Foreign SEO: Link Building Like It’s 2012

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If you’ve ever looked at the SERPs in Germany or Sweden for Casino, Payday Loans & Weight Loss terms you’ll probably of seen a mixture of high anchor text ratios, low quality link spam, over optimized pages, translated content and much more!


  • High Levels of Exact Match Anchor Texts
  • Non-Language Specific PBN Links
  • Homepage Links
  • English Edits/Guest Posts With Foreign Anchors or Branded URL Anchors

In fact, let’s dive into a hugely profitable term.. “Casino” (25,000 Monthly Searches) in Germany –

Now I’m sure pages that are worth multi-hundreds of thousands of euros per month in revenue wouldn’t be using repurposed foreign TLDs to rank in Germany, would they?

Oh wait, no, yeah, basically every site in the entire top 10 is using foreign PBNs or a high level of paid or automated German links like this –

If you wrote a 400 word online dating/gambling article that linked with a partial anchor in English with no rich media/surrounding text on a Web 2.0 non-related community blog, how far up the rankings would you get without a proper tier 2 structure?

Embrace The Spam

Foreign SERPs are significantly easier to rank in, and more cost effective to rank in.. So if you have the ability to speak another language, then you should embrace the spam at any opportunity because the investment of either time or money is so low.

I’ve recently been working on a project to rank within a competitive SERP in Norway. I wanted to prove how poor the algorithm’s were so I built over 80% of the links at the site in English, with foreign anchors placed within English content. The other 20% was 10 .No PBNs we had built and around 15 of .no Web 2.0s/Citations.

Norway is a Scandinavian country, which all tend to have rather high CPAs on affiliate offers from health care to travel.

We let this specific domain age with a JV partner who speaks the language fluently whilst we prepared a large scale link campaign accompanied with supporting content and social signals which helped trigger the freshness algo’s as well.

Even within a standard English site, I wouldn’t recommend building over 100 DoFollow backlinks to a domain that is only a year old within 3 months, unless you have a additional metrics in play to help level out the link velocity.. Which these foreign sites don’t even require 20% of what one of those would to run at a link velocity like the above.

I Still Prefer Manual Over Automation

Whilst there are some very clever SEOs out there that are successfully using automated link building to spam foreign SERPs and make a small fortune in the process.. I have not been interested or found this formula, as of yet, to get this to work with anything other than parasite.

I also find that when you start getting into the really competitive SERPs like gambling, insurance, weight loss, loans etc.. you’ll always end up losing out with spam to people investing into high levels of quality authority links, TLD specific PBNs and high quality contextual placements.

What Is Classed As “Foreign” SEO?

Foreign SEO is classed as any SEO specifically optimizing for a non-English based Google algorithm. As the original algorithm was based on an English index and input, most of Google’s machine learning and NLP algorithm’s also have English bases.

It’s not my choice, it’s just how Google has forced us to classify it.

The Backlinks We Use For Foreign SEO

A lot of people may be shocked to realize that the main source of our power does not come from the .No specific links we sprinkle into our campaign.. but in fact, from the authority guest posts and editorials we get written in English with foreign anchors.

Now what if I told you that you could get your German loans site on DR90 health publications, written in English but linking to your German weight loss site. The algorithm’s still treat authority links the same in Germany as they do in America, and they still hold tremendous power… Especially when we do my favourite trick of a mass of tier 2 PBNs to every authority guest post we create.

For this specific site we actually used 10 DR60+ guest posts with 5,000+ visitors and 1,000+ words. We also built around 50 foreign placements with a mixture of RD, over the course of 3 months.

The remainder of the links came from our own internal Nordic PBN Network, we currently have 18 .No PBNs and managed to build out 10 of them. This foreign PBN network is only available to DFY elite customers.

Foreign Anchor Text Ratios

When you’re running these sorts of campaigns, you can often do high levels of keyword density and over stimulation of OnPage optimization for your keywords, as the Google algorithm’s for foreign languages is not even close to the English algo.

So when it comes to foreign anchor texts you can either go with high levels of exact and partial anchors, and do a churn and burn style until the next algo update (like the Fred update) comes around OR you can do high levels of branded and longer form, keyword rich anchor texts whilst having a good OnPage optimization for your keywords.

That being said, you will almost always be able to get away with high levels of exact match anchor texts when doing foreign campaigns vs. English ones, though I would always do competitive analysis before you choose the correct anchor text ratios for your campaign.. As Google’s algo’s, especially foreign, seem to run off law of averages more than anything else.

One of the biggest gambling keywords in Germany is “Online Casino” with 56,000 Monthly Searches, can you imagine what the #1, #2 and #3 anchor text ratios look like?

I bet none of you fulltime English SEOs are getting 35% anchor ratios anymore on insanely valuable keywords.

My recommendations would still only be around a 20% anchor text ratio, and still try to build a slower amount of backlinks but go for high authority with a series of tier 2 links, combining PBNs, guest posts, niche edits and pillowing links/techniques such as Geo Citations and Social Signals.

Does This Last?

Well, it depends on the tactics you use – Mr Green have been going strong for over 2 years with an estimated organic traffic value of close to $100,000 per month.. Whilst having rather high anchor text ratios and a ton of sponsored and paid links powering it.

As long as you future proof your anchor texts and make sure your backlink sources aren’t going to get hit by algorithmic or manual penalties (Which absolutely none of DFY’s Backlink Services would include those, we have safety measures in place) then there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to rank a site for many, many years to come.


Foreign link building really is the most ROI efficient tactic a proper black hat SEO can do right now. Google’s plugged too many holes and relies too heavily on authority for it to be cost efficient to compete in a LOT of English language spaces without committing serious time and assets into a project, whilst also having to keep up with the seemingly weekly algorithm updates they’re throwing our way.

Until the machine learning apocalypse kicks in for foreign on top of every English SERP, we’ll still be able to manipulate Google’s algorithm’s like the good old days for the foreseeable future.

If you have any questions around our foreign link building services or any of our other services, feel free to drop us a message here and if you have any questions around this post drop me a comment down below.

Thanks – Charles

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Reply Bee April 16, 2019 at 2:26 am

where can I find foreign CPA stuff?

Reply Charles Floate April 16, 2019 at 7:02 am

Depends on the country/niche, plenty of country specific affiliate networks.

Reply Bee April 16, 2019 at 2:31 am

I have another question charles- Do you think doing foreign SEO in mexico would be ez as well?

Reply Charles Floate April 16, 2019 at 7:03 am

Yes, any non-English SERPs are much easier.

Reply Simon April 16, 2019 at 8:33 am

Hi Charles, that’s a great article. What about English sites in India ? Does it still apply or is the english rules apply ? Any research or thoughts on that… Thanks

Reply Charles Floate April 16, 2019 at 5:06 pm

It doesn’t apply to the exact same, but you can still get away with more due to the competition being weaker and there not being as many pages to index.

Reply prabha April 16, 2019 at 11:48 am

Hi, In India we have multiple regional languages, like Telugu, Hindi Marathi..etc, In India we develop sites mainly in English only, can we create a website in telugu language and make it rank . Any tool which shows keyword traffic in telugu..

Reply Michael April 16, 2019 at 12:10 pm

As a German I find in particularly interesting. Thought the algo would be tougher. Good to know!

Reply Gerrit April 16, 2019 at 3:01 pm

The first sentence looks incomplete ( missing the end):

“If you’ve ever looked at the SERPs in Germany or Sweden for Casino, Payday Loans & Weight Loss terms you’ll probably of seen a mixture of –”

Reply Charles Floate April 16, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Oops, corrected.

Reply Seopsyco April 16, 2019 at 3:03 pm

How would you approach a country that you can rank easily for nearly everything but without any CPA offers or Affiliate choices? Greece for example.

Reply Charles Floate April 16, 2019 at 5:05 pm

Dropshipping, client SEO, adsense revenue etc..

Reply Alex April 16, 2019 at 5:28 pm

Hey Charles,

Suppose I’ve couple of contextual links from irrelevant but powerful english sites to my German money site.

Do you think powering them (Tier 1 English Links) up with PBNs will be a good idea?

If yes, what anchors we should be using.


Reply Charles Floate April 16, 2019 at 5:34 pm

Yes, and you can just use the name of the tier 1 backlinks article, branded anchors related to the tier 1 link etc.. We have done testing, and the anchors of your tier 2 doesn’t affect the ranking of your money page so we just prefer to go with the safest anchors we can for long term success.

Reply Alex April 17, 2019 at 1:51 am

Thanks, man!
Really appreciate the reply.

Reply juan mejía April 17, 2019 at 6:39 pm

Asi es Charles, Gracias por la Info, Saludos desde Colombia.

Reply Charles Floate April 17, 2019 at 7:37 pm

Muchas gracias!

Reply Constantin April 18, 2019 at 4:38 pm

Hi Charles – Thank you for your analysis.
When you said “10 DR60+ guest posts with 5,000+ visitors and 1,000+ words”, would 10 famous web 2’s platforms instead be also ok ? Or should it be guest posts only ?

Reply Charles Floate April 18, 2019 at 4:42 pm

The problem with Web 2.0s is google has devalued them so much to the point it requires just as many solid tier 2 links to power up as it does to just pay off a site owner of a guest post.

There’s nothing like running tests though! You can also play the long game and build up content, links and authority over time rather than all in one go.. Go for longtail, lower competition keywords first whilst building up your authority and reinvesting earnings.

Reply C. April 19, 2019 at 8:41 pm

Thank you for your answer. One more question:

Do you use *ape links to power up your tiered 1 guest posts?

Reply Charles Floate April 21, 2019 at 1:20 am

I haven’t for a long time, no.

Reply Yashar June 10, 2019 at 2:55 pm

Hey Charles,
Do you really think alle niches are the same here? Cause I’m doing SEO in health niche and the exact match ratio is not as high as you are telling here. I got penalized for even going over 2%. So this thing is different for YMYL sites. That I’m sure of.

Reply Charles Floate June 10, 2019 at 8:52 pm

I would say that different niches are different, but in foreign they are still easier than in English. Just do analysis prior 🙂

Reply daniel July 16, 2019 at 6:57 am

Hey Charles, i work in some niches in foreign seo , in rtl language , how i can run automated backlink building ( like gsa) for this niches as i noticed no website get penalized from spam backlinks in fact , all websites in top position depens on spam backlinks like comments in irrelevant blogs, should i use web2.0 as buffer in link building with gsa or what? in fact using pbn is high cost in this niches

Reply Charles Floate July 17, 2019 at 4:12 pm

Yes, I don’t recommend using GSA – Maybe use SEO Autopilot but it’s just safer to go with real links or manual builds via VAs than using automated links.. it’s too easy to mess up, even in foreign.

Reply Muhammad Awais Akhtar October 14, 2019 at 10:41 am

Amazing Information

Reply Kristofer October 17, 2019 at 6:11 am

Charles a very good tactic is to use real links and boost those links using SEO Autopilot. Our tests show that if you boost your real links with SEO Autopilot results are amazing.

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