Trust—it’s definitely a big word.
You trust the opinion of your family and loved ones more than what a random yahoo on the street thinks.
The reason? Because you’ve shared experiences and built rapport with them.
And you don’t just build rapport with anyone.
In the SEO business, you need the trust of people so they will invest in your products and services, not to mention think positively of your brand.
The teams behind the tools continue to work tirelessly, building top-notch services and features for their subscribers.
As a result, they have carved out a solid reputation and brand that people can rely on for their SEO needs.
While it may take ages to build trust, it can collapse like a house of cards with one mistake.
In which case, it’s usually easier to abandon ship and start over from scratch.
But if you believe you can gain back the trust of people, then you need to make the most out of the given opportunity.
Perhaps the best way to exemplify this is to look at the case of Semalt back in 2014, and today.
What Is Semalt?
Put simply, Semalt is a company that offers automated SEO tools and services. But what they’re more commonly known for are their early days, when they capitalized on a loophole in Google SEO to attain high rankings.
They organized a spambot that ran on 290,000 different IPs to pour in links to their client sites.
Naturally, as a result of that, Semalt’s reputation was stained for a long time.
They have claimed to have since cleaned up their act.
And should we condemn them? After all, who didn’t take advantage of Google SEO loopholes back in the day? Remember when first page results were full to the brim with spun and keyword-stuffed content?
On the other hand, 2014 wasn’t all that long ago.
That’s why this review aims to look at Semalt objectively for what it is now—not what it was before.
And today, Semalt has turned over a new leaf and is bringing success to businesses big and small.
Semalt Review: The Automated SEO Tool You Can Trust?
Semalt is an SEO company that offers a host of free and paid tools. Pretty much everything you need to bring a site to Google’s first page can be provided by them.
Make no mistake that Semalt still offers “backlink boosts” as part of their services. But instead of relying on spambots, their link building is now spearheaded by valuable content on trustworthy sites.
Choosing Your Semalt Service
To get the ball rolling quickly, Semalt offers an “Auto Start” feature right off the bat. Upon registering, simply type in your website URL and click the “Start Now” button.
The tool will then analyze your website to tailor the Semalt platform to your needs.
Once you’re on the dashboard, you’ll have full access to every SEO service that Semalt has to offer. Here’s a closer look at each of them and what they can do:
If you’d rather focus on running the business from the front end, then you should check out AutoSEO. As the name suggests, it automates an SEO campaign from start to finish—from keyword research to link building.
Semalt will also launch a full-scale website analysis to spot structural weaknesses in performance, internal links and so on.
While AutoSEO is enough to cover the needs of start-ups and small businesses, it’s nowhere near as powerful as FullSEO. The most notable difference would be the creation of 3,000 high-quality backlinks per month, whereas AutoSEO only offers 700.
FullSEO also includes extensive on-page SEO and backlink profile optimization.
For those who want to be more hands-on with their SEO, Semalt’s Analytics service is a must-have. It gives you a bird’s-eye view of your entire SEO picture while narrowing down on data that matters.
And as frosting on the cake, it also provides a list of actionable insights and recommendations based on advanced analytics research.
In the digital age, publishing a text-based post is like adding a needle to a stack of similar-looking needles. Creating standout content, such as explainer videos, is the only surefire way to gain attention.
If this is exactly what your brand needs to get ahead, then Semalt can do the heavy lifting for you.
Lastly, Semalt offers a comprehensive web development package that can help businesses in any industry. Their main selling point is the integrated SEO-readiness for all projects.
And to top it all off, Semalt includes 24/7 maintenance, customer support and software updates.
Clearly, Semalt has parted from its old ways and is doing incredibly well in its newfound direction. If you’re in need of SEO services, here are some of the reasons why you should consider them:
1. Consolidated Online Dashboard
Not a lot of SEO agencies provide their clients with an online dashboard where they can track and measure their results. Oftentimes, the clients themselves rely on SEO checker tools to be in the know.
Semalt allows you to monitor rankings, perform a complete website analysis and view reports within a few clicks.
A single Semalt dashboard can also accommodate multiple projects, which is useful if you have several web properties. It’s also suitable for SEO professionals who are running campaigns for other clients.
To include other projects, simply click “Add new project” and fill in the required information.
2. Flexible Pricing
Everyone knows that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to SEO. That’s why Semalt makes sure you can find the most cost-effective plan in all of their service packages.
Their web development service, in particular, takes into account your brand’s individual needs before they send over cost estimates. Everything will be expedited by a customer support manager whom you can reach through the Semalt website:
When it comes to competitiveness, Semalt’s pricing is a lot more affordable than freelancers and global companies.
As a matter of fact, you can kickstart a basic automated SEO campaign for just $0.99 for your first month. This consists of comprehensive keyword research, link building and your dedicated account manager.
If you want to continue after your first month, you’ll have to bump up your plan to the regular price of $99 per month for on-page keyword optimization, reports generation and manual website research.
This upgraded plan also includes a dynamic link building campaign that adapts and adjusts over time through analytics.
3. Transparency of Results
When it comes to SEO, it’s important for clients to grasp exactly what’s being accomplished. Unfortunately, some agencies deliver reports on insignificant metrics and changes that only mimic SEO growth.
Semalt, on the other hand, translates data into readable form. One example would be the “website visibility” metric, which skips the number-crunching and helps you gauge ROI.
There are some issues with transparency in other ares though—if you’re having Semalt generate backlinks for you, users have reports that the platform will make it so that domains/URLs delivering the backlinks are hard to read or access. You’ll have to proceed with caution if you take them up on this deal.
4. Scheduled Reports
Using the Semalt Report Center, you can easily schedule auto-generated reports in PDF or CSV format. To start, click the “Report Center” tab and set your preferences in the following areas:
- Basic Report Details – Includes information such as the target project, report name and format.
- Delivery – Specifies the frequency of reports—weekly, monthly or daily.
- Date Range – Specifies the date range of reported data.
5. Free Expert Insights
You don’t need to pay for Semalt to receive actionable insights. Through the built-in “Website Analyzer” on your dashboard, you can view key performance indicators such as your site’s bounce rate, Alexa rank, pageviews and social signals.
To navigate the Website Analyzer, simply scroll through the page or click on the floating top bar. This will allow you to discover even more information such as mobile-friendliness, page loading speed, domain age and internal links.
Finally, no SEO service or software is without flaws, and Semalt is no exception. Here are the most important disadvantages that you may encounter when using this platform:
1. The Negative Reputation of SEO Automation
As an SEO professional, mentioning the word “automation” when discussing projects may raise some eyebrows. While Semalt does include automation as a value proposition, they also consider the specific needs and requirements of businesses.
Fortunately, automation won’t be an issue if you’re managing the SEO campaign of your own brand. If you opt for the FullSEO plan, you’ll just need to keep an eye on what Semalt is automatically working on for you—but more on that in a few.
2. The Negative Reputation of Semalt
As far as SEO companies go, Semalt doesn’t have the benefit of a clean track record.
It is, however, one of the very few brands that made a resounding comeback. Again, this won’t sound very appealing if you’re working for clients. But it shouldn’t be an issue for in-house SEO teams.
3. Spammy Backlinks
While it might be tempting to pay to have thousands of backlinks generated for you, you’ll rarely walk away with your hands clean.
Many users have reported that, while Semalt FullSEO can deliver some high-quality backlinks, it also tends to bloat your backlink profile with many more spammy-looking backlinks.
They also tend to add all your new backlinks quite quickly—you might even notice a sudden spurt of several hundred backlinks within a couple of weeks—and that link velocity tends to raise red flags for Google.
Google only wants you to acquire backlinks naturally (meaning that you haven’t requested them or paid for them, and people have just given them to you of their own accord) and getting many backlinks very quickly looks very unnatural.
Semalt’s development over the years somehow resonates with the ever-evolving nature of the SEO industry. They did take advantage of shady tactics in the past, but they came out the other side and delivered results nonetheless.
A lot of people in the SEO world can relate to that.
At the very least, they possess the flexibility and adaptability needed to survive the grueling SEO landscape. Gotta respect that to some extent.
The Analyzer tool is just your basic SEO tool, and will give you some good insight into your website and SEO performance. No risks there, and it’s worth a try if you’re in the market.
However, if you’re considering one of the Semalt packages that includes automatic backlink generation, proceed with caution—or don’t proceed at all. A sudden influx of suspicious backlinks can be flagged as negative SEO and earn you a Google penalty, which can mean dramatically lower keyword rankings or even complete removal from the Google search engine results pages (SERPs). Not good.
So, we recommend that, if you start using Semalt to generate backlinks, you also subscribe to Monitor Backlinks. It’s our favorite tool for seeing all of a website’s good and bad backlinks, detecting issues with negative SEO, and preventing and removing Google penalties.
With your Monitor Backlinks subscription, you’ll be notified right away if new backlinks come in that are a threat to your SEO performance.
Actually, even if you don’t end up using Semalt, we recommend trying Monitor Backlinks. It’s a backlink tracker, website analyzer and backlink tool all in one—and, as a CoSpot reader, you can try it for free!