Blog Network Roundup Review

November 29, 2011 , 249 Comments

Blog networks are among my favorite sources for targeted link-building. There’s no other way in which you can so easily get in-content, anchor-text backlinks from a whole lot of websites all over the Internet.

The question is: which ones of the many available networks should you join? Which ones are worth the investment and which ones should you avoid? And of course, the most important question: which networks provide the most and best backlinks?

That’s what we’re going to find out in this roundup review.

Update: I am keeping this article on the blog for the sake of posterity, but please note that this review is from 2011. Blog networks like the ones tested here are no longer a viable or recommended link building strategy.

Blog Networks in this Review

Here are the candidates that I’m going to compare in this review:


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Each of these blog networks are basically the same: you submit articles (usually spun articles) and they get posted out to a whole bunch of blogs in the respective network. I will probably create separate posts with reviews/videos showing the different control-panels and looking at things like user-friendliness for each candidate, but in this post, it’s all about the backlinks!

Test Setup

Let me get one thing out of the way: this test will not be a comparison of ranking results. Even though the ultimate goal is to find the networks that are best at increasing the rankings of your web-pages, it’s not possible to compare the candidates objectively by measuring rankings increases – there are simply too many variables involved, as soon as you compare two different URLs, even if they target the same keyword.

Instead, I will attempt to measure how many backlinks you can get from each of the networks and what the overall quality of the sites in each network is like, as objectively as possible. Here’s an illustration of the test setup:

Blog Network Test: Overview

In the graphic, there are only four blog networks, to save space. In the actual test, a total of eight networks are being compared. I submit 20 highly spun articles to each blog network, each article containing one link. I have also assigned one unique URL to each blog network. What this means is that the 20 article submitted to the first network all contain a link to one specific URL. The 20 articles submitted to the second network all link to a different URL and so on.

I am building no other backlinks and doing no other promotions to any of the unique URLs. The articles will be the same articles submitted to each network, choosing the same categories or categories matching each other as closely as possible. The reason for this is that there are probably certain categories with more matching blogs in a network and other categories with fewer matching blogs. By submitting identical articles to each network, I’m eliminating any unfair bias based on article categories.

Blog Networks: Test CriteriaTest Criteria

For this experiment, I will monitor the following criteria:

  • Number of Publishes
    I’ll keep track of how many articles are officially published to blogs in each network. This gives us an initial idea of which networks provide the most links.
  • Number of Links Picked up by ahrefs
    ahrefs is a backlink analysis service. I will be checking in on all the unique URLs to see how many of the published posts are crawled by ahrefs.
  • Number of Links Picked up by Majestic
    Majestic SEO is another backlink analysis service, with a different index than ahrefs. I’ll also be measuring how many links are crawled by Majestic, just to get a “second opinion”, so to speak.
  • Number of Pings
    The URLs I’ll be promoting are all from WordPress based websites. As another measure of how many links are being built, I will count the number of pingbacks received for each individual URL.
  • PageRank (?) of Blogs in the Networks
    Finally, I’ll gather as many of the sites that articles were published to as possible and analyze their link-value. I’ll probably jut check the PageRank of the homepages for each site. Maybe I’ll come up with something else. The point is just to get an idea of how valuable all those links from a network actually are.

This was a long-term test, so below you’ll find data gathered during 90 days after the initial submissions. Some networks do a number of submissions all at once and then stop, others drip out the articles slowly, over time. By keeping track of the links created over a longer period of time, we don’t only see which networks provide the best short-term article “blasts”, but also which networks have the best long-term distribution rates.

Article Directories vs. Blogs

Some of the networks submit articles to both article directories and blogs. There are two major differences between these two types of sites:

  1. Resource Boxes
    Article directories generally allow you to post an article without any links, followed by a “resource box” or “author box”, which is where you can add your backlinks. This is a technical detail and I doubt it makes a significant difference whether your links appear in the middle of the content or towards the end.
  2. Broad vs. Narrow
    The bigger difference is that article directories usually cover a huge range of topics, while blogs accept articles on a specific topic. Articles are usually sent to all article directories in a network, but only to some blogs in a blog network. This means that you can get more links from one submission, from article directories, but your next article will be posted to the exact same set of sites again. With blogs, each submission might reach different blogs in the network, especially if they are on different topics.

Finally, note that blogs have a better chance to provide quality links than article directories, especially since the Panda update, part of which was a “slap” against article directories. Although, realistically, most sites in a network tend to be very low value. One of the goals of this review is to find out which networks are the best maintained, with the highest quality and highest value sites in them.

Ranking Results (After 30 Days)

First, let me address one simple question, which is: do blog networks work? In other words, are the types of backlinks you get from these networks any good and will they help you get your sites/pages ranked? To answer this question, let’s take a look at the rankings of the eight unique URLs promoted in this roundup. At the beginning of the experiment, none of these pages were ranking within the top 100 spots in Google for their target keywords. Here’s how the rankings progressed over 30 days:

Blog Networks Ranking Results

You can see that a few days after the articles were added to each network, each of the pages popped up somewhere in the top 30 for it’s target keyword. Most of the pages maintained an upwards trend ever since, five out of the eight pages in the test reached a top-10 position within 30 days and one page reached the top spot for it’s keyword. Only one page is currently still dancing and was not in the top 100 at the end of 30 days (that’s the pale pink line).

Remember that we can’t make a fair comparison and conclude that the highest ranking pages must have been promoted by the best blog networks, because each page has a different target keyword with a different competition level. But I think these results very clearly show that blog network links do indeed help in increasing the ranking position of a page.

Network Reach (30/90 Days)

Next, let’s look at the most straight-forward piece of data, 30 days and 90 days after the articles were fed into each of the networks, which answers the question: how widely is an article distributed in each of the networks?

Name: Publishes 30/90 Days: Publishes/Article: Ended Within:
ArticleRanks 643 / +154 40 90 days
Authority Link Network 300 / +0 15 30 days
DistributeYourArticles 2403 / +368 139 60 days
My Article Network 646 / +456 55 90+ days
SEOLinkVine 178 / +96 12 90+ days
Traffic Kaboom
836 / +376 61 90 days
SpinDistribute 16792 / +0 840 30 days
Unique Article Wizard 3046 / +0 152 30 days

The second column shows the number of total article publishes for each network according to the network’s own stats. The first number shows the number of publishes during the first 30 day period, the number after the forward-slash shows how many additional publishes happened in the following 60 day period. The third row gives an indication of how many publishes per submitted article you can expect and the final row indicates within what time-frame the submissions stopped.

At first glance, this is pretty simple: more publishes mean more backlinks and the more backlinks, the better. With this in mind, it seems clear that SpinDistribute, Unique Article Wizard and DistributeYourArticles are the big winners, wile Authority Link Network and SEOLinkVine are lagging behind. It’s also clear that article distribution slows down after an initial “burst” on all of the networks.

However, there are a few factors that change this picture. On the one hand, the three networks with the widest submissions all submit to many directories and not just to blogs. This means, for example, that while an article sent to SpinDistribute gets published on over 800 sites, your next article submitted will go out to over 700 of the same sites that your first article was published on already. So, in terms of getting backlinks from unique websites, it’s not as powerful as it may seem.

On the other hand, backlinks are governed by a very strong “quality over quantity” principle. Sure, getting both quality and a large quantity of backlinks is always preferable but the fact is that a single link from a valuable site can do far more for your rankings than thousands or even hundreds of thousands of “crap-links” (e.g. forum profile spam links).

Network Quality (90 Days)

To find out about the actual value of the backlinks provided by each network, let’s get an idea of how many unique sites are in each network, how “indexable” those sites are and how many of the linking sites have some authority of their own. Since most blog networks don’t publish lists of exactly where your articles are posted (to protect the network), we’re left to our own devices.

The following table gives an indication of the amount of links from unique domains created by each network (after 90 days) as well as the “indexability” of those domains:

Name: Pings: ahrefs Backlinks: Majestic Backlinks: Majestic Domains:
ArticleRanks 242 43 302 94
Authority Link Network 178 32 330 144
DistributeYourArticles 7 9 76 13
My Article Network 222 103 360 113
SEOLinkVine 49 29 98 31
Traffic Kaboom 195 352 1328 265
SpinDistribute N/A 8 71 27
Unique Article Wizard 147 65 247 79

The second column (Pings) indicates how many pingbacks from unique domains were picked up by WordPress, for each of the test-pages. The “ahrefs Backlinks” column shows how many total links to each of the pages were picked up by ahrefs, a backlink analysis service. The next column shows how many total links to each of the pages were found by Majestic SEO, also a backlink analysis service. And the final column shows how many unique domains Majestic SEO found, linking back to the respective page.

These numbers are somewhat relevant as indicators of the quality of each network, since both ahrefs and Majestic SEO crawl the web in a similar fashion as a Google-bot would. As an example, you can see that Majestic only picked up links from 27 individual sites, out of the thousands of articles published through SpinDistribute, but it found 144 individual linking sites from only 300 articles published through Authority Link Network. This indicates that the websites in the ALN network are far more visible and more “indexable”. Crawler bots find these pages easily, which means that there are probably some higher-value sites involved. On the other hand, it seems that SpinDistribute is sending massive amounts of articles to “junk-yard-websites” that have no visibility on the web.
Next, I wanted to check for the quality of the linking sites more directly. I did this by looking at two criteria:

  1. The number of inbound links to each linking domain, according to Majestic SEO.
  2. The homepage PageRank of each of the linking sites.

It will come as no big surprise that these two factors are highly correlated. The more inbound links a site has, the higher it’s PageRank tends to be. Getting backlinks from a website that itself has many backlinks pointing to it is better than getting backlinks from a site with no backlinks of it’s own. That’s the logic behind this analysis.

Results After 30 Days:

Blog Networks with PageRank

Results After 90 Days:

PageRank Backlinks after 90 Days

Each bar indicates how many domains with that respective PageRank were found linking to the test pages for each network. Domains with no PageRank are not included in this graph. In this comparison, the clear winners are Traffic Kaboom, with a record number of PR4 and even PR5 domains, Authority Link network with lots of PR sites and ArticleRanks, which also boasts a decent number of PR domains. In the short term (first diagram), Authority Link Network provides the largest number of higher-quality links and in the longer-term (second diagram), Traffic Kaboom completely trounces the competition in terms of network quality.

Note that this test inherently favors those sites that already did well in the previous test, since the analyzed URLs are those picked up by Majestic SEO. So, if a network is not capable of producing links that get noticed by the Majestic SEO crawlers, it’s automatically disadvantaged in this comparison as well.


Here’s my rundown and recommendations for each of the tested networks:

Important: I am keeping this article on the blog for the sake of posterity, but please note that this review is from 2011. Consider all of these services (if they still exist) as “not recommended” today.

ArticleRanks – Recommended!
ArticleRanks has a good user interface a very reasonable price and produces a decent number of quality backlinks. They keep a close eye on the quality of their network, make sure it’s not over-burdened with spam content and have a credit-system that incentivises users to add sites with PageRank to the network. Overall, a good system that delivers good results.

Authority Link Network – Recommended!
Authority Link Network is free to use (although subsciption plan are also available). By adding domains with PageRank to the network, you earn the right to submit articles of your own. There’s a strict limit to how many articles can be submitted and how often they are published and this is a very good thing, because it keeps the network’s quality in check. ALN rocks and you should use it.

DistributeYourArticles – Not Recommended!
DistributeYourArticles makes it unnecessarily difficult to submit articles. The interface is not great and they reject articles with long paragraphs as well as articles with a double line-space. The problem is that while they seem to care about these irrelevant details, they don’t care about the quality of their network, as indicated by the fact that almost none of the links are to be found.

My Article Network – Not Recommended!
My Article Network is lukewarm in every regard. The user interface is okay but not great, the distribution rate is okay but not great and the quality of the backlinks is below average. It’s not downright bad, but there are better systems to invest in.

SEOLinkVine – Not Recommended!
SEOLinkVine has an extremely slow distribution rate. On average, each article was published only nine times over the course of 30 days. However, they claim that the distributions keep going indefinitely, so we’ll have to see if this network manages to catch up with the others, over time. My worry is that indefinite distribution will deteriorate the quality of the network, as there will be an ever growing number of articles flooding a network that probably isn’t growing that quickly…

Traffic Kaboom – Recommended!
Traffic Kaboom is the clear winner, since it delivers a quality level comparable to Authority Link Network, but has fewer limitation attached (e.g. you can submit up to 10 articles per day without having to add any sites of your own) and it delivers more links in the long-run. It’s user interface is not brilliant, but gets the job done. As an added bonus, Traffic Kaboom also serves as a video distribution platform.

SpinDistribute – Not Recommended!
SpinDistribute allegedly creates massive amounts of backlinks. Unfortunately, it seems that they have pretty much “killed” their network by flooding it with too much content. Neither Majestic SEO nor ahrefs managed to find even one percent of all the links SpinDistribute is supposed to build. The big upside to this network is the “pay as you go” model and since it still managed to increase the rankings of it’s test page, maybe it’s worth using once for each website.

Unique Article Wizard – Not Recommended!
UAW has a terrible user interface. Just wanted to get that out there. Apart from that, I think it has a similar issue as SpinDistribute and DYA: the network consists of too many article directories (a.k.a. content farms) that get flooded with too much content and basically have no visibility on the web. Having said that, it definitely has more punch than either SD or DYA, but it still can’t keep up with the better contestants in this roundup.

About ​Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Hi Shane.

    Really looking forward to the results from this test. It’s a pretty big undertaking from you and I think it will be very valuable information.

    Thanks for doing this.


    • “big undertaking”

      No kidding… I’m all dizzy from converting articles to different spin-syntax formats. :)
      I’m looking forward to the results as well. I have no idea how this will pan out.

  • Shane, looking forward to the results.
    Was looking for that kind of test some time ago and didn’t find any.


    • Hey Matt,

      Thanks for stopping by an leaving a comment!

      No one likes to do roundup reviews in IM, because roundups = more work and lower conversions. ;)
      But I have really been wanting to do this comparison for a while, so I’m looking forward to it as well.

      • If you aren’t already deep in the process you could add “Build My Rank” which I think is quite good and getting very popular as well.

      • FYI… I purchased BLBP because of the hard work you put into your posts. I didn’t have to worry about the quality of your premium product.

      • BuildMyRank is a different kind of network, because it’s all privately owned (not distributed among members), it doesn’t accept spun content and you get one backlink per post.

        It would be an apples to oranges comparison, here.

        I’ve reviewed it here: BuildMyRank review.

        @Jason: Thanks!

  • This is indeed a nice idea and one that will, no doubt, keep you busy over the coming months.

    Sometimes you’ve just got to do the ‘boring’ and ‘dirty’ stuff to find the real truth. I hope that this does not get too boring!

    I, for one, look forward to hearing the results when you get them.


    • Yeah, it won’t be the most exciting work I’ve ever done, but it’ll be worth it. :)

  • Looks like a great study. I’m well interested in the results! I hope that Google doesn’t come up with another update during this period…maybe it will be difficult to truly compare…although…then we can see how each network will withstand it…

    Hard to be really scientific here, but I appreciate the effort!

    • Good point. On the other hand, Google is constantly updating. And the networks are similar enough to be all affected equally, to such changes, so hopefully the data will remain useful.

  • This is major under taking and is a testament to the huge treasure chest of free information you provide.

    Looking forward to reading your future updates.

    • It’s awesome, but not comparable to the networks in this roundup (see comment further above). I’ve reviewed it here.

  • Shane,

    Thanks once again for “taking another one for the team.” No one, imho, does product reviews better than you do.



  • Hi Shane,

    Is there a reason Free Traffic System was left out?

    Just curious…


    • Hi Jim,

      Thanks for the reminder! Free Traffic System is in transition from version 1 to version 2, at the moment. Their blog network is still version 1, which is antiquated. The new version should be vastly more useful and I’ll give them a test as well, once it’s ready.

  • I will also be looking forward to see how this test pans out, appreciate your efforts on this Shane!

    You haven’t included BMR or Blog-Blueprint, any reason you decided on this particular set of Blog networks?


    • See the comment further above (in reply to Matt).

      BMR, Blog Blueprint and similar high-PR networks would warrant a review of their own. They are a different kind of system to the networks in this review, though.

      • Hey Shane,

        I was considering using Blog Blueprint, and obviously sad it was left out of the roundup.

        How are they “a different kind of system”?

  • I’m very glad you’re doing this Shane. The only problem I see is that you will be left with numbers of links created without much notion of the power or quality of each link.

    One powerful link might out punch 10 weak links so I’ll be interested to read your discussion on this point.

    • Hi Alex,

      Yes, that’s an important point. That’s why I’ll be looking at PageRank and maybe some other quality factors like it, once I’ve collected all the Backlink URLs I can find.

  • Pearson Brown says:

    You know, I would gladly pay to have a regular series of informed statistical studies of the type carried out by you and Dr Andy.

    • Thanks, Pearson! I’ll cook up an order-button right away. j/k. :D

  • Dave Tishendorf says:

    Shane: The thought of creating 20 “highly spun” articles is horrifying to me. Despite all the hype that attaches to article spinners these days, I find spinning articles to be the most tedious, tiring, mind-numbing work there is. That is, if you want to end up with articles that at least come close to making some sense. My problem, I suppose, might be that I care a great deal about the quality of the finished project. Anyway, did you give any thought to outsourcing this work?

    And so I look forward with great interest to your findings. I have used a few of the networks in your study, mostly to no avail. But maybe the fault lies with me and my schizophrenic aversion to article spinning.

    • Hi Dave,

      Thanks for your comment!
      I agree. I’d go nuts writing and spinning 20 articles in a short period of time (although it is something that I used to do, when I was starting out). I’m outsourcing the content creation part of this test.

      I am doing the submissions myself, because I want to be 100% sure everything’s perfect, but otherwise, I wouldn’t even do that myself.

      • Aghper Jan says:

        Hi Shane,
        how much did you pay for spinning articles?this is where i struggle,we can give someone to write but if they will write/spin i am sure min will be 3$.
        imagine to submit to all our sites it ads up.

        any idea or advice where can we find cheap article spinners and how much do you pay?thanks

      • There are three sources I can recommend. One is to go to online marketing forums and find a good writer (takes some time, but is worth it once you find one). The second is to use ArticlesonTap. They provide quality spun articles as well.

        The third and probably best option is to use Ultra Spinnable Articles. Great and comparatively cheap, as long as you know you’ll be using them on a regular basis. There’s also the “mini” version available for a lower price: Ultra Spinnable Minis.

  • Shane,

    Sorry to be a nag….but I sure hope this is going to end with that integrated backlink program you spoke of many months ago.


    • Hey Dave,

      I know some of my projects have dragged on for too long. My fault for wanting to do everything at once.

      It’s going to be even better than what I talked about, though.

  • Hi Shane,
    This experiment looks very interesting and an important contribution to us readers, so thanks for this. Did you have any experience with SE Nuke? Not really a blog network, but a tool to create link networks that promote your pages. Can you how how it compares with using blog networks? some people swear by it..

    • Hi Ron,

      Thanks for your comment.
      You can find my full SEnuke X review here. It’s a different type of link building system than a blog network, so it doesn’t directly compare. It’s very highly automated and it can get you a whole bunch of decent backlinks. It’s definitely effective, up to a certain point. I wouldn’t rely on SEnuke alone for an SEO campaign but it makes a good back-bone if you add some other stuff to it.

  • Ever since I found you through Dr. Andy, and purchased your BLBP system, I’ve been intrigued with your IM strategies. You are one of the few marketers that spends more time putting together free information and less time trying to sell me something or someone elses junk. That is a credit to you and your efforts. I thank you.

    • Thanks, Tim! I’m glad Andy Williams found my product and liked it. :)

  • Shane,

    This is fantastic. Thanks for taking the bullet on the work to do this.

    I do quite a bit of testing, though I cannot say that it is very scientific. I still have to work a day job as I not making that full time IM income yet.

    IF I was doing this test, I would make sure to find out how many of the backlinks were actually indexed by Google. While I rely on Majestic SEO to give me a sense what backlinks are “findable”, that does not mean that Google would consider them worth keeping in the main index. So, an additional measurement to consider.

    Also, how would you class 1WayLinks? You can get multiple links per submission, but you set how many submissions you get. And most blogs are by members, so it is not privately owned. Not applicable to this test, but not on par with BMR either.

    Rock On!

    • Hi Ken,

      I’ll see if I can test indexation. We’re setting up an indexation bot in SECockpit, which we hope will be more reliable than other indexation checkers.

      I’ll take a look at 1WayLinks, too.

  • Hi Shane:
    You might also want to add the new kid on the block, Article Samurai, to your list. They claim to have syndication arrangements with multiple blog networks and article directories.

    Looking forward to reading your test results.

    • Hi Michael,

      I’d love to, but I missed it. They were already sold out by the time I heard of them.

      I suspect that they pretty much submit to most of the networks listed above, but I don’t know. Do they disclose which networks they submit to, anywhere?

      • No, I’ve not read anything about which specific networks they’re using. But I was thinking the same as you about some of them possibly being ones you’re testing. Oh well, hopefully they’ll reopen soon because I think it would be interesting to see if a multi-network solution is any more effective than a single-network.


  • Hi Shane,
    I am really enjoying reading your weekly epistles and will watch your experiment with interest… having used none of the above, it will be enlightening to find out which networks perform the best.

    I don’t know how you find the hours in a day to do what you do.. with or without outsourcing!


  • Hey Shane,

    Nice post! And I just read your BMR Review, I am going to try that out.

    Re: This post
    I am not a big fan of article spinning as the quality seems to really go down. What do you use? Any recommendations?

  • Hi Shane. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of this project. Would it be possible to also include Rapid Free Traffic, Blogging Underground and Article Marketing Automation in your survey? These are often recommended by internet marketers as good networks to use.

    • Hi Barbara,

      Thanks for your comment!

      Article Marketing Automation is identical to My Article Network, so I won’t test both.
      Blogging Underground looks like a private, high-PR network to me, as they only have around 400 blogs in the network. Must be a BuildMyRank style 1 link per article deal, yes?

      I hadn’t heard of Rapid Free Traffic before. From the sales-page, it looks like something I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, but if it’s a blog network, I’ll check it out. :)

      • Yes Blogging Underground is paid high PR. I was asking about it because I heard it is really good.
        By the way, love your blog and your course Backlink Battleplan (both versions) as well. Also enjoy your no-hype-only-valuable-information-given teaching style so much!
        Greetings from Australia

      • Hey Shane,

        Just FYI, Rapid Free Traffic is just the same AM Automation blog network with a nicer interface.

      • Hi Chris,

        Thanks for confirming! No need to test it as well, then. :)

  • Hi Shane, thats quite a list to test out. I have tried only UAW out of these and I like the service. Will be looking forward to the results.

  • Hi Shane,

    I want to echo what Tim said about you in his comment. I too found you through Andy Williams and am very glad for it.

    Your combination of “perfectionism” and sincerity with your lack of hype are a breath of fresh air in this industry. You made a comment in one of your videos that if you helped one person, then it was worth it. I AM HELPED!

    Thanks a bundle.

  • Excellent Idea Shane, Thanks. I have just recently starting using a few article/blog networks. I’m on my second month with them both, and haven’t made a decision as to whether they prove worth the monthly price. Both services are in your review so it will be interesting to see the results.


  • From my understanding rapid free traffic is similar to ama or even basically the same. I think they are both run by the same guys. Should be a good experiment.

    Are you going to be doing any backlink indexing using some sort of pingback extractor or will you just let them index naturally and see what happens.

    • Hi Chett,

      Yes, a bit of research seems to indicate that Rapid Free Traffic is yet another rebranding of AMA (just like “My Article Network” is).
      I’m going to extract the pings, but I won’t do any link indexation for the duration of the experiment. I will just let things run their course.

  • Great challenge you’re taking here Shane,
    I look forward for the results and I’ll be following your test.
    I also d’like to add that I really appreciate your tutorials and transparency in what you teach. Wish there were more marketers oriented in providing quality contents like yours around, it’d make the IM scene more professional and at the end a lot more profitable. Instead of fighting G, going along with it’s tos in the way you show with no hype and stupid promises would filter out a lot of problems concerned to a professional approach to everyday sem tasks.This is just a newbie thought of course. Keep up the good work and thanks again for your effort.

    • Thanks for your comment!
      I’m glad that you’ve found my content useful. Keeps me motivated! :)

  • Hi Shane.

    This Roundup/Review is happening right as I am searching for this kind of promotion for my sites.
    Good timing and thanks for doing the Heavy Lifting! I can appreciate the amount of work this will take.

    I’m also looking at outsourcing link building type articles.

    For article directories submissions it’s a simple thing to just add a call to action and link into a resource box but for blog network submissions I would think that the contextual in body link takes a bit more thought.

    How does Ultra Spinnable Articles work? Do you choose a broad category for the articles? I don’t see how they could possibly supply niche specific content.


  • excellent challenge Shane , hope you don’t go insane doing it.Really Appreciate your straight shooter marketing share .Thxs

    Have you any reviews/ opinions on scapebox by chance?

  • WOW Shane that is a great experiment. I was out on vacation for a while and I am finally catching up on things.. and I wanted to know what are you up to these days… and I said.. what? 20 articles..! I takes me a day just to spin one!.. :)

    This is a great experiment! I do not think we can help you, but we can certainly cheer for you!

    Since we are talking about blog networks..

    I use one of the networks you are going to study. Every time an article is posted to one of their blogs, I get a comment back to my blog. I have a bunch of comments waiting for approval.

    To be honest, I have no idea what to do with them.

    Do i suppose to accept them? or reject them? If I accept them, does that mean that they are a reciprocal link now?

    What should I do?


    • Hi Olga,

      Those “pingbacks” you get from the published articles can be deleted. I don’t recommend publishing them because that will create a reciprocal link.
      What you can do is use Pingback Power (free plugin) to extract all of the URLs of the pages linking to you. You can just keep track of those backlinks, build more backlinks to some of them, maybe run them through an indexation service or something like that.

      • I will do!
        Thanks Shane!
        Have a great weekend!

      • I thought I’d do another run through of the post and comments to come up with decision of plan moving forward with backinking strategy, and I saw this recommendation and I was thinking about getting something for this but some guys charge way to much extract URL’s, so this definitely something I’ll look into.


  • I’m excited about this Shane!

    It’s a great idea! Not only are you doing some marketing that will benefit your own websites, you are reporting the results to all of your followers, which is great!

    I had posted 3 articles to back in May (I had heard about it before, and only went forward after you had recommended it) and got about 80 published per article. It was in the sports catagory, and each was about football (we call it soccer here in the states)

    I do look forward to hearing more about this, and I hope you include unique features that each network provides, ease of use, ect in your reporting.

  • Inspired by your experiment I thought I would give some of these networks a try myself. The part that is putting me off is the cost of content creation, how much are you paying per spun article and how much are you spinning the article?
    One thought I had was to use PLR content but maybe a unique spun article is better.

  • Hi Shane,

    Article Ranks VS BMR
    Which do recommend if you were on a tight budget?

    • Hi Craig,

      BuildMyRank, no question. You’ll have to put more work into writing the posts, but you’ll get stronger links. If you spend 30-60 minutes a day writing and posting to BMR, you can get some serious results.
      Also, you can sign up for ArticleRanks for free and get some submissions on free credits to start out with. Then, go for the pro version once you’re making some income. That’s my suggestion.

  • Great roundup Shane and the results are great. I have been using 3 of the top 4 with great results and I guess all that is left for me know is to add Traffic Kaboom to the mix.


  • Hey Shane, Great roundup! Thankyou! Any chance you can share how competitive the target keywords were?

    • Hi Tony,

      The keywords are all actively being competed for. Not so much by large authority sites, but by affiliates. They are mostly “[product name] review” type keywords, for very popular niche products.

      • Thanks Shane!! One more quick question, if you don’t mind…. You said above, that you used 20-articles to each blog network, and each blog network had its own specific URL that you were promoting. My question is, do all the articles on all the networks point back to the same domain, just different inner pages? or did you use more than one route domain?
        Thanks again!

      • I used different pages on different domains for the test.

  • Hi Shane,

    a quick question about submitting the Ultra Spinnable Articles.

    If you don’t have an U.S.A. about the keyword you want to rank for, how do you adjust your USAs in order to have keyword-rich backlinks?


    • Hi Jacopo,

      That will first depend on what is the service you are going to submit the USAs to. Some service wouldn’t cause you any problem if you submit the USAs without any relevant links.

      But if you want to add links to your USAs and make them seem relevant you should be using the MTUSP’s. That works great for me and I also succeeded submitting the USAs to Traffic Kaboom which is awesome!

      • Cool, thanks! I’ll try that.

  • JigsawGuy says:

    Excellent roundup Shane. Thanks for the hard work.

    Any reason you did not include in your test? I have found it to produce results but would love to know how it compares.

    Regarding Article Samurai, I was lucky to get a place and do like it. Again I have no idea how it compares relatively with the others but the thing I like is the quality control over the spins and the drip feed over months approach to distributing the articles.


    • Hi Colin,

      Article Samurai and BacklinkSolution are both not included because I could not get an account. I.e. they are both closed to new customers, unfortunately. :(

  • Hey Shane,

    Nice update on this experiment – awesome stuff.

    I have chatted with you in email about this but I am using BMR alot (which i understand why it is a different type of network obviously not applicable directly in this mix). But as I am using that and web 2 sites a lot I am interested in further networks like these to broaden both links back to my main urls and to the BMRs and web 2 – and though i do use junk links at my tier 2 and 3 backlinks – having some quality thrown in will help alot more i am sure.

    Definitely going to sign up to at least one of these and happy to through your affil link – you certainly earn it with all this useful info.

    keep up all the good work!

    and secockpit has continued to be the best tool! can’t wait to use the app but for anyone not on it, the new free preview coming – definitely try it, you wont look back

  • Hi Shane,

    When you initially made this announcement I thought you would be biased and won’t recommend ALN as they don’t have affiliate program. But you proved me wrong! We need more people like you. Obviously, I’m one of them :)

  • Wow! All different route domains! That makes the results quite impressive! Thanks again for your hard work!!

  • Hi Shane,
    What a valuable survey – and likely to become even more so as you update.

    Interesting that some the most-hyped (is that a legitimate word?) services have performed relatively poorly; I suppose you can anticipate some furious rebuttals.

    Did services like SEO Link Robot and SENuke not meet your criteria for testing?

    • Hi Bruce,

      Thanks for your comment!
      SEO LR and SENuke are just completely different types of programs, so they would not fit in here as fair comparisons. You can read all about them in a separate roundup here: Link Building Software Roundup Review

  • Good case study — I appreciate your efforts. I was surprised though that you left out a column for PR 0, which skews the results and the PR/link average.

    In Chris Fong’s case study for Traffic Kaboom he showed that 55.5% of the links received with the efforts of TK were PR 0 and the average PR overall with TK is just 0.65. Here’s the case study:

    Ignoring the amount of PR 0 sites doesn’t give the full picture of the quality of the networks. Why did you omit the PR 0’s when reporting your results for each case study? As I mentioned, this doesn’t give a full picture of the value of the networks.

    I dumped UAW last year because most of the backlinks were from PR 0 blogs, and I couldn’t be bothered building a mountain of PR 0 site links.

    • I left them out of the final graph to keep better proportions.
      You can check the tables above to see how many links in total, how many linking domains in total and how many publishes each network delivers.

      • Hi Shane!
        Great review! Awesome job..
        I have been using Traffic Kaboom for 2 months and I found that the PR of the blogs is distributed like this.
        PR0: 60%
        PR1: 18%
        PR2: 18%
        PR3: 3%
        I am yet to get anything posted in PR4 or higher…

        So is the PR of the blogs important still? Are the pages back linked with TK on the top 10 spots in Google? or where are they?

      • Yes, PR is still a reasonably good measure of link value. It’s not perfect, but from experience, I can say that getting a bunch of links from sites with PR on the homepage almost always delivers better results than links from PR0 sites.

        The test page for TK is doing well.

  • Where is the legend that shows what each color means in the “Results After 30 Days” graph above? This is a key graphic element needed to quickly understand it. Can you insert it please?

    • The legend was omitted on purpose, to avoid misinterpretations of the graph.
      The only thing it reliably shows is that rankings for all test-pages went from below the first 100 positions in Google to the first or second page, in most cases. Conclusion: blog network links work for increasing Google rankings.

      Apart from that, there’s no value in the data, because each line represents a different page and a different keyword, which means there are tons of variables involved.

  • Hi Shane,

    Great roundup, I was talking to my business partner the other day, saying what a time saver you are, doing all the testing you do and sharing your results.

    Keep up the good work and look forward to the next update.

    And now I’m of to get Traffic Kaboom, through your link :)

  • I missed traffic kaboom offer. Will subscribe now. I also use BMR but it’s time consuming and costly. But BMR delivers result hands down.

    • Hi Dona, if you are looking for an affordable writer for BMR that will also do the actual submissions for you, let me know.

      Be more than happy to share :)

      • Hi Dave,

        Did you find your writer on Odesk? I was thinking I would get this outsourced, because it can be time consuming and I has less time to work on my business starting this week.

        BTW, I visited your site and came across 2 resources that I’ve been needing, which is the Pingback Power plugin and the Expense spreadsheet.

        I’ll have to try out Time Doctor, as well, which I believe Shane recommends as well.

  • Can’t wait to try out the iPhone app, nice move!

    Not sure if you already mentioned, but could you tell us the approx’ competiton level/s or ranges, showing in SECockpit… for the 8 keywords?

    Might also be useful to know that…


    • The easiest of the keywords has about 15% competition level in SECockpit, the most difficult one about 90%.
      The keywords really aren’t comparable in competition at all and I don’t want to disclose any details about them, because some people would inevitably end up reading too much into this data. The data has so many variables that it’s really all noise, but we can’t help but see patterns and think we’re looking at a signal anyway. As stated in the article: the only valid conclusion to draw is that these types of links work, because rankings increased across the board.

  • Just want to say a BIG thanks for all this Shane.

    This is immensely helpful. NOw we know which systems work we have a shortlist to consider for which one is easiest to use less coslty etc.

    BTW I kinda like UAW but I dropped out coz it was killing me!



  • Hi Shane,

    Thank you for providing so much value to us for free. I just wanted to chime in and say that I’ve tested many of the blog networks that you are trying and my conclusions have been nearly identical with yours. I have yet to try TK, but I was actually just about to try it out. In response to the Blogging Underground, I have been using it with great success and would recommend it.

  • Hi Shane!Is there a professional magazine about/with a SEO chapter you can be published? This post is a rare kind of work. I can see you spent a lot of time spent to write it. Concerning the results, I am quite surprised that some DO work. I heard that “link networks” were dead, but it doesn’t seems so, at least in the short term..What about in 3 months?
    Good work in any case. Excellent! Bravo!

    • Link networks come in all sorts of variants. A link network is really just any kind of group of sites that, as their main purpose, exist to link to other sites. Blog networks are just one example.
      The reason I mention this is that on the one hand “content farm” type link networks and link networks with too much low-quality content have lost value, but on the other hand, some of the most powerful backlinks you can get, still come from well-run “clean” and often private link networks.

  • Awesome report, I hope you use this data to update your review of elsewhere in your site. As you say it is pretty good in at least one other review I’ve read on this site.

    You do a great job Shane!

  • Another really thorough analysis. Very valuable information. Are you sure you should be giving it away? Haha.

    It just goes to show that what is impressive on the surface is not necessarily what counts in the end.

    Thanks very much for publishing this info Shane.

    Looking forward to the 60 day and 90 day updates.

  • It is kind of amazing Traffic Kaboom seems to be so much more powerful than the rest of the networks but I do not see a lot of people using them at all. Plus they also seem to be cheaper (only 500 a year =41/month)

    • Yes, it’s a pleasant surprise. You have to keep in mind that it’s been sold under a different name in the past (Traffic Kahuna or something like that), so there are probably some older and well established blogs in the network.

  • This is awesome report Shane, its a big job for you in order to show us what really works. I do appreciate the effort. I did not know ALN until I read this report and will seriously consider. I have heard Traffic Kaboom, but have not seriously tried it. Now, I will after this report.

    Good Job,

  • Shane,

    Back to my previous comment, and yours, about the “Results After 30 Days” graph. w/o proper x & y labels, and a legend… the entire graph is useless.


    Because the purpose of naming them is so one can see results in a picture representation of the collected data instead of a chart of numbers. W/o them, the picture is meaningless.

    Yes, a graph is a picture representation of collected data that was put in a chart.

    YOU KNOW THIS! Everyone who is familiar with graphs of any sort, knows this. This is basic statistics 101.

    So why use it at all if you omit them? Seems misleading to me. …When I am not allowed to know what x & y axis of your graph means, that is. Or a legend.

    A legend and x&y axis shows the “vital signs” for what you are measuring.

    Any misleading info you think is portrayed by revealing a legend, could certainly be explained in your post.

    In conclusion, because of your omission of x, y, and a legend, I find no evidence in your graph to support any comments you make to it.

    Heck, I can not figure out if x or y axis is the days in the study. Because you do not show it; or say it. 1- 26 does not tell me what 1-26 is. Whether 1 or 26 is days, number of pages, or anything? Only you know.

    Don’t get me wrong. Because I value your posts. And I’m a member of three of your products.

    I do know how to read and understand statistics. And what you show for a graph violates every principle I know of for using graphs.

    Finally request, if you’re going to use statistics to demonstrate, or report, something, please use proper standards. And when you don’t, please explain this too. So I can see for my self: the conclusions you draw are accurate and valid.

    So I can validate your interpretation. This is the basis for any statistical reporting.

    I’m even more surprised that someone else has not brought this up.

    To sum it up: I can not interpret this graph as you have done because of the missing legend, and accurate naming of the x & y axis. It’s just your word saying so.

    • Sorry about the missing labels, that was my mistake. I’ve fixed that.
      I will not publish a legend for the lines, though. If I did that, I would have to publish the keywords as well and I don’t want to share all of the niche sites used in this experiment.

  • Hi Shane I recently wrote a report detailing a backlinking structure using article networks and web 2.0 properties so this information has came in very handy for my self, I shall link this post into the free giveaway report so my subscribers can choose there networks carefully.

    All the best.


  • Do Traffic Kaboom has any Domain Limit.

    In other words do they limit how many domain i could add for building links?

  • Thanks for the case study. Gonna add ALN into my distribution.
    You are totally right on traffic kaboom. What is important to me is the results that I got regardless of the opinion regarding the PR distributions etc. About 5 of my pages now on page 1 after using TK for about 2 months. One of it is currently no #1 in weight loss niche. I’m using spun articles + follow the method (with a twist :) ) suggested in the training they provided.It works but not really cheap because you have to invest in ultra spun articles. More spun articles the better.

  • @manhsan Can you tell me where can I get the most ultra spun articles?

  • Terrific work as always Shane!

    In this post-“Panda” world, those diverse domain, diverse IP in-content links become increasingly important, both for backlink quality, and backlink profile diversity.

    One additional consideration that I think you touched on with UAW – though I still use & recommend it – is the concern with article directories and “frozen” blog networks: particularly for those who will send out huge numbers of articles to these networks, when too many same-domain backlinks become a significant percentage of the backlink profile, the ‘opportunities’ go up for there to be some “Panda” threshold-triggering.

    Keep up the great work!

    • That’s a very good point, Michael!
      I’m also thinking that it’s probably good to get a couple of articles sent to UAW, SpinDistribute and DYA, but no more after that. Seems too spammy, otherwise.

  • Hey Shane – thank you for such an awesome real-world review… Just brilliant. I’m signing up to the networks you recommended.

    Just a quick question: With Authority Link Network, would you recommend adding your main page ranked site as the site they want you to submit? Can you prevent articles from being automatically submitted to you? Does adding their content to your site help YOU, or not?



    • Hi Dave,

      You definitely need to add a bespoke site for Authority Link Network. All of the submissions are automatic, you can’t pick topics or anything like that. So, it’s really got to be a site that you don’t need for anything, except to get credits on ALN. Think of it as a one-time payment to get access to the network: buy some PR domains, just for ALN. :)

      • Thanks Shane – With in your test – which plan/membership level did you use?

        And in your opinion, who’s the best to buy high PR domains from? & Should I have these sites on different IP addresses/servers? Or does that not matter?

        Any info is most appreciated mate.

        Cheers, Dave

      • Hi,
        I agree with Shane,
        Do not use you money site to be loaded with ALN posts. I used them for some weeks, in a site that was not my main site.
        1) I got so many articles that had nothing to do with my site
        2) I got articles with spinning brackets still there
        3) I got articles with links < a=href…. not working properly as part of the post (I mean they were html code that was not used properly).
        4) I got a bunch of links that I would not be proud to display! Not adult sites, just spam sites.

        In the other hand, I did put a site with Traffic Kaboom, and the quality of the posts have been pretty good. You would need to review and see if you like those in your money site.

  • Hi Shane,
    thank you very much for this great case study. I am just looking for “my” Blog Network. You save me hours/day of work!

  • Hi Shane,

    This is an amazing effort. Thanks for sharing the results. One question though, do you think that using multiple blog networks would produce even better results, or would this result in penalties or bans (due to duplication of articles/sites etc). So for example, if I used Traffic Kaboom AND ArticleRanks, would this produce even better results?

    Cheers, and keep up the good work, Simon

    • Hi Simon,

      Absolutely. I recommend using more than one network. Especially since Authority Link Network is practically free, I recommend you use it in combination with at least one additional blog network. The more the merrier. :)

    • Hi Simon,

      Using several blog networks is the best way to go in my opinion.

      This way you will vary your links and the domains there are coming from and you will get much more linking power for your articles than if you were submitting them to only one blog network.

      Both Authority Link Network and ArticleRanks can be used for free is you add your sites so that should be a no brainer. It is great that these 2 networks provide great results even though they can be used for free.

  • Thanks Shane, this is of great value because you cannot find it anywhere else and if I do link building I want to know what works and what does not.
    Much appreciated, Andreas

  • An excellent article, I love the way you made this a scientific experiment.
    Love your blog!

  • Hi Shane,

    Just wanted to make people aware, as I was checking the ping backs from the TK network over the weekend. I found several links to adult sites pointing back to my site. Also several links from gambling sites. Those were sites where my Traffic Kaboom articles were posted.

    I have submitted a support ticket. They responded that they sent the info to the one in charge of that area and will reply back.

    I assuming I should not boost those links… right?

    What happens if my site is link to an adult/gambling sites? What kind of penalty will I get?



    • While that’s definitely something that shouldn’t happen, I don’t think you need to worry about it too much.
      As far as I know, there should be no adult or gambling sites in the TK network. Keep in mind that it’s also possible that a site that your article was submitted to is being scraped by someone, so that they can load up their site with content. There are various auto-blogging systems that just trawl websites for content matching a certain keyword and then “steal” that content and republish it.

      At any rate, you will not be penalized for any incoming links from such sites. There simply cannot be a penalty for such links, otherwise it would be far too easy to sabotage anyone’s rankings (after all, anyone can create a gambling/adult related site and then put as many links on it as they like).

      • I am so glad!
        So, if you delete the ping back, it disappears from the web?
        like the link never existed?

  • Shane,

    This is absolutely incredible work. You must have more patience than a preschool teacher to get all of this written, measured and reported. Golf clap to you good sir for another post well done.

    I do have a question somewhat unrelated to this post, and perhaps more appropriate for the “Throw Money At It” project, but have you used LinxBoss as a “set it and forget it” backlinking service and if so what are your thoughts? We see ads for it all day on forums and IM blogs. I’ve read mixed reviews but you’re the only guy my business partner and I trust when it comes to backlinks and IM in general.

    • Hello Mark,

      Thank you very much!
      I have never used LinxBoss myself, so I really can’t give you any in-depth information on it. I have also seen mixed reviews, so I don’t know if it’s worth a test.

      • Shane, I used Linxboss for about 3 months.

        After those 3 months, I could not see any real movement in any of the urls that I submitted. In fact, several lost ranking. I think 3 months was long enough of a test. It is an expensive service to test.

        Whatever “tactic” they were using by posting snippets appears to have stopped working.


  • Hi Shane, love your work!

    I have had good success with SEO Nitro in the past. Have you tried this? Would be keen to hear your point of view how it stacks up…

  • Spectacular post. It couldn’t have come at a better time :)

    Im not sure if it was mentioned yet but do any of these services offer an export feature so that I can collect my links and place them into SE Cockpit and ultimately Backlinks Indexer or does this have to be done manually via Pingback Power and

    Thanks Again Shane!

    • “Since most blog networks don’t publish lists of exactly where your articles are posted (to protect the network), we’re left to our own devices.”

      Must have missed it the first time over… Well thats a shame… I was hoping for a cut and paste of the link locations.

  • Wow Traffic Kaboom is sure clunky. It seems like they could trim the fat and get to it or have done a “Lets Get Started / Quick Start Guide” for those of us which understand content importance and keyword research.

    In this test are you employing the use of video content with TK since they stress how important it is to use them in tandem. I would be very impressed to learn that you did the content only quick route and got those results :)

  • I figure that this is worth noting as well since you mentioned you could do 10 articles a day in the review without submitting blogs. But upon getting access I see that it says:

    Content submission limits are based on the number of blogs you have in the Network.
    0 Blogs: You are allowed to submit up to 3 content submissions per day
    1 Blog: You are allowed to submit up to 5 content submissions per day
    2 or more Blogs: You are allowed to submit 2 additional content submissions per day for each Blog
    As an example, if you have 4 blogs in the Network, you will be able to submit up to 11 content submissions per day

    Also since TK’s submission is based on article quality and Uniqueness I think it may be worth noting the % uniqueness of the article you submitted to it.

    Sorry for the repetitive comments but it seems as though TK is a bigger beast than anticipated and has many functions that can determine the success of an article being submitted significantly and may worth taking a closer look at, especially considering the spectacular results you have received already.

  • Shane,

    Excellent work. Definitely deserving of a re-tweet, so you’ll get one. I used SEOL for quite some time, with mixed results. I could tell I was getting backlinks and pings, because I would get a trackback notification in my WP dashboard. On some blogs I’d get these very frequently, and they continued for a long time.

    What wasn’t as nice, however, was the quality of the sites. Very few SEOL users would use it to augment their offerings, instead preferring to let it be their sole means of content generation. You can guess what kind of blog that led to. I did get some PR 1 and 2 links from that network, and even some PR0 from sites that were not complete junk, but the majority were PR0 links from sites you’d not spend 1/2 a second visiting, were you not trying to see where the hell your backlinks came from.

    I’ve tried DYA as well, and the jury is still out on that one, although it looks like the verdict may not be good if my results are similar to yours.

    Thanks for the great post.

  • Shane,

    I think it’s interesting that two of the worst performing networks are MyArticleNetwork and SEOLinkVine, which are owned by the Callen brothers. These are the same guys who are pushing their “Elite SEOLinkVine” service at $500-$1000/month.

    Maybe all their quality blogs go into the Elite network which is why their lower-priced blog networks perform so poorly. One can only hope that the folks paying $500-$1000 per month for the Elite level aren’t getting the same quality you found.

    • Victor

      Surely all blog network are grey hat SEO. The only white hat approach is where you create huge amount of unique content and wait months and even years for people to start linking to you voluntary. its simple as that.

      I wouldn’t participate in any blog network that doesn’t review each and every article posted. These networks could be shut down by G soon I guess.

    • I certainly hope not, my sites are moving up noticeably with TK.

  • Shane do you know of some private blog network that allows posting articles/posts in other than english language ? I didn’t find answer to this question on IM forums yet…

    Thanks !

    • ArticleRanks are definitely open to other languages. Don’t know about any of the others.

  • All these private blog networks work like a charm.

    But do you know Shane or anyone else what happens to the sites once our posts on these blogs are moved from a blogs homepage ? I mean everyday there are new and new posts added so my posts do not stay on homepage with high PR long.

    I’m currently experimenting with BMR so that’s why I ask :}

    • The links lose value, once they slide off the homepage. Depending on the network, they will still retain a good amount of value, though. If the sites are being flooded with too many articles, that’s a bad sign. If the network owners do nothing to help indexation of their sites, that’s also bad. With the better networks, you’ll have your posts remain on the homepage long enough for Google to find them and also have the links retain a reasonable amount of value once they’re off the homepage.

  • if you guys haven’t notice. TK is now closed for new registration.

  • Very nice comparison!

    You don’t by any chance happen to know if the blog netowork in Traffic Kaboom is the same as the one in Web2Mayhem by the same company? Because TK is closed for now, while Mayhem is still open for new members…

    • I don’t know if W2M users get access to the same network. I think that the W2M network is part of the TK network, but I don’t know if it goes both ways.

  • Shane, great to see the 60 day results. With TK though, are you using video along with your articles? Since this is what the TK guys recommend (folow their long and tedious process of creating video accounts, accounts, etc etc..) or did you simply submit one piece of content by itself?

    • Not for this test, no. That would make it an unfair comparison, in my opinion. The way I see it, the video syndication is a nice bonus with TK. :)

      • It certainly is :) Im danm glad I joined before they closed! Thanks for the reply and I Appreciate the work you have put into this review.

  • Brian Russo says:

    @Victor – Why not test is yourself and see what works for your particular site, niche and market. What works for Shane may provide completely different results for you. TEST, TEST, TEST!

    @Shane – I know TK recommends spinning articles. But I prefer to focus all my time on writing quality content. I do believe spinning works. But in my case, quality articles have worked better. I’d rather spend 2 hours writing a kiss ass article, than spending that time to spin one article into 1,000 versions.

  • @Brian Russo

    I agree in spending quality content for my sites, but you do realize that these “kick ass” articles will most likely never be seen by any real visitors. You’d be best to think about using BMR than any of these networks, for you can get a lot more decent links with well spun articles. It’s been my experience that I have to put 3x the efforts in link building than I would think logical, for not all links stick and get indexed.

    A well spun article on the same domain will basically provides the same quality backlink. I think it is worthwhile in creating excellent articles that are not spun for high PR Article directories and Web 2 sites though.

  • On your final conclusions you kind of lost me. We all know that blog commenting is temporary juice, and I really don’t care about PR unless I’m building a link source for my other websites.

    I know you mentioned that you were measuring results as far as high PR links but at the end of the day, it’s all about ranking for your keywords.

    Call me a jughead but I measure results of links by serp position. Obviously the better serps rank should follow good high PR links but you really make no mention of any results in serp movement.

    I know other factors besides links can effect rankings but just out of curiosty, how much did your rankings and traffic improve based on the results of the two winners?

    • I’ve seen other case studies that have judged effectiveness according to rank but Shane has taken a smart route in testing, because you wouldn’t get a proper test for their are a lot of different factors when using different sites like domain used, ONsite SEO, Strength of competition with each niche.

      Some sites may take a lot less links for the Strength of Comp. can be weaker on one site, so less links may help it jump. G. may like the on site SEO of one site, as it may have better LSI and appear richer in value.

      As test that you want to see would have to almost the exact criteria, same niche, and same competition.

      What Shane shows in the case study potential of backlinks that can be gained and IP diversity, which is valuable to know. Again, unless you can do a test with sites that all have the exact criteria, you would not be able to measure what links are more valuable, even then there will be some differences in the content for it’d have to be unique.

      Although, Shane used different criteria, I think it’s because he’s aware of what I mentioned, and this is probably the best kinda of testing you can do when testing different platforms against each other.

  • Hello Shane,
    You are a busy little beaver. Too busy for a video? What’s this?

    I bit…hard. I finally opted for six months of SECockpit.

    To be fair, I crosscheck my chosen keyword against Spyfu and SemRush too. The results can be wildly different, but some patterns are visible. Some surprises too.

    The proof of the pudding, as they say in Switzerland, is the chewing. Time will tell.

    However, for a start, I have to say that poor Market Samurai and Keyword Elite have been mostly weed patched.

    SECockpit has opened new vistas for me. It’s like the difference between looking out a window 15 feet away, and just taking down the whole dang wall. You can see the WHOLE landscape.

    By deconstructing a couple of my earlier efforts, with the aid of my new super dooper SECockpit vision I can well see what I *shoulda did*…. Also, it’s not a stretch to see that SECockpit’s keyword earnings predictions are borne out by the history of those sites.

    Lastly, I have had a theory rumbling around in the back of my brain for years, really. I’m about to put it to the test. Pre SeCockpit, there was no good way to get the data it takes to pull it off.

    Yes indeedy!


  • Hi Shane,
    Great feedback.
    Are you writing these articles with “related terms”, to minimize any chance of the articles ranking for a core term? Since the elimination of google wonder wheel, are you using any other tools to find semantically related terms?
    Thanks again for your awesome work! Art

  • Shane –

    Loved the case study, well done! Next year I may have to join you in the fun, love the case study approach to blogging.

    I noticed you didn’t do BuildMyRank – and with this many comments I didn’t bother to check if you were planning on testing it, but it would be great to take your top 3 and add a BMR test to the same mix.

    Then see which ranks and how it compares especially to TrafficKaboom, etc.

    The other question I have for you is this:

    Did you happen to notice the C-Class diversity of the links? Market Samurai and I’m sure your SECockpit can tell if there is a diversity in the C-Class IP’s of the links themselves, especially helpful in giving you a more natural linking profile.

    Anyhow, wondering if you have that information?

    That was what I loved about ArticleRanks when I tested them myself (before they were $89 or so a month – at that price, TrafficKaboom is the winner in the price wars!): AR had a lot of C-Class diversity.

    Thanks for the awesome post. Loved it, lot’s of information to chew on. I know where I’ll be getting the TK membership from when the time comes.

  • Thanks for all the updated stats Shane.

    Did you see the following ArticleRanks announcement?

    “September 2011 update – We have just finished adding a few hundred fresh PR sites into the system from our private network.. In total 800+ new sites have now been added to the system both by us and users in the last 30 days”

  • Thanks for the review. This is very useful because I was planning to use some of the above blog networks but did not know which one is worth the money and time involved. great tips and very useful. Thanks.

  • The guys over at Traffic Kaboom just put out a new one you probably heard about called Auto Traffic Buddy. They tend to think this will blow Traffic Kaboom “out of the water”. Any thoughts? It’s still open for new members.

    • I had a look during their pre-launch and (at least at that time) what the system did was to automatically add a snippet of your blog posts to a network of blogs with a link back to your original post.

      Certainly not a bad concept, but if it works like it did during pre-launch, it is a credits based system where you need to add your own blogs (on hosting accounts of their own!) in order to earn credits for promoting your money sites.

      If that’s still the case I think the system is a little bit expensive for what it does…

    • I wonder as well.. on the affiliate page it seems like Traffic Kaboom is the upsell to Auto traffic buddy..

  • Unique Article Wizard has seemed to have lost its power over the last couple of years. I think that Authority Link Network has a lot of advantages because it’s not saturated with garbage links.

  • Is anyone getting results using the ultra spin minis with these networks? They are priced right, but I’m not sure how “unique” they are.

    • The minis are over done.. you would be better to buy a bunch of articles and learn to spin them yourself, or outsource it. They don’t have to be perfect. If you search the ‘minis’ titles you will find hundreds or thousands of the same spun article with hundreds of people using them.. they have definitely lost their value.

  • Hi Shane

    I have a few questions:

    1. You said you submitted 20 articles per network.

    Are these 20 unique articles per network, so that’s 20 x 8 = 160 articles submitted?

    2. Or did you create 20 unique articles and submit that to each network, so it’s 20 articles in total.

    3. How many days apart did you submit the articles? Did you schedule them or submit 20 at once?

    I think giving a little more detail in regards on how to actually use these networks would be great.

  • Hi Shane,

    I was wondering after 90 days and with only this back link method used,
    1) are all URLs in page 1?
    2) are any in position 1?
    3) have the initial SERP achieved within the 30 days, improved/got worst to the 90 days..

    I know you said this was not a ranking comparison, but I am just curious to know.. ok, are the URLs top ranking?

  • Thanks a million Shane, for this mammoth, epic review! Things like this make this site one of a kind. :)

  • Shane

    The links you gave out for Traffic Kaboom show it at $198 for three months.

    The auto traffic buddy is a lot less. Still trying to understand if they use the Traffic Kaboom network or is this something entirely different. What do they charge to add traffic kaboom as a upgrade to auto traffic buddy?

    • TK and ATB are two completely separate things. The 198/3 months is the price that TK is being offered at, as an update to ATB. I don’t know of any lower-price offer to access TK.

  • Shane,
    Great stuff. Definitely appreciate the time and energy put into this project. I’ve used a few of these services but not all. Was not that familiar with Traffic Kaboom but will definitely check it out.

    You may have mentioned this along the way but why is Build My Rank not included? I’ve heard good things about the service though it can be pricey.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    • Hi Mike,

      I have reviewed BuildMyRank seperately, here: BuildMyRank review.
      The reason I did not include it in this roundup is that it’s a different type of network. All of the ones tested here let you submit spun articles, which then get posted to dozens of blogs. With BuildMyRank, you create one short post, which gets published once, but with a guarantee that all blogs in the network have PageRank and that almost all posts get indexed.
      BuildMyRank = few links, higher quality.
      All of the above blog networks = many links, lower quality.

  • Hi,

    Love this analysis to the bones. It actually confirms my success I had so far with using ALN and Article Ranks. I just grabbed the subscription to Traffic Kaboom and looking forward to further strengthening positions in serps.

    Is it possible to see a review of EZArticleLink in the near future? They have the most demanding moderators in post/article approval process I have ever seen. And out of this comes the quality of content where backlinks reside. I can only imagine how powerful would that be, but I shouldn’t be too wrong if I compare them with BuildMyRank – for the price that is almost half less than BMR’s one.


  • Hey Shane. What a great test! I’ve been trying to find information like this and glad to get it here. This test result will change What I am doing right now. Hope you will make another good test in the next future. Thanks

  • Hello Shane,
    Congratulations on a project well done and thanks for the detailed review. This test result will definitely help to steer me in the right direction, saving me the time and effort of doing it myself. Well, I intend to watch this space for the next test/review (hint).


  • Shane your work is awesome.. I don’t envy the time it took to compile your data but it is obviously very detailed and accurate..
    I am glad you pointed out the differences expecially the network(s)’ higher link PR rates..
    As we all know a lot of low links are not nearly as vaulable as a quarter fewer Higher PR links..

    Thanks for the Information

  • I have recently given up on UAW because they have become less effective. So I was just about to test the submissions software myself when I stumbled upon your excellent reviews.
    Normally, I tests things out myself, but after reading your review, I was thoroughly impressed by your scientific approach.
    Excellent work and I am very thankful for the amount time you saved me testing.
    Listen folks this is how testing should be done!

  • Akbar Sheikh says:

    Hi Shane,

    Awesome case study when people give so much importance to links from blog networks. Also can you shed some light on 1waylinks and 3waylinks from none other than Jonathan Leger?? I mean they are quite old networks and are they still effective and how do they work as compared to what you have chosen??

    Thanks and Wishing you success,

  • Thanks Shane,

    This was a great undertaking! I have been looking for some time for a source for backlinks and just seem to get more and more confused. With everything out there claiming to be the #1 source it can make your head spin. You’ve done a super job here and I appreciate your all you’ve done. Extremely helpful!

    Thanks again,


  • delphitio says:

    Shane, just wanted to say THANK YOU so much for sharing your results with us. This is very useful stuff, here. So thanks again!

  • Hey! It’s Shane! I began reading this really great article and guess who it is. Thanks for SEcockpit!

  • Wow! That’s a lot of work. Thank you! You’ve made the complex very easy to understand. If you ever do it again can you test Blogging Underground? I’ve heard good things about it but I have no way to compare it to anything else … well until now.

  • Whooaaa!!
    This blog network comparison is Absolutely best i’ve seen … !!!

    Thank you Shane, i’ve learnt a lot of valuable SEO stuff just from this post :D

    I Agree with you about ArticleRanks Shane… i recommend it also to my friends.

    From my own experience, UAW didn’t give me a good serp movement, the reason is, … just like you wrote above Shane.

    i never use ALN, SpinDistribute, MAN, linkvine and TK, so i can’t comment on them.

    Yup, i’m waiting for your next review Shane.
    How about BMR vs BlogBlueprint? or BMR vs BB vs ALN vs TK?

    • Thanks, Sena!

      There will be another comparison review in the not-too-distant future. Stay tuned. :)

  • Hello Shane,

    I subscribed to ArticleRanks after reading your review. However my article distribution rate is extremely slow (even after 5 days with no rejections).

    Can you advise how to increase the distribution rate?


    • Hi Jude,

      A possible factor would be the niche and the categories you select, to submit to.
      If you have a site in a very obscure niche, then it could be that there are simply very few sites in the network, on a related topic. What you can do in this case is write articles about more general topics and submit those, with links to your site inside.
      I can’t think of a really fitting example but something along the lines of writing about travel in general (large niche, many sites), instead of writing about youth hostels in Poughkeepsie (small niche, few sites).
      Keep in mind that the content you create to get links from does not necessarily have to be closely related to the content on your site.

      • DavidPaul says:

        Do you think more link juice gets passed on when the article is on a similar topic and using similar keywords? Or do you really think that it doesn’t matter at all and the same amount of link juice for that particular link text gets passed on just as equally regardless of what the article is about?

        I’m not challenging you. I actually have no idea. Your insight would mean a lot to me because I have a very small niche and it would certainly help me if it didn’t matter what I wrote about as long as my link text was what I needed. I’ve been locked into the idea for quite some time that my articles need to be on a similar topic from actual benefit.

        Thanks for your input.

  • Thankyou so much for all your hard work, this has helped me with my backlinking efforts and which service to use.

    Many thanks


  • Shane -this is one of the best posts Ive read in awhile! I tweeted this :)
    Im so tired of reading fake reviews from affiliates.
    I’m still not sure how BMR is so different- I will read your post on that.

    • Thanks, Nicole!
      The difference is that with the networks tested here, you can submit one spun article and get that article published on dozens of blogs. With BMR, you write one unique article and it gets published on one single blog, but it’s guaranteed to be a blog on a domain with PageRank.

  • Traffic Kaboom now has a two-step process when you submit your article, they removed the 8-step process.

  • I signed up for the Authority LN. It’s been good so far, except they just changed the rules and require 100 {} tags for each article, which I’m finding is hard to do on many articles that are 450 words long. This has made this product an pain to use.

  • Do you have to add a blog to join ALN network? It appeared that you would be charged 14.99/mth to get a submission a day and would get extra points when adding your own blogs — receiving more points depending on PR of blogs.

    • Yes, they have now added the option to pay for submissions, but you can still get credits by adding your own blogs (or combine both).

  • Just curious. If most of the people have a free account at for instance authority link network, how is this a business model?

    • It used to be offered as a bonus to a link-building software and recently, they’ve added the option of subscription payments in exchange for article posting credits. So, the business model would be: use it to boost sales of a different product and have people add their own sites, to earn the right to post, wait until you have a nice, big, high-PR network under your control and then start selling subscriptions.
      Plus, even if you don’t pay, it’s still a good way for them to build a mailing list of people in the SEO niche.

  • ArticleRanks and ALN accept auto-spun articles, which aren’t perfectly readable (I load an article into TBS then simply auto-spin it).

    Isn’t it a problem if my link building articles aren’t perfectly readable due to the auto-spin?

    • I personally make sure that all of my articles are readable and I never use auto-spin. But I honestly don’t know how much of a difference it makes. As far as I’m concerned, readable articles are more future-proof than non-readable ones, at the very least.

  • A useful post, save a lot time and money, I learned in five minute what I learn with in several months of trial and error for just one of the services.

    • I used all of them until the testing was complete. I still use all but the worst few from this test on a regular basis.

  • Hello,
    First of all great post my friend !!!
    Do you know if the network are accepting new member ?
    I tray to send them a message but they dont write back.

    And do you know if they accepting keywords in Spanish ?

    Thanks !!!

    • I think most of the networks in this review are currently open for new members.
      As for Spanish content: I’m pretty sure ArticleRanks supports non-English content and you can probably also get away with it on Authority Link Network.

  • You made this post in August before Google panda update. My question is is it still valuable to go with this method to get ranking? are you still recommend the above blog networks you stated in your post?

    • This test was conducted during September, October and November 2011. The Panda updates started in March 2011.
      In other words: yes, these results are still very relevant. :)

  • Hi Shane

    I just gone through some other forums and read that Google is now penalizing sites which are using ALN service. Do you think it’s Right? Are you still using ALN service for your sites and notice any decrease in ranking for your keywords?

    • Very curious to see what your thoughts are on ALN, Shane. I was just about to dump MyArticleNetwork in my backlinking portfolio when I stumbled across some threads indicating deindexing problems with ALN.

  • Thanks for the case study. Very well done.

  • Great stuff and kudos for the effort….. I’ll need to keep an eye on your blog moving forward.

    I just recently signed up to SEO Destiny as my 1st ever blog network as I opted to go for the one-off payment for lifetime access. Don’t know how effective yet but needed to start somewhere with mass link distribution.

    Not really making use of my SENuke-X tool which I bought outright but that will change soon since I now have a way of producing unlimited Very Very High readable near 100% unique spins in a fraction of a second, as well as create unlimited master-token spins that create those individually spun articles.

    That being said, this leads me to want to add a 2nd Network at a reasonable cost. I never liked the interface of TKB from what I recall when I signed up and quit just as quick, and ATB wasn’t any better…..just confused the hell out of me to be honest.

    FTS is ok but hate transcribing the usual tokens to the brackets they use for their system, even though that can be done easily with the Find and Replace function on Notepad.

    So in your opinion, what do you feel is still the best bang for ones dollar if you were to choose only one of the networks out of the ones mentioned and or perhaps the others that weren’t mentioned because they are not the type systems as the ones mentioned in this comparison.

  • Shane

    Your study is a definite help considering the amount of promo hype I have received lately in regards to blog networks. Watched a BMR presentation and the “quality” aspect hits home for me. Given the fact that natural building looks better, I think a solid network like BMR that focuses on quality and the other networks that take the lower quality spun versions/blogs makes sense.

    I will use Senuke through fiverr and I did buy scrapebox a month ago. It is far too easy to get hung up on tools instead of just “doing”.


  • Hi Shane,

    Just a quick note of thanks for the hard work that went into this round-up. My friend Adam sent me this link (you know him from A100K) and I can see why as the analysis you ran was quite thorough.

    Thanks again.


    • Thanks for your comment, Darryl! Glad you like the roundup. :)

  • Hi Shane:

    I changed to Traffic Kaboom based on this wonderful post. I’m wondering how you know the PR values of the blogs where your articles were posted. The only stats I’m getting so far are the number of postings. I don’t know where they are being posted. I’d like to see because I stopped using Article Samurai since all I was getting were PR0 sites.


    • Hello Carolyn,
      I used Majestic SEO and ahrefs to find as many of the published articles as possible.
      Unfortunately, it’s normal not to get URL reports from the blog networks.

    • I haven’t reviewed that yet. I may do a review of it sometime in the future, though. Note that Linkvana is not a network like the ones reviewed in this post. With Linkvana, you submit one unique article and get one backlink in return.

  • Andrew Gitt says:

    hi shane, i would like to know what your comparison is on bmr and traffic kaboona

    also how strict is traffic kaboona on quality of articles?
    and could i resubmit the same spun articles over and over with them?


    • You can’t resubmit the same article to Traffic Kaboom, they check for that.
      They aren’t extremely strict, but they do have higher standards than other networks. A few typos are no problem, for example, but if your article is full of mistakes or spun gibberish, they will not approve it.

      BMR is just a totally different system, because you get only one backlink per article submitted. The two can’t really be compared.

  • Andrew Gitt says:

    i also want to know about traffic kaboon if they have limit on how many submissions i can make each day and if they are like aln in that you have to submit your own blogs to be part of network

  • Hi Shane, I’m SAM, from Thailand. Thanks for your post. I have some question to ask you.
    -as you write this review since november, Is there any changes of those blog network result till today as google update algorithm so often?
    -i try to use ALN to promote my money site, and now it has been kicked away from google result for about 1 month.

  • Hey Shane,

    I found your blog through an email from Dror Bekerman who I am following after finding his quality review of a product I was researching.

    I have to say you and he write some of the most objective and quality reviews on IM products I have found.

    Thanks for this in depth review! Keep up the GREAT work!!

    You just gained another follower ;)

    Howie Perks

    • Dror is an awesome guy. Glad you found me through him. :)
      And I’m happy to have you “on board” for imimpact, as well.

  • This blog network evaluation page really helped clear up some things about the different vendors for distributing article content.

    For the newbie it’s hard to understand the different aspects related to article creation and content distribution.

    Great Reviews and we know where we’re going now! With the Panda update it’s getting more and more difficult to know where you’re safe to market these days, we depend upon informative reviews like yours.


  • Hi Shane,

    I was just wondering how did you get the google rankings for the sites you tested in a certain keyword. Did you do it manually by going through the search results or used a specific tool?

  • Hi Shane,

    Great review. I love the stats you have provided. You have given me a clear picture of what blog network should I go for.


  • Hi Shane,

    Is there any blog network that accepts Spanish articles?

  • Hi Shane,

    With the loss of BMR I’ve been looking around to find out more about backlink building services and blog networks and I must say this is the most comprehensive and most impressive case study I have seen, so Thank you!


  • Bye Bye BMR . Gone forever. A number of other networks also. Secured myself a position in 2 others before they closed to new members let’s see how they make out .

  • Chris Parker says:

    Received the dreaded “un-naturl” link building from Google. 3 different sites were effected. The blog network of choice; Article Ranks
    I’ve since canceled my account and all future article submissions. Will be diversifying my link building and hopefully get out of the penalty dog house. Is it possible to save these sites with the penalties imposed or should I start over?

  • So Shane, what is your advise now that BMR has closed it’s doors due to being slappd by Goolge? I think all the blog networks are going to go the same way. Was a good strategy until Google caught up…. and they always do.

  • Thanks for the in-depth review. I’ve been looking for this type of review for a while!!

  • Hi,

    Wondering whether Articleranks, Traffic Kaboom are effective still? and if TK is still effective can we join now as I am always seeing their door closed!..


  • Wow, amazing and in-depth post, Shane

    So much has happened in the last 6 months (Blogs deindexed, Penguin updates, etc). What’s your take on using these types of networks now? Would you just use them for link reinforcement?

  • Interesting, UAW is working for me really good so far… so I don’t know what to think…


  • Thanks for this. I’ve been debating which, if any, blog submission software to use. You have broken it down nicely and I’ll go with your recommendation

  • Are these reviews still relevant now? I know one of the products you recommended is google slapped.

    • Hi Todd,

      I don’t think all the networks got slapped, but it’s clear that this kind of link building isn’t very effective anymore. Nothing near to how effective it was at the time of this review, anyway.

  • Here I am tagged on the end of umpteen Comments, but sometimes you just have to share, right?

    I think I have landed in heaven! I have found some incredibly valuable articles here on your site, and you don’t even care that they are over 2 or even 3,000 words! Fantastic.

    You are not trying to sell me anything….yet :). You are not hyper-energized or yelling at me – perfect!

    I’m off right now, to add you to my very-hard-to-get-into, Google Plus Circle of ‘Bloggers that I Trust’.

    I do hope you have a presence on Google Plus…..if not, check out my blog because I have published 5 articles that explain exactly how and why you should!

  • Oops! I just read Todd’s Comment above and your reply Shane. Ok, I won’t be using Blog Networks now, but I’m still impressed with your site and your overall style.

    Your honest comment to Todd above, proves my first impression – that you indeed, are a ‘Blogger That I Trust’.

    • Glad you caught that, Carol!

      The article was written quite a long time ago and with SEO related material, that unfortunately means it’s not fully applicable anymore.

      • Sad To say, this is the second time I’ve fallen into that trap with an old article – I must be a slow learner.

        Off topic Warning: where in Switzerland do you live? I lived and worked in Zurich many years ago – a great place and I still have some good Swiss friends from back then.

  • It’s interesting that now, in 2017, only one of the recommended three services still exist…were the top ones “too successful” or “too visible?”

    Did Panda/Penguin/Poodle/Piranha (I’m making some of this up) kill these?

    Would be interesting to revisit this to see if ANY of these (or different ones) still work…

  • I agree with Bill. Is this still a viable strategy and if so, who are the 2017 providers that can contribute to good quality SEO.

    If it’s no longer a sound strategy, I suggest an edit at the top of the article.

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