The most common question we get asked is “Can you show us your results, and promise the same for me?”

It’s understandable, the SEO space is noisy and filled with black-hat, gray-hat, and generally worthless services from freelancers looking to make a quick buck.

This is one of the biggest reasons why we offer review copies at times to users on forums, job boards, and social groups. Review copies are simply a few free links that we offer in exchange for an honest review of our services.

In this case, we had a moderator from Builder Society offer up a review on one of our sales threads, and the results from just a few review copies were noticeable. The average page position, from 1 link, just 2 weeks after starting, increased by 14.

Here’s what happened.

builder society logo

“Earlier when [Invalley] offered a review copy, I resisted because I’m always on here and I felt it’d be right to let others get first dibs. But they kept offering more and more so I eventually sent in a private message about testing the waters.”

Turn Around Time

I sent in that message on September the 1st, sent in my details on the 2nd, and by October 3rd I had a report in my hands. It truly was a “Monthly Mix” in that I got a mix of links right at the month mark. That strikes me as important, especially as an agency buyer needing deliverables for clients.

Customer Experience

The initial message exchange with Joost was fast, to the point, but also warm and friendly. That’s what I want as a busy person: someone who doesn’t waste my time but still makes me feel appreciated and human. It’s basic hospitality and if someone doesn’t have time for friendliness, then that tells me exactly where their priorities are (my wallet instead of my satisfaction).

After that I sent in my details in the Invalley dashboard they use that prompts you for the information they need for the packages you order (or get a review for). It was very clear, and was basically business information, social media pages, things of that nature so they can flesh out profiles for you.

What I Received​

I’m not sure what other reviewers got, but I know I was given a more substantial review so I could gain more insight into the process and share it here. Part of my testing on that was a simple request of “Please don’t include any press release links.” They followed this direction perfectly.

That meant I got 3 Q&A links, 3 List Links, and 3 Brand Links.

The Quality of the Work​

Zero complaints from me. The Q&A answers were well written and obviously created by a human. The List links look to have required even more effort, including the gathering of images, etc. The Brand links were probably required the least amount of content.

It’s more than good enough for clients to look at and be happy about it, especially at the price point and not having to go through these motions themselves.

The Results

These are the kind of links I consider “easy wins,” meaning that if you know about them and have the time and energy to do all the work required to get them, you can do it. I’d rather not, which is why I was interested in testing out this service.

They’re also “easy wins” because they’re additional referring domains that you’re not likely to get if you don’t set out to build them. It’s kind of a high-effort endeavor for what they are, which is perfect because that means your competitors likely don’t have links on most of these domains.

Let me give some context to this graph: At the time I took this screen capture I could only tell that Google had indexed one of the 9 links. Had they crawled the rest? I don’t know, but Ahrefs has found 3 of them already.

I think the safe assumption is that this ranking improvement starting around 9/15 on the graph is from only the one link I can confirm Google crawled and cached. So I suspect more improvements as they find more of them:

invalley backlinks case study graph

That’s a movement from around position 35 to 21 so far. I expect more and am going to work for it (I describe how below). This keyword is a 3,600 volume / KD 11 according to Ahrefs. This page had no prior links built to it or during this review process.

Final Word: A+ Service

If you have clients that need to spread their link wings at first, this is a great spattering of various powerful referring domains. If you’re an SEO for yourself, I say the same. These are great foundational links that I think anyone in the industry should have aimed at their sites.

The prices are more than fair for amount of labor that goes into creating these links. I’ve grinded it out by hand myself several times for various projects and I have to tell you, it’s soul-wrenching work. But it’s work that I think you must have done. Get it done with Joost so you don’t have to bother with doing it yourself.”