Want Good SEO? Don’t Buy Backlinks

Published on August 21, 2013

Business owners everywhere are constantly searching for ways to better their SEO (Search Engine Optimization). While there are plenty of good ways to get your company recognized by search engines, we're here to tell you that buying backlinks just might tank your long-term ranking.

Let us explain. To search engines like Google, links are like votes. If you have more votes (links), Google will probably pick your site over another, and your website will "win" the search. So why can't buying votes further help your website win?

Google ranks certain links higher than others. If it comes from one of their trusted sources, it has a much larger liklihood of showing up. Google also considers words near the links, in order to understand what the links might be about. Entrepreneur.com describes it like this:

Lots of people link to Amazon with the word "books" in the link, so Google effectively considers that a vote for Amazon to rank well for the word "books." Since few link to Amazon using the word "cars," you don't see it ranking for that.

If Google doesn't trust your link, however, it can be bad news for your SEO. If this is the case, your purchased backlink might either:

a) Carry no priority whatsoever, and not show up in a search
b) Penalize your site, and discount other links (even if they are legitimate) from your site

How can Google tell? Believe it or not, they have an entire team dedicated to investigating web spam - including purchased backlinks. Google also encourages other members of the online community to report any link-selling (often these members are those who have been caught themselves, and want Google to lighten their penalty on their own website).

In sum? Yeah, backlinks may seem like a good shortcut to getting your website out there, but they can hurt you in the long run. Instead, take a little more time, and seek out good link opportunities. Blogging, for example, can be a great way to boost your SEO and increase your link number. You can even consider guest-blogging on another website with similar clients, or partnering with other companies who will, in turn, link to you.

Want to improve your SEO? Send us an e-mail or give us a call, and we can improve your company search engine ranking.