You are probably familiar with the practice of buying backlinks for SEO, a tactic that was overused a few years back all over the web. As you already know, link building is one of the most important off-page SEO rank factors. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines evaluate the quality of your backlinks and rank you based on how many good ones you have.
Usually, link building is associated with slow progress that comes after quite a lot of effort, but it’s not always like that. Because of the high value of backlinks and the time required for them to start bringing you organic traffic, many website owners start browsing for faster solutions and are willing to invest money in them.
But is it a good idea? And, how can such a practice influence your Search Engine Optimisation efforts?
Here’s what you need to know if you are considering buying links for SEO.
Why Would You Consider Buying Backlinks?
As mentioned above, building a lot of backlinks or getting those high-valued ones takes time and determination, if you follow the rules. Companies that operate online are generally wise enough to invest time, money, and effort into their SEO strategy. So, they naturally want to direct their resources to the most prolific tactic.
Buying backlinks seems to be a convenient solution for websites that need to rank higher in a short amount of time. External links can get to cost over $1,000, a sum that some business owners are willing to pay for some boosts in their Google rankings. But the price is not the biggest downside of this practice. The risk you are taking when it comes to site rankings is the main issue with buying links.
Your investment is safer when considering long-term progress instead of overnight results. Putting your money in link building services instead of just directly buying a backlink is like learning how to fish versus buying a big fish (and a potentially hard to swallow one!).
Does Buying Backlinks Actually Work?
If you are willing to pay more than a few hundred dollars for a hyperlink to your website, you expect it to deliver what’s promised. But you might be in for a surprise and watch your organic traffic collapse as Google manually flags you for black hat tactics.
Google doesn’t like paid backlinks at all. It is mentioned in the Webmaster Guidelines as a tactic to avoid, and it’s included in the “link schemes” category. Google considers that you are buying your way to search engine rankings that your site does not deserve.
Instead, it insists on the white hat tactics that web owners were trying to dodge in the first place. Unfortunately, the risk of being considered an untrustworthy website is too big for a paid backlink to be worth it.
Will You Get Caught by Google If You Buy Backlinks?
After all, your backlink is like a speck of dust in a galaxy of links, web pages, and search terms that Google has to go through every single moment. Will it really get to your backlink and figure out that you paid for it?
The vendor of the backlink has probably provided some tips on how to stay off Google’s radar, like using a dedicated IP VPN. Well, even the most experienced SEO experts don’t really know the lengths that Google’s algorithm can go to properly index web pages. Although the search engine giant has always kept the industry in the know, the algorithms are constantly improved for a better product.
If Google’s web crawlers had somehow managed to miss your unethical activities, it doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook. Google has a designated human team for identifying backlink activity against the Webmasters Guidelines. Sooner or later, they can find the vendors of backlinks and their clients and manually flag you for black hat activities.
Even if that doesn’t happen, one of your competitors can always report you for it. Competition is far more likely to keep an eye on you since you are likely competing for the same backlinks. And if they are not reporting you, it’s because they are also buying their backlinks from the same source.
As you can see, there are lots of disadvantages to buying backlinks, even if the source promises a safe and quick way of getting more organic traffic.
Good Practices for Building Backlinks
When it comes to link building strategies that are agreed by Google, white hat tactics revolve around the traditional link building tactics:
- Writing guest posts on related websites;
- Targeting broken links that have your target keywords in their anchor text;
- Content marketing focusing on high-quality content;
- Using social media as a gateway to your link building campaign;
- Finding trusted web directories where you can post links to your website.
All these tactics will tell Google that you have a quality backlink profile that changes and evolves constantly. Websites linking to you might crash, might remove their pages and you get a broken link as a result.
On the other hand, you have to constantly browse opportunities to get good backlinks and send cold emails, pitch websites that are related to your domain, and write content that people want to link back to. Overall, it’s a long-term process, which seems to be the characteristic of SEO in general.
Is buying backlinks still done in 2020? Yes, surely there are vendors and buyers out there since backlinks are an SEO commodity. But should you try it, too? We highly recommend avoiding such a tactic, since it can’t bring you more than a temporary boost in your traffic and a whole lot to worry about in the rest.
Building backlinks is hard work, we’ll give you that. So, it can be really tempting to jump a few steps ahead and give your website a boost. But, in the long run, this apparent profitable investment can hurt your website and business badly. And, if getting backlinks requires a lot of time and effort, getting back into Google’s good graces can be an impossible task to achieve.
When you are truly invested in building quality backlinks, sometimes you get to pick some low hanging fruits. But this process is mostly about creating a website that people are willing to refer to for expertise, good offers, a brand they like, or a respected peer.
Do You Want a Long-Term Link Building Strategy?
We understand if you would like to cut a few shortcuts when it comes to SEO. After all, you also have a business to grow and manage, products to refine, employees to care for, and SEO does have the reputation of requiring a lot of time. But, instead of trying to cheat the system, find someone who can take some of the load off your shoulders, and help your business grow the right way. With the right team on your side, you can rest assured that you will get a return on your investments and generate results, even if not as quick as when you are buying links. But, unlike this scheme, the links we can get you, are reputable, trustworthy, and will help your site rank higher.
We at Australian Internet Advertising are dedicated to getting long-lasting results with the SEO campaigns we customise for our clients. That doesn’t mean that we can’t provide immediate results. We know what tactics to use for immediate boosts in organic traffic, but we are also focused on getting you high-quality backlinks.
Contact us to get a free proposal from one of our online marketing experts.