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Should Your Business Buy Backlinks?

There is a lot of debate about whether or not businesses should buy backlinks. Here’s a guide on the pros and cons of purchasing backlinks, and how to recognize a reputable backlink provider.

By Manick Bhan on Feb 02, 2022 - 16 minute read

There is a lot of discussion about whether or not businesses should buy backlinks. Some people feel that it is unethical and can get you in trouble with Google, while others believe that it is a necessary part of SEO. However, one thing is true: link building services remain a highly sought-after service in the world of SEO.

In order to help you make an informed and strategic decision, this article will cover an explanation of how backlinks affect a site’s SEO, what the link-buying process entails, the pros and cons of link buying, and the types of backlinks. Of course, you will also find the pros and cons of purchasing backlinks.

What Is a Backlink?

In simplest terms: A backlink is a hyperlink that points from one website to another website.

Backlinks are a quality signal in Google’s PageRank algorithm. They indicate to Google’s PageRank that the linked-to web page offers useful information. The text within the anchor text and annotation text also informs Google PageRank as to how to index the linked page in regards to its subject. This is why you will find SEO specialists suggest you use your keywords or variations of those keywords in your anchor text and surrounding area.

The quantity and quality of inbound links are among the most important factors that search engines like Google use to rank websites in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Is a Backlink Different from an Inbound Link?

Yes. Inbound links (links to a website from other websites) are an important factor for SEO (search engine optimization). An inbound link is more generalized than a backlink. A backlink points to a web page from another website–this can include blogs, resource pages, or any page on a site.

In contrast, an inbound link includes backlinks from third-party sites, as well as, incoming links from emails, social media, nofollow, and noindex pages.

How does building backlinks affect a website’s SEO?

SEO with people around a chart

Google never fully divulges the specifics of how PageRank finalizes how it determines SERP order. However, Google is careful to provide linking guidelines for site owners to use. And, a lot of people have devoted a great deal of time verifying that building backlinks can help a website’s SEO in a number of ways.

  • First, backlinks can help a website’s search engine ranking by increasing its authority and relevance in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Additionally, backlinks can help improve a website’s organic search traffic by driving more qualified visitors to its pages. Quality backlinks offer the biggest impact on a site’s domain authority.
  • Furthermore, Google’s algorithm patents suggest that PageRank uses NLPs to process the text around hyperlinks.
  • Finally, backlinks can also help increase the visibility and click-through rates of a website’s paid search ads.

What is Google’s Policy on Buying Backlinks?

Google's logo with a speech bubble saying that Google considering buying links a link scheme

Google has a clear policy against buying or selling links. And this is included in Google’s Link Scheme’s description as, “exchanging goods or services for links, or paying someone to create a link to your site.” Buying or selling links is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can result in a site being penalized or even removed from Google’s search results.

This is to say that buying, selling, and trading backlinks is against Google’s TOS and is considered a black hat tactic, especially with the emphasis of exchange of money. However, providing high-quality content to another site with a link to your own website is a gray area.

Google’s Efforts to Combat Spam Links

In an effort to combat spam links, Google has implemented a number of changes to its algorithm.

These changes include updates to the Penguin algorithm, which targets links that are bought or artificially created, and the Farmer algorithm, which targets low-quality content. Linkspam, a 2021 google algorithm update made the biggest splash in how sites approach their link practices.

Google has also developed the Disavow Links tool, which allows webmasters to identify spammy links and disavow them.

By using this tool, webmasters can help ensure that their site isn’t penalized by Google for having spammy links.

What is a “Paid Link”?

A paid link is a hyperlink that is purchased from a website owner in order to improve the site’s search engine ranking. Paid links are often used by spammers and questionable affiliate marketers to improve their search engine ranking and increase their web traffic. Google considers paid links spammy, and these can result in an increase in a site’s spam score.

Determining If Link Buying is the Right Move for Your Business

pros and cons with a dollar sign pointing to a link with a lady writing a pros and cons notebook

So, when it comes to your link-building campaign, you ultimately have to determine if you want to play it safe with white hat SEO or use a difficult-to-prove black hat method. Ultimately, you need to consider your brand’s integrity and if shortcuts to the first page of Google search results are worth the risk.

Here are some pros and cons to consider before you exchange of money for new backlinks:

Pros:

  1. Buying links can help you improve your ranking on search engines by improving your backlink profile.
  2. It can help you get more traffic to your website.
  3. It can help you increase your sales and profits.
  4. Depending on the quality of the sites linking to yours, you can improve your site’s authority.

Cons:

  1. It can be expensive. Link building prices can be quite steep for the best backlinks.
  2. It can be difficult to find reputable, high-quality link-building services.
  3. There. is the risk of a penalty. It can get you in trouble with Google if you are not careful.

In the end, it is up to you whether or not you want to buy links. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.

What’s the Link Buying Process Like?

The process of buying links can vary depending on the backlink service or website. But typically the process will involve finding a site that is willing to sell you links and then negotiating the terms of the purchase. You will need to agree on a price, the number of links, and the anchor text of the links. Once the agreement is in place, the links will be placed on the site and you will start to see an increase in your website’s search engine rankings.

As for going through a link-building agency, you will likely be provided with a free proposal.

Is It Illegal To Buy Backlinks?

This is a difficult question to answer as it can depend on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, purchasing backlinks can be seen as an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings and is therefore typically frowned upon (a black hat SEO technique) However, there are some instances where purchasing backlinks may be seen as acceptable, such as when they are used to improve the overall quality of a website. Ultimately, it is up to the discretion of the search engines themselves to decide whether or not backlinks are being used in an acceptable manner.

Is It Legal To Sell Backlinks?

There is no definitive answer to this question as the legality of selling backlinks will depend on the specific country and/or state in which you are operating. Generally speaking, however, selling backlinks may be considered a form of online advertising, which is a legal practice in most countries.

Is It Worth It to Buy Backlinks?

There is no easy answer when it comes to buying backlinks. In general, it is not advisable to buy links because there is always a risk of getting penalized by Google. However, if you do buy links, make sure that you only buy from high-quality, reputable websites. Also, make sure that the links are placed on high-quality content pages that are relevant to your website.

What Determines the Quality of Backlinks?

When beginning your link-building strategy, it’s vital to take into account the quality of the links. Investing in low-quality backlinks or spammy links can be a disastrous waste of money. There are a number of factors that determine the quality of a backlink, including the following:

  • The authority of the website linking to you
  • The relevance of the content on the website linking to you
  • The number of other websites linking to the website linking to you
  • The quality of the website linking to you
  • The age of the website linking to you

How much do high-quality backlinks cost?

The type of link often determines the price you will pay. High authority backlinks are considered the most powerful backlinks, therefore, they come at a higher cost–whether this cost be monetary or time investment in relationship-building. This is a difficult question to answer because the cost of high-quality backlinks can vary greatly depending on the source and the quality of the backlinks.

Good quality backlinks in competitive niches can cost a lot of money. This price tag increases if the backlink comes in the form of a paid guest post with the quality of the content. Purchasing bulk backlinks can reduce the cost of backlink buying.

Generally, though, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars for high-quality link building packages.

Price of Links Depending on Link Location

Some sites offer links in prominent positions on their site through permanent backlinks or text link ads. These can include the site’s sidebar or footer links. These positions increase the cost of the link.

Are Cheap Backlinks Worth It?

The first thing you need to consider is the quality of the links you’re buying. Not all backlinks are created equal. There are a lot of free link building sites, or websites that sell cheap backlinks, but these links are often of low quality and can actually hurt your website’s ranking.

The best way to determine the quality of a backlink is to look at the website’s Domain Authority (DA). The DA is a measure of a website’s overall authority and is calculated by Moz. A website with a high DA is more likely to have high-quality backlinks.

If you’re looking to buy backlinks or use agency link building, it’s important to only buy from websites with a high DA. This will ensure that you’re getting quality backlinks that will help improve your website’s ranking.

Overall, it’s important to be careful when choosing a website to buy from. Make sure to only buy from websites with a high DA and a fair price

Should You Buy Backlinks from a Private Blog Network?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Whether or not PBN backlinks depends on a number of factors, such as the quality of the backlinks, the size and quality of the private blog network(PBN), and your own website’s backlink profile.

Generally speaking, buying backlinks from a PBN can be a risky proposition.

If the network is not high quality and provides low-quality links, or if your website’s SEO profile is not strong, you could end up getting penalized by Google.

However, if you do your research and choose a reputable PBN, buying backlinks from them could be a smart move for your website’s SEO. Always inquire if you’re purchasing high authority backlinks, the number of backlinks from various sites, and the method the agency uses to stagger the PBN backlinks. The type of website your links wind up on, should also reflect your site’s industry.

Just make sure that you are aware of the risks involved in purchasing PBN links, and take the necessary precautions to protect your website’s SEO profile. Do your due diligence and check the quality of links you’re buying on your own. If the anchor text is spammy or the PBN backlinks are low quality discontinue using that service.

Should You Buy Backlinks from Directories?

There is a lot of debate over whether or not you should buy backlinks from directories.

On one hand, directories offer a quick and easy way to get links. On the other hand, some people believe that buying links from directories can hurt your SEO efforts.

how to determine a site's DA

However, you should be careful to only buy links from high-quality directories with plenty of in-depth content related to the directory’s subject. Always check a directory’s Domain Authority before including it in your link-building efforts. Avoid directories with high Spam Score. Also, make sure that the links are relevant to your website and that they are not from spammy directories.

What Are Backlink Best Practices?

The best practice when it comes to link building is to provide valuable content and wait for sites to naturally begin linking. This process is called “organic link building.” When a site links to another without an agreement to do so, the link is referred to as a “natural backlink.”

Additionally, you should always avoid forcing keywords into a backlink’s anchor text or using irrelevant keywords in your anchor text.

How to Build Organic Links

The best way to build organic links will vary depending on your specific website and industry. Organic link building can be extremely effective, but it can take a lot of time. Additionally, link equity will only transfer if the linking page does not use nofollow link tags and does use dofollow link tags. Dofollow backlinks signal to Google to count the link’s equity in the ranking of your web page. Nofollow links will not affect your site’s backlink profile.

How to Secure Free Backlinks

The white hat methods of building backlinks include providing well-ranking industry and outdated sites with niche edits and offering industry-leading sites with quality content. These are often considered the best link building strategy using Google’s quality guidelines

  1. Find high-quality websites in your industry that are relevant to your audience. A quick Google search will provide you with good backlink contenders. However, tools such as SearchAtlas’s Backlink Analyzer can streamline the process with Suggested Outreach. suggested outreach for backlinks
  2. Determine the site’s Domain Authority. If they have a healthy DA, dive deeper into your research.
  3. After identifying some potential sites. Look for websites that have a “links” or “resources” section on their website. Analyze the site’s hyperlinks–do they have a pattern of outbound links you could work with?
  4. Reach out to the website owner and ask if they would be interested in including provided content with a link to your website.
  5. Provide them with a brief overview of your website and why you think it would be valuable for their audience.
  6. If the website owner agrees, ask for their preferred method of contact (email, Twitter, etc.).
  7. Follow up with the website owner after they have had a chance to check out your website. Thank them for their time and let them know how much you appreciate their help.
  8. Write the agreed-upon content and send it to your site contact (or hire a freelancer and review and edit the content before sending it).

So, what’s the verdict? Should Your Business Pay for Backlinks?

In general, it is usually harmless to partake in white hat approaches to link building. Once you get into purchasing link placements and links from directories and PBNs, you’re leaning into black hat tactics that can get you in trouble with Google. So make sure you prioritize the best link building services.

It’s important to keep in mind that Google continues to find ways to prevent artificial inflation of a site’s link profile and domain authority, so buying links can wind up being a short-term investment.

When it comes to the safest investment, a reputable backlink building is the best choice. And when it comes to link building, LinkGraph is a trusted digital marketing company.

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