There is nothing inherently wrong with buy backlinks to your website so long as you’re doing for the “right” reasons. Depending on which side of the fence you’re sitting on, the meaning of the word “right” can vary. In order to know what you should do, here’s a quick examination of the various reasons you might want to buy links to your website and whether doing so may get you in trouble with the search engines.
The definition of “paid” is also quite loose and can be anything from swapping a link on your site for a link on the other person’s site, giving the other site some content or actually paying a fee.
Buying links for direct traffic
If the links are bought for the clicks they immediately generate, this can be a good strategy.
Buying links in this way can be a good way to increase your traffic and can include text links (the kind we’re used to navigating around the web with), banners that direct people to your site, links on your videos or any other method that people can use to reach your website.
The price for a link can vary enormously. For instance, Yahoo’s directory charges $299 per year for a link (more if you run an adult site) whereas the Open Directory is free apart from your time to request the link.
A link on a regular page of a site may cost a fixed fee, a monthly or annual fee, or you may be able to gain it in return for supplying the site with content – maybe a guest post, maybe a video they can embed in their site, maybe a comment on their blog.
All those methods can work nicely for direct traffic but generally Google likes to see this kind of link flagged as “nofollow” so that its search algorithm knows that it shouldn’t pass any importance to the link and shouldn’t boost your site’s PageRank as a result of the links.
Providing your paid links are marked as “nofollow” they follow all the current guidelines issued by the search engines.
Buying links to increase PageRank
Google hate this idea with a vengeance.
They have been known to penalise both the site selling you the link as well as you for receiving it – Forbes experienced this first hand in 2011, so it doesn’t just apply to smaller websites.
There are various networks that are available that offer to connect you to sites that are prepared to either sell or rent links to you. They claim to have systems in place to protect you from penalties but you have no way of knowing how good those systems are – it would certainly be easy enough for Google to register a dummy company and find out who is selling links. Or they could simply set up their software to detect the unnatural patterns these sites leave (often called footprints).
Sites like Fiverr and eBay also offer services that sell links and again it’s a case of “buyer beware”.
Overall, if you care about your site then I would strongly suggest that you only buy backlinks for the direct traffic they generate and that are marked “dofollow”.