Should I Buy Text Links For SEO?

By Daniel Scocco

questions and answersThis post is part of the weekly Q&A section. Just use the contact form if you want to submit a question.

Matej asked:

When someone purchases text link for a month on one site in order to increase their SE rankings – is it enough, or it needs to stay in there at least couple of months? Will Google notice when someone removes the link? For how long people buy text links, is there some rule?

First of all I don’t recommend purchasing text links for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. While this practice was widespread and reasonably secure until some years ago, in 2008 Google made a special effort to combat it.

Their objective is to keep their search algorithm working as efficiently as possible, to make sure that when you use their search engine you will find just what you were looking for. That is what keep them in business, after all.

Paid links might disrupt those search results (according to Google), so they tried to extinguish the practice from the Internet. Many websites that were selling (and some that were buying) got penalized last year, and most webmasters started playing on the safe side.

Now I am not saying that buying text links for SEO is right or wrong. There are good arguments on both sides. However, we need to accept that Google has its own search engine, and the rights to dictate the rules inside it. If you want to get listed on their search index, you need to play by their rules. Period.

Some people disrespect those rules deliberately and try to fly under the radar. That is a strategy too, but a risky one in my opinion. It is liking trying to cheat in a poker game. If they don’t catch you, you might end up with good money. If they do, you will be in trouble.

How you want to play the game is up to you though, and I am not here to preach anyone.

Back to the original question: if you are buying text links for SEO, for how long should you keep them?

The answer depends on your objectives.

Sometimes people just want to get a website indexed fast. For that case purchasing a link on a trusted website for one month should be enough (for the matter of fact purchasing the link for a couple of days should already get you indexed).

If your objective is to increase your rankings for searched keywords and increase your overall organic traffic level, though, you will need keep the paid links live constantly.

Why? Because Google is constantly monitoring the links that point to your website, always recalculating your rankings and overall trust level. Suppose you have an article about “superman comic book” that is ranked in page 2 of Google for that search query. You then purchase a text link on a popular comic books website, and that link propels your page to the second result in Google. If after one month the website owner removes your link, as soon as Google spiders it and finds that the link is gone it will immediately recalculate your search rankings, and if all other variables stayed the same, your page will go back to the second page of the search results.

Sometimes it might take longer for the effect of a removed link to appear, because some websites get crawled only once in a while. Sooner or later Google will crawl it, though, and if the link you purchased is not there anymore it will stop yielding results for your search rankings.

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48 Responses to “Should I Buy Text Links For SEO?”

  • Brian D. Hawkins

    Great advice. I don’t buy links myself but if I did need a few I would probably go at it privately to stay under the wire. I’d email site admins of well respected and ranked sites like this one and see if they were open to the idea and what it might cost. I think going with a site that is there for the sole purpose of selling links would make it easy for the Google police to get you. 😉

  • ezg

    But I don’t think that Google can catch bought links.. It is impossible.. I think this way, because how robot can catch simple link and bought link? Without any tag all these links are similar.

  • wyche128

    There are good companies out there like TNX.net that you can buy and sell links at which play it safe and discrete. Not sure how well it works though

  • SEO Genius

    Buying text links is a killer way to KILL your site in the search engines.

  • Hendry Lee

    “If they don’t catch you, you might end up with good money.”

    Perhaps a better word is if, not when.

    Buying links for the sake of getting indexed may make sense but with blogs I find that Google may come in 24-48 hours and on just one rare occasion, it takes 2 weeks.

  • David Hobson

    I would`nt purchase any links for my blog there are plenty of great ways to build backlinks for free.

    But this is a hit and miss are i think. I own 2 blogs, with my main blog i spent ages carefully building natural backlinks to it and it does ok in Google recently getting pr2.

    However my 2nd blog does far greater in the Google. I have never really bothered building links to it and 90% of the posts are paid for, as well as including 10 paid links in the blogroll. Yet Google gave this blog a pr3 in the last update an increase of 2.

    So buying or selling links will not always do your website harm.

  • Matej

    Daniel thank you for answering.

    There are numbers of sites in my niche that earn decent 3-4 figures every month by selling text links and they do not get penalized. Also, a lot of major newspaper sites online are selling links on their websites. When was the last time Google penalized someone?

    For example, that boy CarlOcab is selling links on his site so transparently for a year or something because he ranks really good for ” make money online” keyword.

    I would gladly sell links on my site if I knew that I can earn good money by doing so ( didn’t tried it yet ) and purchase it in order to rank higher, if it works why not join the game … Bankaholic.com is a great site ranking high, i don’t mind because he purchased links – he fixed what Google was not able to see … I know that it’s very difficult question/problem and I personally would find it very hard to not to join the game …

  • Donny Gamble

    I would not recommend buying text links for SEO either because I don’t think they really effect it too much. most people buy these text links to promote their product, service, or website.

  • Arun Basil Lal

    That means selling text ads is dangerous too.
    What if the links that I sell are nofollow, is that ok..?

    Cheers
    Arun

  • Joel Drapper

    @Arun Basil Lal Google says that nofollow are ok.

  • Arun Basil Lal

    @ Joel,

    Thanks for the confirmation. Cheers. I am over to your blog.

  • Erwin Chua

    Hi Daniel,

    My answer would also be a: “It Depends.”

    Google is a business with a secret sauce. And with good reason. If anybody finds out how KFC makes its fried chicken taste good, it’ll be out of business pretty soon.

    But we can get pretty close to making chicken that really does taste like KFC. I guess it’s the way people are wired. Try to keep it a secret and everybody would be drawn to it like bees to honey.

    Anyway, there are dozens of ways to rank high without having to buy backlinks. It’s all a matter of time and will to do some research, ask questions and work with people.

    All the Best!

    Regards,

    Erwin Chua
    Winning To Win With Erwin Chua – Internet Marketing Advice
    http://winning2win.com
    http://www.twitter.com/waywalker0101

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Handry Lee, I used “if” and not “when” in fact 🙂

    As for the time it takes to get indexed, 24-48 hours is definitely possible in most cases, you just need to do it the right way.

    @Matej, yeah there are many sites that earn money by selling links. It is your choice if you want to risk a penalty or not. If you think the rewards are greater than the risk, then go for it.

    On most of my sites the search traffic I get from Google are way more valuable than the money I would get via text links though.

    Sites get penalized all the time, you just don’t see it most of the times because people don’t talk about it. Sometimes the site owner don’t even know about it.

  • Blog Expert

    I do not recommend it either.

  • Stephan Miller

    Paid links do work, but, like you said, you have to keep paying. It may be an option is the links turn out to help your ranking. But there are a lot of others ways to build links that you do not have to pay for or you can outsource to someone else and pay much less for.

  • VitaminCM

    There are so many ways to get good quality backlinks for free. Why waste time with these BS scammers.
    1. Social Bookmarking sites
    2. Comment on relevant blogs
    3. List your site in directories
    4. Make friends with other bloggers
    5. Do a guest post on a bigger site
    And, if you’re desperate for links and have money burning a hole in your pocket, buy some black hat software – it’s just as lame, but probably more cost effective. (just kidding)

  • Enduring Wanderlust

    Thanks for the post. Doesn’t sound like a great idea. There are no short cuts. It comes down to working hard and being efficient with that effort.

  • Jen

    It seems like buying backlinks is just a way of getting around the real work of building up traffic and a following and like all other “easy” methods sooner or later they bite you in the butt.

    I agree with everyone who says to build them on your own- the reward is far greater.

  • Bill

    As per my personal experience Text links are not as powerful as they once were. The reason being that Google does not really give much of a preference to text links unless those links are coming in from high PR websites.

    when placing a Text link its best to place it along side a review of your service or website preferably on a high traffic blog.

  • Arun Basil Lal

    Daniel

    What is meant by Bounce Rate..?
    Which is better..? Higher rate or lower..?
    What is the optimum value of Bounce Rate.?
    How can I increase/decrease my bounce rate?

    Hope you can reply,
    Cheers

  • Daniel

    So by Bounce rate, you mean people that come and leave on the same page?
    Wow
    I didn’t know that.

  • gestroud

    I understand that Google is THE number 1 search engine, but I wonder how other search engines view paid text links. Do they mimic Google’s algorithims?

  • Shirley

    I’d always advice people to follow ALL of the rules. It might be boring and take more work to get to the top, but its isn’t risky. And the last thing you should ever want to do is to get on the bad side of Google.

    Besides, there are plenty of ways to get high quality FREE backlinks. You just need to work a little harder.

  • Ragnarok Guide

    I used to sell text links but it greatly affects my site as a whole, i lost my pagerank

  • Chris

    Very nice explanation of how linking works and the pitfalls of paying for them.

  • Make Money Tips

    Agree with VitaminCm,
    If once my site is penelized its hard to get back,
    I prefer Social bookmarking and stuff,
    but thanks for the info

  • Herschel

    I have just stumbled across this blog. I think the whole idea around SEO is amazing. I am new to the Internet world. I appreciate the topics that are being covered. They are very helpful for someone like me. Thanks.

  • AJ Kumar

    Networking like crazy! I think that’s the best way to go big time. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!

  • Decapper

    If you can why not i say

  • Bill M – Personal Finance Blog

    Googlebot is very smart but not perfect, if the site content is related, there is no way to catch, but a book link on a site that sells cars, hmm, probably flags and the authority is less than if the site content were some what related.

  • Phoenix

    I already try to buy some links for my other Blog couple months ago. And when i decided to remove those links, my page rank suddenly dropped from 2 to 0 :(. Wonder if i get cough.

  • Richard Vanderhurst

    Buying links is not acceptable, Google will penalize your ranking positions.

  • Monty – Sensonize.com

    You can buy them but they should be no follow 🙂

  • Dave

    If everyone stopped buying links it would make it an even playing field. I think it is good google is trying to prevent this.

  • Piree

    Sometimes buying text links for seo purposes are good, but only if you buy one in the same niche as yours. Buying a backlink from a site in a total different niche wont give ur link any credit. If it’s in the same niche and the site hasnt been Penaltilized it’s not good for ur site either.

  • Organic SEO

    I would like to know that Google promoting itself by Google ads that is called Google Adwords which is included in PPC(Pay per click). Should I consider it as a Google paid links? If yes then it is not wrong to buy or sell the links for promoting your site. Is it?

  • Buy Backlinks

    I would not recommend buying text links for SEO either because I don’t think they really effect it too much. most people buy these text links to promote their product, service, or website.

  • maltipoo

    Buying links isnt the way to go. It may cost too much in the long-term.

    Trying blog commenting

  • Jes

    Great pros and cons in the comments. I’m still not sure what I will do as yet.

  • Steve

    A few months ago, I paid textlinkpopularity.com US$800 for numerous PR 4 text links. Many weeks passed, and all I got was false promises they would deliver, and excuse after excuse. They asked me if I would agree to PR2 links instead. I didn’t want to waste more time, so I agreed, but again many weeks passed and I got nothing but broken promises that the links would be completed. I had enough of their rubbish, and requested a refund. They then gave me the complete cold shoulder and ignored my emails. So I attempted to do a chargeback via paypal, but was declined because I had not initiated the chargeback within 3 months. I have been emailing textlinkpopularity.com now for many months to get a refund, and now they are completely ignoring my emails. So basically they have stolen my money. They are complete frauds, and nobody should deal with them. Not only could they not deliver the promised PR4 links, they couldnt even deliver the PR2 links. And then when I try to get a refund, they completely ignore my emails. So what have I gotten for US$800? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. They completely scammed me. Nobody should ever send these people money – you will only get rubbish excuses for 3 months, then you can’t get a refund and they know this. Please tell others about this, and anyone can email me for confirmation. My name is Steve, and email address is nospam AT site-promotion.com – also if anyone knows of some good roulette system related or gambling links, let me know.

  • Anarasi

    There are lot of other ways to build traffic than buying backlinks. Infact you can even buy traffic directly from our site.

    But nothing beats free traffic and before buying anything, siteowners should try to increase traffic by submitting sites to directores, submitting articles, through viral marketing and other techniques. Make sure you read some good articles on Search Engine optimization as well.

    You can find some good article on our site regarding increasing traffic and promoting your site.

  • TV Stands UK

    It is too high risk to buy links, if there is a chance that this could get you removed from google then it is not worth it.

  • gadget review

    Great tips, i wouldn’t mine buying links, just don’t have the spare cash at the moment.

  • medyum

    thank you
    nice article…

  • Steve

    So, what if I buy links for my competitors? they will get penelize and drop ranking?

  • TV Stands

    I don’t think you can get penalised in the sense that you are marked down because we could just go out and buy links for our competitors then report them. I believe the links value are just removed from the equation thus rendering them null and void. So if you you are doing it for yourself it’s to risky and potentially a waste of money

  • NickD

    Buying links is SEO russian roulette – If google catches you theres big penalties for your trust and rankings. Why jeopardise your site like that? There are plenty of great free links available if you put a few hours into it.

  • Ewan Kennedy

    I think the question is open to interpretation. If by “SEO” you mean to improve your rankings, then my answer would be no, don’t bother. But buying text links to deliver traffic may still be considered part of SEO by some and may still be worthwhile, depending of course on the site that is selling them. If the site that is selling them does not nofollow those links, then they are running a penalty risk not the buyer. The buyer’s risk is that the links will be discounted for ranking purposes and therefore wasting his money if improved rankings were his objective.

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