As a solo attorney, I do nearly all my own Internet marketing. I avoid buying links, but throughout 2017 I’ve definitely done some guest posting outreach. That is, I’ve compensated people, companies, or agencies to help me find blogs and sites that will publish content I created and give me a mention– a backlink.
Throughout 2017, I also experimented a bit with some services from The Hoth to attempt to increase the visibility of some of my guest posts. They offer a “boost” service called the Hoth Boost for second-tier backlinks and secondary properties. The concept is that guest post backlinks to your site may have high Moz Domain Authority (DA), but they typically have low Moz Page Authority (PA). So these “boosts” are advertised as “small” (“50 Posts on High DA Sites”) or “large” (“250 High DA Posts”) which link to your guest post backlinks. In other words, these are links for your links.
The Hoth says the boost links are from “high DA” pages, but interestingly-enough they make you affirm prior to placing your order that you are pointing them to second-tier or secondary-properties and not directing them at your “money site” (your main website). This is a bit strange because– if links are good and these specific links are good– why wouldn’t you want them pointing directly at your site?
My Experiment with Hoth Boost
I use both Moz and Ahrefs for tracking SEO work. But I actually tend to use Ahrefs more. Ahrefs picks up many backlinks that Moz misses. Also, Ahrefs is much faster to discover links.
My first boost order was for a small boost (50 links) pointed at one site. Months later, I placed orders for two small additional Hoth boosts and pointed them at two different secondary properties (50 links per site). I also had one other secondary-property function as a control group. I didn’t do any SEO or backlink work to this site at all.
Using Ahrefs, I then tracked the progress of these four secondary properties for any changes in Domain Ranking (DR) or URL Ranking (UR) over several months.
Here were my observations:
- There was an increase in UR for all three secondary properties that were boosted. The increase averaged 16 points, but was temporary. See below.
- There was actually a decrease in DR for all three secondary properties that were boosted. The decrease averaged 1 point.
- Any increase in UR that was measured, was substantially lost within months. The net increase in UR over time was only 2 points. I believe this is due to many of the boost links (which are relatively low-quality) being deleted.
- The control group did not show any increase or decrease in DR or UR.
- There was no appreciable or detectable increase in traffic or organic SERP position for the boosted properties.
What’s the Verdict on the Hoth Boost?
Well, the Hoth advertises the boost as being able to “Double The Value Of Your Links.” This claim is questionable. The example they cite is for a page that went from a Moz Page Authority (PA) score of 16 to 48. Now, while Ahrefs and Moz use different ranking scales, I still did not see anything like this advertised increase. There was an almost statistically insignificant rise in UR, but an actual slight decrease in DR over time. The benefit of the short-term “boost,” is lost within about six months.
For the money, the boost packages certainly look tempting. But based on the results I measured, it’s difficult to argue that they are effective in raising the value of any guest posts.