I decided to try backlinks.com a few months ago to see if this service can actually make bloggers money. The premise is of course a Google No-No and is about selling links on your pages or posts to advertisers. These links are placed in a widgetized area and not even in the context of an article which further makes them stand out.
Backlinks.com has actually a fairly good Alexa rating at under 8k ranking, but the main homepage itself is a PageRank of 0 and I would think is far too low for this popular of a service if it isn’t already being penalized. In Backlinks.com you simply sign up and list your individual pages/posts that are a PageRank 1 and above. These posts are individually listed and if you have dozens of posts it can take quite a bit of time to enter every one though you get to clone previous entries to save some time. You choose a category/niche, as well as target audience for the links.
Once your articles are listed in the directory you simply wait until Advertisers purchase links, they do so by paying a monthly fee in which you make a certain amount. The fee schedule for backlinks.com is here:
PageRank (PR) 1 homepage $.50 , subpage $.50
PageRank (PR) 2 homepage $1 , subpage $1
PageRank (PR) 3 homepage $2 , subpage $1.50
PageRank (PR) 4 homepage $3 , subpage $2
PageRank (PR) 5 homepage $4.50 , subpage $3.50
PageRank (PR) 6 homepage $12.50 , subpage $10
PageRank (PR) 7 homepage $30 , subpage $25
PageRank (PR) 8 homepage $75 , subpage $50
Remember, these are monthly payments and if you multiply let’s say 20 PR2 sub pages that sell backlinks, this would be an earnings of $20 per month from having the links on your site, which is $240 for a year. When using this service the real money lies in having hundreds of site pages/posts with PR3 or higher ratings, these can earn quite a bit. You can also see that homepage backlinks can start commanding quite a bit per month when you get above PR6 though this is still a fraction of what you can get from selling to an advertiser directly.
For my experiment, I listed about 36 posts from DragonBlogger.com that were PR1 or above and I sold 8 links, this only earns me $4 per month which is hardly worth my time and the risk to my pagerank from selling backlinks openly.
As bloggers we all want to try to make money with our sites, but my official opinion is that if you want to try to earn money selling backlinks then this is not the way to do it. It is far too visible and the payments are far too low. At least if you sell a backlink with IZEA’s InPostLinks, PayPerPost or even links to advertisers directly you can embed those links in well written paragraphs and Google has little chance to know it was a sold link if you link to a site that is in the same niche as your own blog.
Now, I am not bashing Backlinks.com as a service and there are probably blogs with hundreds of listed pages that can make hundreds per month from selling backlinks on PR2, PR3 or PR4 sub pages. Older blogs that have aged several years have the highest chance of having many sub pages with higher PageRank. A new post will always start off with a PageRank of N/A and will take time to "age" and pick up pagerank so you never can list recently published articles in the directory.
As of this writing I am officially done testing the service and have removed the plugin and will no longer be hosting sponsored links from Backlinks.com as I don’t think the small payments are worth a risk to my blog PageRank rating. The other thing is you have little control over what backlinks are bought on your site, they simply sell and you have no control to approve or deny the backlinks manually. I have had several sell that weren’t good matches for my site as you can see below:
Ditch Backlinks.com if you are using it, or don’t even start is my official stance.