Buying backlinks doesn’t quite have the SEO power it once did, as we explained on Monday here at the CAP Blog. Google generally frowns on it, and any SEO boost it does provide is almost always short-lived.

But lately, webmasters and affiliates who still feel compelled to buy backlinks to boost their SEO presence have been turning to a different kind of link provider: The Fiverr five-dollar online marketplace.

What is it?
Fiverr is a relatively new site with a gimmick that works: What will you do for $5?

An online marketplace where people sell business services for $5, Fiverr seems pretty well positioned for online marketing.

And that’s generally what it’s used for — and then some. “Gigs range from installing WordPress on a server to reading Tarot cards to writing a romantic sonnet,” explains TechCrunch. “While you don’t necessarily have assurance that your task will be completed to your standards, you are only shelling out $5 for the task, so it’s not a total loss if the gig falls through or isn’t done well.”

A feedback system is in place, too, to let you know if sellers have a reputation for actually delivering what they say they will. Altogether, it’s a neat set-up, but is it really an option for marketers looking for quality backlinks?

Quality versus quantity
Probably not. The same rules apply when looking for links at Fiverr than at anywhere else: You get what you pay for.

If someone offers 10,000, or even 1,000, or even 500 links for $5, do you really have faith that those backlinks are going to meet the basic SEO requirements?
Are they relevant to your niche?
• Are they links to high quality (or high PageRank) websites?
• Is the backlink seller a known spammer?

The risk of the black hat
Although Fiverr does have some standards of quality control, link farms can really still operate just as effectively out of that site as any other.

Some marketers aren’t bothered by that. In some situations, a secondary site being built for reasons other than long-term online presence can benefit from the kind of short-term SEO boost that this kind of instant backlinking offers.

Another risk is enabling backlink providers who work through disreputable “black hat” providers like XRumer. These are resources that some online marketers rely heavily upon, but that reputable SEO providers do their best to avoid, because of long-term penalties that could arise from this sort of “gaming” the system. We all know that Google doesn’t like its system to be “beaten” the way these guys tend to do it, and that it doesn’t tend to forgive and forget sites and webmasters who do this sort of thing.

Are we wrong? Have you had good luck getting backlinks from Fiverr, or other sites like it? If so, sound off in the comments — we’d love to hear about your experiences.

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