A few years ago, we wrote a review on the paid SEO service RankPay. Back then, the service was one of the best out there. With an innovative model, RankPay guaranteed rankings, only charging you if your sites did end up gaining rankings.

Additionally, they used some innovative link-building tactics that helped rank both them and their client’s sites high in the rankings.

However, this review was written before both Panda and Penguin. And, as you probably know, a LOT has changed since those two algorithm updates. In fact, the entire face of SEO is 100% different from what it was back then. 

Paid SEO services used to rule the day before the Panda update. The companies with the biggest SEO budgets ranked above every other site, every single time. In other words, the top of the rankings was monopolized by “big money”.

Now, although this was great for these mega-companies, it wasn’t so great for Google. Because if the same sites were showing up for most search queries, customers weren’t getting the best experience possible. After all, we want to see all the potential businesses that can help us solve our problems – not just the ones with the most money!

Among other things, Panda and Penguin completely changed the way “link building” works. It’s no longer a number’s game – not even close. If you spend all your time building links to your site, you’ll be doing far more harm than good.

Penguin 1.0 targeted sites with poor links, and Panda 2.0 (just released) does the same exact thing. It’s no secret that the vast majority of Google penalties come as a result of poor link-building practices.

So with all this said, how are paid services—like RankPay—faring?

Well, not good. RankPay has lost a lot of ground on their own rankings, and it’s likely the same goes for their clients. Now, the quality of RankPay’s service has never changed… but Google’s algorithm has.

Several years ago, we highly recommended RankPay to almost anyone asking about SEO services. Now, we wouldn’t recommend any paid SEO service, for the reasons noted above.

RankPay’s service was primarily based off of link building. And like all SEO strategies currently based off of link building, it will now likely do more harm than good.

This is the reason why many SEO services are closing their doors. What worked for years no longer works. And what DOES work doesn’t require an SEO firm. 

So what DOES work? Content marketing. Mainly, producing extremely valuable content that gets shared on social media, leading to natural backlinks and social credibility. The strategy has been reversed. Instead of going out and getting links, the best strategy is to focus on your business, and ensure you’re creating extremely valuable content. If you are, this content will naturally attract backlinks, which will help your site naturally rank higher in the Google rankings.

And really, this is how Google has always intended their algorithm to work. But until recently, it wasn’t possible. Thanks to technological advances though, their algorithm—right now—is pretty darn close. And we can only assume it’s going to get exponentially better as more time passes.

That’s why we spend so much time talking about content marketing, and more specifically, creating fantastic content. If you’re able to do this, you won’t need an SEO firm. And that’s the great news, because it means Google’s leveled the playing field. You no longer need to have a multi-million dollar SEO budget to rank on page #1. But you DO need content that’s better than anything else out there.

But if you can provide that, you’ll see your site soar in the rankings.

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