All the search engines determine the importance and popularity of a website by determining the quality and quantity of the backlinks to that site. Paid links have been a debatable topic for quite a number of years. Google has always discouraged the concept of paid links. Before reading this post, check out Google’s official policy on paid links.
Search engine’s formula for determining a page rank (popularity) has remained a secret. The only hard and bound rule of this concept is that “the more sites link to your website, more link juice you get. Higher the page rank of linking sites, higher is the quality of link juice.” As you gather more and more quality link juice, your popularity, hence your page rank increases. While the organic way of link building is a tedious and a slow process, many webmasters therefore opt for paid links- paying third party sites to place your link on their sites.
Buying and selling of links is a ubiquitous practice in the world of search engines. The decision on the legitimacy of paid links differs from individual to individual. There are different kinds of paid links that you can access.
i. Search Engine listings:
Many newbie publishers often confuse themselves with buying links from third party and links from search engines (ad listings). In search engines advertisements, you are not paying for a link, but you are paying for the listings in search results. For Google, AdSense is the publisher and for Yahoo and Bing, AdCenter is the publisher. Many online businesses opt for ad placements on search engine results. But these links are completely ignored by search engines in determining the authority of your site. This is a type of paid link but is not for SEO. These links are temporary as long as you pay money to search engines. Such kinds of links are called sponsored links and such kind of advertising is called as Pay per click advertising.
ii. Website listings:
Most of the websites allows you to place text links and banner ad placements in the particular “sponsor” section of the sites in return of money. This type of linking may bring you a fair amount of visitors but SEO benefits are limited. Search engines take time to recognize your links in such placements. Therefore, if you purchase link for one month or so, you may not be able to see a change in your ranking. For SEO purposes, you need at least three months of link placement. These links are also temporary as long as you keep paying those websites.
iii. Permanent Paid links:
These types of links are placed on the website’s link section, blog review section or in a new topic posted in a forum. Such types of links remain forever unless the displaying site is hampered. These types of links are best for SEO purposes.
Many websites buy links and it has shown some effects on their page rank and their search engine results. Well, before getting in the process of paid links, lay down a well-organized SEO strategy plan. Here are some of the tips and tricks to consider:
i. Choose reputable sites:
Make sure you choose reputable, authoritative websites from where you can buy links. These sites have high PR and hence they offer high quality link juice. In link building, always remember that quality is more important than quantity. So choose less, but choose well.
ii. Text links:
While paying a website for a link, make sure that the link in that website looks like an organic part of a webpage (like an endorsement of your services) or like an advertisement. It is perfectly acceptable with search engines, if you are placing links on other websites, with the purpose of funneling traffic to your site. Although, the bye product would be increase in Page rank. But as far as search engines are concerned, you have not crossed any boundaries.
Another option is to pay a site to place your content which contains embedded text links which links visitors back to your site. Just make sure that you use different keywords in each of the text links.
Directories categorizes different sites under different genres. Submit your links in directories under appropriate category. Some directories do it for free, while some may charge you a fee. Google provides authority to most of the directories as they are operated by human editors and there is a greater chance of your site’s rejection. These editors indirectly work for search engines as they refine submitted links. Editors determine the relevancy and quality of the submitted link and then decide whether this link should be displayed in their directory or not.
An important thing to note in directory submission is that there a number of fake directories who take money from websites to display links but there is no effect on the site’s rankings. These directories are not recognized by search engines. Consult SEO experts before paying money to web directories. Many paid sites are not legitimate. Only a bunch of reputable directories increase your page rank and traffic.
iv. Staying Power:
Organic links remain for a longer period of time and are more reliable in improving your page rank and traffic for a long time. Paid links are existent as long as you keep paying websites. Once you stop paying them, you cease the advantage which you were getting from those links.
v. Free Links:
The concept of paid links differs from individual to individual. But for a better SEO, always try to get more and more free links. Provide great content to people which obligate them to link to your site. Use various methods to obtain free links.
Usage of paid links depends on your wish. But you have to be extra cautious and preventive in case of them.
If you wish to learn the entire process of link building with a step by step and a detailed approach, then read our Link Building Guide which will lead you in finding high number of quality backlinks.