The Pros and Cons of Review Link Building

  • Review link building involves reaching out to sites and asking them to create a full-length review of your product. 
  • They are often paid link opportunities and are usually “nofollow”, so deciding if review link building is right for you comes down to weighing its pros and cons. 
  • One of the primary advantages of this tactic is the amount of brand exposure you might receive from a successful product review.
  • Some cons include the price of a link, the fact that it’s “nofollow”, and the time commitment involved in the process. 

From the moment Google announced the “nofollow” link to fight link spam, link builders across the world embarked on a journey to secure, by any means necessary, the highly coveted “dofollow” link. As a result, “dofollow” links have shadowed some of the less sought-after links, including links that are sponsored or “no-followed.” This has caused link builders and SEOs alike to often shy away from overly exploiting tactics that build links from product reviews or sponsored opportunities. 

After all, in 2015 Google came out and said these links must be labeled as “nofollow”. Thus, almighty Google is implying that these sponsored links will not positively affect your search rankings. But, these links can be all that bad right? In this article, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of product review link building starting with what exactly it is, how you do it, and the advantages/disadvantages of the tactic.

What is review link building?

Before writing this article we Googled “product review link building” and noticed there were a few articles that talked about product review link building from a slightly different perspective than what will be discussed in this article. Articles talked about product review link building from the perspective of writing a full-length review or small quote of a product you like and pitching it to the respective site who markets that product.

To prevent confusion, we figured it may be best to start with defining product review link building as we understand (and use) it here at Redefine. So, within this article we’ll talk about product review link building from the perspective of reaching out to sites and asking them to create a full-length review of your product. So, the following topics will approach review link building from this perspective rather than from the alternative perspective mentioned above. 

How do you do review link building?

First, we’ll start with how to perform product review link building. The link building tactic is fundamentally similar to any of the other popular tactics in the link building space. You find a site that falls within your site’s link guidelines and then reach out to them via some means of communication (might be telepathy if you’re some sort of super human).

However, what makes this type of outreach slightly different is that you’re reaching out to sites that often host full-length product reviews. Someone like CBD School, the informational-based CBD site, is a great example of an industry-specific blog a CBD company would reach out to for a product review. They have a specific section in the secondary navigation dedicated to their CBD product reviews.

One of the other important things to keep in mind with this strategy is that your guidelines should prioritize the audience demographics of that product review site. If you know that males between the ages of 30 and 60 have a higher propensity to purchase your product then you should seek out a publisher with those demographics. There are a few trade offs for this type of link (more on that later) so be sure to dot your I’s and cross your T’s everywhere necessary.

Finally, you may want to consider the actual size of the site once you receive a response from them. Each of the above can probably be answered by asking for the site’s media kit so be sure to ask for it. This will also help you get a sense of how many eyeballs you can expect on your product review and weigh it against the cost of the review write up. 

The pros & cons of review link building 


If you’ve been keeping up, we mentioned there are some tradeoffs with this link building tactic. We don’t want to be a Debby Downer just yet so we’ll visit the cons in a little bit. 

Let’s talk about the pros first:

One of the primary advantages of this tactic is the amount of brand exposure you might receive from a successful product review. If the site is large enough and has an active audience then you might even get some sales as a result of the review, too!

Secondly, if you connect with a respected industry influencer who does product reviews then you’re likely to get an authentic product review which will resonate with audiences 10x more than some generic owned promotion that boasts how good your product is. Granted, that influencer’s review will need to be positive for it to work in your favor.

Finally, if you play your cards right you might be able to get that product review to rank for some high value and conversion-focused keywords. If you’ve seen some SERPs lately, you might have noticed that in-depth product reviews have seemingly been prioritized over poorly written, “roundup,” or “listicle” type of product reviews. This means that Google could potentially rank you for some highly competitive and conversion-focused reviews which just increases the value of that review itself. 


Now to dive into some of the cons, how fun! Like we mentioned before, there are a few trade offs with this tactic but if you’re following all the best practices and making the right decisions in your prospecting process then these shouldn’t really matter at all.

First off, you’ll likely need to pay for the site to review your product. And, unfortunately these opportunities can get quite expensive, especially if the site has a great reputation and a large audience. From our experience, we’ve seen opportunities for full-length product reviews cost as high as $800 to a couple of thousand dollars.

On top of having to dish out some dough for a juicy review, your paid review (which is technically a paid link) will need to be tagged as “nofollow” by the publisher. Part of Google’s link spam guidelines indicate that sponsored opportunities are marked as “nofollow” since you had to pay to receive that placement. Thus, due to the classification of this link you shouldn’t receive link equity from this product review. Recently, Google rolled out a link spam update indicating that you’d need to add a rel=‘sponsored’ tag as well. 

Finally, this whole opportunity can get fairly time consuming. Just as with any link building tactic, it can be time consuming coordinating back and forth with writers and publishers who are putting together the review. For example, they may ask for additional information, like manufacturing practices, to help give a comprehensive review of your product and company. There’s a lot of communication that is going on back and forth (especially if you’re doing this on behalf of a client) so, just be prepared to spend a little bit of time if you want the review to be a success!

Leave it to the pros 

But, you’re busy already so why not leave the back and forth to the link building experts at Redefine? We’ll handle all this communication for you and we’ll just provide you with the final product, a kick-ass product review. If you need digital marketing help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today!

Author avatar
Jason Martinez
Jason is a Cal Poly Pomona Alum, extreme fan of marketing, and social media advocate. As a Brand Marketing Manager at Redefine Marketing Group, he is responsible for the development and execution of strategy for reputation management, link building, and social media marketing for both the agency and its clients.
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