Having strong backlinks is one of the biggest staples of digital marketing. However, SEO can be a complicated and ever-changing battle. As a result, many people wonder “Is It OK to pay for backlinks?” The answer to this, whether you are speaking ethically or practically, is no.
Some companies choose to buy backlinks regardless, but it’s important to understand that it’s not okay. It’s bad business. If you are concerned that you may have questionable backlinks for your website, you should perform a backlink audit immediately.
The Value of Backlinks
Before further answering the question “Is it OK to pay for backlinks?” we need to address backlinks themselves. If another website has a hyperlink to your website, that link is considered a backlink. Backlinks are valuable for a number of reasons.
Firstly, if that site is reputable and popular, it instantly provides your website with a stream of new traffic. Anyone who’s on their site may see the hyperlink and visit your page. However, it’s also valuable because it builds a “reputation” with Google. Google knows that the initial site is reputable, so when that site links to yours it is, in a way, vouching for your site to Google. This reputation will lead Google to rank your site higher, putting it higher and higher on their list of recommendations for relevant searches.
Building an organic series of backlinks from real websites and doing proper content marketing can be a lot of work. As a result, many businesses want to cut corners and just buy the backlinks. While this is unethical, it used to be common practice because of how easy it was to get away with it. A lot of companies still engage in this practice today, attempting to simply not get caught.
So Is It it OK to Pay for Backlinks?
The answer is no for a number of reasons. For one, it’s against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. The guidelines state that buying or selling any links is a violation. What counts as selling/buying links? Google defines it as “exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a ‘free’ product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.”
Buying a link is cheating the system.
Perhaps more significant, though, is the fact that Google has gotten extremely good at detecting a purchased link. And when they do detect a paid link, they will bring down the hammer. You will lose all of your SEO success overnight and your site will likely never fully recover.
So, if you’ve been wondering “Is it OK to pay for backlinks?” you now know that it’s almost never worth the risk. Instead, you should put your trust in a digital marketing agency like Dreamscape Marketing. Dreamscape’s goal is to boost your SEO in an ethical and organic way, while carefully managing your brand. If you want to improve your SEO, but want to do it honestly, contact us today at 888.307.7304.