Should I Pay For Backlinks?
Google uses hundreds of different signal to determine where and how a website ranks. Due to the complexity of its ranking algorithm, it’s virtually impossible to know exactly how to rank a specific website for a specific keyword. However, the general consensus is that backlinks hold a great deal of influence in a site’s ranking, leading some to people to question whether or not they should buy them.
Why Backlinks Matter
Let’s first discuss why backlinks hold so much weight in a website’s ranking. It’s in Google’s best interest to display the most relevant websites for a specific search query. When a user searches “how to train your dog,” for instance, they expect to find detailed, helpful information on how to train a dog. If a website has a significant number of backlinks with anchor text related to dogs and dog training, search engines will view it as a leading authority in the field of dog training; thus, it will naturally rank higher than other sites.
Is It OK To Buy Backlinks?
The short answer is no, it’s not okay to buy backlinks. Paid links are viewed as a form of manipulation, with webmasters using them to artificially drive up the rankings of their websites. If Google allowed paid links to be taken into account, anyone could rank any website for any term — you can see what kind of problems this would create.
Google even defines paid links as a link scheme, saying the following is strictly prohibited:
“Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.”
Follow The Rules
If you’re trying to optimize your website or blog to achieve a higher search ranking, it’s best to follow Google’s rules. Sure, there are times when paid links may sneak by unnoticed, bolstering your site’s ranking, but most of the time it will have the opposite effect by hurting your efforts. Instead of buying links, you should focus your efforts around creating quality content that other users actually want to read and share. Doing this will create natural backlinks, which are far more valuable than paid links.
Have you ever paid for backlinks (don’t worry, we won’t tell Google). Let us know in the comments section below!