Review of GSA Search Engine Ranker and Step by Step Tutorial
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GSA Search Engine Ranker Review & Step By Step Tutorial
My GSA Search Engine Ranker review & tutorial will teach you everything you need to know to get the most out
of the sof tware.
GSA Search Engine Ranker was heavily f eatured in my tiered link building series and has had a bunch of
awesome new f eatures added across the past year.
A lot of readers have asked f or a more detailed tutorial and how to use it to build links directly to your money
site rather than using Ultimate Demon.
So here it is
What You Will Learn
How to use the sof tware properly
What all of the advanced options mean
How to build high quality links
How to setup a tiered link building campaign
How to remove links saf ely
This tutorial is pretty detailed so let’s just get into it!
GSA Search Engine Ranker Interface
First let’s look at the interf ace bef ore we get into the nitty gritty stuf f .
On your main panel, you can see your list of projects created, tools, colour coded verif ied links and a real time
log with statistics.
The stats along the bottom tell you-
How many submitted links there are and which ones submitted today
The amount of active proxies
Number of verif ied links f rom today
How many submitted links a minute
How many solved captchas
Memory & CPU usage
If you ever need a reminder of what they mean, hover over with your mouse f or an explanation to pop up.
To see more options, right click the project and you have lots of things to change here such as status, priority,
type of active mode and modif ying the project.
Show URLs will allow you to look at both submitted and verif ied links which you can export or look at more
specif ic statistics about them in charts and graphs.
You can even sort them out by engine, internal/external, f ollow or no f ollow and link type.
Remember, a submitted link is one that has not been verif ied if it is live and a verif ied link is one that is
submitted and currently live.
Other project options include making changes in bulk and importing target URLs. You can import your own URLs
that you’ve scraped or you can import f rom a site list.
On top of the last verif ied URL list, there is an option button to change the settings f or your project. The
setting options you have are thread count, proxies, and various other things.
The thread count def aults at 50 which is f ine unless you have a more powerf ul computer. Mine is quad core
with 16 gigs of rams so I can set it up to 250 threads.
If you don’t, 50 will work just f ine.
Make sure you have checked the box to use proxies and GSA SER will scrape public proxies f or you. Set it to
search f or new ones every 60 minutes if there are less than one hundred active.
Test all of them and take out the f ailed proxies if they’re older than a f ew hours.
The problem with public proxies is that they aren’t 100% reliable and you normally receive a high f ailure rate
which ends up wasting your time.
If you spend a f ew dollars on Buyproxies and buy semi-dedicated proxies, the success rate is much greater
and is really worth your money.
To input your own proxy list, click Add proxy, import them f rom clipboard and set them to private. Af ter you add
them, go back to settings and decide which proxies to use, private or public and when.
I use my private proxies f or search engines, PR checking and submissions.
Although GSA can support a large range of captcha solving services, there are two types that you really need
The f irst is a sof tware based solution such as GSA Captcha Breaker. It will try to automatically solve them f or
you which saves on human based captcha services.
The second one is a human based solver like Death By Captcha and these are really cheap, around $1.39 f or a
The best way to set it up is to select a sof tware based service as your primary and then a human based as
That way your primary will help reduce the captcha costs and your secondary can pick up any f ailed ones and is
To set it up click Add and select the services of your choice. Test to check your balance, set up your retry limit
and the rest of the options.
If you don’t want GSA to ask you when solves aren’t successf ul, untick the box that says to ask the user if
everything else f ails.
GSA will automatically ping all the backlinks it makes but you can integrate them into the supported indexing
services if you want.
Although some people like using the indexer services, I don’t believe they’re really all that necessary. Instead
you can build more links to them with GSA SER but if you’ve got them and want to use them, then f eel f ree to
Some of the indexers are GSA SEO indexer, Linklicious, Nuclear Link Indexer, Link Pipeline, Lindexed and Back
Links Indexer. Just select the ones you want and enter the API key f or each one.
Another option is the f ilter which allows you to skip submissions if the URL if appearing in your blacklist. You
can leave all these at def aults.
Advanced – Site Lists
Sites lists allow you to keep a log of dif f erent types of links GSA Search Engine Ranker discovers and submits
You can then reuse these lists in other projects to speed up the overall submission process.
There are 4 types of site lists-
1. Identif ied sites to post to
2. Sites that have been successf ully posted to
3. Successf ully submitted and verif ied links
4. Failed links
I recommend keeping a record of successf ul and verif ied submissions so you can use them later on in f uture
One of the options f or a new project is to import target URLS and you can do that f rom a previous site list.
Af ter a f ew months of using GSA, you’ll end up having a huge site list of verif ied and successf ul links that you
can save and import quickly in various projects. So tick verif ied and successf ul to save these two lists.
Starting Your Project
When you’re done setting everything up and all the options are how you want them, click Start to get your
As soon as you do that, GSA will start going out and f inding targets and submitting and verif ying links.
During the process, you might get pop ups f rom GSA that needs you to answer random questions. To prevent
these pop ups which can get annoying, hit Stop and double click the project.
Select Options tab and you’ll see a line that says if a f orm can’t be f illed to Ask User or Choose Random. To
stop pop ups, change it to Random.
You’ll have to change this f or every project so remember to do that bef ore you start a new one!
So that is an overview of the GSA interf ace and the specif ic f eatures and options it has.
Now let’s look at a sample project!
Sample Project – Quick Tour
I’m going to show you around a sample project quickly so you get an idea of how everything f its together.
Then we are going to create a project together
The lef t side column is a list of links to where you want to submit to such as:
Compared to SENuke XCR, this list may not look like a lot. Even when you click on the plus, you’ll see all the
options underneath but it still doesn’t look like there’s many places GSA posts to.
This is because all of these are platf orms used by thousands of dif f erent sites. WordPress f or example is a
widely used platf orm so if you choose WordPress article, GSA will post to all sites using that platf orm which is
Don’t be f ooled by your f irst impression, there’s endless supplies of sites to post to behind the scenes!
In the main window you have to input all the data f or your campaign. The options panel gives you great control
over how links are built which has gotten a lot better in recent times.
So now you know what you are looking f or let me take you through creating your f irst project.
Creating Your First Project
To start a new project, click New and a new project will pop up. First you have to choose which link types to use
which will depend on the type of campaign your running.
A good rule to stand by is that if you’re making your money site central to your link building structure, you have
to use high quality contextual links which are links surrounded by relevant content.
We can tick some of these options here such as Article, Wikis, Web 2.0′s, and Social networks. I’m going to
leave it f airly simple f or this example.
Af ter you’ve selected your link types, you can start on the rest of the settings.
1. Enter URL
2. Enter keywords
3. Fill in anchor text
You can enter multiple URLs which GSA will just rotate through at random and make variations of capital and
lower case letters.
For keywords, there is the option to collect more f rom target sites and to use those collected words to f ind
new target sites.
The anchor text should be based on your main keywords and must be in spintax f ormat.
Your keywords (used to f ind sites to submit links to) can be the same as your anchor text if you want, just tick
the box that says use keywords as anchor text.
Create A Natural Looking Link Profile
Now the next f ew options are important f or building a natural looking prof ile in GSA so you reduce the risk of
being penalized by Google Penguin.
Please see the main tutorial video if you get conf used here.
Partial match: A partial match is one that includes the main keyword with something else. I really recommend
keeping a list of partial anchor text.
Branding anchor text: Some examples of branded anchor text f or my blog, matthewwoodward.co.uk would be
Matthew Woodward, Matthewwoodward and Matthewwoodward.co.uk.
LSI anchor text: Use scrapebox or Google wonderwheel to get some new words and paste that into here.
Generic anchor text: words like “click here” or “see more”.
Citation: Creates a naked URL of your site which makes your prof ile look much more natural.
Anchor text variation: varies the uppercase and lowercase letters of anchor text
Combined, these settings will help you build a very natural looking prof ile.
For your About Me, you either drop in a def ault prof ile or use Kontent Machine to generate several about me’s.
For the log in and passwords just tick the randomization box and GSA will generate them f or you. Enter the
website title, categories, either suggested or root, f orum comment and a description.
I keep my descriptions the same as the 250 description and leave the f orum comment at def ault. Forum
nickname and f orum password will be randomized if the box is ticked.
Don’t f orget to properly spin any content your adding to your campaign.
Even More Options!
Don’t think we’re done yet! Under the options tab, we have even more stuf f to f ill out.
The options you have are:
1. Choose to pause your project af ter a certain amount of submissions or verif ied links a day
2. Leave the verif ied link options at def ault and tick the box to send verif ied link to indexer services.
3. Do not tick the box to use character spinning!
4. Choose to randomly have spelling mistakes or typos
To avoid pop ups like bef ore, remember we have to select the box to randomly choose a selection. Have all
services f ill captchas if you set up captcha solving services.
To use tags, you have a choice between keywords or anchor text.
To tell GSA how to get target URLs, you’ll need to tell it where to look.
First, pick the search engines. Right click to search by country which I usually do and this will depend on your
target audience and language so I’m going to pick UK and United states.
I also like to use keywords to f ind target sites. Even though it comes back with less, the results are usually
more accurate and relevant which is what you want when building links.
Quality over quantity!
Tick the box to use URLs f rom your global sites list if you have one and you can also choose to analyze and
post to competitor’s backlinks.
This option will try to replicate the backlinks f or sites that rank f or your target keywords. It’s not perf ect but
you are able to get some substantial value f rom it.
It doesn’t dif f erentiate between good links and spam links so the risk is if the link prof ile is pretty spammy, then
GSA SER will try to grab those links f or your own as well.
GSA Search Engine Ranker allows lets you set up a posting schedule so you don’t get banned if you’re building
multiple links f rom the same site. Try to space it out so your links don’t get deleted or anything like that.
I don’t normally use it but it can be handy.
Under the Filter URLs tab, it’s important to set these options up.
Skip sites with more than X amount of outgoing links on one page. Normally, sites have about 125 links
so you can saf ely increase this to 100
Skip sites with a PR of X
Types of backlinks to create
Skip sites that have bad words, f rom dif f erent countries or languages and the f ollowing words in the
URL or domain
Consider creating multiple projects to get a variation of PRs to look more natural. Try to skip sites with a PR
less than 0 and unknown PR.
There’s three types of email addresses that we can use.
2. Web mail based
3. Self hosted
Disposable sites are widely available but many sites will block those so you’ll end up with a high f ailure rate.
Webmail based emails don’t f ail as much but there are still some sites out there that block web mail based
Self hosted email is something like firstname.lastname@example.org but using a gmail or hotmail account will be f ine f or
most. You can take the time to make your own or buy a bunch on Fiverr.
Enter your email of choice and at the bottom are several more options to choose f rom. I want to wait f if teen
minutes between two dif f erent log ins but the rest is lef t at def ault.
Make sure you test this!
If anything doesn’t work here, your campaign is in danger of f ailing as it’s running.
Now let’s choose some articles to add but make sure you spend time creating quality content to use in your
If you don’t know how, I suggest you check out my advanced spinning tutorial because you need have to have
some high quality hand spun content.
If you already have articles ready, just click Add and paste your content directly into there with a title. It’ll grab
the f irst paragraph automatically to use as the summary.
Once that’s ready, you can preview it, complete with links and all.
Repeat the same steps to add a second article. Easy as that!
On the bottom are some more options f or editing your articles in terms of links and such.
You can either insert a link with a sentence at the bottom, a sentence in the article, or No link.
To be honest, these options don’t give you as much control since the link seems randomly placed. To make it
look more natural, directly add your links when you are spinning the article.
I talk about this in the spinning tutorial but you can do this with a tag in GSA Search Engine Ranker.
Next you can insert media randomly with GSA and that saves you some time. One last thing I change on here is
to not duplicate content anywhere instead of per account.
Click OK to f inish your campaign setup and you’ll see it get added to the list!
Tiered Link Building
Setting up a tiered link building campaign is f airly easy and is similar to creating a new campaign. First we have
to create a new campaign like we did bef ore.
The one dif f erence is to tick the box that says use verif ied URLs of another project (multi tier/link wheel). As
soon as you select that box, a pop up will appear.
Choose your project, the money site.
Now your new campaign is going to build links to the campaign you chose earlier, tier 2 to tier 1.
To add another tier, repeat the steps to set up another project, tick the same box and pick the second tier.
Building tiered link structure is quite easy in GSA SER!
We all know that Google is constantly changing. What worked perf ectly a year ago, may not work so well now.
So you always need the ability to remove links you have built, just in case!
GSA Search Engine Ranker can help you clean your backlink prof ile as long as they were created by GSA SER
which is extremely usef ul.
All you have to do is right click on the project, hover on status and click Active (remove links). GSA SER will go
through and remove all the links created as it is running.
It can’t remove ones such as blog comments since there was no registration/account created but it can remove
a large amount of them.
Integrating Kontent Machine
GSA Search Engine Ranker allows you to integrate with various services to help you set up campaigns quickly.
One of the best tools I like to use f or this is Kontent Machine. Just f ollow my tutorial here to learn how to
prepare your content.
Once you’ve f inished preparing your content with Kontent Machine, there’s an option to build and export.
Choose the GSA Search Engine Ranker template, select export and save it.
When it’s done saving, you can go back into GSA SER to import the content.
Select Tools, import, data f ield, your f ile and f ields you want to f ill. Right away all of the data has been
exported and f illed in all of the boxes.
You could also use Kontent Machine to generate hundreds of articles to import into the article manager.
Wrapping It Up
The GSA Search Engine Ranker team has been constantly working and updating this tool in the last year and
it’s miles ahead of what it used to be when it f irst came out.
They have come a long way in the past year to make it one of the most powerf ul and diverse link building tools
on the market. It really is a crucial tool to have in your arsenal.