Practically every website owner wants their site to rank at the top of the search engine results. However, getting to the top can be a very arduous, time-consuming task. Some site owners try to shortcut the process by purchasing links to power-up their backlink profile. Unfortunately, the current state of search engine algorithms makes this a bad idea and we discuss why.

why buying links for SEO is a bad strategy

Paid Links Don’t Equal Quality Links

Most paid links come from link farms that don’t provide any real value. Long gone are the days when you could just buy more links than your competitor to get the number one spot. Now, search engines like Google place more of an emphasis on the quality of backlinks. This means that only links from trustworthy sources will have a positive impact on your SEO campaign.

The majority of paid links are not relevant or unique. Numerous other websites also have access to these links. Furthermore, they are likely to be on sites that don’t relate to your site in any way. This makes your site less trustworthy in the eyes of the search engine bots. When an SEO service sells you random links from random sites it devalues the quality of your site.

algorithm mapping

Algorithms Don’t Like Them

Modern search engine algorithms, such as Penguin, abhor low quality links. These algorithms are also very capable of detecting paid or unnatural links. Any of the SEO consultants out there will tell you that once Penguin gets a whiff of your paid backlinks it will be trouble.

The Penguin algorithm (now in its fourth version) was created to hunt down “spammy” sites. Once it determined a site was engaging in deceptive linking practices it would unleash a powerful punishment on the offender. The end result was that some sites had significant ranking drops or were removed from the results altogether.

penguin algorithm update

Penguin 4.0 is the updated version of the algorithm. Its ability to locate link networks is more advanced. However, web marketing services report that its approach to dealing with offenders is a little different.

Google now devalues low-quality and paid links rather than using them to demote rankings. What this means is that the search engine will not give you any credit for having these links. You could pay hundreds of dollars for links and see no benefit because Google will not count them. Talk about throwing money down the toilet!

link building strategy

Organic Links are Key

A reputable online marketing company will tell you that getting organic links is the best strategy. Organic links are those that come your way naturally. As such, they are more likely to be trustworthy and relevant.

Organic links only come the hard way. They are gained by spending quality time working on your site. If your site is informative, engaging and involved (through social media) in the target industry the links will find their way to you. Webmasters who don’t understand this should pay attention to the next point!

link building seo strategy

You’re Avoiding the Root Problem

If you feel the need to buy links to rank your site there is likely a deeper problem. As alluded to above, sites that are interesting and appealing to users have no problems getting links on their own. If you’ve come to the point where you need to purchase links you’ve been looking in the wrong direction for some time.

The best solution for those considering buying links is to revamp their site. Webmasters struggling with SEO should begin focusing on quality content that will help site visitors. They should also reach out to other site owners in their industry and offer content for a link.

content development

Guest blogging is a great way to get your content out there on a site that is relevant to your niche. However, you should be selective about the sites you choose to work with. Make sure they are legitimate sites and not just guest blogging farms.

Website owners should also pay mind to their local SEO. If you own a business, then obtaining a top rank in local listings is extremely beneficial. The local results are the first block of sites users see in search results. Thus, your site can be at the top of the page even if it doesn’t rank in the organic results. Local SEO uses different strategies than organic SEO. It can be a great help to use a local SEO service to help get your campaign off the ground.