I’ve recently been looking into “The Hoth”, an SEO agency specializing in link building. I’ve been on the fence about whether this is the type of thing I’d want to try for any of my sites – certainly the most important ones. I’ve never outsourced link building – in fact, I’ve never actively engaged in Link building at all. All links to my sites have always been organic. With my 17 year old authority site, I never once did anything to actively solicit links from anyone, and it has thousands of high quality, relevant links – including editorial links from top tier sites like The New York Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Better Homes and Gardens magazine, and more.
But one of my other sites definitely needs a boost of link juice to get it to where it needs to be in the SERPS. The content is excellent, indepth, and lengthy. The on page optimization is close to idea – gets a perfect score in several respected website graders. All I’m missing is the links, and while I know I could get relevant authoritative sites to link to me if I had the time to go out and make that happen, in truth, right now I just don’t. I’m struggling with a painful rib injury, I’m caregiver for my elderly parent who has a serious degenerative disease, and dealing with a whole host of other stuff – in addition to needing to take care of business. So the idea of outsourcing a little bit of link building is tempting, and yet, the very thing I have always wanted to stay far a way from. Because anything unnatural has the potential to hurt your sites. And if you paid someone, it ain’t natural, now is it?
If you are looking to outsource some link building for SEO purposes, then based on my in-depth research into these guys, The Hoth is about as reputable as it gets, short of using a very high ends service that gets you some serious editorial placements at $150 – $1000 per pop (acutally, the Hoth offers that as well…). But still, its always a risk to buy links, and the Hoth themselves say that on their website – although in some cases, the risk is mitigated much better than in others.
However, what I’ve also discovered is that there is an affordable link building software package that does a lot of the same stuff The Hoth will do for you. Its by Brad Callen, who I am familiar with going years back. He has a solid reputation and doesn’t do anything black hat, so when I found out it was by him, I felt reassured. I noticed int he research and reviews I read about The Hoth, some people commented it was pricey. I don’t actually think it is, given the reputation and trust factor that The Hoth has. If you want a quality job done, you have to pay for quality. If you don’t then you get what you pay for. Getting exposure on the web, the right way, costs money. Always. No way around that. But anyway, if cost is the concern, then the software is definitely a great alternative.
I’m compiling some of my own notes on my research on the Hoth below:
This was a comment someone left in response to this article / review about The Hoth (the reviewer says the service worked, but he no longer uses it because he doesnt want to do anything that can be viewed as unnatural in his backlink profile – valid concern).
“We have used Hoth for many campaigns and have spent over $10K on their platform over the last 2 years. Here is the bottom line… Too often people buy the basic most package $60 one time, have virtually no other links then expect the rank fairy to show up and power them to the top of SERPs overnight.
If your on page is good and your money site has a handful of authority links then running their $60 – $200 service for 3 -6 months will make a tremendous difference.
- This was an interesting article, backing up the credibility of The Hoth, but still the same concerns and issues remain.
- The CHicago Tribune wrote an article on the Hoth when they were acquired by a Nevada company, so there’s no question that these guys are credible – not your typical smarmy scammy link builders. Here’s an excerpt from the Chicago Tribune article:“It also has a “distributed workforce” of writers in the Philippines and the U.S. who write 400- to 500-word articles about various subjects, based on keywords that the client wants to optimize on search engines. This content appears on WordPress.com and Blogspot.com sites, among many others, with the large number of resulting sites pointing back“We don’t want to spam the Internet or create ‘advertorial’ content,” Pyatetsky said. “We just create relevant content around the subject matter and we cite our clients’ sites wherever is appropriate within those articles.”
Google has cast an unfavorable eye on the Web properties generated by SEO-focused companies, seeing them as “content farms” that churn out low-quality sites solely to maximize Web traffic. In early 2011, the search giant tweaked its algorithm to reduce rankings for what it deemed poor-quality sites.
Pyatetsky said he sees his startup as a necessary part of the Internet food chain, since websites can have trouble getting highly ranked by Google even if they try to follow the search giant’s guidelines.
“Our primary concern is to get the client to rank and keep them safe,” he said. “There’s excruciating detail paid to naturalizing the process and making sure it stays in line with the things Google does like. The other thing is we do have unique content … The whole purpose of our content is to be contextually relevant and unique.”
The HOTH said its services have been used in more than 10,000 Web campaigns to date.
“We’ve been in this industry for a decade,” David Martin and Marc Hardgrove, co-chief executives of Next Net Media, said in a joint statement. “It’s extremely competitive and we know that The HOTH is a winner.”
- This was also an interesting review. As a lot of people have said, the Hoth could be a good way to develop link diversity when you are spending your own time an effort going after top tier authoritative links with anchor text. Use the Hoth packages to give your SEO a bit of a boost, but don’t rely on them entirely for your link profile.
- A lot of people have said buying one $50 package wont really help you. Some have said, but three, or one a month for 3 months, and it’ll have impact. Others said go straight for the Blitz packages. That was very much along my line of thinking when I was reviewing their offerings. Its tempting to think you can get a bump in the SERPS with just a $50 one time spend, but realistically, you’re probably going to need something more than that.