Alex Becker recently reached out to me about one of his old products that I reviewed (SEO Zen) and I was convinced that I needed to give his newer SEO training a fresh, honest look. I dug into Source University (affiliate link) and, frankly, was blown away by a lot of it. The difference is night and day between this product and the last one I saw him release.
There are a lot of cautions and caveats, though, and I strongly encourage you to read this entire review to figure out whether or not it’s the product you’re seeking. The training is incredible (probably the best available) for its particular tactics/approach within the SEO world, but whether or not you want to employ those tactics in your own business is an entirely different matter.
So the training in Source University is great, but is it right for you? Read on to find out.
If you’re brand new to internet marketing, have never built a site before, or struggle with building/maintaining a website, this product is most definitely not for you. You’re much better off studying and getting comfortable with the basics, which you can start for free in a program like Wealthy Affiliate.
If you’re looking for advanced SEO training and are interested in grey hat/black hat tactics that generate results faster than traditional SEO, Source University kicks the snot out of Wealthy Affiliate when compared side-by-side.
Bottom line: If you’re still pretty new to internet marketing or want to use white hat SEO only, Source University probably isn’t for you. If you want to learn more about private blog networks (PBNs), grey hat SEO, and some black hat SEO that will produce results much faster, I’m not sure there’s a better product out there.
I’ll break down the members’ area extensively and pinpoint what’s great and what’s potentially not-so-great in the review below.Never built a website before? Check out my Wealthy Affiliate review >> Ready to try Source University? Sign up for a free 10-day trial (affiliate link) >>
These guys have executed a lot of things very well. As I’ve mentioned above, it’s not for everyone, but if you’re interested in what they’re teaching I’m not sure you could find training that’s any better than this. Here’s a list of all the things they’ve done right:
A TON of Content: Alex and the guys haven’t skipped out on content here. The main three sections of the members’ area are in the Beginner Classes, Intermediate Classes, and Link Building sections at the top. The videos range in length from five minutes to upwards of 30 minutes, totaling several hours of training overall. They don’t leave any stone unturned, and if you have any questions you can get help from the product creators personally in the Facebook group (more on that later).
Regular, Consistent Updates: Besides the fact that the above screenshot says “February Schedule” with March dates, the members’ area is updated VERY regularly as I write this review. Regular Q&A sessions and content updates – it’s very impressive.
Explanations of Google Penalties: The biggest problem with SEO products right now is that they’re not up-to-date and they don’t factor in Google’s latest algorithmic updates, Panda and Penguin. Alex Becker does a great job explaining what they are, why some sites get hit, and how to avoid them.
Easy-to-Follow Guidelines: A lot of training products give you vague guidelines that make it difficult and overwhelming to determine if what you’re doing is right or wrong. Not in Source University – you’re given very explicit instructions on what metrics and niches you need to look out for before proceeding with a project.
Clear Instructions for Competition: SEO competition can be very confusing, but Gregory does a really great job breaking it down to the bare-bones, most essential metrics and giving you clear numbers to look out for when figuring out whether you should enter a certain niche based on competition.
Discourages Outdated Linking Strategies: Make sure to watch all of the videos all of the way through. I actually missed this very important warning the first time. There’s a video that gives a historical understanding of what linking strategies have looked like over the years, but before sharing any of these strategies Alex makes VERY clear that he’s doesn’t recommend them because they’re out-of-date and harmful to your sites.
Extremely Active Facebook Support Group: Probably the most impressive aspect for me personally was the incredibly active Facebook group. Alex Becker and the other guys are extremely active – posting tips and commenting on peoples’ questions – along with fellow members. I’m blown away by how active and helpful this group is.Seen Enough? Sign up for a free 10-day trial (affiliate link) >>
Heavily Encourages Private Blog Networks (PBNs): PBNs are grey hat SEO, there’s no arguing that, which means they’re at risk of getting punished at some point. You’re intentionally circumventing Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to get rankings faster.
It appears that Google is likely at least a couple of years away from being able to automatically detect and punish PBNs. If you’re careful and conservative in your efforts for now, it doesn’t look like the risk of penalty is very high. Gregory Ortiz and Alex Becker do a great job teaching how to be careful and avoid detection within Source University, so this critical information is covered thoroughly within the members’ area.
I recommend diversifying your portfolio if you’re going to pursue grey hat SEO like PBNs. There is no better training out there regarding PBNs as far as I’ve seen, and again these guys leave no stone unturned when explaining what metrics to watch, how to set one up, etc…
But ALL of the training regarding linking strategies is centered around PBNs, so if you’re not interested in building a private blog network, Source University is most definitely not for you.
Don’t get me wrong, the benefits of mastering PBNs right now are HUGE. There’s a great deal of money to be made using them, and many expert SEOs are using them to produce $100,000+ per month in revenue. I just recommend hedging your bets with some white hat projects when you get the chance, just in case Google catches on faster than any of us expect.
Client SEO Section Isn’t as Comprehensive: It’s clear that Stephen is very successful with client SEO, and he’s done it using PBNs. Although I have no doubt about his level of success, I felt this section could have been a bit more comprehensive and helpful when compared to a lot of the SEO training by Alex and Gregory.
If client SEO is something you’re highly interested in, you might consider checking out Stephen Floyd’s personal product, which I’ve reviewed here.
Not for Complete Beginners: These are advanced strategies, and if you don’t follow instructions well it can really hurt you. If you’ve never built a website, this program is NOT for you. I can’t emphasize that enough. Check out my Wealthy Affiliate review instead, and revisit Source University in a few months after you’ve gone through and practiced a lot of WA’s training.
Prepare to Be Somewhat Overwhelmed: This isn’t exclusive to Source University. If you’re going to get serious about your internet business, it’s going to take an incredible amount of growth and hard work from your side. There’s extraordinary training within Source University, but there’s A LOT of it.
Prepare to push through stages of feeling extremely overwhelmed, confused, or wanting to give up. Every successful internet marketer has faced these feelings at one point or another (likely multiple times), and the only successful marketers are the people that have pushed through even the toughest walls.
Alex Becker, Gregory Ortiz, and Stephen Floyd have put together something really special here. A lot of people in this industry will tell you to avoid PBNs at all costs, which is kind of dumb and very biased, because for now they’re still extremely effective at producing results much faster than traditional SEO.
Just know that if you decide to pursue them, your site could be penalized by Google at some point down the road. It could be next week, or it could be years from now. Until then, there’s a lot of opportunity for people willing to put in the effort to build private blog networks.
I personally only use white hat SEO in my business due to having it hit pretty hard with a Penguin penalty a few years ago. I’d consider diversifying my streams of income using PBNs, but I have some web assets that I would never touch with PBNs just in case a penalty hits them in the not-so-distant future. I’d advise you to do the same – don’t put all of eggs in one basket by ONLY building PBN sites.
But if you’re going to take that route, I’m confident that Source University is the best training you’ll find for building successful PBNs that rank sites quickly and generate results faster than usual. Just know what you’re getting yourself into.
Let me know your thoughts on all of the above. Would you risk the longevity of your business for quicker results? Do you think Google will ever be able to fully catch up with PBNs, punishing even the most complex networks with 1,000+ sites?
I’d love to hear what you’re thinking after reading all of the above. And of course, don’t hesitate to comment below with any lingering questions. I’ll personally answer them ASAP.
I’ve been in internet marketing for over 10 years, and I’ve purchased dozens of illegitimate products for the sole purpose of evaluating them and exposing the truth about these products to anyone who’s thinking about purchasing it. I never let money influence my rating of a product and your success/safety is my absolute highest priority.
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