Purchasing links to get higher rankings in search engines has been going on for some time now.  Until recently, link buying has been kept a secret.  The only reason it doesn’t happen more is that Google disapproves of them.  There is still millions of dollars worth of links sold every month which has put link buying in the limelight.  No matter how popular it has become, buying links is still conflict-ridden.  If you are thinking about buying links you need to be conscious of the hazards.

Search engines don’t like paid links because they disrupt their organic listings. The other side to this argument is that the organic listings have already been influenced by all the bigger companies.  The biggest companies will have the most money to use for their website to attract the most links.  This is a good argument however paid links do make websites rank higher.

Can anyone be successful purchasing links?
Link buying is common but the people who do it know the risks, which could include something as huge as getting banned from search engine results pages.  When you know all the risks you can put yourself in a better position for success.

Many people know that search engines have a hard time determining which links have been purchased and which haven’t.  It isn’t known how much Google knows when it comes to figuring out links that have been purchased.  They are still very good at locating irrelevant links giving them no PageRank.  There has been recent confirmation Google has manually graphed paid link networks and has begun to devalue link sellers.  There have also been paid links that were not passing PageRank like they used to.

If you purchase links you need to make sure they are effective and you need to discontinue them if you don’t get the results you want. Usually the only bad things that happen are the links won’t work and your PageRank won’t go up or down. Websites are typically in danger not from Google, but from their competitors.  Google welcomes webmasters to report link buyers through their Webmaster Tools website and on their search results pages.  If a search engine removes a site from their index, it can be challenging to be relisted.

Low Risk and High Risk Links
People frequently buy inbound links from news, TV, and radio websites.  Links like these can help a site to rank higher based on the keyword phrases; the only bad thing is they are spotted quickly.  A backlink search will show all those links and spam reports could be aimed at it.  If you choose this method you will really have to think about the risk involved. If you would like to see who is linking back to your site- or your competitor’s site go to Yahoo and enter in the command in the search box “linkdomain:thewebsitedomain.com”. This will provide you a detailed list of all the URL’s that are linking back to a specific domain.

Paid link methods with lower risks will take more effort.  REmember, the objective is to get links that aren’t noticeably paid and don’t seem to be on a web page just to increase link popularity.  Links with a lower risk will entail talking directly to a prospect and agreeing on a fee for having a link on their site. One example of a tool that will help you find backlinks that cannot be identidfied as paid links is LinkXL.

Paid Link Assessment

You can assess a paid link by using Google’s toolbar PageRank indicator.  This won’t really give you too much information, so checking a website’s backlinks is a much better way.  It is ideal to have a site with thousands of backlinks from multiple websites as well as natural citations from different sites.  It will be good if there are inbound links to home pages and internal pages.  If there are inbound links from popular sites, educational sites, or government sites, it will make that website very relevant and have high quality.  Sites that are low quality will only have links from a limited network.

Getting many natural links to your website is not easy and purchasing links may be significant in getting your site optimized.  Decide on the paid link tactics that are right for you with the risk and resources you can afford.

Remember to always track your progress and never stop looking for more back links to your website. You can never have enough links.

One response to “The Controversy around Paid Links

Posted by Jason Vickers

Hi my website is currently down for review…I’m curious if someone with trademark intelligence…can tell me if my site is legal…none of the links listed on my page are sponsored or paid, but all of them very popular websites…all of them listed into small categories on one page just click n go…the intended use is to provide easy access for children, and the older generation that just can’t figure out how to google to get what they want…easy shopping etc…it’s a speedial to the best of the net…is this legal?

Posted on December 22, 2008 at 6:57 pm

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