Should You Buy Inbound Links to Your Site to Improve its Search Engine Ranking?
A quick recap on why it is so important to have other websites linking to yours.
When the search engine spiders index your website, they have a look at how many other websites link to yours. The thinking behind this is that others sites will only link to yours if they are happy to recommend it to their visitors.
Over the last few years, there have been a lot of rumours and speculation about what the search engines look for and how much importance they place on individual links. No one knows for sure, but as general principles, these are the ones that are broadly accepted:
Reciprocal links, where you agree to link to a site in exchange for them linking to yours are discounted by Google because they are artificial ‘recommendations’. Reciprocal links can still be worth having because they can drive traffic.
Links from popular sites are valued by the search engines more highly than links from low trafficked sites.
One-way links from another website to your site are rated more highly than reciprocal links.
As a result of the importance of links and these new ‘rules’, a market has grown up around successful, high-trafficked sites selling links to other websites to help them improve their listings. The legitimacy of this market is a bit grey, because it artificially distorts search rankings. But it happens and it works, so it is important that we cover it.
A quick useful tip. If you want to find out how many sites are linking to yours, go to Google and type “link:www.yourdomain.com” in the search box. This will show you many of the sites that already link to yours. For some reason, Google does not show all the links so it can be worth doing the same in other search engines to get a better picture.
Tips For Buying Links
1. Only buy links on sites that are relevant to your site's subject matter.
2. Use the Google toolbar to determine the Page Rank of the site's link that you may buy. The Page Rank is an indication of the site's popularity – 1 is the lowest, 8 is the highest. Consider sites with a Page Rank above 4. The Google toolbar can be downloaded at http://toolbar.google.com/
3. When you provide a text link, make sure the wording of the link includes your keywords in the anchor text. This is the text that people will click on the website. A typical link to SubHub will say ‘Start a Subscription Website’ or ‘Membership Website Software’.
4. Wherever you put your domain, always include the www. Don’t just put ‘yourdomain.com’.
5. Don’t buy too many links at the same time. Spread the purchase over time so it looks like a natural process to the search engines. This may not matter, but better to be safe than sorry.
6. Run each link for at least three months. It can take this long to reap the benefits from the search engines.
7. Warning! Avoid ‘link farms’. These are sites that are set up specifically to sell links. Rumour has it that Google and the other search engines are compiling a list of these ‘bad sites’.
Where Do You Buy Text Links?
1. LinkHaul: www.linkhaul.com
This site sells static links to sites with Page Ranks of 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Pricing starts at $3 per month.
2. LinkAdage: www.linkadage.com
A site that enables website owners to buy and sell links either via auction or through a broker.
3. Text Link Brokers: www.textlinkbrokers.com
Provides a variety of link-building programs to site owners.
4. Text Link Ads: www.text-link-ads.com
Offers packages of text ads with offers for bulk purchases. Spend $125 and get $100 of text ads for free.
5. Back Links: www.backlinks.com
Free service to enable webmasters to buy, sell and trade text links.
Text links are charged based on the term and the page ranking of the host site. The price will also depend on the positioning within the host site. On the home page and high up the page is the most expensive. The higher the page rank, the higher the price. The longer the term, the cheaper it will be. Usually you will pay monthly.
Buying links will get your website higher up on the search rankings and Page Rank scale. Some people complain that it is not ethical. You make up your own mind.