Rank Crew Review

I first checked Rank Crew out with a view to reviewing its service about two months ago, but I wanted to test them fully before I typed it up. I found a few positives, and a lot of negatives, and finally have enough research done to lay it down for you. If you’ve been thinking about trying it out, this Rank Crew review will let you know whether it’s really for you.

Teaser: It probably isn’t worth your time or money.

rank-crew

What Is Rank Crew?

Another one of Jon Leger’s services for Internet Marketers, Rank Crew is the SEO outsource arm of his business. If you have a site that needs a ranking boost, Rank Crew is the place you go (according to them anyway). For some pretty reasonable prices you can buy various backlink and article submission packages that will increase your site’s value without getting penalized.

That’s the main point, it’s SEO without being spammy.

I’ve always been wary of SEO services though, because SEO these days is really just a case of optimizing the content on YOUR site, and letting Google worry about ranking it. Yes, the number of links you have to your site contributes to your rank (as long as they are natural and quality links), but it’s hard to really automate or outsource this. Rank Crew claims to do all link building manually, which makes it Google proof in theory.

What’s cheaper than Rank Crew and actually gets results? Find Out.

The Rank Crew Packages

There are a number of different packages available inside Rank Crew. Let’s take a closer look:

rank-crew-packages

The main packages are the two pictured above. There are also smaller packages, which consist of various elements of these ones. You can choose the whole thing, or just choose the Forum Links, the Directory Submissions and so on.

I didn’t really see the point of either package if I tell you the truth. Admittedly there would probably be some benefit to your site, but $145 worth? I don’t think so. Here’s why.

Social bookmarks don’t really carry much weight in Google’s ranking algorithm anymore. Whether it’s 1 submission or 75, it doesn’t make much difference. Also suddenly gaining 75 overnight could raise a red flag against your site. Besides, you could do it yourself manually for free over a two week period and it wouldn’t really cause you much trouble.

The same can be said for RSS feed submissions, Web directory submissions, and Forum profile links. These things don’t really work anymore, each one being responsible for about 0.01% or less of your website’s rank. If you have a lot of them, you might gain SOME ranking. Will it be permanent though?

As you can see, I’m not really recommending these methods for gaining back-links and boosting rank, you might be wondering what I DO recommend, and I’ll get to that later. For now, let’s explore Rank Crew more.

The Web 2.0 Private Blog Network

Another thing that Rank Crew offers is your very own private blog network. For those who don’t know, a Private Blog Network (PBN) is a network of blogs that you own, and use them to link to your main “money site”. The logic is that these will be back-links you control, and you can optimize them to boost your site well. You also get to control the content and make sure you are linking relevant sites to your main site. It’s not exactly black hat, but it’s bordering on it. Google works hard to catch this type of link and shuts it down where possible, but if done correctly it is just another way of giving good content to users, just being a bit biased about which site gives it.

Web 2.0 means things like wordpress.com, blogger, tumblr, and other “free” sites. Some people have had a bit of success building a few mini sites on free platforms and linking them to their main site, so I was curious to try it out.

Rank Crew Private Blog Network

Rank Crew creates 10 sites for you based on keywords and topics you give them, adds 10 articles to each site, then gives you the login details so you can link them to your site as you wish. All of this will cost about $97, which is only $9.70 a site. If you think about it, that alone is kind of suspicious.

10 articles per site means you are only paying $0.97 per article, even less if you consider the site setup fee. That means the articles must be spun, there’s no way around it.

Still, curiosity got the better of me, so I forked up the $97 and set about letting them build me a PBN. I was curious how “spun” it would be, and whether or not linking the free sites to one of my experimental sites (not this one, don’t worry) would have any affect.

The conclusion? The content is really really spun.

At first I saw some good looking articles, the grammar is good, the information is useful, and people would benefit from reading it. “Great!” I thought.

The problem is, after you’ve read two or three articles on the site, content starts repeating itself. Some paragraphs are direct copies of one another, and things like “A great tip is to…” start coming up over and over again. It’s the same across every site. You’ve got 100 articles, and each one might be about 90% unique, but there’s probably only enough original content to make 5 articles. Not exactly worth $97.

I didn’t even bother linking them to my experimental site, because I knew that it would just end up with a Google slap.

I honestly believe that a well-made PBN can be worth thinking about, and isn’t necessarily a bad thing in Google’s eyes either. If you are creating top quality content across unique sites, and linking them to more quality content, that’s what the Internet is supposed to be like. However, the PBN created by Rank Crew does NOT meet that criteria. To learn about real PBN’s, visit Jon Haver’s site here.

Alternative Product: The Hoth

After I tried Rank Crew for $97, I also tested out The Hoth for $60.

The Hoth’s method only provides you with 3 links from web 2.0s rather than 10 links from web 2.0s from Rank Crew, but the main difference is that The Hoth build tier 2 and tier 3 links to those properties.

This means that the link juice you get from those 3 links is 10x more powerful than the Rank Crew links.The difference was apparent in the fact that The Hoth actually boosted my ranks (on two separate occasions) and Rank Crew has still done nothing.

At the end of the day, I’d rather pay $60 for 3 useful links than $97 for 10 worthless links.

Check out The Hoth here.

Rank Crew Review – My Final Thoughts

This service is essentially an outsourcing service for ranking methods that don’t really work anymore. They might be “Google safe”, but does that mean they will really work? If you are interested in boosting your site’s rank, I really recommend just growing it organically. Add more pages, share your content on social networks, encourage people to naturally link to your site (write good content), and watch as your site’s authority grows.

Things like PBN’s can work, but they are so easy to get wrong it’s not worth worrying about. As for Rank Crew, don’t waste your money like I did, and consider trying The Hoth instead.

11 Comments

  1. Thanks for your review of Rank Crew Dom. I must say, I have to agree with your conclusions especially after some of my experiences with their article writing. If you choose the cheaper end of their pricing for articles they are poorly written and when spun they end up being jibberish rubbish. I would be concerned that this would carry over into some of their linking packages.

  2. Thanks for your review Dom. As a new business trying to establish a web presence, its good to have others experiences to learn from.

  3. Richard Fernandez

    Hey, I already spend the money on Rank Crew, so it’s too late. Is there any service that is atl east decent, like the authority link package? I’ll check out the Hoth after I have exhausted my funds at Rankcrew.

  4. Kind of unfair to slag the Web 2.0 blog service because you didn’t provide YOUR OWN ARTICLES (which is an option) for MUCH better results over ArticleBuilder mashup jibber-jabber. With your own well-spun content, these built-out 10 post properties are quite powerful!

    It’s what you do afterwards that matters. With some internal linking to other posts, a bit of prudent cross-linking to the other blogs, and some tactical deep-linking to your money site(s), this Rank Crew gig is a great starting point.

    • Well, no it’s not unfair at all. What you’re saying is that I should pay $99 for their service, when I’m actually supposed to not use half of it, and instead provide my own articles? These also cost money to produce, unless I’m spinning (which most people can’t do effectively).

      So now I’m paying $99 + article expenses for what? For someone to create 10 web 2.0s for me? I could do it for $50 or less on fiverr.

      Let’s face it, these sites won’t do well unless they have their own links to them, which is what RankCrew knows, and why they tell you to buy more links to them.

      Web 2.0 links are useful if a.) They themselves have their own links (like The Hoth does) or b.) You’re just using them to diversify your link profile and create base links.

      Either way, Rank Crew isn’t the best service for this and that’s why I don’t recommend them.

  5. OnSynergy

    Hey Dom. I have tested Rank Crew as well ( I think almost all of the services they offer), and I did not have any good results from it. Just like you, I have also tested the hoth and that did in fact, help my rankings.

  6. That was a pretty good article shading people away from Rank Crew who outranks you on Google for every keyword, only to draw people to more of your stuff. Nice try, though…

    • I love the “Got it all figured out” comment here. While Rank Crew may outrank me for keywords I’m not targeting, that doesn’t prove that their service is any good. Afterall, I rank number one for “Rank Crew Review”, and you’re here claiming that I know nothing. Kinda proves your argument invalid.

      At the end of the day, paying $97 for a bunch of duplicate/spun content on brand new web 2.0s is a joke, and only designed so that people will have to buy more link building packages to those sites. I used their web 2.0 on my test site, and it didn’t effect the rankings diddly squat. Money wasted.

      You could also replicate it via fiverr for about $20. Or use The Hoth for $60 and actually see rankings improve.

      Nothing wrong with pointing people to a product that I think is better, especially as the PBN link I included isn’t even an affiliate link.

  7. thanks for the great honest review. its very easy to get excited by all these promises of PAGE #1 Rankings.. funny thing is after trying dozens of different companies, and wasting thousands of dollars – I’m still looking for 1 of the 20 guaranteed keywords we were supposed to dominate. Doing things the old-fashioned way, as you suggest.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *