Should You Buy Backlinks In 2020? (A must-read if you really care)

Should you buy backlinks in 2020 for search engine rankings ?

I mean yeah you might have heard people buying and selling links half a decade back in order to boost organic traffic.

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.

Though inbound links are a strong ranking factor, 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 as part of your link building strategies.

buy backlinksAHREF 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 that can be crafted for this question before getting into all the details is, yeah you can buy backlinks (at your risk)  as long as those links do not look like “bought links”. So the trick is to “make them look natural”, simple as that.

But personally, I believe buying links is a black hat SEO link building activity that should be avoided at all cost.

Related: Semantic SEO – Go to Google Page #1 without additional backlinks

What to Look for Before You Buy Backlinks?

Okay so if you’ve decided to manipulate your search engine ranking by 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 from any link building service or single website.

1). MOZ Domain Authority

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 (Open site explorer) 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). Number 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 number 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 and Google may quicky penalize it. Make sure you build and protect your seo techniques.

3). Dofollow VS No-follow

Check if the links provided by the site are dofollow, or nofollow. 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:

Some backlinks are really unhealthy. These can completely ruin your link building campaigns.

1). Automated Backlinks

There are many seo 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 backlinking 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.

There are many link building services or SEO agencies that still offer this as a paid link building service. You must not be thinking well to buy from them.

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 analysis anyway, but if you don’t, it’s a good practice to always Google the site using “”.

check domain index

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.

Earn backlinks without risk of Google Penalty

Now those are some tips to help you buy quality and unnatural backlinks with a big dose of risk. But you can earn links naturally and be safe by simply doing white hat seo.

As we know search engine optimization has a lot to do with content, the first thing you must do is develop a clean and strong content strategy for your content marketing. Embrace keyword research as part of your link building techniques.

Proper keywords in your content touches on readers intent and attract natural backlinks to improve your overall search engine results.

Follow strictly Google webmaster guidelines. Avoid duplicate content and don’t neglect on page optimization. Pay attention to technical and mobile SEO in your general website optimization.

constantly use Backlink checker tools to analyse your link profile so you don’t run into harm as a result of dangerous links.

Network with friends and maintain good relationships. Guest post on other related blogs to build backlinks.

Some experts advise you submit your site to directories. But as Google constantly changes, directory submission doesn’t have any big impact on your search ranking.

Build Backlinks to boost Google ranking

I believe there is a difference between earning backlinks and backlink building. You earn when someone thinks you have great content and deliberately gives a free backlink.

Building is your own Off Page SEO exercise to create inbound links from high Page rank domains. While this can be a quality link building practice, you must do it with caution. Some common and result-driven link building activities are:

  • Guest posting – Focusing on high Pagerank domains with content relevancy.
  • Blog commenting on relevant sites.

Guest posting is the most widely used method by many content marketers for seo backlinks. Though some years back, Google’s Matt Cutts made a highly disputed statement that the activity was dead. It still useful for building link.

If you do this yourself, without hiring an SEO company, you can create top-notch seo content and avoid low quality links.

Provide content for human readers

The truth is Google and other search engines care more about their searchers. So we understand why your keyword and inbound link are not the only ranking factors.

Building links shouldn’t be a topmost priority. Think about the content you link to first. No matter the advice from seo experts, If you buy or build links to thrash, your overall search marketing will be a complete waste.

Avoid some time consuming activities advised by some seo companies to get backlinks. Focus on marketing strategies the promote the value of your content. You may hire an SEO consultant to guide your growth or use paid search in some cases.

Learn to use content and link building tools like SEMrush. If you can’t use these tools, focus on content that solves problems and turn to trust worthy SEO experts like Neil patel or Brian Dean of Backlinko.

Maintain a healthy backlink profile

One flap of search engine optimization seo marketers often overlook is healthy link profile. You have to always carry out your link analysis (using a link checker) to find and weed out toxic links. Disavow them in an effort to maintain a healthy backlink profile.

This may be an advanced seo technique but it’s a requirement. If you can’t handle it, outsource to a qualified SEO service.

In the days of article writing, we used sites like squidoo with keyword-rich anchor text to build links and boost Google ranking. But trust me this can’t help you today with any better Serps position. It may instead considered spamming, which can hurt your SEO campaign.

Final Words:

So that’s a wrap up as far as basic linking strategies go. There isn’t any rocket-science to create high-quality backlinks to power your organic search.

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.

There is no complete search engine optimization campaign without backlinks. While I vehemently recommend you rely on free backlinks from readers of your works, any steps toward building backlinks, especially buying or using private blog network should be with a lot of caution.

Do let me know your feedback on this piece, all and any suggestions are welcome via the comment form as well!

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21 thoughts on “Should You Buy Backlinks In 2020? (A must-read if you really care)”

  1. Thanks for a very well balanced and informative article! I read a lot of different things about buying backlinks, and there is no doubt that is a silly thing do to in 2019. Ten years ago, I did this, and got a really hard punishment from Google. They still do not allow me to open an adsense account…I´m working on a new site about translation between Polish and Norwegian now and this is a small nice here in Norway. This leads me to the question; Do you know what impact a foreign backlink will have vs a regional one? Example: My site targets the keyword “oversette” (translation in English), There are many relevant site/foras about translation written in english, but almost none about “oversettelse”. So, do you think that Google are able to see the link between the coherence regarding the different language in this niche? Thanks a lot!

  2. Well, I Personally don’t recommend to buy links because of strong google algo but the thing is that sometimes you have to make tough decisions and take a risk to achieve your goals and when you have a proper understanding that which link could benefit your site or harm your site then why not to take that risk 🙂

  3. Hi Enstine

    “Earning” backlinks takes a lot more work than buying them.

    But I think you’ve pretty well shown that it is the far smarter and safer plan to build a long-term reputation for your blog.

    And that’s what most pro bloggers are interested in doing.


  4. Hi Jyoti,

    I am constantly surprised by the vast amount of spam comments I still get with links in them (held for moderation) but then blasted in to spam by me when I check.

    The funniest are the ones that claim to be SEO specialists and I wonder what their clients would say if they realised that dropping spam comments with links in is one of their SEO strategies!

    No, I would never buy links,

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark

  5. Hey Jyoti,
    I think buying backlinks is only viable if you have excellent content that can replace link buying with link earning.

    Otherwise it’s useless, because as soon as you stop, the results die down too.


  6. Thanks for sharing informative post.Back link is big and important part of link building for SEO Marketing. I have never purchase any type of backlink. I do best SEO for website and get organic backlink because natural and organic backlink is valuable for Google Algorithm. Someone people purchase backlink for website because they are not aware of digital marketing.

  7. Hey Jyoti,

    Thanks for sharing a very good post.

    Back link is big and important part of link building for SEO Marketing. I have never purchase any type of backlink. I do best SEO for website and get organic backlink because natural and organic backlink is valuable for Google Algorithm. Someone people purchase backlink for website because they are not aware of digital marketing.

  8. A dilemma is created though by the fact that buying backlinks can and does work. Lots of businesses do it, especially in competitive industries, and lots of them get good rankings as a consequence and have never been caught or penalised in years of doing so. The reason they get away with it is because there are billions of links spread across the web and it’s not easy for Google to differentiate between backlinks that have been paid for and natural backlinks (i.e. those which have been given editorially and without inducement).

  9. Hey Jyoti,

    Thanks for sharing informative post.

    Back link is big and important part of link building for SEO Marketing. I have never purchase any type of backlink. I do best SEO for website and get organic backlink because natural and organic backlink is valuable for Google Algorithm. Someone people purchase backlink for website because they are not aware of digital marketing.

  10. This is a very helpful article for me because I have started a technology blog and I don’t have knowledge of link building and I am planning to buy links from Fiverr but I am confused it is safe or not. But after going through this article I have got some idea. One more thing I want to ask is this safe to buy backlinks? Thank you, Jyoti, for sharing such informative article.

  11. Backlink is a big concept, and all the new bloggers or website owners always fall in this trap to create the backlinks in a minute. We all need to look for create quality content first, than the backlinks. Thanks for this great post.

  12. I was at first surprised at the number of places you can buy links. I never expected it to be so much higher than the unpaid links.

    But I shouldn’t be. I’m the guy who sent the Excite (remember them?) CTO into a rage when I said at a conference the search engines would sell links on the results page (Google was still in a garage). And the CTO proclaimed it would never happen.

    Keep up the good work.

  13. Hello Jyoti,

    Great post over here 🙂

    This post of yours have brain washed my concept about the back links.

    I have never ever thought that it could be bought too. I just keep on commenting on blog post and share their contents on
    social media, in return they do the same for me. I love this tactics of getting backlinks.

    The hard work would be there behind our success. It would help us in the long run, certainly blogging is ain’t a single day game.

    Thanks for the share.


  14. I personally would never purchase backlinks. I do realize that to rank high in Google one needs other reputable websites linking to our site, but I wouldn’t buy those links.

  15. Hi Jyoti,

    My personal take on buying backlinks is that I wouldn’t do it. Honestly, I never thought about it until I came across this post.

    I don’t write blog posts for search engines. I get my visitors by visiting and commenting on other people’s blogs. I get a backlink to my blog as a result of my efforts. To me, it’s like cheating the SEO system by paying for them just to rank higher. Just as paying for likes and shares on social media makes the posts look like they’ve had more traffic than they really did. Not really honest if you ask me.

    If it’s seems iffy to me, I avoid it like the plague. I don’t want my reputation to be tarnished or destroyed.

    Thanks for sharing this for those of us who never heard about it before today.

    Have a good one……Chris

  16. Interesting post Jyoti. I would say if you would use the link without being paid it’s a natural link. But to insert a link that doesn’t make any sense or is not relevant to your post is a big No No.
    I wonder how Google knows which are and aren’t?
    Thanks for sharing on this topic!

  17. Great article. Buying links is certainly not good for any website, I think. One should put his hard work to create awesome content and get natural backlinks. As well as Guest posting and blog commenting are also good ways to get do-follow backlinks. So, one should focus on these things rather than on buying backlinks.

  18. Quite an informative post, Jyoti. You have to be really very cautious while you buy links. Moreover, I would say exhaust all link building opportunities like a guest post, etc, before you even think of buying links.
    I am sure your points are going to benefit people who are kind of sure about buying links.
    Just to add one point, I feel it would be great if someone can get contextual links. It would be unwise to get a link for your health website from an article mentioning about gambling websites.

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