Is It Safe To Buy Backlinks?
When done right, purchasing backlinks is safe.
Google is not an all-knowing power that sees every transaction there is, so, therefore, they can’t tell whether you have bought a backlink or not – unless you make it obvious (more on this later).
When done correctly, purchased backlinks are natural, and there is no way they look different from naturally acquired backlinks.
The money (or whatever value you’re exchanging for it) is just a way of getting someone else to do the outreach for you – or makes it more likely for the site owner to agree to add to your link.
Should You Buy Backlinks?
While purchasing backlinks the right way is safe, doing it wrong can harm your site’s performance.
Here are some examples of “doing it wrong,” which could turn to buy backlinks into buying a penalty.
Low-quality links from Fiverr
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is heading over to Fiverr or a similar site and start picking up random, low-quality, and cheap links.
In the best-case scenario, they will do nothing to your site’s performance.
While you may occasionally be able to find a great link building gig – most of them are just spammers that have learned how to create links and want to make money.
Publicly Available Paid Links
Picking up links from public link sales where the links are usually shared in a spreadsheet, as you can see below, is an easy way of getting caught by Google.
Buying links from these types of link schemes will do nothing but harm to your website.
Because Google can find these sites and take an action against them easily.
They are public.
So when you’re buying backlinks, always make sure that the sites aren’t available in some public Google sheet or on a website.
And no – don’t buy backlinks from the random guys in your emails sending you a list of sites.
Buying Backlinks from sites that advertise it on their website
Some sites will blatantly put the fee of their guest posts on their website.
If Google finds sites like these, they usually take some action such as:
- Penalizing site (which makes the link a bad link)
- Penalizing all the outbound links in guest posts (i.e., your site if you bought one)
- Not counting the links (i.e., you waste your money)
Spammy Links/No Strategy
Even if you purchase the correct links in the wrong quantities, you could be harming your site performance.
And, of course, the same goes for the wrong backlinks.
Understanding The Value of a Backlink
When buying links, you must understand what makes a good link vs. a bad link.
And no – not every link is equal.
If you have a link from Forbes or the BBC, that would be worth more than having a link from Bob’s blog hosted on his free Wix site.
No-Follow vs. Do-Follow
No-follow links are essentially a tag on a link that tells Google they shouldn’t count this link.
On the other hand, do-follow links tell Google’s crawling bots to follow and count this link – which is usually the type of link you want to get when buying links.
Expert tip: Make sure you have some no-follow links (at least 25-30%); otherwise, it’s obvious you’re just buying them.
Besides the no-follow tag, there is also the sponsored tag – which is similar.
But it just signifies that you have paid for the link.
Despite its use – you usually want to avoid this in your link-building strategy. The reason being that they are likely less effective.
Although, you could mix in a few to keep it natural.
But this is optional.
Domain Authority/Domain Rating
Once you have confirmed that the links you are buying are do-follow, you can also look at the domain rating or authority metrics in your favorite SEO tool:
- Semrush: Domain Score
- Moz: Domain Authority
- Ahrefs: Domain Rating
They all measure pretty much the same thing, i.e., how strong the SEO backlinks are.
Now you don’t need to learn the whole technical side of how these metrics work. Instead, understand this:
- Metrics aren’t everything, and anyone can manipulate them
Whether it’s domain authority or rating – every tool can be manipulated. So make sure to pair looking at this with traffic (our next point)
This is a very rough guideline for estimating the strength of a link. But remember that these metrics aren’t everything and a link with a huge authority score is nothing without organic traffic.
- 0 – 10 DR/DA: Very low authority
- 10-20 DR/DA: Low-medium authority
- 20 – 50: Medium Authority
- 50-70: High Authority
- 70+: Very High Authority
When you are link-building and considering using techniques that will take a lot of time/money for a single link – it’s best to focus on links with a 20+ DA minimum.
Traffic is also important when purchasing high-authority links.
The reason is that it somewhat indicates how true the authority score is.
If a DR 70 is getting 0 traffic, is it really high authority?
Of course not.
That being said, not all the links you get have to have traffic, but anything that you are paying £70+ per link for (or writing a guest post on) should have traffic.
What Are The Safe High-Quality Backlinks To Buy
As we have seen so far, there are quite many traps for you to fall into when purchasing backlinks.
But, I wanted to make the process a little easier for you by walking you through the safe links and their use-cases.
The first types of links are foundation backlinks.
This is a term to describe any of the following types of links:
- Web 2.0s
- Low-level press releases
- PDF sharing sites
- Social Media links
While these aren’t your powerful links, they are natural.
When you make a small business website, one of the first things you’ll need to focus on is sign up for many of these sites to promote your business.
One set of these will be around 100 links, which is pretty much all you need when you’re starting.
Helps with: Indexing, building the initial “foundation of authority,” and showing Google that you are real.
Best for: When you are just starting your site
Avoid when: You have a site that has gotten 0 links for years. Suddenly purchasing a package like this seems unnatural.
Press releases are significantly more powerful than foundation links, as they come from high authority sites such as:
- Affiliates of CNBC, USAToday, Fox News
- Associated Press
- And more…
I.e., News Sites that everyone knows.
Why are they excellent for link-building?
Because they signal trust and authority.
Google wants to rank real businesses that will help the searcher, and by getting into these sites, you show that you are one of them.
Press Releases are usually used when you have an announcement to make.
This could be anything along the lines of:
- Opening your business
- Offering a new product or service
- Partnering with another Influencer
As the name suggests, Guest Blog Posts are you writing a post on someone else’s site.
When buying links, you usually pay for this process.
Guest Posts will be some of your strongest links.
Because when you purchase these, the vendor will usually promise some metrics such as:
- Referring domains
- Domain authority
And because of this, you can control how strong a guest post link will be.
As these links are stronger, you won’t need as many of them to move the needle.
However, just one or two of these can make a significant impact on your link building and rankings.
Niche edits can be even stronger than Guest posts.
The reason is that they are placed on old pages that have already gotten links to them.
Some of that power will be transferred over to your site.
And despite this – they are usually more affordable than guest posts.
This is because there is no article cost involved.
So what’s their downside?
They aren’t quite as natural as Guest Posts, so you should definitely mix between different link types.
Extra Tip 1: Social Signals
One of the secret weapons of link-building that not a lot of people speak about are social signals.
What are they?
Basically, engagement on social media posts that contain your link. This signals popularity to Google, and:
- It makes your backlinks seem more natural
- It makes your site seem more popular (which also justifies the backlinks it’s getting)
Plus, in some cases, it can have a positive effect on your search engine rankings.
You can also purchase social signals alongside the other link building services at the SEO Store.
Extra Tip 2: Content & Link-bait
One mistake that some businesses make is cheap out on content but then go ham on backlinks.
Why is it a mistake?
Because not many other sites would want to link out to badly written content that doesn’t offer any value to the user.
The best approach is to post quality content and also buy links. This justifies any links you’re getting and makes them seem natural.
Plus, if you have more content, it makes sense to have more links.
And if you want to be really safe: You can build link-bait into some of your content.
Linkbait = anything that sites frequently link to, such as:
- Tools (Calculators, code generators, etc.)
- Branded techniques or formulas
Safe Link Building: Final Thoughts
As we have seen throughout, buying backlinks is safe when done correctly.
Just remember to mix the right quantity and quality links with high-quality content.
- Don’t purchase links in excess when you have previously done no link-building
- Your backlinks should increase gradually, as your content does do.
- Avoid purchasing on public site sales or from vendors you don’t trust.
And remember, if you are looking to get an edge over your competition in search engines – you can visit The SEO store, where you can find all the links we discussed.