Link buying is a touchy issue. Google doesn’t like it. In fact, they have spent more effort in the last couple of months cracking down on sites that sell and/or buy links.
But link buying works. Not only does it work, but for many webmasters, it works really well. A friend and I bought some links for a site and within a couple of weeks, it was in the top 15 of Google for a very popular two word keyword phrase.
Aaron Wall, a high profile SEO blogger, writes in his post, An Unjust Fear of Link Buying, that if he didn’t buy links 5 years ago, he wouldn’t be where he is right now. Patrick Altoft, a popular internet marketing blogger, says that to compete in some markets, you need to buy links. He helped a client in a very competitive market get number one rankings in one year by only buying links.
So there can be a lot to gain from buying links.
Link Buying Principles
If you are thinking of buying links, here are some principles to consider.
The more trusted your blog is, the more you can get away with low quality links. The current Google algorithm is based on trust. If your blog already has great rankings for highly searched keywords, Google probably has a lot of trust for your blog. So, if you buy some low quality links, those links can help because your site has trust. Just don’t overdo it or you will lose enough trust to hurt your rankings.
If you have a blog with less than stellar rankings (this means Google doesn’t trust your blog very much), buying low quality links is much riskier. Get high quality links first to build your blog’s trust before going after low quality links.
The older your blog, the more effective paid links will be. Google really likes old sites. Jim Boykin runs one of the most well-known link buying firms. He doesn’t usually take on clients unless they have old sites. Jim writes:
…a huge majority of sites will not get into the top 30 of Google for competitive phrases without having been online for at least 2 years.
There’s no substitute for quality links. A blog with 50 quality links will often outrank a blog with 1000 mediocre links. If you can buy quality links, definitely go for it.
Buying links is a time vs. money deal. Sure, you can never spend money on links and still do well on the search engine results pages (SERPs). However, it takes time and effort to create link worthy content and network so that your blog gets links naturally. That’s the advantage of buying links. You don’t need to spend as much time to get links if you’re buying them.
Consider the risk factor. If Google finds out you are buying links, you can be penalized. However, if you only get links that don’t disclose that they are paid, Google will have a very hard time figuring out which links are bought. Plus, they can’t prove that you bought the link.
In a future post, I’ll talk about how I buy links including where to find webmasters willing to sell and how to judge the quality of link.
Have you bought links before? If you have, did it work out for you?
Also, feel free to share you own link buying principles.
Raj, you got me curious. Which bloggers are you talking about? I can’t think of who they could be. Send me a PM if you don’t want to out them.
I still don’t see a problem with buying quality links for marketing and traffic purposes (and a little link love doesn’t hurt either). The links I buy are on highly relevant, high traffic sites. I’ve had to become a little more subversive in my link buying, but the one site I removed them from during the Google brouhaha took a dive in the SERPs, from 2nd to 8th place. That cost me money. Even after I removed them, Google dropped my PR.
Thing is, I think linkbuying does work, if done properly. The more subtle you are the better, obviously. You might have to think about this to answer, but there is a really subtle way one big blogger is killing two birds with one link. Clue: there’s more than a link, and the service is very useful to two different parties: one offering, one looking.
Now all that said, I think I’ve only ever bought one link, and it did not help. Irony? Bad luck?
Always however take care and use common sense when buying links … For anyone interested I’ve got an in depth post on newmediatype that deals with how far you can take your actions …. It’s all about common sense ….
http://www.newmediatype.com – internet business blog for web entrepreneurs, small online business, web developers and serious bloggers .