I’m always one to explore new technology, helpful tools that increase productivity and reduce costs. What I forget sometimes is that there are principles in search engine optimization that cannot be broken. My brain took a relapse recently when I apparently lost my Eric Ward conscience and tried linkvana, a link building tool created by a gentleman named Dave Kelly, owner and CEO of Arundel Net Inc.

The idea actually made a lot of sense at first. You write great content for someone with one or more backlinks to keyword-themed content on your website and their network of bloggers and article writers post the content on your behalf. Approval of content happens on the receiver’s end, but the submitter has no control over where the content is placed.

Additionally, linkvana offers up their own crew of writers who will take a few sentences (plus a choice link or two) and draft up their own content.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I take pride in my posts, SEO eBooks and 10 years of marketing experience. I’m not sure I want someone writing on my behalf. For a plumber, carpenter, or other trade profession, this might actually make more sense. But what I do is specialized, and unfortunately, my industry is saturated with boring, repetitious articles on SEO that I don’t want my name associated with.

So to be fair, I gave linkvana a run for the money and recorded my screen so that you could follow along with my experience. It took about a day to get my post online, but the site is was posted on was not about SEO. In fact, it was about a whole lot of nothing with posts that could easily be detected as selling links, which might explain the Google PageRank™ of 1 out of 10.

Scared to death of the penalties these types of sites could cause from a competitor reporting paid links to Google, I immediately cancelled my membership and decided to play it safe.

A similar (safer) website, that cautions against linking, but allows a business to guest blog on an industry-relevant website is MyBlogGuest.com, ran by Ann Smarty of Blue Grass SEO. Her blog, SEO Smarty, is followed by many of my peers and offers great tips and strategy for SEO that I highly recommend. If your post is good enough, why wouldn’t the site owner allow for a well-deserved link?

As for linkvana, enter at your risk. Had the category drop down matched the output of where my post was submitted, I may suggest the tool to local businesses who haven’t the time or resources to push content out to improve their branding. I’d be weary of including links within the content based on the pattern of linking I saw where my post was published.

Want to Learn More About Link Building?

We have a workshop at Creative Search Strategies on the topic of link building strategies and link baiting strategies. In Link Building Strategies, we’ll discuss the “push” method of earning links within associations, memberships, charity and community contributions and more. In Link Baiting Strategies, we’ll discuss ways you can make your website a magnet for organic links. Both are powerful workshops on building your brand and relevant, high quality backlinks to your website. Visit http://www.creativesearchstrategies.com/ to learn more.