Is Fiverr Ruining SEO for the Rest of Us?

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I’ll be the first to admit that there are a lot of things wrong with the SEO industry. It’s an unregulated industry with no tangible product or clear solution to a problem that is judged by the companies (Google, Yahoo!, Bing) that make and regularly change the rules without telling anyone what they are. Now, before you work yourself up into a small tizzy, I should clarify my position here. If you have been following me for any length of time you know that I believe in a solid SEO strategy based on quality content and adding tons of value. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks like me so there are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there.

Most of them you have likely encountered already. The e-mail generally starts out “Dear Sir” and goes on in broken English how they can help you rule the world for under $100 per month. Then there is that service where you can have your site registered with 100,000 different search engines for a mere $19.95. Of course let’s not forget the link farms. These questionable services have “gotcha” written all over them and while I’m sure they have their share of victims, the one thing they have in common is that they are small companies or individuals without much reach. It’s not something you would ever catch a mainstream company stooping to…or would you?

Allow me to introduce you to Fiverr. If you have not yet heard of it, Fiverr is a website where a bunch of people list the things they are willing to do for $5. They will shave your name in their head, recreate your logo out of french fries, record your message via sock puppet and of course take care of all of your SEO needs. Wait…what?!?!

That’s right. Fiverr has been advertising on Facebook lately with ads promoting the SEO services of their providers (see the actual ads on the right). Just to give you a taste of what is out there, this is a list of some of the actual services being offered:

  • Build 5,000+ Profile Links
  • Leave 60,000 Comments on Various Blogs
  • Write Five 400 Word Articles
  • Submit Your Article to 10,000 Article Directories
  • Give Your Facebook Page 1,500 Likes
  • Get You 13,600 “Real Looking” Twitter Followers

All for $5 each. Sound too good to be true? I hope so, otherwise you are reading the wrong blog! Let’s put it this way. Would you be interested in a $19.95 root canal? How about “buy one get one free” laser eye surgery? Or perhaps 75% off your next triple bypass? It’s not worth the risk, right? Neither is paying someone $5 to add 60,000 spammy comments to a bunch of useless blogs.

At best, these ads can be considered misleading and irresponsible on behalf of Fiverr. Yes, for just $5 you can walk away with the instant gratification of having 1,500 people like your page on Facebook, but assuming they are even real people (which they likely are not) they could care less about you and what you have to say. So, what have you actually accomplished besides feeding your own ego? What is adding 5,000 profile links pointing to your site over the course of a couple days going to do for you other than get your site blacklisted?

As an SEO and Social Media advisor, I take offense to the insinuation that the amount of hours we as professionals spend studying, writing, experimenting, more writing, coding, designing and even more writing can be accomplished in little $5 chunks. It’s bad enough that some of those “Make Money Picking Your Nose” marketers (I said some and even used italics, relax) hijacked the title “Internet Marketing” from the rest of us. Please don’t steal “SEO” from us too!

I understand that it’s not specifically Fiverr that is to blame with respect to the services their providers are offering but it is Fiverr that has created and is continuing to post these ads on Facebook. I am not going to be the guy leading the charge to have them removed or reworded as I’m not a big fan of bullying or censorship. Instead I will just point my finger in their direction with a disapproving look and simply say “Shame on you Fiverr. Shame. On. You.”

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  • Joe Boyle

    I think that people who trust their entire SEO efforts on Fiverr are completely and utterly insane. Not only are the [majority of] users who offer their SEO services completely unqualified to do much of anything a nobody-named-blogger can do, but they use the utmost of disgusting methods – article directories, spammy backlinks, etc.

    Google cracked down on a lot of websites like article directories for a reason – they’re not needed. They still get a decent bit of search engine traffic, but I doubt they’ll get that same traffic in two years, much less in five.

    The links you spend $5 are of extreme low value – who knows 60,000 blogs to comment on? Who can instantly post 60,000 links that are quality? At my peak, I was writing 75 blog comments a day (nearly two years ago (before I left my blog for a bit) ), and they were all quality. But that was a lot. Those 60,000 comments that the Fiverr guy you are hiring to post are the disgusting spam comments I get on my blog – they’re often picked up and deleted.

    Great article, I really wish Fiverr had tighter restrictions.

  • Marc Ensign

    Great comment Joe! I wasn’t sure how this was going to go over. Part of me was expecting a crowd of people with torches ready to knock down my door. Unfortunately people get badly swindled by these providers because of the money. It’s only $5, it couldn’t hurt…worst case scenario I lose $5. NO! Worst case scenario you are blacklisted from Google because you have 60,000 spammy blog posts littering up the Internet!!!!  That $5 could cost you your business if you aren’t careful!

    • Andy

      Nice read. I have never used fiverr but it strikes me as unlikely that Google would pay much attention to these spammy links. If they did you might have just given people a quick way to damage their competitors. Google would surely be aware of that?

  • bloghands

    I’m totally with your Marc… I’ve been doing SEO for a long time and of course when I heard there where some SEO services being sold on fiverr I was extremely skeptical. I’m sure many of those “SEO consultants” who where buying links from fiverr had some really upset clients after the Penguin update if they didn’t already.

    I’d rather people be selling more realistic services on fiverr. Short tasks that you just don’t have time to do.

    • Marc Ensign

      I agree. Fiverr is cool to get little things done that you don’t really care too much about. Why would you risk your business using it? Would you pay $5 for a root canal or heart surgery? Sometimes a bargain can cost you a fortune!


    The real question is why spend your “hours” at blog commenting, studying, experimenting and link building? Why not just make great and high quality content, and let things happen as they should — organically. It’s the SEO “industry” that has skewed search results, mostly to large corporations aka the people with the most money to invest in driving their content up the search results.

    Quality content is not enough these days, one must buy their fans. Who really cares if someone charges $5 bucks or $5000 bucks, it’s all hogwash to me.

    “Shame on you optimizers, Shame. On.You.”

    • Jordan S. C. Thompson

      I entirely agree. Before this whole “SEO” phrase, all there was, was being SEF, Search Engine Friendly. Meaning your links were crawlable by search engines to be entered correctly. The whole SEO field is a joke that has crunched and taken away from Web Developers. Just like W3C came along and nullified 10 years of standard practice and nullified my schooling.

  • Guest

    Fiverr’s gonna loose lots of customers since you can get anything
    SEO-related on SEOClerk. That’s my honest opinion. Fiverr has to make
    some great changes fast, if they wanna stay in business. SEOCclerk even
    has a better support, they have freebies, and a lot of other features
    Fiverr wouldn’t even dream of. – The largest SEO marketplace on the planet!

  • Jed Alban

    Fiverr’s gonna loose lots of customers since you can get anything
    SEO-related on SEOClerks. That’s my honest opinion. Fiverr has to make
    some great changes fast, if they wanna stay in business. SEOClerks even
    has a better support, they have freebies, and a lot of other features
    Fiverr wouldn’t even dream of. – The largest SEO marketplace on the planet!

  • Kayol

    Completely agree with the statement about the term Internet Marketers being hijacked and SEO seems to be next. Great article!

  • Isabella

    Maybe. It depends on the seller. However If you are looking for SEO related gigs and offers I think that SEOClerks is better option. Guys over there are much more responsible and genuinely expert.