Link building is at the core of any SEO effort. Links are the predominant factor Google uses to assess your website and assign it rank and your SERP position. This rank can then be the factor of your business success. Thus, link building is the key and a major factor in why you hire professionals to handle this activity. However, this link-building effort takes time to complete and to give results. This has led to the practice of buying links in order to achieve the needed results quickly. Here we will address the legality of such activities and provide you with a guide to buying links in 2022.
Buying links – the need and Google guidelines
As backlinks are a primary factor for ranking as defined by Google algorithms their creations are key to SEO. Optimizing a website is aimed at providing backlinks that will help you rank high in SRP and ultimately lead to increased traffic and conversion. The more backlinks you have pointing at your website the better. The higher their authority, relevance, and quality links, the better. In this way, backlinks became a valuable commodity that can provide you with a higher ranking and in the end business success.
As a result, this need for a large number of backlinks leads to the creation of buying backlink practices and schemes. Simply put this means that you are paying for the links that point to your website from another website. These bought links are intended to lead to higher ranking, and ultimately higher sales numbers and profits.
Google and backlinks – the guidelines
With the Penguin update of its algorithms, Google declared buying backlink practices for schemes a black hat SEO strategy. This update allowed Google to easily identify bought backlinks and penalised their use. However, Google is not explicitly against these practices. It considers bought backlinks a normal part of doing business and the economy. If they are bought and sold for advertising purposes this practice is acceptable. However, Google does not accept any link-buying practices that are manipulative.
This means that buying links simply to influence the page ranking system is not allowed. If there is any form of excessive link exchange, keyword stuffing, and anchor-rich text links, using programs to generate links these practices violate the webmaster’s guidelines. If you practice any of these activities, you are likely to be penalized by Google.
However, any transaction concerning links that do not transfer or influence ranking is acceptable. In practice, these links have to be defined and coded as “no follow” of sponsored”. Links defined in this way have three main characteristics:
- They are in line with Google guidelines
- They can be considered both as follow and no follow
- No follow links still indirectly influence rank to a degree.
Buying links – how and why?
Through time there have been many different link-buying practices most of them do not work today. With the Penguin update, Google rendered most of them inefficient and obsolete. Using article automation, PBNs and other strategies is not working now. However, that does not mean that link buying does not exist. The truth is that there is more link between buying and selling than ever before. Companies of all sizes are engaged in it and there is a lot on offer as the prices are rising. With a proper guide to buying links, you can still get away with it and be successful.
Link buying is still alive today but much more concealed. It is happening but is not easily detectable by Google. The most common practices for buying links include:
- Buying from freelance marketplaces like Fiverr. These offer paid links at a low price. It is primarily a link-building service of bad and low-quality links that you can buy in large numbers very cheaply. These backlinks are usually easily registered by Google and can get you penalized easily.
- Sponsored posts are where you pay for a guest post on another website that links to your website. This is the only way of paying for links that are completely safe.
- Link insertions or niche edits. This means that the site owner receives a payment to edit already written content to include a backlink to your site. The benefit of this is that you receive links from content that already has authority. However, you should be concerned about the number of such arrangements the linking website has with others. It can easily get a penalty if it is too much.
- Paid guest posts are when you pay to write content and publish it on another website. This will allow you to link back to our website and you essentially pay for this link. However, if you pick the wrong website for posting it can get you penalized.
Ways of buying links
Buying links can be done in many ways and takes many forms. Furthermore, it does not only happen when you pay cash for links. Other forms of payment can still be buying links.
- In-house building links is a process that requires a lot of investment of time and money. Your internal team essentially creates content and links and you pay them to do it. So, you must invest in training and salaries of your staff which can add up quickly.
- Buying links from agencies is considerably cheaper depending on the number and quality of links they create for you. This is a good option for most companies as the savings can be great. You get your links faster and don’t have the issue of hiding staff and you can easily get in and out of this arrangement.
- Private link buying is when you engage a private seller for backlinks. This form of buying is never advertised but is negotiated privately. To find a seller you have to outreach and take time to negotiate this transaction. This allows you to get the links very quickly and is an add-hock relationship.
- Middleman buying is when you buy links from a marketplace. Here the risk of engaging in black hat activities is minimal. Here there is a marketplace that exists between the link builder and the buyer. You don’t have to do a blogger outreach or waste the time. You simply contact the marketplace expressing your need and the middleman vendor provides a link from a pool of relationships it cultivates in multiple areas and niches of business.
How to do it the right way?
Buying links can be safe from Google penalties if it is done the right way. Getting paid links is still risky as they can be understood as an attempt at manipulating the rank. However, any guide to buying links shows that you can use safe links that are:
- From legitimate websites that don’t offer them for sale or advertise them in this way.
- Websites that are valued by the search engine and have a certain reputation and rank
- The webpages that are relevant to the URL you link to and that are connected to authoritative sites in the niche
- From websites that have valuable and relevant content
You should buy links yourself and you should invest the time and money to do it. This will allow you to find and use only links from high-quality and reputable sites. The advice is to
- Find and engage sites that accept ads. They actually make money by selling advertising space on their website. Make sure to find the right pages that are in your niche or connected by geography and with the right keyword combinations.
- Create blogger partnerships that will allow bloggers to get paid for incorporating links in their content. This is a cheap way of buying links as bloggers are usually not paid for what they write. Just make sure to find the bloggers and the right content that is in your niche and relevant to your website.
These are simple and useful ways of getting paid links without triggering Google penalties. Using these practices will allow you to buy backlinks even today when SEO claims that it is against the rules.
Why should you buy links?
There are many reasons to buy links today as well as a few why you shouldn’t. The pros of buying links are:
- It saves time. Buying links is much easier and quicker than working hard and investing money in creating content and outreaching out to acquire links in a natural way. It is a time-consuming process that can take weeks to complete and that you can easily skip. Just visit a website that is selling links and negotiate a price and you are all set.
- It is cheap. The fact that it takes time to build links naturally it is easy to conclude that it costs a lot of money. Creating content also requires that you hire content writers and graphic editors and artists with ample experience. You also have to pay for subscriptions for link-building tools. All of these expenses can add up making this a very costly activity. Buying links can turn out to be an investment that is only a fraction of this price.
- It works if done right. Buying links can be relatively safe and secure from Google penalties if you do it right as Google can’t distinguish a paid from a natural link. This can be achieved if you practice buying from people with high standards. These people practice sales to relevant sites within the right niche. They mix paid and natural editorial links to make things look even more natural. These professionals create content themselves to preserve consistency
Why should you stay away from it?
So, link building is alive and well and it seems that it is thriving. There is a lot that recommends it and common practices show that it is a practice that pays off. However, there are plenty of reasons to avoid it. It is still a risky activity that can cause you a lot of trouble. A penalty for buying links can have a long-term effect on your activities and business as a whole. This risk is enough to put most people off when it comes to buying links. Here are a few reasons to avoid this practice.
- It can be a waste of money. If you engage in link building without adequate knowledge and a guide to buying links this practice can easily get noticed by Google. In these cases, you miss out on the benefit that these links can bring.
- Your link profile can be damaged by working with websites that accept paid links. In these cases, if you have links from them your backlink profile can get damaged influencing your ranking.
- Google may register your activities and decide to issue a penalty. A manual penalty from google can be devastating for your website. Usually, it involves the exclusion of your website from all search results rendering you invisible. This is the hardest punishment you can get for this activity if you are not careful
Essentially, even though this practice still exists using it is a game of cat and mouse with Google. It demands that you walk the fine line between being safe and penalized. This is why understanding this process and following a guide to buying links is essential. It can help you stay safe from penalties while you can still benefit from this practice.
One final thought
Although buying backlinks is a frowned-upon practice that can get you penalized Google still tolerates such practices to a degree. Knowing how and when to do it is key here. So with a proper guide to buying links, you can be safe from any Google action in 2022 and 2023. Just be careful in your link-buying activities and observe Google for any changes in their policies, approach, and algorithm changes.