Backlinks are immensely valuable to your SEO, but are having a larger volume of backlinks the most valuable strategy for your SERP rankings?
Backlinks (also known as inbound links) are links from other sites that link back to a page on your site. When it comes to backlinking there are varying opinions, almost all of which say “buying backlinks is a bad idea.” If an agency ever comes to you and says “we have hundreds of backlinks available for purchase” this should raise red flags and you should avoid that option like the plague. This practice is known as Black Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO uses this opportunity for a short-term victory at an astronomically high-risk factor.
For starters, buying backlinks that are from shady sources violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This kind of behavior can (and most definitely) will hurt your rankings. Beyond the risk factor, Google isn’t as concerned with the number of backlinks you have, but more so the value and the quality of those backlinks. Do the backlinks you recieve come from websites with higher domain authority? If not, are the backlinks you receive mostly from spammy sites? If so, it may be worth trying to get rid of that toxic backlink as it has the potential to hurt your search engine placement.
The easier/”cheaper” the backlinks are to obtain the less it’s worth.
Not all paid links are created equal or even violate Google’s own guidelines. Google states:
Buying and selling links is a normal part of the economy of the web when done for advertising purposes, and not for manipulation of search results… Google works hard to ensure that it fully discounts links intended to manipulate search engine results, such as excessive link exchanges and purchased links that pass PageRank.
Ways to Improve Link Building
White Hat SEO is fairly commonplace amongst agencies, and there are a variety of ways to work on link building. One of the primary ways we recommend building backlinks is through guest blogging. Guest blogging creates an opportunity for both parties’ audiences to engage with content from the other writer. Interested in getting a backlink from a site? Reach out to them directly and pitch a topic to write for them. You will almost always have one in the author section of the blog. Not only do you see the immediate reward of a backlink, but writing quality content gives you the opportunity to rank and create referral traffic for years to come.
Don’t be afraid to do some cold outreach and a lot of it! If you want to get quality backlinks from brands in your industry, plan on sending a ton of emails. If you can deliver high-quality, valuable content to these target sites, your response rates will start to increase. Depending on the depth of your niche, you can use a tool like Ahrefs to expand on topics.
White Hat SEO is an incredibly time-consuming process on your own. Don’t take the “easy way out” and risk huge penalties for your site. The closest you can do to “buying backlinks” is hiring an agency that specializes in White Hat services to take care of some of the manual services for you. When you inquire, make sure you are entirely comfortable with the practices mentioned. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Thanks so much for checking out the blog today! As always, if you are in the Springfield, Decatur, Lincoln, or greater Illinois area in need of web development, creative marketing services, or SEO services, contact us today!