In our web page on Backlink Building, we refer to the fact that you shouldn't be buying links anymore.
There are the “get-links-quick” schemes where your site can be linked with a bunch of low-quality, spammy, usually completely fake machine-generated websites for $99/month. Those sites may have almost zero traffic, other than the traffic generated by curious site owners who now have links to them and are wondering “what is this?”
SEOs used to spend time “disavowing” these inbound links in Google. Many were just worthless, but there were some that could potentially damage your reputation, like porn or link lists. For the most part, we don’t disavow anymore, because Google knows when a site is worthless, and they will ignore those links.
A more sophisticated strategy is called Private Blogging Networks, or PBN’s. Basically, it’s a network of mostly trusted urls with good link profiles, usually discussing believable subject matter and using every programming trick in the book to rank high themselves. They are interconnected with links, generating some inertia with the search engines and usually targeting certain markets.
PBN reps will sell you a package to get links from their PBN to your website for $2-3K per month, to get your site to quickly rank higher. They usually work pretty well, until they’re discovered by Google. Once that happens, the links are either ignored, or your site could be penalized. The worst penalty is a “manual action”, which can take your site right out of search.
The opposite of these strategies is, we suppose, the “old-fashioned way” (what we do). We don't buy links. We charge the amount of time it takes to develop links, which can vary from just a few hours to 20 or more. It takes longer, but it ultimately works better - getting links to your site from real, high-quality websites that are related to your subject matter. Your reputation stays intact. Google doesn’t penalize you. That’s why we like links that are built up from known industry blogs, trade publications, news outlets, authoritative authors that work for manufacturers or trade organizations, and the like.
We’ll take one link from the Wall Street Journal over 50 links from anybody else, any day.
Here's a good article from Search Engine Journal, “Why Paid Links Don’t Work”.
More on developing quality links in a later post. Stay tuned.
Bill tracks news and changes in SEO as it affects site design and content development. Follow this blog if you're a business or agency owner that needs basic info to help with your own projects!