Should You Buy Backlinks In 2018?
Should you buy backlinks in 2018? I mean yeah you might have heard people buying and selling links half a decade back, but what’s the current response? As far as Google is concerned, it doesn’t officially encourage the act if you buy backlinks for SEO.
Google wants “Links to be natural and organic”, but it’s not so simple out here in the real-world, is it? It would take you months and even years to get any number of links which would actually contribute towards your rankings organically.
And you’re not the only one trying to curate links by buying them, AHREF did a bit of research couple days back by reaching out to the top domains in some of the most competitive niches including Finance, Health, Marriage, etc and here’s what it came up with:
So the simplest answer I that can be crafted for this question before getting into all the details is, yeah you can buy backlinks as long as those links do not look like “bought links”. So the trick is to “make them look natural”, simple as that.
What to Look for Before You Buy Backlinks?
Okay so if you’re spending “money” to create and buy high-quality backlinks, you better get value out of it, right? Now there are some metrics you should definitely be paying attention to before you move out to buy backlinks.
1). MOZ Domain Authority
Domain authority isn’t “the” most important factor, but it’s one of the most important ones because it’s an overall calculation of the domains’ value.
You can check the domain authority of domain using the MOZ OSE tool. The domain authority is based on the site-age, backlinks, frequency of links and some other factors.
It’s calculated out of 100 in total, so the higher the domain authority the better the link for you.
2). No. of Outbound Links
Check how many outbound links the whole domain, as well as the specific page you’re trying to get a link from has on it.
If the no. of outbound links is surprisingly high (compare it with the site’s age, or incoming links) then it’s probably not a good idea to get a link from the site.
Simply because the site might be selling lots of links, which reduces its overall link-juice.
3). Dofollow VS No-follow
Check if the links provided by the site are do-follow, or no-follow. While both are considered “backlinks”, you’ll be able to reap the benefits and the link-juice only with a do-follow backlink.
Keep in mind that these aren’t the “only” metrics you should focus upon, but they surely are enough.
4). Trust-Flow / Citation Flow
Trust flow is a quality indicator from Majestic. It’s calculated based on a number of “seed domains”, and sites which have links closer to the seed domain have better trust flow.
Citation flow signifies the importance, or authority of the site’s links, so basically, the higher these metrics are, the better the link weights for you.
Once you’ve analyzed the above factors, let’s focus on what kind of links “not to buy”.
Links You Should Not Buy:
1). Automated Backlinks
There are many services and individuals with offers like “We will get you 5000 backlinks in 24 hours”. Well, that’s just a big no, regardless of how cheap the service sounds.
As it’s been mentioned many times already, it’s the “quality” that matters not quantity. Also building so many backlinks in such a short-time span is a definitive “spam” trigger.
2). Navigation/ Sitewide links
Google knows which links are natural, and which aren’t.
So getting a link from the sidebar or menu-bars of websites isn’t at all a recommended strategy. Basically getting a link from anywhere apart from the “content” is a bad idea.
3). User-Generated Backlinks
These are backlinks such as directory submissions, forums etc. While these can be made to diversify your link profile which is a good SEO strategy, these shouldn’t be “bought” as they contribute none or a negligible amount as far as SEO benefits go.
4). De-Indexed Domains
I’m sure it’s basic common sense, but I’ve seen many fall to the trap of a “professional looking” website.
Just because it’s professional doesn’t mean it’s worth your money, chances are you’ll catch the problem when you do your Moz DA or backlink profile analysis anyway, but if you don’t, it’s a good practice to always Google the site using “site:websiteurl.com”.
If the website shows up on Google, it’s not penalized, if not, distance yourself as far away from the domain as possible.
5). Link Farms / PBNs
It’s the general assumption that PBNs help you rank, well they do! But for how long? Google is getting smarter by the second, and once it rolls out an algorithm to penalize PBN links, all your years of hardwork will get dumped in seconds!
Instead, it’s better to give your website some time and efforts, and rank it without PBN domains or link farms even if it takes couple months longer.
So that’s a wrap up as far as basic linking strategies go. There isn’t any rocket-science to create high-quality backlinks, you just need to make sure the target site has some authority, citation flow and quality links of its own before you entrust it to boost your SEO.
Do let me know your feedback on this piece, all and any suggestions are welcome via the comment form as well!