If you’ve been working in the search engine optimization industry for a while now, you’ve probably seen a tidal wave of changes taking place year after year; from revised algorithms to clearer distinctions between white hat and black hat SEO, changes are abundant in the hyper-evolutionary industry.
However, as new as knowledge can get and as quickly as things can change every day, week, and month, there’s one aspect of SEO that never leaves the spotlight: backlinks.
How Backlinks Work
Whether you use them, abuse them, or have barely scraped the surface in terms of understanding them, the chances are that you’ve heard of backlinks. After all, it’s a staple component in the world of SEO.
A backlink is anytime a website links back to your website. Here’s an example of a backlink:
A great blog on backlinks is Backlinko.
That highlighted piece, Backlinko, known as the anchor text, and is a backlink to https://backlinko.com/blog.
Essentially, search engines like Google, view a backlink as a vote for that website. If I take the time and effort to link to a website, Google sees that as me trusting that site and Google assumes that the content they have is well-done and relevant to what I am writing about. This then makes it more likely that Google will rank Backlinko higher in their search engine results for related search queries.
Through the immense influence that they have on domain authority and search engine ranking (as well as the ability to make or break a website’s SEO efforts in the face of greater competition), there’s no doubt that backlinks hold a significant amount of importance.
And…you don’t have to travel far down the thought trail to see how this can be abused.
Now, let’s touch on the topic of black hat SEO. Your experience in any industry has probably taught you that there are a whole lot of ways to game the algorithm and cheat the system. This is especially true in the world of SEO.
Purchasing backlinks is one tactic that is used to influence Google’s algorithm. And, unsurprisingly, this is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines (<– another backlink) and is part of what they refer to as “Link schemes” (<– and another).
According to Google, link scheme are “Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.”
Unfortunately, seeing as how difficult it can be to build backlinks in the first place, most websites and companies make the daring move to buy backlinks in order to actually stand a chance in their search results. Technically speaking, the act of buying backlinks isn’t illegal (like you won’t be thrown into jail for it…also, obligatory I’m not a lawyer, so make sure to talk to a lawyer if you were to buy backlinks). Buying backlinks does, however, fall against Google’s terms of service and if caught, could lead to your site having manual actions taking against it. Basically, they would remove part of that site from search engine results. The good news, you can fix this problem.
The Pros and Cons of Buying Backlinks
While some websites may claim that buying backlinks is a smart SEO move (and it may yield results, to some extent), it’s important for you to understand whether or not this strategic move is one that you should try. Before you hop on the web and purchase a few more backlinks for your website, take some time to look at the logic of the entire situation and expound on its pros and cons.
Here are a few pros and cons that can help you determine whether or not you should buy backlinks for your website:
Based on the testimonials of most website owners that have bought backlinks, the general consensus regarding the tactic and its respective service providers is generally positive across all markets. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why:
- Buying backlinks can help you save time by providing you with the services of a party that can help you cut back on hundreds of work hours that could be spent on other tasks.
- Your website will be able to see a rapid increase in ranking power through the expedited process of backlink building.
- After publishing several links, your website will also be able to gain a higher domain authority that can be sustained for the long run.
- Compared to spending hundreds of hours building backlinks by yourself, buying backlinks is a fairly inexpensive way of ranking higher in the search results.
Although there are some positives, it’s also important to take into consideration that purchasing backlinks is a move that is high-risk, high-reward. It may pay off, but there is also a healthy amount of room for problems to arise.
Search engine algorithms are constantly updated to become better at spotting suspicious links and website behavior. This means that the smarter Google gets, the harder it will be to buy backlinks without getting caught.
Here are a few disadvantages to consider so that you can make a fully informed choice of whether or not to buy backlinks:
- Eventually, your purchased backlinks may be removed either by a search engine forcibly removing them or your backlink service provider may take them down.
- A search engine provider (looking at you Google) may not count these backlinks (meaning you spent your money for nothing) or worse, they could end up deindexing your page or even entire site because you broke their rules.
- You could end up purchasing spammy, low-quality links that make it easier to be caught
Our Stance On Purchasing Backlinks
Simply put, we recommend white hat SEO.
Purchasing backlinks can be very tempting. The potential gain in business you get from the initial boost in rankings is desirable, however, the potential losses are more severe than the gains could ever be. It’s always best to work for your ranking and make sure that search engines never have a reason to deindex you or remove you from the results pages completely.
We provide genuine, long-term backlinks through amazing content creation and custom outreach. No spam, no PBNs. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help (or if you do want to go about it on your own, we recommend this guide).