How Dangerous is Link Buying?

Oct 13 07:23 2008 Jason Capshaw Print This Article

Like anything else in business, it is important to measure risk when approaching SEO. Just how dangerous is link buying? The answer may surprise you.

As an SEO Consultant I have found that I can typically achieve good results in the SERPS without buying links for my clients. But some legitimate sites,Guest Posting that offer their customer’s great experiences are not always featured in the SERPS.  Should they buy links?

Although Google has successfully morphed the issue into a moral one, its more of a business decision than a moral decision. Google’s guidelines were written to best benefit their company. At the end of the day, Google makes a billions of dollars on advertising through adwords and to say that does not effect their decision making in trying to funnel dollars into their program is somewhat naive.

The long and short of the issue is that Google would prefer someone wanting site traffic to advertise in adwords and forget about buying links. Since Google could not say that if you buy an advertisement on any site, you can’t be in the SERPS, the no follow tag was born, but thats a different story.

So, when making decisions regarding your business, its best to write your own guidelines that best fit your needs. They may not exactly match Googles, but they should be close. After all, if you and Google have a showdown, guess who loses.

In writing your guidelines, its a good idea to measure risk against return. Aaron Wall has a great article on the subject that sheds some light on the subject. According to Aaron, the ratio of sites busted for spammy links is probably very low, like one out of thousands. With this in mind, if you are in a tough market and really need a good launch, link buying may be something you decide to do.

My perspective is that if you do it, just do it better than the other guys. There is a reason that Google catches some people and does not catch others. Read some stories about who has done it successfully and who has not.

Off the top of my head, I would say that it is a bad idea to approach a site that you are not sure sells links because that is the quickest way to get busted. If the site owner reports you, you may be in trouble.

Vicious Link Buying?

There are very clear cut cases of spamming the search engines that a site may get sand boxed for, however if your off site method is erratic and simple link buying I think the danger is minimal. Basically, if Google punished every site that bought links, all I would have to do is buy links to my competitors and report them as buying links! Google knows this and knows how vicious SEO can be sometimes. They are not going to risk alienating many, many people because of this policy.

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Jason Capshaw
Jason Capshaw

Jason Capshaw is an SEO Consultant that provides Atlanta SEO services.

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