Buying Text Links – Good or Bad?

I am sure anyone involved with SEO has either bought text links or has at least considered doing it before. There are many methods of buying links online and some methods safer than others. Find out how to buy links safely and which methods to stay away from.

Link Building
Building links is probably one of the most difficult aspects of SEO simply because of a lack of control. You have total control over your website, the content, and HTML structure; however you usualy have little or control of incoming links to your website.

Link Building Methods
Obviously there are many types of incoming links, but the following are some of the most common.

1. Someone just naturally linked to your website for various different reasons.
having someone naturally link to your website, usually provides the highest quality links however it is one of the most difficult methods of gaining links. The chance of this can be improved by providing useful content or information

2. You paid someone for a link going to your website. – see below for details

3. You submitted your website to an online directory or similar-type website.
this is one of the easier methods of obtaining links quilckly and is often useful for new websites, however the quality of the links may not be great, so it’s important to be selective on the dierctorties you chosse to be linked from.

4. You own another website and placed your link on it.
This option is good if you have a number of websites – partocularly if they cover similar topics.

5. You posted comments or an article with a link back to your website.
Is OK and cab provide some decenmt links, but onec again be careful whre you submit to

6. You had a reciprocal link agreement with another website.
his should probably be avoided in most cases as search engines don’t tend to put as much value on reciprocal links as they do one-way links.

Link Buying Overview
It has long been debated within the SEO industry about whether you should buy links or not. The main reason for not buying links is that Google could recognise those links and may not give you any credit, or could even penalise you for it. The other reason is that overall the quality of links that you can buy are not as good as links obtained using other methods.
There doesn’t appear to be a clear answer on this subject overall, however you can often find an answer to specific link buying situations. There are three questions you need to ask yourself for every link buying situation:

a. Can a search engine determine if I bought this link?
b. Do I know exactly what I will receive once I pay?
c. Is the link I am buying going to help with my SEO campaign?

Examples of Good Link Buys
Yes, these questions are basically the questions that address the concerns for not buying a link and some may think you can not find the true answer but in most cases it is possible. Here are two good link buying situations, our examples will be for an ‘SEO company’:

1. You find a blogger in your area that blogs only about SEO, you send an email to the owner and offer to pay him $100 a month in exchange for posting a link on his blog in the right hand column with the text ‘brisbane search engine optimisation’.
a. Can a search engine determine if the link was bought? Probably not; since it is a custom website and the owner has other links going to his friend’s blogs and other SEO resources a search engine would have a very difficult time knowing the link was paid for.
b. You were clear on where you wanted to have your link placed and the text, you should be fine.
c. Yes, since the blog is about SEO and not dog breeding or some other un-related topic this should help your SEO campaign.

Overall: This is a very good scenario for buying a link and probably the best method. Contacting individual websites on your own that you know are related to your industry can be very profitable. The drawbacks are it is more time consuming and you may have to make several offers before someone agrees; however you will probably be suprised at how many people will accept money for a link.

2. You find a text link broker that has an inventory of websites related to yours. You find a few websites and purchase links through their system.
a. This will depend on the link broker’s programming methods. If the links are delivered via javascript, php, etc. you may run into the possibility that the links can be recognised by a search engine as a purchased link. If the link is strictly HTML you may have a better chance of the search engine not knowing it was paid for.
b. Again this depends on the system; however usually you know what you are getting, but not the exact website in some situation. You may know it is a ‘PR 5’ website, with one link on the homepage and 40 links on subpage and the topic of the website is ‘seo copyrwriting’. However usually you have enough information to make an informed decision on whether to place the link; as long as the information is reliable.
c. As long as you place links only on websites that are related to yours, are not ‘spammy’ and full of garbage links, and are strictly in HTML format you should be good to go.

Overall: This is an easy and quick method as you can sort through hundreds or thousands of potential websites that you know are willing to accept paid links. The main drawbacks are the quality of the links (which you may never really know until you try one for a few months) and the lack of information in some cases (not being able to see the exact website until after you purchase a link). You may also run the risk that the search engines have picked up on certain link text brokers and knows which links are purchased through them.

Link Buying Cautions!
Although the two above examples are fairly safe and effective depending on several factors there are certain situation and conditions you will want to avoid:

1. Never buy a link on a website that is not related to yours.
2. Don’t buy a link that you have to ask yourself if it will be worth it or not and you are left to wonder at exactly what you will get.
3. Do not buy links that are non-HTML based.
5. Avoid ‘link farm’ type situations.
6. Carefully consider the value of the link and don’t overpay.
7. Monitor your results for 2-3 months to determine if you should continue to pay for the link. Is it generating useful traffic (check your usage logs)
8. If possible buy links that include a link on every page of the website, not just one.
9. Buy links on websites that have few outgoing links and have valuable and useful content.
10. Try to keep links for a minimum of 3 months, don’t keep changing websites that you buy links from as it takes a while for the search engine’s to pick them up and add value to your SEO campaign.