22 November 2019 Update
A friend just pointed out that the original link to the Digital Music News article was broken because, it seems, they deleted the article!
I am just guessing but I smell $$$ involved 😀
P.S. You can still see some signs of the article being published previously…
26 March 2018 Update
Scam Alert: The Hoth Will Steal Your Revenue and Harm Your SEO
A crackdown on TheHoth’s “blackhatness” published by
Noah Itman of Digital Music News. Here is an exact quote:
Nobody should ever do business with The Hoth! This is a ‘black hat’ SEO operation.
If you are looking for an alternative to the Hoth’s link building service, then you are in the right place.
As a LinksHero I am proud to follow strict white hat practices:
- Never pay for links;
- Never use PBNs;
- Never use Web 2.0s;
- Never use anything shady techniques to game the big brother Google
Blogger outreach! 😎
In this article I explain exactly what it is and how it can help you grow your business in the long-run, but before that…
What’s Wrong With the Hoth?
If you were considering to buy their service, then chances are you stumbled upon a bunch of review articles that say how good the Hoth is (sorry, no links – you can easily find them via “the hoth reviews”).
What’s wrong with them?
They all have a link to theHoth’s website because they get paid by theHoth for referring clients.
While there is no problem with affiliate marketing as such, you can see why those “honest reviewers” may be biased. In fact, you might not be even sure they used the service they promote – where are the screenshots? Just walls of text…
Fortunately, there is a bunch of good unbiased people out there.
Ah, the HOTH. The used car salesmen of SEO.
The HOTH has been selling black- and grey-hat services for many years now, which, on its own is fine, I suppose (something for everyone and all that)–but they have this special tradition of selling their grey- and black-hat services as white hat.
And it’s always kind of pissed me off.
And here is another reviewer:
The quick summary is I didn’t see my rankings increase from the $1,000 Hoth Small.
While TheHoth.com does have solid customer service and they did try to work with me (including offering me added services to boost my ranking), I can’t recommend them because the core product doesn’t perform.
For this update, I went back and looked at the PBN links they sent me and the domains as well as the site setup (very clear it was a PBN) was a disappointment.
This was from late October 2017 and we are in March 2018 now, so it was just a few months back.
P.S. I see quite a few issues with that last review (including the fact that you are not always able to rank things with just X number of links), but that PBN thing is really crazy. Come on dude, we are in 2018 now, but people, for some reason, still talk about PBNs. I don’t get this.
And here is one more:
Nov ’16 Update: I no longer recommend The Hoth. The Hoth has done nothing wrong and I have nothing against it in particular, but I am against the strategy of buying links…
Since I published this post, I’ve made more than $400 in commission.
It made me feel sick to receive my last payout because I’m making money recommending something I wouldn’t use for myself.
While I could have left my affiliate links on this post and keep receiving commission, I’ve realized I can’t put a price on my credibility.
Oh, and you see him talking about the affiliate thing as well – quite an honest gentleman!
Why I Would Never Use the Hoth
As a 100% white hat link builder, I feel like their service is all about tricking Google.
Take their HothBlitz and just go to it’s FAQ part:
Do these sites look like real sites or do they look like PBN sites?
Most do look like PBN sites.
If you are serious about your long-term business success, then these 3 letters should convey everything you need to know.
PBNs might work in the short-run, but all of those shady marketers end up throwing their domains away once they get penalized (it always happens eventually).
Can you afford tossing away your business’s domain name? Personally, I can’t.
Here is another service of theirs – theHoth.
What’s the promise?
The HOTH link building strategy was developed for clients in the most vicious e-commerce niches.
We focus on creating a natural Viral Link Structure that follows exactly the path of viral content on the web.
There is no hocus pocus.
No snake oil promises.
Those last 2 bits made me smile 😀
As if what they offer is not “hocus pocus”.
I mean, look at it:
Clearly, the idea is again to trick Google…
If you are a legitimate business or an authority website (which you should strive to be anyway), why would you do that?
It just doesn’t work in the long-run. It’s like lying – you have to remember what you lied to whom and when.
Why not invest time, money and effort into creating something great? 😎
Something that people would naturally link to and all we would need to do is just ask them.
Enter Blogger Outreach – the ultimate white hat link building technique.
How to Build Authoritative White Hat Links
Basically I am giving away exactly what we do @ LinksHero when working with clients – blogger outreach.
In essence, all we do is reach out to real and relevant websites trying to get a link back to us from them.
Generally speaking, there are 2 paths that we use:
- Path 1: One for One
- Path 2: One for Many
Let’s look at them closer:
Path 1: One for One
This basically boils down to guest posting (GP) on other sites.
These are real and relevant to your niche.
How do we find them?
Here is a simple trick – enter this in Google:[code][your target keyword] + “guest post”[/code]
You will immediately find websites that accept guest posts and are relevant to your niche.
All you need is to reach out to them and pitch your guest post idea. Here is what an interested prospect looks like:
After you get a positive response, submit the article and wait for them to publish it.
Even though it sounds really simple, there is a lot of communication, negotiation, follow-ups and writing involved.
We offer this service if you need any help.
Path 2: One for Many
This is when a “linkable asset” comes into play.
A linkable asset is something great, remarkable, outstanding…it’s something people would link to without our help.
Here are some examples:
- Some kind of research or data that you possess
- An infographic
- Expert guide on a subject
- and so on…
This obviously requires work from you (or we can also help), but the return on such investment can be truly inspiring.
InnIran.com is an Airbnb-like site that is focused on one single country – Iran.
What sort of linkable asset could we create so to:
- a) Build links to it
- b) Get traffic from it
- c) Maybe even get bookings with its help
This is how “Iran Travel Guide” idea was born.
The guide would cover everything that had to do with travelling to Iran (from visas to what to wear in Tehran).
We then managed to secure 3 lovely links (the client had a low budget and I was just starting out with LinksHero), which pushed the guide to 20-30 in search results for “Iran travel guide”.
Even though it’s not exactly on Page 1, it still brings quite a number of visitors AND they are super engaged (as you can see from the REAL screenshot below):
The cool part is that some of those people convert!
Even if it’s just 1 person per month, you would get your money back for the service after 30 days, which is crazy good! 😉
So, once a linkable asset like that is in place, we can build a lot of links to it simply because it’s extremely valuable to the audience you are targeting on the first place.
The funny part – it’s often cheaper than using shady link building techniques, worrying about next Google algo update.
TheHoth Alternative – LinksHero
At LinksHero I care to help you build a truly authoritative website, which would cement your business.
We don’t play short-term games trying to fool Google.
We invest time and effort into creating remarkable content that helps your audience and…helps you as a result.
If you are interested in our white hat link building service, get in touch.
P.S. LinksHero is a legit alternative to the Hoth, but we don’t work with everybody…sorry.