No matter how long you’ve been running a website or doing SEO for, you’ve probably considered buying backlinks at some point. And why wouldn’t you? They’re invaluable to your website’s success. Not only are they one of the most important ranking factors for a specific page, but they are also super important for your website in general.
Should You Buy Backlinks for Your Website Or Keep It White Hat?
With webmasters always looking for ways to improve their search engine rankings, buying backlinks has quickly become a guaranteed way to drive more traffic. However, should you really buy backlinks for your website, and are they worth it?
Why Are Backlinks So Important?
If you’re a website owner, then you probably hear everyone telling you how important it is to get new backlinks on your website.
It’s no secret that backlinks are the top of page ranking factor when it comes to SEO. The more high-quality backlinks a website has from authoritative websites, the stronger the domain will be. Since everyone wants to be number 1 on Google, website owners are constantly looking for new ways they can get backlinks for their website. Over the years, the methods and techniques have changed, but one thing remains the same: backlinks are still king.
Unlike what many SEO providers want you to believe, not all backlinks are created equally. In fact, a very strong backlink can often be the same as 20 or more lower quality backlinks. If you think backlinks are all about quantity, then think again.
Why Do People Buy Backlinks?
With quality backlinks becoming harder and harder to obtain, many website owners are resorting to buying them and paying extortionate fees for just a few links.
The main reasons people buy backlinks is because they don’t know how to get them themselves or because they are too lazy – both are poor excuses. If you don’t know how to get high-quality backlinks yourself, then you should either learn how or pay a reputable SEO company to build them for you. If you’re adamant that you can’t build 1 backlink a week; then you should probably change industries or pay someone to do it for you.
An important thing to note is that buying backlinks and hiring an SEO service are 2 completely different things. When you buy backlinks, you are either buying private network blogs (PBNs) or lots of low-quality spam links. Compare this to an SEO service that often builds natural high-quality links, and there is a clear difference between the 2 services.
The Problem With Buying Backlinks
Buying backlinks to your website might sound like a quick and easy solution, but there are actually a few major problems with them. Backlink sellers will try to tell you how great their links are, but in reality, they are all the same: spammy and low quality. Here are the top reasons why you shouldn’t buy backlinks.
It’s Against Google’s ToS
The first major problem is that it is against Google’s terms and conditions to buy backlinks. If you’re caught buying backlinks by Google, then you’re certainly going to be punished. Google doesn’t like it when websites buy backlinks as it is seen as the website is trying to cheat the system. Over the years, Google has cracked down hard on people that buy links, especially PBN links. Many individuals who bought links have reported seeing major drops in their rankings with some disappearing off Google entirely. Don’t risk your current rankings by buying backlinks!
Links Are From Irrelevant Websites
Another problem with buying backlinks is that many sellers will just give you random links from completely unrelated websites. If you’re a business selling mobile phone cases and you start to get backlinks from Chinese websites, music websites and cooking websites, then Google will see this as a red flag. Natural links usually come from sites in a similar niche or industry that are connected in some way.
If the relevancy of the websites the links came from isn’t enough to dissuade you, the content is often even worse. When you buy backlinks, the seller usually wants to complete the order as fast as possible. This means they will often use automated tools to do the job for them, such as auto posters and spinners. These tools automatically create content and post it on websites in order to get a link back to your site. You might have seen these types of links before while looking through your competitor’s backlink profile. Upon landing on the page, you’ll notice a lot a text, but it’s only when you start to read it that you realize it doesn’t make any sense. This spam content can again flag up Google to inspect it further and go through a manual review. If someone from Google stumbles upon it then they’ll instantly realize it’s a spammy backlink and punish you for it.
Recently PBN links were seen as the holy grail by many webmasters and some websites invested thousands into these secretive backlinks. Since they’re completely against Google’s ToS and manipulate the search results, Google has been working on taking down PBN networks.
Many PBN networks are often shared between hundreds of websites. This means that the chances of Google finding the PBN network are greatly increased and is much more likely to show up on their radar. If you’re planning on buying PBN links to your website then you might as well send Google an email telling them what you’re up to. With so many ways to detect PBN links nowadays, these backlinks are becoming increasingly riskier, and they are not worth the damage they can cause.
Spike in Backlinks
If you don’t regularly do SEO work on your website then buying backlinks might seem like the perfect answer. However, the number of backlinks your website has can often give away if you’re buying them. New websites usually won’t have a lot of backlinks for the first few months. After all, they are new websites and won’t be ranking in Google.
Therefore, no one will be able to find the content, and no one will link back to the site. When someone buys backlinks, they often get hundreds of links sent over to their site. If a brand new website gets a huge amount of backlinks in a short amount of time, then this often tells Google something fishy is going on.
If you build backlinks normally then you’re much more likely to get a consistent number of links every week that slowly increase. By blasting your website with hundreds of thousands of backlinks in a short amount of time, you’re risking your website getting penalized.
People who sell backlinks tend not to be too charitable, so how much are you going to have to pay? It depends from where you’re buying them, but usually, you’re looking at a couple of hundred pounds for a handful of backlinks. In return for your money, you’ll almost never receive any proof that the content has been put live – this is because these people hide their sites, but if you’re fine with taking their word for it, then go ahead.
That money can instead be spent on many hours of web development, video editing, and more. You could even have a professional write a couple of articles for you!
A Tiny Amount Of Content
You would be lucky to find a backlink seller who placed the link in an article with more than 300 words; Maybe 350, at a stretch. They’ve gotten a reputation for doing just enough that you see minor results, but in the end, Google is still likely to figure out what’s going on anyway.
Remember that long-form content is always better, and is not usually an option when buying backlinks. With that said, how can you gain backlinks without Google bringing the hammer down on you?
How To Get Natural Backlinks
Now you know why people buy backlinks and the problems they cause, it’s also important to know that you can get plenty of high-quality backlinks for free.
Although they can sometimes take a fair amount of time and effort to get, they are often much better than any backlink you can buy.
One of the best ways to get natural backlinks to your website is to outreach to similar websites in your industry to see if they do guest posts. Most guest posting opportunities are completely free, and backlinks coming from niche related quality websites are always loved by Google.
If you’re in the same niche or industry as another website then the chances are you can provide them with relevant content for their website. By including a link or profile link back to your website, you can earn yourself a quality backlink!
Some websites will try to charge you for posting on their site but often it is not worth it. Don’t worry about spending money though; there are literally thousands of free guest posting opportunities out there. With just this 1 strategy alone, you can build plenty of links to your website without spending a dime.
Don’t Waste Your Money On Backlinks
As you can see, if you want to boost your website’s rankings then buying backlinks is not the way to do it. Instead, high-quality backlinks should be created manually from relevant and authoritative websites. Since there are plenty of websites out there, it’s possible to get high-quality links for free, for almost every niche.