Link building is a core part of any search engine optimization project and something that dramatically influences your overall SEO results in the long term.
Of course, for many site owners, the whole process of buying links and developing a solid backlink profile can be daunting, confusing, and hard to understand at just a glance.
Whether you are new to link building or have tried to explore it before, it is important to be prepared.
Before you jump into link buying and potentially make a mistake, make sure you understand what you are supposed to be doing.
If you want to secure the best possible search engine rankings, then there are some things you need to know about paid links from other sites.
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While many of you probably already know how paid links work, it is important to quickly run through what buying links does for people without any past understanding.
Relevant and well-trusted links that point back to your site provide benefits in terms of SEO.
This means that you rank higher on relevant search engine results pages.
This makes link building (the process of trying to build links from other sites to your own) an important SEO niche, with many link building strategies emerging over the years.
When you buy quality backlinks, you are basically sidestepping the extra effort required for “organic” link building and securing the paid links directly.
This is a lot more convenient, making it absolutely worthwhile if you can pull it off correctly.
Choosing to buy quality backlinks can have a major positive impact on your SEO and can offer several other benefits that often make buying backlinks a very appealing option.
While it is true that buying links is not necessarily the right choice in every single situation, there are some reasons that you might prefer to buy instead of trying to build links.
The exact benefits you will get from paid links can depend on what kind of links you get, how the link schemes work, and the exact deal that you created with the website owner.
Remember: even if link buying would be faster, it is often a good idea to mix it with conventional methods of link building, too.
Link Buying Saves Time
Link building is an effective way to gain more SEO potential, but it can also be time-consuming.
By choosing to buy links directly, you are cutting out the need for the extra work involved in traditional link building.
This skips you right to the “end goal,” saving a huge amount of time and effort.
This means that link buying is often faster than other options, even if there are delays involved in actually getting the paid link and its content published.
Not only does this mean that you have a lot more time to work on other projects, but it also massively streamlines a huge part of your SEO work.
If You Buy Backlinks, You Buy An Audience
Choosing to buy backlinks effectively places you in front of the other websites’ audiences.
This can be incredibly useful if you offer something extremely relevant to them.
As long as you are providing helpful or interesting content that makes them want to look at your site and/or use your services, then buying backlinks could help you grow your brand in terms of visibility and popularity.
Remember, those audiences can be highly relevant if you choose the right target sites.
When you build a great link, you do not only get the benefits of having a high-quality link.
You also get the benefits of being connected to the audience of the linking site.
Of course, just like regular link building, this is all based on context.
If you buy backlinks from a site with a completely unrelated audience, do not expect much organic traffic.
Link Buying Has Become More Widespread
Even with Google’s guidelines changes over the years, buying backlinks is now a full-blown industry.
This can make it more competitive, but it also means that there are far more options than before.
Now, rather than link insertions being paid outbound links from random blogs, it is possible to connect with networks of private link sellers or seek out press release distribution services that specialize in boosting your backlink profile.
This gets you in front of larger audiences at the right time and in the right content contexts.
This can make finding the right link building option significantly easier.
However, it also means that you will have to do a bit more research when it comes to deciding what is right for your brand and what is not.
The process of link building can involve a lot of different techniques, and buying links is perhaps the most direct.
There are a lot of sites that sell links for the right price or offer chances to insert your own link building content onto their platform in the form of blog posts and other articles.
However, this can also make buying links just as complicated as organic link building strategies in certain situations.
You can’t always just approach a random site and ask if the site owners are selling links.
How Do You Buy Backlinks?
Paid backlinks are usually earned by approaching a site owner (or private blog network owner) and proposing paid links.
The exact way that you achieve this will depend on a range of factors, mainly whether or not the site owner is actually willing to accept an offer to buy links.
Some sites will state that they are selling links upfront, either directly through a paid link offer or by accepting things like guest posts (which may include paid guest posts).
There is not a single defined way to arrange for a paid link deal, so you would need to work with each site to come to a fair agreement.
Remember: not every site is open to selling links, and there is no guarantee that a site will be willing to start selling links to you.
Most sites are more likely to accept if you offer relevant and high-quality content that would not reflect badly on their site.
What Does a Paid Link Require?
While there are different ways of setting up a paid link, you will generally need to prepare three things:
- The content where the link itself is placed
- The keywords and anchor text that the content is targeting for SEO reasons
- Payment for the site owner
These are not always going to be handled in the same way, depending on the kind of backlink buying opportunities you are considering.
For example, paid guest posts can involve you writing your own high-quality content, whereas sponsored posts usually focus on the website owner or blog author writing the post instead.
You may also have to compromise with certain details depending on what you want to add.
How Do You Choose Where to Place Paid Links?
Paid link options are just like regular link building – quality and relevancy are king.
If you do not select sites that are relevant and trustworthy, you are just wasting your time and money, especially if they would have basically no SEO impact on your business.
It is not worth paying a premium price for links that will not do anything for you. When buying backlinks, quality over quantity is usually the way to go.
You will also want to make sure that the sites are not already under some kind of Google penalty or are not already penalized for being link-selling sites.
The best places for buying backlinks are legitimate sites that offer paid backlinks rather than a site that exists just to sell links.
How Can You Find Sites Selling Links?
Not all sites advertise that they allow buying backlinks, but they may still be willing to sell you links.
Usually, you can tell based on whether they have accepted paid content in the past if they do not simply mention it themselves somewhere on the site.
Many bloggers are open to working out a deal that can provide them with a little extra income.
Larger and more authoritative sites (such as major publications) may be less willing to accept link buyers since it could land them with a Google penalty.
Of course, some sites simply will not accept link-buying offers at all.
Part of buying backlinks is understanding that you may simply not be able to buy links from a given site, even if you prepare guest posts or offer to sponsor content.
If you want to find sites with link placement schemes or that just allow buying backlinks, do some research and see if they either mention link buying or have done it before.
If all else fails, you can always email the owner to inquire directly.
Google is the main search platform that most people perform SEO for since it is easily the most popular in the world.
However, this also means that any changes that Google has made will influence how effective certain link building strategies are.
Originally, link building was technically against Google’s webmaster guidelines, but it was not penalized since buying links had become a common practice.
Now, Google is much more harsh about paid links.
If Google thinks you have bought a lot of your links – even if they are high-quality backlinks – you might get into trouble for it or at least lose some SEO potential.
Before we can get into the good side of paid links, we need to talk about the elephant in the room – the bad side.
As mentioned above, Google does not consider link building to be part of its guidelines.
Even if you are gathering up high-quality backlinks, making the link building obvious can get your site penalized.
This can damage your sitewide links value, drop your rankings in search engine results, or just damage your backlink strategy by removing the SEO value of some of your most important backlinks.
There are a lot of factors that can lead to these penalties for paid links, but there are also many ways to avoid them.
The important thing is understanding how buying links should work and how to buy quality backlinks without violating any of Google’s guidelines.
How Google Penalties Influence Search Engine Rankings
Google penalties are meant to weaken sites that do not build backlinks the “right way.”
Since Google ideally wants sites to earn natural editorial links, this means that bought links can sometimes be a risk.
In general, if you continue to buy low-quality links that are obviously paid link building results – especially if they are irrelevant – then you can usually expect Google to impose a penalty for this.
Of course, not every site will get hit.
Some sites have been buying backlinks for years without any trouble from Google, turning it into part of their regular operations.
This is usually because they also do a lot of regular linking work, trying to build a solid link profile alongside their purchases.
Having a mixture of links like this removes a lot of the suspicion since Google can’t pick out any paid posts and does not necessarily even know that they have paid for anything.
It is all a matter of quality over quantity and keeping your paid backlinks within a legitimate link profile.
Does This Make Backlink Buying Bad?
No, but it does make it risky. The good news is that it is not nearly as risky as most people make it out to be.
While it is certainly true that some people have been hit with penalties and have struggled to recover their rankings, this is only the case if they were doing things incorrectly or blatantly violating Google Webmaster Guidelines.
The best way to build backlinks the right way is to focus on link quality and keep your link building strategy varied.
If you only ever buy backlinks and never create links through other means, Google may notice – especially if your link profile is full of high-quality links that were obviously paid for.
Basically, the more organic your link profile looks, the less risk you are of being penalized.
Having a wide range of varied links from other websites is ideal, even if that means including some low-quality links in there, too. You do not want to simply buy links and ignore all other sources of external links.
The main thing to understand about paid link building is that buying links still works, even with these penalties to worry about sometimes.
In general, Google does not really like the idea of link building as a whole.
Google would rather have all sites earn links naturally by having good content instead of actively building links.
While completely structureless link buying can harm your SEO if Google spots obvious signs of buying links instead of earning them, there is still a lot of value in buying links if you do it correctly.
Paid Links Are Easy
Buying backlinks is an easy way to have quality content linking back to your own site and boosting that site’s ranking, all without needing to go through the trouble of building relationships with other websites.
This can be a good choice for people who do not want to take the time and effort to build organic links or those who need instant results, which is often important if you need to acquire backlinks to pad out your established link profile.
Not only does this mean you get fast results, but you also get more control over how and where the links appear.
This removes a huge amount of the risk that comes with organic links – namely, the risk that they simply will not ever happen in the way that you want.
Paid Links Get Results
As long as you are smart about the links you choose, they can be just as effective for boosting your site’s search engine ranking as any organic link.
In fact, since paid-for links are specifically created for the purpose of boosting the site’s ranking, they are generally more effective on a per-link basis, even if they can be costly to purchase in bulk.
Buying backlinks allows you to ensure that you are getting the best possible quality and placement for your money since you will often know what you are buying ahead of time.
This means that you can buy links that compensate for a lacking area found in a link gap analysis or target private blog networks that would otherwise never give you an organic link.
Paid Links Have Variety
Paid-for links allow you to force a variety of links into your link profile.
While they still obviously need to be relevant, this gives you an incredibly effective way of creating a broad, diverse, and highly relevant link profile.
If you can buy a lot of different links and make sure that they are from a wide range of sources, it will be far harder for Google to determine that you are buying links because the majority of your backlinks are not coming from just one source.
While we mentioned the steps involved in buying links above, we did not cover the ways to do it correctly.
There are certain link-buying strategies that can be invaluable for getting the most value out of the end result and for avoiding any accidental mistakes that could damage your SEO.
It is important to remember that buying links is not always an instant solution, especially not if you are not used to building links the correct way.
The right kind of link-buying can make all the difference between a good backlink strategy and a great one, so knowing what makes a good backlink is essential.
Always Choose Relevant Content
Most search engines work based on relevancy – the more relevant something is, the more likely those search engines are to show it.
Whether you are buying links directly or using organic link building services, you always want to focus on getting relevant links to relevant pieces of content.
Not only does this make them integrate better with your natural outbound link profile, but it basically guarantees you better SEO results overall compared to choosing a similar link that is less relevant.
Choose High-Quality Backlinks Sources
Just like when you build organic links, you will need to pick a link building method that provides quality, not just quantity.
There is no point in buying 1000 low-quality links when you can buy backlinks from larger sites and get even better results.
Search engines care about quality more than quantity, so look for genuinely well-respected or good-quality sites that you can use as one of your credible link building services.
Higher-quality sites are also less likely to pull questionable moves against you, like taking your money and setting the links to nofollow links or using bots to inflate the organic traffic you are supposedly getting.
Avoid An Excessive Backlinks Cost
Search engines do not care about how much backlinks cost.
While some will be more expensive than you might like, there are times when you could be paying too much for a single link.
While it is always good to budget, you also want to make sure that you are getting value for your money, or else you could be wasting valuable time and resources.
For example, if an incredibly well-respected site is offering an amazing link scheme option for a huge amount of money, it might be worth it.
However, you could also buy backlinks from multiple slightly smaller sites for the same money, which could have a greater overall impact.
You should also remember that quantity can matter, even though quality over quantity still generally applies.
If you have almost no decent links in your backlink profile, three average ones can be more important than a single, more expensive option.
Focus on establishing your backlink profile first, then work on the high-profile links as soon as the easier options have run dry.
Use Your Site’s Content to Your Advantage
If you already have high-quality content, it might make sense to use this content as the anchor for a paid link.
Many paid link schemes work based on content submissions or guest post opportunities, where the link is embedded within a piece of content or an article that gets placed on another website.
While you obviously do not want to reuse your own content directly (since this will cause duplicate content issues), you can still use it as part of the content through the link itself.
The outbound link you are adding to the paid content has to point somewhere, so directing users to a well-written and relevant page can help secure them as customers more effectively than just dumping the traffic you get on your site’s main page.
Remember that when you are buying links, you have complete control over the content, so you can make sure that you are targeting specific keywords or including certain phrases.
This makes it easy to use a guest post as a promotional post for an article on your own site, etc.
Make Sure the Link is a Natural Fit
As with organic links, the context around the paid link will affect its overall SEO value.
A link on a major editorial site will have a greater influence on a search engine’s algorithm, but a link on a completely random blog is likely to have much less effect.
When purchasing backlinks, you can make sure that the link is placed on a page that is relevant to your brand and that will not cause an issue when it comes to integrating the link into the overall profile.
This also matters for drawing in users.
If a user follows outbound links and arrives at irrelevant pages, they will simply leave the site right after they arrive – which can actually damage your SEO more than you might think.
This is especially important for niche edits, where you add links to existing content rather than creating something new.
Niche edits need to be targeted at content that is already relevant to your website.
Arranging for niche edits on a post that does not have anything to do with your business can quickly damage your SEO potential.
Buying backlinks can be an incredibly complex mess of different systems and things to remember.
When you buy backlinks, you are making a series of important choices about that link.
This can sometimes backfire if you misunderstand a certain detail or choose an option that is not right for your own site.
How Does Google Think about Paid Link Building?
Google’s relationship with link purchasing has always been rocky at best, especially when PageRank was still a major SEO factor.
PageRank is a system that Google uses to determine how pages rank in terms of quality.
Similar to the ideas of domain authority, PageRank is meant to measure importance first and foremost.
While PageRank is no longer given the same amount of sway that it used to have, Google still does not like it when users openly buy links that pass PageRank between sites.
Like domain authority and other SEO (or SEO-adjacent) factors, this all depends on whether or not you buy backlinks whilst making your intentions obvious.
Google and other search engines will usually crack down on any site that is clearly buying backlinks and doing no actual SEO work.
Even if you have decent SEO performance, buying too many links at once can backfire.
In simple terms, if you buy links, you do not want to get on Google’s bad side. Use link purchases as a rare tool, not the basis of your SEO.
Which Tools Help With Paid Links?
There are a lot of tools that can impact how you find paid link opportunities.
While software like Google Search Console is useful in general, there is also a wealth of link-finding tools out there to try.
These can help you follow links from other websites back to their source.
For example, you can identify and follow links earned by your competitors to see if you can arrange a link from the same sites.
The exact tools you use depend on what you need, so it can be a good idea to explore your options before putting together a plan.
How Much Do Backlinks Cost?
The cost of paid backlinks can vary heavily based on who you are buying from.
In general, more valuable links are going to cost more, but this is not always true.
It is important to consider the actual worth of the link compared to how much you are being asked for.
Even measurements like domain rating can make a big difference, so always double-check the price you are paying and compare it to the value the link could have.
Buying backlinks is a controversial practice, especially with Google’s recent changes.
However, when used correctly, it can be a fantastic tool for boosting the visibility of your site and improving your rankings in search results.
As long as you do a bit of research and follow the rules, paid-for links can provide a massive advantage over your competitors and help your site rank higher in search engine results.
This can have an impact on how your business is viewed by others and can even bring in new customers.
With so much potential behind the technique, buying backlinks is a great way to help improve your website’s overall SEO performance.
The only downside is the potential risks that certain link-buying options might carry and that not every website owner will actually want to sell new links to you.
In the end, it is important to make sure that you fully understand what buying links entail and that you are not buying low-quality links from sketchy companies or individuals.
Remember to take your time and explore your options before you decide if buying links is the right step for your website’s growth.
Searcharoo is a Link Building & Content Marketing company run by SEO’s based in the UK.
Our goal from the start has been to provide premium links and content services, at fair and affordable prices.