Is Buying Backlinks Bad For SEO?

Is Buying Backlinks Bad?

Let’s put it this way: do you like not being buried by Google search results? Because this is what would happen if you get caught buying backlinks. 

Look, we get it. It can be rough out there in the wild west of the Internet, with everyone trying to climb up the search results — classic SEO — but we do it with the subtle acknowledgment that Google is the law of the land. 

The short and long of it is that if you buy backlinks to boost your rankings, you could get penalized. The best way to boost your rankings is to try to earn them the hard way like the rest of us.

Sheriff Google & Black-Hat SEO Techniques

You may be asking yourself why would anyone buy backlinks? Well, the algorithm that Google uses to rank and consequently place a page in the search results takes into account the number of backlinks pointing to the page. More backlinks = higher rankings.

Not only does buying backlinks save the time and effort of going through SEO campaigns and a possible redesign of the website, but it can produce results very quickly. 

However, buying backlinks isn’t as easy as it sounds. A lot of consideration is required to get it right, such as finding the highest quality backlinks (they are more expensive), spreading out the purchasing of backlinks, and possibly the use of proxy sites.

Now, suppose you are Google. You revolutionized the Internet, brought order to chaos, established a new kingdom, built the gateway to information, and now someone is buying up a bunch of backlinks to artificially inflate their rankings. 


Consequences of buying backlinks

Many have meddled, and many have atoned.

First, there is the less extreme penalty of reducing the traffic or ranking of your specific sites. While this can be disastrous, it isn’t as extreme as the second penalty: deindexing, or removing the website from search results altogether.

These consequences find their origins in the dreaded penguin, an algorithm introduced in 2012 to address the link composition of websites and allow Google to regain control of its search results.

A while back, there was one way to “buy” backlinks called blog networks, both private and public. Here, a company either purchases a variety of domains (expired ones were preferable), creates free blogs using platforms, or simply pays another company to generate a network of blogs. 

Google caught on pretty quickly and deindexed the public and conspicuous blog networks if not the main websites themselves.

Doing it Google’s Way

The best way not to invoke Google’s ire is to improve your rank the old-fashioned way. This means producing relevant content, organically encouraging traffic through careful consideration of keywords, researching and knowing your audience, partnering with other relevant sites, and much more.

Yes, this may take a while, but it is better than cutting corners and getting caught. 

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Rich Francis