Backlinks – that is, the links back to your website from other websites – are the prime currency of the web. A lot has changed since Google first rolled out back in 1998, but one thing hasn’t: The more backlinks your site has, the more successful it’s likely to be.
Yes, what kind of links are most important has definitely changed. And yes, other ranking factors now make a much bigger difference than they used to. However, one analysis after another continues to show that a healthy backlink portfolio is your #1 SEO asset.
Over the years, that’s led many brands down the same mistaken path: a plan to buy backlinks.
If you’re new to SEO, it might seem obvious: launch a site, buy backlinks, get ranked. Profit!
If only life were that easy, right?
Unfortunately, Google (and other search engines) don’t look kindly on those who choose to buy backlinks. And unlike some other aspects of search technology, which are only just beginning to catch up to human ingenuity, engines have always been adept at detecting this “link fraud.”
If You Buy Backlinks, Prepare for Trouble
Google emphatically bans sites it lists from buying backlinks.
Specifically, Google’s guidelines prohibit all these behaviors:
- Buying or selling links that influence search engine ranking.
- Exchanging any money for links or posts that contain them.
- Providing your services or goods in exchange for backlinks.
- Sending someone a free product in exchange for a backlink.
It’s easy to see how some of Google’s rules seem to violate basic freedoms you might think you have over your own site. For example, you’re not allowed to engage in “excessive” exchanging of links – linking back to a website because it linked to you.
But, at the same time, the Big G has a point. Its network is uniquely powerful and influential, and its number one goal remains to provide the highest quality responses to search queries. In the end, user satisfaction is the engine that drives its multi-billion dollar ad profits.
There’s wiggle room in some of the concepts Google lays out in its rules about “link schemes,” but not when it comes to any plan to buy backlinks: It’s always wrong, will always get your site penalized, and is especially easy for the latest algorithms to detect.
If You Can’t Buy Backlinks, What the Heck Can You Do?
Let’s face it – a world where backlink buying was okay would be unsustainable for everyone.
You could just go to Backlink Mart, plunk down some cash, and end up with all the link mojo you need to rocket your site to the top of the search listings. And while that might sound cool – and once upon a time, it could have worked for a while – it’d be a nightmare dystopia in 2018.
Soon, only multibillion-dollar conglomerates would be on the first page of SERPs.
Luckily, that’s not the world we live in – and websites of any size can succeed in SERPs, even if they’re trying to make waves in a crowded market space. Instead of looking at backlinks as the main cause of your success, you just have to look at them as an outcome of success.
And what, exactly, are good backlinks the outcome of? Great content.
When people find your content helpful, informative, and enjoyable, they’ll want to link to it.
The links you get from people and organizations that truly had a need for your content are more authoritative, meaning they have much greater pull in search results than generic link directories or anything else you could hope to get when you buy backlinks.
If you want backlinks – and you definitely should want them – then “Content is King.”
With a structured, effective content strategy, you’ll be adding value for your audience every day of the year. That value, in the form of your blog posts and other content, continues pulling in prospects and leads forever ... unlike cheap backlinks that disappear in a few weeks.
Amazing content will get real eyes on your work, helping you build connections with the major names in your field. It gives you the chance to add your voice to conversations that really matter.
SEO has a lot of moving parts, but this ongoing, organic process of building links is what we do best at Bluleadz. Whether you’re B2B or B2C – small, medium, or large – you’ll never go wrong with content. We can help you get the most from it every step of the way.
So, if anyone on your team has thought about looking to buy backlinks, remember what you’re getting ... and not getting. Any gains will be temporary, and the risk is serious: You could find yourself removed from search engines for months, years – or even forever.