

Building links on higher Pagerank pages still does what you’d expect. Those links increase your rankings.

But creating 1,000 PR3 links or greater? All dofollow? All on WordPress?

Can you just scream, “I’m a cheater!” to Matt Cutt’s momma’s face?

…actually leave his mom out of this. But really now.

Some have asked why I didn’t mention LinkVana – simply because a friend of mine in the industry said they didn’t work too well (Daniel McG’s LinkVanaReview.com no longer recommends it).

What I have used that works is still found in my updated Recommended Tools page (confusingly labeled “My Tools”).

But Ask Yourself: Is This a Risk You Want To Take?

It’s your business. It’s your decision. Building links according to what people with an affiliate link have to say is taking a risk: so know your business.

Frankly, I’ve sold plenty of link-building software and services (not worth bragging about, trust me, but I have made sales all the same). You have to take it upon yourself to know what Google penalizes, and then ask yourself if it’s a risk you want to take.

Personally I’m moving forward carefully. I really don’t build links every month (shocked?) – I only build as I need. The rest come naturally. On my niche sites I build links slowly at first, and I do use tools to make my life easier.

But then I slow down and always build manual links: the good stuff.

Building links using tools and services – even when the sales pages claim “Google loves these links!” – is 9 times out of 9 against Google’s policy.

Which is another reason I wrote Duct Tape SEO – but I still take a calculated risk with links.

I use tools. I use services. I use subscriptions.

For me, it’s been worth it. My sites don’t just rely on any one form of linking, nor on any one tool or service.

I also get traffic from various places – and experimenting with more non-SEO forms of traffic.

To make it “official” here: I’m carrying on as I normally would. BMR is just one place for me to get links.

You do you, I’ll do me.

I don’t want to debate against whitehatters nor gray or blackhatters – SEO is a business dominated by Google and if you want to bend their Terms of Use then it’s a risk you take knowingly.

If you build links at all, you better know the risk you’re taking. I do and I’m moving forward carefully, but moving forward all the same.

Here’s What Others Have Said

I’m not the only one talking about BMR. Here are some of my friends’ posts posts about it, with various opinions on what to do next.

BuildMyRank, SEO and Traffic Generation by Shane Melaugh at IMImpact.com.

Build My Rank is Dead – Long Live Links by Lissie Sowerbutts

Build My Rank Has Been Shut Down by Steve Scott

And one of my favorite people online, Leo Dimilo, says this:

4 Proven Reasons You Should Quit Building Links for SEO (And Focus on This Instead)

Update…

I wanted someone besides Leo to take a stand on the issue from a different perspective, so here’s what Pat Flynn said (one of my fave bloggers):

A Step Towards Ethical Link-Building

Here’s what Jennifer, PotPieGirl had to say (I just read this after publishing my own piece):

OMG The Sky Is Falling!?!!

And someone I’ve read a little of and need to read more of in the future, Michelle of FromIdeatoEmpire.com says this:

Is This The End of Link-Building? Blog Networks Speak Out

And a new one (updating March 29, 2012 here), from a new contact I’ve made at StrayBlogger.com, Nate Rivers…he has some interesting points in a podcast to make:

BMR Closing, The State of SEO, Plan Moving Forward

One of the most negative posts I’ve seen – and I’d highly recommend reading it to form a solid opinion – is from a blog I’ve just discovered called BacklinksSquad.com:

Google Hitting Blog and Link Networks

Their advice? To stop all blog network subscriptions.

Actually that may be the safest bet yet, it’s entirely up to you what you do from here. I’m back in content-building mode on my end so I’ll report back what I find…until then, I plan on carrying on like normal.

Take from these articles what you will, the fact is that Google will always fight against manipulations to inflate your rankings and that’s what link-building is. Some of us do it knowingly all the same.

BMR isn’t the first or last successful service that will get hit by the algorithm or spam team: but is that a risk you’re willing to take?

I’ve already chimed in on that. But what do you think?

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