Doing outreach for sites is a lot of work. And when you have multiple sites like I do, it takes time away from creating content (unless, of course, you use a VA for your outreach). So, since I’m always looking for the best ROI in terms of time spent to acquire links, I decided to test out FatJoe’s Blogger Outreach service over the span of a few months to determine if they’re a good source of outreach links for my sites. After all, they do promise to do genuine outreach and get your links on genuine websites. What could go wrong?
Before I share with you the types of sites that my links ended up on, let’s take a moment to consider the definition of “genuine websites” and “genuine outreach.” I don’t know about you, but those claims lead me to believe that I’d be getting links from sites owned by random bloggers – sites that get traffic, thus being genuine sites. It may be foolish for to me think that the team at FatJoe is spending time looking for active (genuine) sites on the web and reaching out to them with a “hey guy, cool blog, interested in a guest/sponsored post?” but that is exactly what it seems they are selling. The low prices should be enough to banish such foolish thoughts, especially when places like Gotch SEO charge SO much more for a similar service.
The Sites My Links Ended Up On
Instead of sharing all my thoughts about the sites where my 35 links ended up, why don’t I just show you the metrics of all those sites? It’s the best way for me to show you what I got and what you might end up with if you use FatJoe’s Blogger Outreach Service.
DA 10+ Sites
First up, let’s look at the metrics for all 21 of the DA10+ sites that I got links on – and pay attention to the organic traffic numbers for each domain…
So, the organic traffic numbers aren’t the best, including a few zero traffic sites in the bunch. But I suppose you can’t really expect a ton of traffic for DA 10+ sites.
DA 20+ Sites
Next up are the DA 20+ sites. I only have five of these, but it should still give you a decent enough idea of what you get for the money.
With the exception of that last site, this is the type of traffic that I would expect to see from a “genuine” site.
DA 30+ Sites
And last, are the nine DA 30+ sites.
Like with the DA20+ sites, some of these seem to be on sites with real traffic and others not so much.
My Thoughts On FatJoe Links
The first thing that you need to know about using FatJoe is that they don’t drip the links out. In fact, I had them send 14 links on the SAME DAY to one site. I was stunned when I saw this in my report and immediately wanted to send them this meme…
Instead, I emailed to let them know I was unhappy about it. Below is the reply I got (click to enlarge).
Should’ve sent the meme.
Anyways, based on my analysis of the sites where my links were placed, at least 20% of the links seem to be on PBN sites. (Note: I didn’t check them all, just a sample of them.) The question though is this – are the PBN sites managed by FatJoe or did they get duped by another SEO who bought the expired domains and setup the current version of the site? I honestly don’t know. It was easy for me to discover that some of the sites had past lives thanks to the Wayback Machine, so I’d think they could’ve looked the same as I did.
For example, that last DA 30+ link up above is currently a travel blog but has a past life as a special food event website. And of the last 10 posts on the site, 8 of them appear to have paid links in the posts (and a 9th I suspect but can’t be certain). The OBLs range from a personal injury lawyer site to a kids coloring book app to a Welsh vacation cottage rental site.
Personally, I have no problem using PBN links on my sites. However, I don’t want to use public PBN networks due to there being more risk.
So, let’s assume that the team over at FatJoe are oblivious to the fact that some of these sites are PBN sites. On a per-link cost, these are reasonably priced for PBN links. I know it certainly costs me more to do my own PBN sites. But – I get to control the OBLs on my own PBN sites so that there isn’t a dilution of the link juice.
Let’s face it, these links are relatively inexpensive and I actually have gotten some positive movement in the SERPs from these links. But if you end up on sites that are PBNs, then the risk factor is high. So, is the possible risk worth the low cost? That’s a question only you can answer.
If you’re looking for legit outreach backlinks for your sites, I do not recommend using FatJoe. If you want links that may be part of a semi-private PBN, then these links are priced well enough for them to be worthwhile.
Update – Response From FatJoe
When I wrote about my experience, I wasn’t expecting to hear anything from FatJoe. But today (April 11th) I actually got an email from them, which I give them massive amounts of credit for doing. They wanted to let me know that they do not control any of the sites that their links come from, which is good news for anyone who buys links from them! And next week I’ll take time out to share the sites that I think are PBNs with them, so that they can hopefully make some improvements to their service. You can see the email they sent me below (click to enlarge).
I’m really impressed that they took this step. And I hope it’s because they want to make their service better overall and that this isn’t just an attempt to make one random SEO feel better about their service.
And in case you’re wondering, I don’t want any of the links they gave me replaced or removed. I’ve been in this game long enough to know that buying links always presents a risk, both for yourself and for clients. But I’d really love for what they offer to be even better so that I’d have an awesome service to use for links for my sites and client sites.
The fact remains that FatJoe is probably the most affordable “outreach” service where you get real movement for the links. And if there was less risk, then their links would likely be the #1 choice among most SEOs.