Risks, Should I Buy Backlinks?

Last updated: July 25, 2016

Because buying backlinks is usually the quickest method, it can seem like an easy win for many businesses, the costs can be offset by increased sales and better rankings to offset the cost of buying the links in the first place. There are things you need to consider, Google specifically states in their TOS that buying backlinks to influence your rankings is against their rules. Because links are like votes, to try to influence the outcome by paying for them is unethical.

If your website gets caught practicing this method then Google may penalise you. If you get a penalty, it can be difficult to recover. When a website gets hit with a penalty it will lose rankings for the keywords that you have tried to game the search engines for, this can last for any amount of time, some sites never regain their rankings as buying links can lead to your site being black balled for ever. Because Google is, so influential it is important that you do not mess up, as without a search market share you will suffer, so think long and hard before you buy backlinks.

It’s a tricky call to make because buying backlinks does actually improve your businesses position and many people engage in it, this is particularly true of intensively competitive markets where having good rankings can make you a lot of money and lots of people get away with it. For Google to understand all links on the web and attach meaning to them is a massive task, sometimes Google gets it wrong and backlinks that have been paid for gain the advantage over natural backlinks from ethical sources.

The best way to get paid backlinks is from sites that imbed the links in the text and they appear to be the same as a natural link from a normal site. When websites sell only a few links to relevant sites, then it is difficult for Google to determine the authenticity of the link and that it has been paid for. Links like this can be costly and are usually charged on a monthly basis, if you pay £20 per month per link and you will need multiple (10+) links to make a difference then you can see you will be spending a significant amount per month

It can be tempting to buy low quality backlinks but be warned top quality backlinks cost money because they are more powerful. Websites that sell cheap links or people selling “backlink packages” with a spread of links will be low quality paid links on a monthly basis that have little benefit for improving your rankings.

Not only do you run the risk of wasting your money on low quality backlinks but you are also putting yourself at risk of getting a penalty. If someone is offering backlinks cheaply then you can be pretty sure that it will be a “churn and burn scheme”. If your website gets many backlinks from unrelated sites then that sends a strong signal that the links are spammy, also imbedding the links in text from automated content creation software that is grammatically incorrect with poor spelling makes it easy for Google to spot a pattern or “footprint”.

So in the final analysis should your buy backlinks for your business?

If it is important for your business to have a bulletproof SEO service then it is not in your interest to buy them. For local or small businesses, it is not worth the risks involved so not worth taking the chance. It is a better strategy to use the money to create compelling well-written content about your industry or services that will attract natural backlinks. It is equally cost effective but has more long-term benefit.

Do not get involved with paying for low quality backlinks, if you are considering buying a few high quality ones then you can increase your positions and results. Do not do this unless you are fully aware of the risks to your business and your website getting a penalty from Google can result in you losing your rankings forever. Therefore, you really have to way up the pros and cons of risks of buying backlinks, the costs may end up being much more than just the cost if you are caught.

Here are a few recommendations

  1. Contact site owners directly not brokers.
  2. Do not buy links from sites that advertise the fact that they sell links.
  3. Only buy contextual links from sites similar in content to your own.
  4. Buy individual links not packages.
  5. Do not buy links from sites that advertise the fact that they sell links.
  6. Buy links in the content of the article not footer or side bar links
  7. Buy links from specific pages of a site not of site-wide links.
  8. Monitor the percentage of paid links.