GSA Search Engine Ranker Review: The END of manual backlinking?
et’s face it. We all hate building backlinks. Well ok, I can’t definitely say that for you, but I for one absolutely despise link building.
Anyway if you’re anything like me, you hate it because it turns you into a mindless robot. Enter your email here, post your article there, verify your email address, click on this, click on that…
It just sucks. A lot.
I for one believe that there is nothing wrong with hating to build backlinks manually. If you think that too, you probably think that the idea of a computer program that builds links for you automatically sounds really cool.
Now you’ve probably heard programs like GSA Search Engine Ranker claim that they can do all the work for you on complete autopilot.
|You can organize your projects in SER according to your linking strategy.
Now, that kinda sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? You’re a smart person and you don’t want to waste time and money learning how to use a new piece of software only to find out that it doesn’t work.
You also want to make sure that the links it builds stand the test of time and keep your site ranked through all the silly penguin and panda updates.
Now I’m going to say this right now. I’ve been using this automatic link-building software pretty much since it came out as pretty much my sole way of building backlinks and ranking my sites. So I’m probably biased.
Still, I wrote this review to give you as much information as possible about it so that regardless if you decide to buy it or not, you’ll know what to expect.
Before we dive in, let’s talk about proof. Chances are that you’ve come across this site by running a google search. Did you notice where it was ranking? Pretty high I bet. Now think for a minute, how do you think I got there…?
Built-in platform variety
The big secret to ranking sites nowadays is variety. Of course, that means varying up your anchor text but it also means varying the type and platforms that your links come from.
To make that as easy as possible, GSA Search Engine Ranker (GSA SER) is designed to post links to a wide variety of platforms. You can tell it to post links to the following types of website platforms:
- Article directories
- Blog comments
- Directory listings
- Document sharing websites
- Forum profiles
- Guestbook comments
- Image comments
- Social bookmarks
- Social network profiles
- Web 2.0 properties
It totals well over 100 different types of platforms to which it can post backlinks and that number is growing continuously. What that means to you is that you don’t have to worry about posting your content and links on different types of sites, it’s all done for you.
The built-in scraper finds sites for you
One of the things that make building links tedious is the fact that you have to continuously keep finding good sites to link from. That means that you have to learn about footprints and search engine operators.
Heck, even most of the other backlinking programs require you to build lists of URLs to which you want it to post your content and links. While this program also does let you upload your own lists of sites, it doesn’t rely on it and can totally do without it.
GSA SER finds sites based on the keywords you specify and it then scours the internet for sites that use platforms it can link from. This is great because it makes your campaign unique and doesn’t leave a footprint.
Another cool thing that it does is that it actually collects the sites it finds and builds huge site lists for you. You can then use those lists for any project you set up later by just clicking the right options.
Using spun content
The spun content is quite possibly the most misunderstood and vilified concept in internet marketing and SEO. The fact is, you need lots of articles to get links from. Now you can either spend lots of time actually writing individual articles or you can spin a piece of content once and be done with it. If you’re as lazy like me, you’d probably prefer the second option.
To help you out with this, GSA SER has a built-in API that can be used with article-building services like Jon Leger’s Article Builder, Wicked Article Creator and XR Content.
It’s pretty basic stuff though and it’s much better to use a separate article spinner if you plan on doing it yourself.
What’s cool though is that you can also use spun content in most of the other fields. This means that you can spin your anchor text, article descriptions, about sections, blog comments, titles, etc. which is very important for making your link profile look as natural as possible.
|Select from the many engines you want to post to and the software will tell you what data to put in what field.
Easy anchor text variety
SEO today demands that you vary the anchor text a lot and not use your exact match keyword too much. There is simply no getting around that fact. Of course, that’s google’s fault (with their updates and all) and might even be the reason you lost rankings in the past.
GSA Search Engine Ranker makes this really easy. It has 4 fields that let you add tremendous variety to your anchor text:
- Primary keywords as anchor text
- Secondary keywords as anchor text
- Generic Anchor as anchor text
- Domain as anchor text
There are also options that let you control the ratio of what anchor text to use. So for example, you could tell the software to use your primary keyword 15% of the time, your secondary ones 30%, generic anchor text 25% and your domain 30%. Really, you can set whatever ratio of anchor text that you want.
Simple link dripping
Another big secret that master search engine optimizers use to dominate the SERPs is linked dripping. It (at the risk of repeating myself) makes your link-building campaigns seem more natural and makes ranking easier.
So instead of just blasting out thousands and thousands of links each and every day, GSA SER lets you set the rate at which your backlinks get built.
Do you want to create one link a day? You can do that. Do you want to create 100 links a day (even though that’s a very bad idea)? You can also do that.
But the best part is that you can randomize the number of links it builds. For example, you can set the options so that it builds any number between 5 and 10 links per day every day. You can obviously choose the numbers you want but the point is that it once again adds variety and makes things look natural.
But things become interesting when you combine these features together. To add in even more variety, you can trickle those links to different platforms. So one day you might get 2 forum profiles and one article link. On another, you could get 2 articles, 3 social bookmarks and 1 social network link. It is all under your control.
|Set the scheduling options that you want your campaign to follow. This allows you to make things look as natural as possible.
Nowadays, it seems that everybody is raving on and on about the power of tiered links (i.e. building links to the backlinks that point to your site). And it’s true, they can be VERY effective.
They’re really easy to set up in a GSA project. All you need to do is select the project to which you want the new links to be built.
You can also do as many levels of this as you wish and use whatever type of links and platform that you want. This is a very powerful tactic to your ordinary links into super-links that people are selling for as much as 100$ each today.
Detailed link reports
Pie charts are cool because they make boring data a little more fun. In this case, the software easily lets you generate detailed reports that tell you how many links have been built within a certain project, the source of those links, the type of engine used, the PageRank of the domain they were posted to, the page they point to, the anchor text used, etc.
This is not only great for tracking your own link-building campaigns but also if you manage websites for some clients. Gone is the need to list your links in spreadsheets or try to categorize them.
|With a few clicks, you can generate detailed link reports for yourself or your clients.
Why GSA Search Engine Ranker over, say SEnuke or Ultimate Demon?
If you’re on the market to find the right backlinking software for you, I understand that it can get really confusing pretty fast. There are just so many out there and if you’re going to take the time to figure one of them out, you want the best results possible from it.
So let’s see. There’s SEnuke Xcr, Ultimate Demon, Zennoposter, Article Kevo, Magic Submitter, No Hands SEO, Rank Builder NEO… and the list goes on.
So what makes GSA SER stand out?
The first thing is that it only costs a one-time fee of 99$. That is less than a single month of SENuke. And you get it for life, updates and all. Even if you get GSA SEO Indexer and GSA Captcha breaker, it’s still less than 2 months of SEnuke and less than 4 months of Magic Submitter.
The other thing it does to set it apart from its competition is the fact that it finds linking opportunities for you based on your keywords.
Most other programs use static site lists and because many users end up abusing those lists, obvious linking patterns emerge to make things look unnatural.
Since no GSA user will ever upload the exact same list of keywords into their projects, there will never be an obvious footprint and it keeps your sites safe.
What’s also cool is that it collects the sites it has posted your links to and builds lists automatically. That means that you can tap into a ginormous list of linking opportunities whenever you want with your later projects.
Another thing that GSA does better than its competition is the actual posting of the links. The quality of the coding that runs the software is second to none and allows it to have a much higher success rate than any other software solution.
I almost feel bad for the developers
Updates come at a ridiculous rate (and I mean that in a good way). It’s no joke when I say that there is a new update almost each and every day of the week that generally makes the software run more efficiently or adds more platforms for additional linking opportunities.
And there’s no manual updating either. All you have to do is click the green button at the bottom and the software does the rest.
The support is also outstanding. You often get a reply to your inquiry on the very same day and sometimes, Sven (the lead programmer) takes a look at your projects to find out what’s wrong.
It’s not all perfect though
There are a few issues with the program though that you’ll want to keep in mind.
The first thing that is a bit of an issue is the fact that it takes up a lot of bandwidth. This is an issue for those who don’t have unlimited internet access and it’s, therefore, a good idea to monitor the situation to avoid paying for extra internet usage. This isn’t a problem if you’re using a VPS though.
It’s terrible at web 2.0s, but…
Also, for some reason, it is pretty bad at posting to web 2.0 sites (the free mini-blog type) like WordPress, Livejournal, etc. However, there is a service called SERengines that develops what they call “premium Search Engine Ranker engines”. I don’t know a thing about the technical stuff behind it but they essentially let you post to a bunch of web 2.0 sites with a very high success rate. This is great (especially for building tiered links) but a membership costs 15$ a month.
You’ll need captchas
Another downside is that you really need a captcha-solving service to run this software effectively. If you go for a service like Death by Captcha you’ll quickly realise that the costs run up pretty fast. Most users opt for an additional piece of software (like Captcha Sniper or GSA Captcha Breaker) that only ask for a one-time investment to cut back on captcha-solving costs. But I guess that this is something that is needed with all link-building software.
Finally, in terms of a guide, manual or tutorials, there really isn’t much. There are a few videos that show you the basics of setting up a campaign but they really don’t cover all the options and settings that the software offers.
There is also a pdf manual that you can access with the program but it isn’t exactly user-friendly. It’s written in an almost scientific tone with long and complicated sentences. It’s good though for figuring out more advanced strategies like using macros for example (you can actually do some pretty cool things with those) but it poorly covers the basics.
What can make the product not work to its full potential?
Since it has become available for purchase, many users have had great success using this program. I personally use it on most of my sites simply because it works (again, how did you find this site?). There are many testimonials and if you want to check them out I recommend heading over to the Warrior forum or Blackhatworld where there are huge threads on the subject and many customer opinions.
To get the most out of Search Engine Ranker, you absolutely need proxies. The program comes with an integrated proxy scraper to find public proxies to use but they are usually unreliable and slow so buying your own private proxies is highly recommended.
This adds to the overall cost of running the program. On the other hand, all backlink-building programs run better with proxies so it’s not an issue that’s exclusive to GSA’s offering.
Also, if you run it on your own computer, you’ll quickly realize that it uses up a lot of bandwidth. For that reason, many users opt to run on a virtual private server (VPS). These range between 10 to 100 dollars a month.
You also need to be familiar with SEO best practices to get the most results from this program. If you don’t use high-quality readable spun content and if you don’t add enough variety to your anchor text, no backlinking software in the world will be able to help your rankings. Learn what makes an effective link-building campaign before using any type of automated link-building solution.
Many users also opt to purchase the GSA SEO Indexer to index all the links that SER builds. This can definitely give your campaigns an extra boost and for the 20$ that it costs, it’s a good idea to use it.
To conclude this review, I would say that despite a few issues and the additional costs (the VPS and proxies), GSA Search Engine Ranker is a great program. Given that it only asks for a one-time fee of 99$, it’s an absolute STEAL when compared to the other backlinking solutions out there. Heck, even with a high-end VPS and 100 proxies, it still costs less than a single month of SEnuke Xcr alone (and my personal bias tells me that it does a better job).
It’s honestly one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective solutions to get thousands of backlinks on complete autopilot. Combine that with the almost daily updates and very quick support and you’ll have a hard time finding a better offering anywhere else.
If you are looking to buy immediately or if you want to give the 5-day trial version a spin, make sure you go through the official website by clicking the link just below:
To access the trial version, all you have to do is click the download link. It lets you try out the complete version, doesn’t lock out any features and doesn’t even ask for a signup. Just download and install.
If you go for the trial, also make sure to try out SEO Indexer and Captcha Breaker at the same time. They work hand in hand with SER and since they also have free trials, you would be doing yourself a disservice to not give them a shot.