Reviews for Backlinks - Valuable or Worthless?

A popular thing for blogs to do these days is to run a review for backlinks program. Usually the programs run something like this: review the blog running the program and get a backlink from that blog to your review. The selling point for these reviews is that the blog doing the review will get a link back from a more popular blog, either a higher PageRank, and/or high traffic blog. The question is, are these backlinks valuable for the blogs doing the review?

One of the more popular review my blog for backlinks programs is John Chow’s ”Review My Blog & Get A Free Linkback”. He has been running the program since December 2006 and is currently up to batch 76. His site is currently ranked as a PageRank six and reviews are posted in increments of 10 at a time. At John’s current rate of posting the review post might be on the home page for seven days and then it will only be found in the blog archive. This gives you seven days on the front page of a fairly high traffic blog. Being on the front page of a PageRank six website for only seven days will be useless as far as flowing PageRank, it simply is not long enough. The value will only be the traffic that one can expect from being on the front page of a busy blog. I am sure there would be a pretty good traffic spike from being on the front page of a busy blog like John Chow’s, but that traffic might be even better if the links to the blogs contained small reviews of the blog that did the review to help peak interest in each review.

The very first post of ”review my blog posts” on John Chow is a PageRank three, and the PageRank of the review pages varies from unranked to five. If you are lucky enough to be on one of the review pages with high PageRank you will be sharing PageRank with the other ten links, not to mention all of the other links on the sidebar. I checked the PageRank of the reviews from some of the higher PageRank review posts and the average PageRank of the reviews was one! Most of the reviews were often unranked, and these were reviews that have been on the interent long enough that they should have received PageRank. That tells me that whatever PageRank value that is flowing to the review is fairly small. Do review posts on blogs get much traffic after they are off the front page? I have no way of knowing but I suspect that the number of visitors from the reviewed blog is fairly small after leaving the home page. There is simply no reason for people to read those posts and follow through to your blog, unless you are doing what I did today.

Review me for a backlink programs work for the blog offering the program, since they get links to their blog using the anchor text they want, but for the blog doing the review there appears to be little value, except the traffic spike from being on the home page of a popular blog for a short time. Long term you would be better off being active leaving comments and participating in other blogs than doing a one time review. Review my blog for a backlink programs could be made better for the reviewers by implementing some of these ideas:

  • Limit the number of review backlinks from a review post to five or less.
  • Provide a short preview of the review/blog along with the link. This will give the post linking to the review more content and provide some value to readers and reviewers. This might actually make the review link back post worth visiting.
  • Offer a link back for a longer period of time from the home page or site wide to the reviews. Best would probably be three months, but at least one month would be better. Reviews might have to be done less to provide the greater value to reviewers.

These are just ideas I had off the top of my head. Of course this goes against the whole point of most review my blog for a backlink programs. Since if you actually did this you would be putting your readers and reviewers first and yourself second. Perhaps I will have to think about starting a program and doing these things.

Categories: marketing