If you've been in the SEO game for some time, you know the impact backlinks can have on your website. Backlinks refer to those hyperlinks that direct visitors from one site to another. The more backlinks, the better.
After all, it is an essential ranking factor. Knowing these, site owners have delved into various backlink strategies over the years. One of which includes buying backlinks.
Buying backlinks? If you're hearing that for the first time, it may sound surprising. What's more, you may be wondering whether or not that's even legal. Not to worry, this article answers everything concerning buying backlinks, from how Google views it to how it works. But first, what does it mean to buy backlinks?
What it means to Buy Backlinks
Buying backlinks is exactly as it sounds - purchasing hyperlinks to your site from another website. To Google, this is known as Paid Links.
The intent behind this is to improve rankings and traffic which ultimately leads to more sales and revenue. And this is no doubt the end goal of any brand.
But of course, there are tons of other non-paid ways of generating backlinks to your sites. So why do brands even think of spending the money and buying them in the first place?
Benefits of Buying Backlinks
Website owners won't waste time debating on buying backlinks since they know what's in store for them. Here are three reasons they do so:
Paid Links are effective
Consider the importance of backlinks once again - it helps pass on authority to your site which increases rankings and leads to more traffic in turn. Some may look at paid Links as a black hat practice that doesn't work and holds a lot of risks.
But what's the truth? Paid backlinks are as effective as your natural links. And if done right, you won't need to worry about penalties or risks.
Let's face it - paid Links generate results faster than your free backlinking. Much like how it is faster and easier to rank on paid searches than organic results, buying backlinks allows you to cut down on the time and effort spent in link building.
You only need to find a website that sells links and agree on a price. After which, the site sets up the link. Consider the various methods of standard backlinking and you'll see how this compares with it.
It is relatively cheap
Paid links involve cost. So, if you're looking to delve into it, you must be ready to spend. But you may ask why that's listed here as part of its benefits. Well, consider these:
Again, free backlinking requires you to develop link-worthy content. And to do so, you may have to hire SEO professionals.
You will also need to use tools for your link-building strategy that requires a subscription.
Buying backlinks is much cheaper than all that cost combined. And with the aforementioned benefits of paid links compared to how much time normal backlinking takes, no doubt the cost is worth the effort.
Without a doubt, there are a lot of advantages of Paid backlinking over free links. However, is it legal? How does Google view ‘paid backlinks’?
Google's view on Paid Backlinks
Many SEOs view link buying as a black hat practice, meaning it is against Google's guidelines. But that's not necessarily the case. Google itself states that trading links are normal. And there's nothing wrong when done for advertisement purposes.
Consider this: Would you say paying to rank on paid SERPs is illegal? No. After all, Google makes this possible through AdWords.
But before you dive into a conclusion, take a look once again. Google views trading links as normal when done for advertisements. Does that mean that it's wrong sometimes? Yes! Google kicks against the sale and purchase of backlinks when trying to pass PageRank.
Google's PageRank refers to an attribute given to a website page showing its credibility. It usually depends on the number of quality links pointing to your website (quality links refer to links from websites that Google views as credible).
Now, when web masters buy or sell backlinks to manipulate the PageRank algorithm, it is considered by Google as link schemes. And indulging in it can negatively affect your SEO.
With all that said, how can you buy backlinks while adhering to Google's guidelines? Well, doing this can be traced to the type of link attributes. Below are the two types of backlinks that Google accepts the buying and selling of.
Nofollow and Sponsored backlinks
Nofollow backlinks (also known as the "rel=nofollow" attribute) is a backlink type that doesn't pass on authority or PageRank. It's mostly used to refer visitors to another site for more information.
Sponsored backlinks ("rel=sponsored") also tell search engines not to pass on any authority. It is a new type of backlink that's used for promotional or advertising purposes.
Both backlink types adhere to Google's guidelines. Hence, there is nothing wrong with purchasing them. But the problem SEOs have with them is that both backlink types do not offer any value to a site's SEO.
While that may be true to an extent, it is also wrong. Nofollow backlinks, for instance, are best for driving traffic from external sites. And you know what traffic does. With the right content, more traffic can mean more leads and sales.
In terms of rankings, Google has decided to sometimes pass authority to nofollow links. So, if you were having second thoughts about buying nofollow or sponsored links, you shouldn't worry. They are capable of strengthening your SEO. But what backlinks does Google warn site owners of not buying?
The mighty Dofollow
As we've seen, nofollow passes no authority to a site. In contrast, Dofollow (the dofolllow backlinks don't have a 'rel' attribute attached to them) tells search engines to pass on PageRank.
It is understandable why many website owners want to generate dofollow backlinks. After all, it is the only link type that directly improves SEO. By getting dofolllow backlinks from credible sites, your rankings will no doubt skyrocket.
While the benefits are tempting, Google kicks against buying such links. It states that dofollow link should be genuinely earned. So, if you were planning on purchasing dofolllow links, stop and think again.
As mentioned earlier, it can harm your entire SEO. So rather than taking that risk, it is better to settle for the nofollow and Sponsored link types. Not to worry, the benefits will be worth it in the long run.
Cost of Backlinks
‘How much will it cost to buy backlinks?’ That must have come to your mind at some point. Well, there's no fixed price. One study says that the price of buying links can range from fifty dollars to over two thousand. Another states that the range falls between hundred dollars to about twenty thousand monthly.
Yet another research shows that the average price of buying links is two hundred dollars.
No one can say the exact price of backlinks. And that is because there are a lot of factors to consider.
The type of link you're looking to purchase matters a lot. The brand that you're looking to buy from is another crucial factor. You have to consider their performance on SERPs and their domain authority. If they are a high-ranking website, you know that you may have to pay more.
So, rather than contemplating the price, create a budget. While doing so, consider as many factors as you can. Then, make contact with the brand in question. After negotiation, you may arrive at a price that benefits both sides.
How to Buy Backlinks
There are many ways to go about buying links. But whatever method you choose, you need to keep the following in mind –
While purchasing dofolllow links holds a lot of risks, there is a way to do it safely. How? It's simple - any link you buy should appear as natural as possible. If so, Google will think that the link was genuinely earned, not knowing it was paid for.
To do that, don't buy backlinks from any website that advertises it on the web or anywhere Google can find it.
Prioritize quality over quantity. Hence, buy links only from credible sites.
Also, ensure your content is of high quality.
Lastly, contact content creators directly.
With that in mind, the most effective (and safest) way of buying backlinks is by approaching bloggers. Why is that so? Because blog posts are the easiest way of placing links naturally. It won't appear as paid especially when used to refer readers to your site (this also helps generate referral traffic).
How to get paid backlinks from bloggers
Though many bloggers will not put up an Ad, they are ready to sell links for a reasonable price. After all, it's a way of earning some extra bucks. It is up to you to search for and reach out to them. Here's a brief guide to help you do so.
1. Find bloggers via keywords
When searching for content creators, look for those who deal in the same niche as you. It will be easier for them to place links in form of referrals. You can do so using Google's SERP. Simply insert your keyword plus “bloggers”.
2. Narrow down the search
As said earlier, you want to purchase links only from credible websites. So, filter your list. Look for those bloggers that are performing well in your niche. Abstain from buying links from the first website you encounter.
3. Make your contact
All that is left is to find their contact info and send them a message. You can ask them to add your link to an already-existing blog post. This will help reduce costs and generate instant results. What's great about this method is that you can reach out to several bloggers at a time (depending on your budget). So, this is a sure-fire way of generating paid backlinks.
Purchasing backlinks is now a common SEO practice. After all, there's no brand out there that doesn't want to rank on Google's ever-growing SERPs. But with everything said and done, which is better: Paid or Free linking?
As seen above, Paid backlinks are better when it comes to time and effort. However, free backlinking requires no risks and is beneficial in the long run. Consider this: to earn backlinks, you'll have to put effort into your on-page SEO. And by doing so, you can expect to see a further increase in rankings, traffic, and revenue.
That said, there is no need to debate which is more beneficial. Backlinks are an essential ranking factor, whether it's paid or free. So, it is better to have both of them as part of your link-building strategy. Looking at it again, you will see that they complement each other.
As a website owner looking to buy backlinks, you need to do so ASAP. After all, Google is competitive, and this won't change. Instead, the competition will only increase in the coming years. So now is the time for you to get started on your backlinking.