Buying Links

Don’t Buy Links!

I’m starting off in this way because you need to remember this phrase. Let it become a mantra in regards to your web presence. Whisper it to yourself throughout the day…okay that might be taking it too far, but let me say it again: “Don’t buy links!”

There are people out there that are trying to sell links in all kinds of ways. There are online directories and so called online advertisers that will email or call you or even come into your office and try to sell you on buying links to their site. If this ever happens, you need to know a few things about what is being sold.

Buying Links, What Does It All Mean?

So what does it mean to buy links? If you have ever been on a website and there are links to a different website on that page, there are usually just a few reasons why they are there. 

One of those reasons is because someone has paid to have that link on that particular site. Another way of doing this is by having an advertorial on the site that has a link embedded into it, also called advertorial spam. This is a way of trying to build trust with the search engines by saying, “Look, we are linked to this site and this site, so we must be trustworthy since other sites link to us!” This would be the equivalent of a drug dealer paying some random people to come with him when he asks your permission to take your daughter out…you can see straight through the ruse and so can Google. 

The Correct Way to Advertise on a Website

If you want to buy advertising on a website, there are a few things you need to make sure of.

  1. Does your link have a “nofollow” attribute? This is important because it tells Google that you aren’t trying to do something called “passing PageRank.” It tells them that you are not directly affiliated with this website and it is specifically an ad for the site viewers to see.
  2. You need to make sure that the site is a legitimate site and doesn’t have a lot of bad or spammy content. 

The Result of Buying Bad Links

With Google’s new Penguin 2.0 update they are cracking down on advertorial spam. If a site has been buying links or advertorials and it does not have the “no-follow” attribute then Google will penalize the site and lower it in its search engine rankings until it is fixed. The other penalty is that the site will lose trust with Google, which then has to be built back up. These are two very harsh penalties that most business owners can’t afford.