According to a recent study, about 80% of SEO professionals have bought backlinks.
This might not be very surprising considering the fact that web pages with a higher number of backlinks tend to receive more organic traffic from Google.
However, buying backlinks is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can help you come up as the winner in the competitive SERP landscape. On the other hand, it can harm your ranking in the long run, possibly resulting in the permanent removal of your website from SERPs.
But what exactly is link buying?
Is it possible to purchase backlinks without encountering any type of issue?
Does buying backlinks genuinely help to improve search engine rankings, and what strategies can you employ to secure high-quality backlinks while avoiding getting ripped off?
In this guide, we will address all these doubts and will delve deeper into the world of paid link building.
What is Backlink Buying?
Backlink buying is the process of making a payment to secure a link on another website that directs traffic back to your website, and this can involve contacting the webmaster directly or taking the help of a link-building agency.
Over time, website owners have figured out that individuals are willing to invest a significant amount to purchase backlinks as they are equivalent to word-of-mouth recommendations in the vast world of the internet.
Backlinks vouch for your website’s credibility and have the potential to elevate your SEO rankings.
Why Buying Backlinks is Risky?
Purchasing links with the intent of passing the PageRank is considered a link scheme by Google, which is a direct violation of Google webmaster guidelines.
If Google feels that some of the links on your website are paid, then the following things can happen:
• Google won’t consider these links: Google’s algorithm won’t consider these links; it will be as though they don’t exist. This won’t help nor hinder the search engine rankings.
• Google will penalize you: If Google imposes a penalty on your website, some or entire websites may be excluded from Google’s search results.
Why do Businesses Still Buy Backlinks?
Backlinks are extremely valuable as search engines such as Google consider the weight of links pointing to your website as a ranking factor.
In simple words, the more the number of high-quality, relevant backlinks you acquire, the more likely you are to achieve higher rankings in search engine results pages. So, businesses, in general, acquire backlinks to boost their search engine rankings.
Other reasons include:
• Boost website authority
• Accelerate indexing
• Enhance brand visibility and awareness.
• Competitive edge in SEO
• Save time
• Gain Highly focused referral traffic.
An alternative for purchasing backlinks is to create content and wait for it to come naturally. But this will take a lot of time and effort.
Moreover, even if you have high-quality content and sent tailored emails to webmasters, many of them will ask for money to place your link. This makes organic link building extremely challenging, making paid link building a more convenient choice.
Do Paid Links Work?
Yes! The paid link does work.
If you buy backlinks the right way, it will be impossible even for Google to say whether it is purchased or not.
Remember that whether a website paid for a link or not doesn’t make their website good or bad. What really matters is authority, organic traffic, and relevance of the domain from where the link is coming from.
But this doesn’t mean that all links are created equal.
With advancements in technology, search engines have also become more and more sophisticated. They can easily identify spammy or poor-quality links. Therefore, it is essential to buy high-quality links that are relevant to your content and originated from trustworthy websites that have a good standing in Google’s eyes.
When done correctly, backlinks, whether paid or organic, can become one of the most valuable assets in your SEO strategy.
How Much Do Links Cost?
The cost of buying backlinks will vary from one website to another. Generally, it depends on the quality of the website you are going to purchase from.
The cost of backlinks also depends on factors such as the strength of the brand, traffic of the domain, domain’s niche, website type, domain authority, type of link placement, and how much the webmaster wants you to pay.
You can have a look at our guest post packages and their pricing, which is determined based on domain rating (DR):
In short, if you find an offer too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
This means that if you want to get top-notch backlinks from authority sites with excellent backlink profiles, you will have to pay more. The links from low-quality sites with less traffic will cost less.
Regardless, when buying backlinks, you need to remember that search engines, especially Google, value quality over quantity.
If you find some offers exceptionally good, be vigilant. They probably will be PBN links or websites flooded with spammy guest posts.
Things To Know While Buying Backlinks in 2023
The world of purchasing backlinks is akin to walking through a minefield filled with scammy and potentially harmful backlinks.
In this section, we will look at some of the things that you need to know to buy links safely and boost your rankings.
Google’s Take on Buying Backlinks
Most of the people will tell you that Google does not support purchasing backlinks.
But they are not! On the contrary, Google says that buying links is quite natural. What Google is opposing is purchasing links just to rank high on search engine pages.
This means Google does not approve of the “Link Scheme,” that is, buying links that are done to manipulate search engine rankings.
There are many links that go against Google’s Guidelines. This includes:
• Large-scale link exchanges involve the agreement of “I’ll place a link to your website if you link to mine.”
• Ping submissions
• Creating comprehensive article marketing or guest posting strategies that have anchor text links rich in keywords.
On the contrary, Google completely accepts links acquired for advertising purposes, provided they include the “rel=nofollow” or “rel=sponsored” attributes.
Backlinks That Are Safe to Buy
Here are some things to consider when selecting the linking domains for your website:
• Check whether the site is healthy
• See if the site has some organic traffic
• Reliable metrics
• Solid backlink profile
• Top-notch content
• Good outbound links
• Sponsored content
• User-generated content platforms
Backlinks That are Not Safe to Purchase
Here are a few things that you need to avoid when looking for linking domains:
• Websites that are penalized by Google.
• A website that has a huge drop in keywords and traffic.
• Link farms
• Metrics that are artificially inflated
• Backlink profiles with a lot of spammy links.
• Articles or sites that are not relevant to your website.
• Auto-generated backlinks
• Sites that openly advertise the sale of links.
• A website that links to sketchy sites.
• Poor quality content
• Domain previously used for PBNs.
• “Write for us” sites.
• Links that are placed in the footer or sidebar without any context.
You need to understand that Google will ignore a lot of bad links, but make sure that they do not make up most part of your backlink profile.
Purchasing Cheap Links
Though cheap backlinks are quite tempting, you need to keep in mind that the quality of the link that you receive is directly related to the money that you invest.
Generally, links that come at low prices come from low-quality sites. This can result in penalties, potentially damaging the credibility of your website.
So, always make sure to buy high-quality links even if they cost more.
How Do You Buy Links Safely?
Here’s how you can buy backlinks safely:
Identify a Reputable Link Provider
Will you buy a car from a dealer whom you do not trust? The answer is a Big NO!
Similarly, you should never buy backlinks from a shady supplier.
Search for a link provider who is trustworthy and has a good reputation in the industry. Make sure that they are transparent and communicate clearly.
Additionally, make sure that they disclose where they are getting the links and also make sure the domain is relevant to your content.
Find How Many Backlinks You Need to Rank
Backlinks are very crucial to rank high in search engines. But how many backlinks do you need to be on the first page?
There is no single answer to this question!
But there are certain factors that will determine the number of backlinks your website needs:
• The current number of referring domains
• Your niche
• Current ranking
However, to determine the number of SEO backlinks you need to buy, you can use the method called “link gap analysis.”
The analysis involves comparing the number of referring domains your competitors have compared to the number of links you currently have.
To find your missing link opportunities, you can use a tool like Ahrefs.
Step 1: Go to Ahrefs Site Explorer and select the “Link intersect” option.
Step 2: Find your qualified link prospects and input their domain into “Link intersect.” Then, click on “Show link opportunities.”
Step 3: Once done, you will obtain a list of websites that link to your competitors’ sites.
You can then proceed to contact the respective webmasters directly to inquire about the potential link-building opportunities.
But make sure to exclude low-quality links from your analysis. This way, you can determine how many quality links you will need to purchase.
Keep in mind that acquiring a large amount of links doesn’t mean that you will be able to outrank all your competitors, but it will give you a better shot.
Set a Timeline for Link Building
You need to build backlinks over time and not together. A sudden surge in links can make your website look suspicious to the search engine. So, it is advised to set up a timeline for link building so that the search engine would feel that it is done organically.
Link building should be an ongoing process as long as you own a website and want to make it at the top of SERP rankings. Therefore, it is advised to make sure that your link-building campaign lasts for six months to one year.
Determine Your Target URLs
Target URLs are the specific landing pages that a user is directed to when clicking on a backlink.
Potential URLs for your backlinks include blog posts, category pages, home pages, service pages, product pages, hub pages (pages that link to various other pages), etc.
However, make sure not to add links to a single page as Google might get suspicious, resulting in a penalty.
Decide on Which Type of Link Or Service You Want to Purchase
You have numerous options to choose from when buying links. You can either go for link-building services, link packages, or individual links based on your budget.
Here are various types of links and services you can buy from:
However, keep in mind that each of these backlink types has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, you have to go through these thoroughly and decide on the ones that will align with your business.
Generally, two of the most common types of backlinks that are used to improve domain authority are niche edits and guest posts. Additionally, different types of pillow links are also used to maintain diversity amongst link profiles.
Decide on Your Anchor Text
The term anchor text refers to a clickable text that will take the users to another web page. Anchor text consists of hyperlinks and plays a huge role in conveying relevance to search engines.
However, when choosing anchor text, you need to make sure that it is relevant to the destined page. Ensure that it is not stuffed with keywords, as Google may consider it spammy.
Additionally, try to maintain a diverse set of anchor text types. Do not use exact matching anchors, as it can make search engines suspicious.
Instead, aim for a balanced mix, including URL anchors, branded anchors, long-tail anchors, topical anchors, partial-match anchors, and branded anchors.
How to Check for The Quality of Backlinks?
As we have discussed, Google values quality over quantity.
So, to ensure that you get the highest quality links, you can consider the following things:
Evaluate the Credibility of the Websites
The first step to make sure that you are getting high-quality links is to get them from legitimate sites. So, investigate the domain that you are purchasing backlinks from.
• Determine whether they look like professionals.
• See whether their content is of high quality.
• Make sure that the domain is relevant to your niche.
• Try to find signals that point out that the site is not made just for link-building purposes (link farm).
Check for Authority and Traffic
Various metrics are used by many SEO professionals for assessing the quality of backlinks, but the most common ones are traffic and authority.
In addition to these two factors, you can consider checking out:
• Page Authority
• Link tags
• Organic keywords
Determine If They Have Any Fishy Business
Ensure that the domain is not involved in any suspicious business. Verify that the domain you are considering for buying backlinks is not involved in any deceptive practices to make their site look more appealing than it actually is.
Inflated authority and traffic metrics are some of the most common practices used by link farms to deceive buyers. They might manipulate data to make it look like their website has more traffic, domain ratings, and other metrics than what it has.
So, always investigate the domain to make sure that the webmaster is genuine and is not involved in any unethical practices.
DoFollow Vs. NoFollow
When looking for backlinks, try to buy ‘Dofollow’ links, as they will pass SEO value from the linked domain to your site, which will help to improve your ranking.
On the other hand, ‘Nofollow’ links will not pass any SEO value; hence, they are not very valuable.
Link Building Best Practices
If you’re buying backlinks, you have to follow some healthy link-building practices to succeed over time. Here are some healthy practices that you can follow:
Build a Diverse Link Profile
Just like how important it is to have a diverse investment portfolio, having a diverse link profile is crucial to look more genuine in the eyes of search engines.
To have a diverse link profile, you have to get inbound links from different websites, content types, a variety of anchor texts, and link types.
Having diverse links will make your link-building campaign look natural in Google’s eyes, which will help in SEO ranking.
Do not direct all the backlinks to a single page that you want to rank. Instead, link these target URLs to different pages on your website.
This will increase the domain authority and enhance the link juice flow without making Google suspicious.
Variety of Anchor texts
Diversifying your anchor text will make your backlinks look more natural in the eyes of search engines.
Using similar anchor text for all of your backlinks will indicate to search engines that you are tricking the system.
Natural Link Building Velocity
A sudden surge in backlinks to your website can make search engines suspicious of your link-building campaign. Therefore, it is advised to acquire inbound links gradually over time.
Three Major Ways of Buying Backlinks
A link is an investment that will cost you money, time, and other resources. Therefore, you need to know how you are obtaining backlinks.
Middleman Link Buying
One of the best ways to save time and lower risks is by buying SEO backlinks from a marketplace. Link-building marketplaces, such as Fiverr, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour, offer a range of links that are beneficial to both sellers and link builders. These marketplaces resell links for profit but at a lower level of risk.
To get links through a link-selling marketplace, generally, you will have to message or email their account managers, who will procure the link and place it on your behalf.
Moreover, these marketplaces will often provide free contact to website owners and bloggers in exchange for them linking to the content on various websites.
Typically, a quality link from a top-notch website can cost between $100 to $250. Thus, if you need to avail the service in a marketplace, you need to have money with you. However, they will do all the work on your behalf.
Agency Link buying
If you are busy and do not have time to focus on your link-building campaign, it is best to get the help of an SEO agency.
With an agency like SERPninja, you will be able to mitigate the stress of hiring and training someone for the job. Moreover, they will be acquiring the links for you much faster. You can just pay the retainer monthly or yearly and see your website take the first in SERP ranking.
In-House link purchasing
In-house link building requires investment of time, skilled resources, and specialized skills. Therefore, as a business, it’s advised to consider hiring experienced professionals who have proven expertise within the field.
In-house link-building has many benefits, such as getting full control over your link-building strategy. It will also enable you to customize it to your particular needs.
However, in-house resources can be costly. Along with giving salaries to the employees, you will also have to invest in SEO tools and other outreach tools.
To Wrap Up
Purchasing backlinks is one of the most effective techniques to boost your online visibility and generate quality traffic to your website. When done correctly, it has the potential to elevate your subsite’s SEO.
In addition to saving your time and resources, it will also help you to improve your website’s authority and relevance.
But you need to understand that buying backlinks should not be about purchasing as many backlinks as you can. It is all about buying quality backlinks, thus establishing connections with authoritative websites in your industry.
So, when it comes to buying links, follow the best practices, avoid shady dealers, and buy backlinks that are relevant from high-domain websites to get ahead in Search engine rankings.
Is it legal to buy backlinks?
Purchasing backlinks is technically legal. But buying backlinks from a website directly without proper disclosure, such as labeling the backlinks as “sponsored,” goes against Google Webmaster Guidelines. Hence, it is best to avoid it.
What is the best way to buy backlinks?
When buying backlinks, it is important to focus on acquiring high-quality links from reputable, high-domain websites. You can explore various options like SEO agencies, engaging private link sellers, or employing in-house link builders.
Regardless of how you are obtaining the links, ensure that the links are from trustworthy websites.
Can backlinks hurt SEO?
Toxic backlinks have the potential to hurt your website’s SEO. Toxic backlinks are links that come from low-quality and untrustworthy websites. If your website has a lot of such backlinks, it can hurt your SEO. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to find them and take the right action if they are present.
Is it possible to do SEO without backlinks?
Yes, it is possible to conduct SEO without backlinks by focusing on on-page optimization, creating high-quality content, and enhancing user experience. However, backlinks play a huge role in search engine rankings; hence, they should not be overlooked.
How many backlinks per month is good?
Having high-quality links on your website will never adversely affect your SERP rankings. For a new website, acquiring 5 to seven top-notch backlinks each month can be beneficial. Once the domain authority of the website improves, you can increase the number of high-quality links every month to improve your ranking on the search engine result page.