Are backlink marketplaces worth it? How much should you pay for links? We analyzed 14,269 backlinks across 4 popular marketplaces. We share the results in this case study.
When done carefully, paying for backlinks (guest posts, niche edits, etc) can be a highly effective strategy to accelerate the rankings and traffic growth of a niche site.
We looked at 4 popular link marketplaces: Loganix, Authority Builders, Serp Pro, and SerpTrust. We analyzed how much they typically charge for a link, SEO metrics of their links, and more.
To obtain the data, we programmatically scraped all the data from these marketplaces, added in missing metrics from AHREFs, and then performed data-driven analysis in Google Sheets.
Here is what’s covered in this report:
- Summary of each backlink marketplace
- Average price and metrics for each marketplace
- Analysis of link prices and takeaways
Let’s get into it!
Summary of 4 Key Findings
Here is the bottom-line-up-front:
- Average price across all marketplaces was $409.38 per link
- Median price across all marketplaces was $247 per link
- Loganix charges the highest average price per link at $597.19 (average of $12.98 per DR)
- SerpTrust charges the lowest average price for a link at $188.43 (average of $4.49 per DR)
It’s important to note that low cost does not equal quality backlink. Each backlink opportunity must be analyzed to see if it has (1) organic traffic, (2) age, (3) inbound backlinks from other sites, (4) good branding, and much more
Do your own due diligence; DO NOT trust marketplaces to do it for you.
Here are key takeaways:
- Marketplaces offer many high-quality links from specific sites, but the price may be too high to be worth it
- Marketplaces have a 30-50% profit markup. You could go direct to the websites listed for a better deal.
- Some marketplaces also offer questionable or low-quality links that you should avoid (we recommend conducting your own due diligence on every link).
- Check each site’s outgoing links with AHREFs to make sure they are not linking to low-quality sites or questionable niches.
Loganix vs Authority Builders vs Serp Pro vs SerpTrust
Here is a side-by-side comparison of each marketplace and metrics:
What is a Backlink Marketplace?
A link marketplace is a service where you can pay to have links placed to your site from a list of available sites.
A link marketplace is typically managed by a company that has developed relationships with thousands of websites over several years. This can save you time from manually reaching out to sites on your own.
Link marketplaces typically share the URL of each site before the link is placed to make sure the linking site meets the customer’s requirements.
Best Link Building Marketplaces: Data-Driven Reviews
We analyzed 14,269 backlinks across 4 marketplaces to gain insights into the average price per link, traffic, DR, and more. This allowed us to hone down on which marketplace is the best overall value.
In no particular order, we review each of the marketplaces.
1. Loganix Marketplace Review
- Average Price Per Link: $597.19
- Median Price Per Link: $323
- Average DR: 46
- Average Traffic: 67,590
- Cost per 1,000 Traffic: $8.84
- Average Cost per DR: $12.98
- Number of Sites: 6,054
Loganix is a link building marketplace with a list of thousands of vetted sites that you can order a link placement from.
Loganix offers link insertions or guest posts on high-quality sites via their marketplace.
Once you place an order for a specific URL, they will get the link placed in about 6 weeks.
Prices range from $175 to almost $22,000.
- Loganix is highly recommended with testimonials from well-known SEOs such as Brian Dean, Nick Eubanks, and Nathan Gotch.
- Sites are highly vetted with an extensive list of checks including traffic trends, anchor text abuse, and no links to poker, pills, or adult.
- The Loganix website receives thousands of organic visitors from Google (7.5k AHREFs traffic) despite selling links.
- Their own site has links from many high authority sites like Fortune, Entrepreneur, American Express, Fox News, Moz, and Hubspot (over 1,900 dofollow referring domains in total).
- Prices are the highest compared to the other marketplaces.
- They don’t allow you to provide the content.
- You can suggest the anchor text, but the site owner may not use it.
- To view the list of sites with URLs, you need to join the Loganix Pro membership for $9.99 per month and sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement).
2. Authority Builders Review
- Average Price per Link: $330.77
- Median Price per Link: $277.78
- Average DR: 41
- Average Traffic: 34,194
- Cost per 1,000 Traffic: $9.67
- Average Cost per DR: $8.07
- Number of Sites: 1,656
Authority Builders provides guest post and link insertions from “real” English websites with at least 1,000 AHREFs traffic.
Prices range from about $100 to $1,300, based on the website.
- If any links are removed within 365 days, Authority Builders will replace the link for free or provide a full refund.
- Links are from sites with a minimum of 1,000 AHREFs traffic.
- You can provide your preferred anchor text.
- They can provide screenshots of the email conversations with webmasters.
- Authority Builders writes the content for you.
- Most links are placed within 7-10 days (high authority sites typically take longer, up to 4-6 weeks).
- Authority Builders’ website has low organic traffic (<500 AHREFs traffic).
- When viewing their site inventory the URLs are hidden (but a description is provided).
2. Serp Pro Marketplace Review
- Average Price per Link: $273.71
- Median Price per Link: $210
- Average DR: 39
- Average Traffic: 41,676
- Cost per 1,000 Traffic: $6.57
- Average Cost per DR: $7.02
- Number of Websites: 5,188
Serp Pro has a network of over 5,000 bloggers that accept payment for guest posts.
Customers can join their marketplace to view the website URLs and order guest posts or link insertions from specific sites.
If you order a guest post, Serp Pro writes and places the guest post on websites that you choose from their database.
Prices for guest posts range from $20 to $8,000, based on each site’s metrics.
- Large database of sites with URLs provided.
- Easy to use interface to filter sites to match your requirements.
- Hundreds of sites available with over 10,000 traffic.
- Link placements (niche-edits) are placed in 30 days or less.
- When you sign up for a free account, you receive a $50 credit.
- If you deposit at least $1,000 you receive a $100 credit.
- They will provide you with the guest post content for $50 (or you can provide your own content).
- The Serp Pro website has low organic traffic (<100 AHREFs traffic).
- Some sites show high traffic in their dashboard, but have low traffic in AHREFs.
- Some sites allow off-topic articles that look like unnatural links.
- No guarantee that the link will remain on the site.
4. SerpTrust Review
- Average Price per Link: $188.43
- Median Price per Link: $159
- Average DR: 42
- Average Traffic: 25,447
- Cost per 1,000 Traffic: $7.40
- Average Cost per DR: $4.49
- Number of Websites: 1,371
SerpTrust offers a list of 1,300 sites for ordering guest posts and about 500 sites for ordering niche edits.
Using the SerpTrust platform, customers can order guest posts or niche edits from specific sites.
- They guarantee the lowest price.
- They claim to have rejected 50,000 sites.
- Some sites in their marketplace link to casino websites (these are labeled).
- The SerpTrust website has very low organic traffic (<10 AHREFs traffic).
- Some sites are obviously selling links (e.g. commercial anchor text links in sidebar).
- Smallest inventory compared to the other marketplaces.
Recommended Best Practices with Backlink Marketplaces
Being in the industry for over a decade, I’ve honed down on best practices if you plan to use marketplaces.
Here’s the shortlist:
- Do not blindly trust marketplace metrics
- Always get the domain and run your own analysis in Ahrefs or SemRush
- Visit the site to see if it’s well-branded or a link farm
- Read content on the site to see the quality of articles
Here is what I look out for:
- The domain must have healthy organic traffic (5,000 Ahrefs organic visitors or more)
- The organic traffic should be stable or uptrending
- The domain should have quality incoming backlinks
- The domain should not have a high ratio of outgoing external links vs incoming links (you want less outgoing links, more incoming)
- If purchasing a niche edit, make sure the article where link will be placed is not “orphaned”. It should have backlinks and/or internal links
- Write your own guest post; marketplaces offer to write the guest post but oftentimes they are LOW quality. Do it yourself.
Marketplaces are great for access to thousands of links. However, the good ones are a needle in a haystack which you have to pick out. Take your time and analyze the good opportunities.
Is buying links against Google’s webmaster guidelines?
Yes, according to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines documentation, “buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.”
Google does allow paid links as long as a rel=”nofollow” or rel=”sponsored” tag is added to the link in the HTML because the link will not pass PageRank.
When should you buy links?
If you are in a competitive niche with high DR websites and you don’t have the resources to build links manually through outreach, then purchasing links may be the best option.
When should you not buy links?
You should not buy links from a site that looks like it sells links. Any purchased links should look as natural as possible to avoid detection by Google’s algorithm or human reviewers.
Who is buying links?
Many SEOs purchase links today because most bloggers have realized the value a link provides and are typically unwilling to link out for free.
Top SEOs like Nathan Gotch speak openly on YouTube about buying links as a necessity because so many bloggers now require payment.
Even large companies like J.C. Penny have been caught buying links (through the agency they hired).
All 4 of these marketplaces allow you to choose specific sites that you want to place a link on, providing you excellent control of your link building.
Whether buying links makes sense for your site depends on the competition in the niche, your available resources for building links yourself, and your risk tolerance.
If you are looking for the highest quality marketplace, we recommend Loganix which is also the most expensive option.
If you are looking for the best budget-friendly marketplace, we recommend Serp Pro and Serp Trust. Just make sure to do your own due diligence to avoid low-quality links from obvious link sellers.