Thinking about buying links? 30 tips to save you from failure

by on Jan 24th, 2008 - 23 Comments

In case you have wondered why I do not post many topics on links, it is pretty simple, it’s the bread winner. Link building is the most time consuming part of any optimization campaign and simply spilling all the beans just isn’t an option. However, with that said, I am feeling rather nice today and thought I would share a little with you.

If you are thinking about buying links then I would highly suggest following these best practices. I am not going to get into all the hoopla of is it ethical and will my site get penalized drama that has been going on since early last year, a lot of other people cover it pretty well.

DO NOT: Buy links in groups or blocks.
DO NOT: Buy links in footers
DO NOT: Buy links on irrelevant sites
DO NOT: Buy all your links on Blog platforms
DO NOT: Buy all your links from forum signatures
DO NOT: Buy all your links from .edu sites
DO NOT: Buy all your links from .gov sites
DO NOT: Buy all your links from link farms
DO NOT: Buy links from large networks all sitting on the same C Block IP
DO NOT: Go through a broker to buy your links
DO NOT: Buy links on sites that have a bunch of your competitors on them
DO NOT: Buy links and use the same exact keyphrase too much in the anchor text
DO NOT: Buy links that all point to your homepage
DO NOT: Buy links that are located on the right sidebar or left sidebar
DO NOT: Fret over the Toolbar Pagerank
DO NOT: Purchase links around stop words such as advertisement, paid, partners, etc.
DO NOT: Email Matt Cutts after a link buy indicating where your links are

DO: Buy links in middle of the page content
DO: Buy links on pages that rank, simple as that, if they rank they more then likely will help (thanks for catching that Gab)
DO: Buy links on pages that have recent cache dates
DO: Buy Links on pages that are similar in theme to your site
DO: Buy links on old, established pages that have a lot of trust and authority
DO: Buy links and keep them there, the longer the better. Links are a long term investment.
DO: Contact site owners directly and negotiate accordingly
DO: Buy links that point to interior pages
DO: Buy links from time to time and let them link to your site how they would want to, so it is natural.
DO: Buy some links that have the entire URL as the link, this occurs naturally so it helps.
DO: Buy links on brand new content that has never been crawled before
DO: Buy links in places that get lots of clicks, the more traffic a site gets the better.
DO: Buy links around content on a page that is highly similar in theme to yours
DO: Vary everything, key terms, acquisition rate, placement etc.

If the links can pass a human review then they will more then likely do the job. Google is catching on (finally) and it is getting harder to make movement up the boards. However, purchasing links is still a very cost effective practice to see quantifiable results with.

  • http://www.themadhat.com/ TheMadHat

    How would you know? Just kidding ;)

    “Buy links and keep them there, the longer the better. Links are a long term investment.”

    That’s not always the case. Outdated documents can lose relevance over time. For example, outdated documents can lose inbound links decreasing the value of the page the link is on and the authority of that page.

    On the other hand, older documents that continue to slowly grow links remain relevant and build trust and then the statement is certainly correct.

    And I don’t buy links anyway so that’s just a guess….

  • http://www.BrianChappell.com Brian Chappell

    “Outdated documents can lose relevance over time. For example, outdated documents can lose inbound links decreasing the value of the page the link is on and the authority of that page.”

    Yep, good point, that’s why its always important to weigh the value of the page the link is on, its an ongoing task that needs to be handled properly.

  • http://www.jexanalytics.com.au Judd Exley

    Sigh, wouldn’t it be nice if we could just ask and sites would give us links?

    I’m finding it hard to get sites to do anything other than try and sell me a banner as opposed to just a simple line on their “links” page, regardless of how relevant the link is.

  • http://www.BrianChappell.com Brian Chappell

    @ Judd

    Yea it is getting harder and harder to obtain links now a days. The FUD is think and it is causing most average mom and pop site owners to not link out to anything, in fear that something bad could happen.

  • http://www.fireflyseo.com/services/search-engine-optimisation Allan Stewart (FireflySEO)

    Content is king guys. Buying links can help a bit, but be soooooooooo selective. Above advice is great. But focus on content. What Brian says is true!

  • http://www.sparkinternetmarketing.com Christopher Kata

    Thanks for cracking open your vault of knowledge and sharing these goldent bits of wisdom! I am certain it help a lot of people stay out of “hot water” so to speak!

  • http://www.BrianChappell.com Brian Chappell

    @ Allan

    It really is a cliché sayng; “content is king”, but it is cliché for a reason. With a solid backlink profile, and a ton of good, linkable content, you can really drive a ton of traffic.

    I would also say most websites do not need to buy links.
    Creating captivating content will work just fine, it’s just those hyper competitive markets that sometimes need the extra power to compete.

    @ Christopher

    My pleasure.

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  • http://www.smosite.com NewSkill21

    Thanks a lot! I knew all of this except one of the most important one:

    “DO NOT: Email Matt Cutts after a link buy indicating where your links are”

    NOW YOU TELL ME!? :)

    Great post! Thumbs up!

  • http://seoroi.com/ Gab “SEO ROI” Goldenberg

    You missed a couple of the big obvious ones:

    1) Buy links on pages that rank
    2) Use Google’s keyword research tool to find indirectly related keywords – it’s easier to buy links from people looking to rank/ranking for terms you aren’t targeting. More detail here:
    http://seoroi.com/case-studies/post-88-scratchpad/

  • http://seoroi.com/ Gab “SEO ROI” Goldenberg

    That said, this is a quick and dirty summary that’s a good ‘best practices’ post. I like the TLA referral box too – nice irony ;) .

  • http://www.BrianChappell.com Brian Chappell

    @ Gab

    “1) Buy links on pages that rank”

    wow not sure how I forgot that one, hard to point out all the factors, but that one is crucial.

  • http://www.palmerwebmarketing.com/blog Justin Palmer

    Great article, just one question:

    “DO: Buy links on old, established pages that have a lot of trust and authority”

    Could there be a risk in this? If Google sees a page that hasn’t changed in years all of a sudden get some new links, doesn’t it look unnatural?

    Not sure if Google really looks at this, though I’ve heard a few SEO’s recommend avoiding this tactic.

  • http://www.BrianChappell.com Brian Chappell

    @ Justin

    Great question. Here’s my 2 cents.

    Everything really has to be done in moderation. If ALL your links come from old, authoritative pages then that might look “fake” to google bot. Don’t overdo it IMO, a couple surely don’t hurt however if done right.

    It is also worth noting an old authoritative domain can get away with a lot more then a brand new domain. If you are trusted you can get away with some pretty shady tactics.

    Newly emerging sites have to be really careful.

  • http://www.searchcommander.com Scott Hendison

    Brian – You’ve outdone yourself.

    One more important process to follow though…

    Select all text in this list
    Copy to word processor
    Increase Font Size two giant
    Print two copies
    staple one over your bed, and one in your office

    What a succinct summary, thank you!

  • http://www.BrianChappell.com Brian Chappell

    @ Scott

    Thanks, glad you enjoyed :)

  • http://www.shycon.com Web Design Colorado

    One of the most important things is to buy links for the traffic, not necessarily the Pagerank.

  • http://www.outdoorlivingsupplies.com Geoff

    A great list of `Dos` and `Don`ts` in your article. Google seems to be going too far now in weeding out what it considers to be cheats to their system.

  • http://seoroi.com/ Gab “SEO ROI” Goldenberg

    Brian, I’m referring to this post in a proposal I’m making. Great resource, and I appreciate your humility too!

  • http://www.BrianChappell.com Brian Chappell

    @ gab

    I am obliged you are mentioning this in a proposal. Hopefully it will help your client better understand.

  • http://www.themadhat.com/ TheMadHat

    @gab – PS: Brian says he needs 10% of that contract ;)

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