The Link Game - Buy
I want to state that I am not recommending that you buy links but I do think you need to understand what's going on here. Why do people buy links and why does Google both punishes and reward the of purchase of link because it really is a big part of a SEO.
I want to state that I am not recommending that you buy links but I do think you need to understand what's going on here. Why do people buy links and why does Google both punishes and reward the of purchase of link because it really is a big part of a SEO. Google devised a great way to rank web pages. The real Google revolution back in 1997 was to use the links to figure out both what websites were about and how important they will likely to be. That's great until people realise what you doing and then realised that they can game the system by creating links that are intended to send you the right signals.
Of course from there it's not a huge jump to the idea of paying somebody to create the links you need and purchasing links is now a huge business. That's a problem for Google and the other search engines because when you pay somebody to link your site you may end up with great links pointing to a lousy site. You are cheating the system and naturally the search engines don't like that. So what can they do? Well they can discourage the purchasing of links even implementing penalties of this kind of cheating. But of course that means the search engines do two things. They both reward and punish the use of purchased links. After all, nobody buys links for the fun of it. They buy links because it works at least some of the time, quite frankly a lot of the time in the past and even today if you are careful.
So if you sell widgets from your website and you're new to the SEO Manchester UK game you may discover that your competitors are ranking higher than you in the search engines because they've been buying links. For all Google may talk about link bait, it's actually quite hard for many businesses to create any kind of link bait that will have an effect. Who really wants to read about your widgets after all? It's far easier to pay a small amount a month to somebody who will create the links for you. And so that's where we find ourselves in the SEO world. In a situation in which for years the major search engines of rewarded websites for buying links, if they didn't people wouldn't buy them. While at the same time trying to figure out who is buying links so they can punish them or at least stop them from doing so.
There are actually two huge problems for the search engines. Firstly it could often be very difficult for the search engines to figure out whether a link is a paid link or not. After all there's no dollar attribute in an anchor tag showing whether you paid for the link if so how much. A really well placed paid link may look no different from the free link. How can Google tell if blogger is linking to another site because the blogger likes the other site or because the other site just paid the blogger a sum of money?
The other problem is to know even if they figure out that a link has been paid for whom to punish? After all the search engine doesn't know if the page link was paid for by the owner of the site to which the link is pointing or by a competitor hoping to harm the site, a strategy sometimes known as negative as SEO. So the search engines have a few possibilities. First if they think a link has been paid for, they could simply ignore the link or perhaps ignore all the links on that page or even that site.
That is, do not pass any value ineffective regarded as no follow the link. The harm being cause to the person buying the link of course is that the fee is wasted as it isn't helping site rank. Unless of course you are buying the link purely for the traffic in which case Google recommends that the link be a no follow link anyway. Google is definitely done this in fact a few years ago many newspaper sites were selling text links even today many are and for a while Google had to simply ignore the links on the page which of course means a lot of good links get ignored.
But Google sometimes takes things further. Google may penalise the site selling the links dropping its page rank for instant or may even drop the site from the index. Quite frankly this is more likely to happen to low quality sites selling links into a genuine newspaper sites selling links. And otherwise reputable site might be deemed a little as Google recognises that it still has some value.
Finally the search engine could punish the site which the paid link points but that usually won’t happen because of the search engines had a policy of doing that then companies would point paid links to their competitors to harm them. This can happen now and then but generally in really egregious situations such as when a low quality site has thousands of garbage links pointing to it or as with JC Penney when he got into trouble with Google early in 2001 when it's quite clear the companies involved.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sadhiv Mahandru has been developing and optimising websites for over a decade. You can find out more useful information by reading my personal SEO tips blog which is I update frequently.