Paid Links: One Big No No for SEO Link Building

Don't let your blog end up in search engine jail.

[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]

We’ve spent the last few posts in this series talking about how building your link profile is one of the most important strategies for you to grow your blog, to gain new visitors and readers, and to ultimately become more profitable long-term.

And I also shared some very organic and strategic ways to grow the number of backlinks as well – and these are the legit and above-board tactics that’ll prove valuable to you for years to come.

But, there are definitely some ways to increase your ranking, at least temporarily, that might end up getting you banned from search engines, perhaps indefinitely. One of the biggest offending practices is paying for links.

It’s Just Not Worth the Risk!

Search engines aren’t stupid (and neither are your readers). See, here’s the thing. Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and all the rest have shared explicitly that they build in their search engine software checks for paid links so as to not mess up their search returns which are based more on their quality and own merit than a purchase order.

Here’s one example of how Google explicitly states that purchasing links (paid links) is against their webmaster terms of service:

Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.

Why risk it? Sure, it’s near-impossible to discredit all links that have been paid for the quality of detection is becoming better every single year and offenders that might have gotten away with it are quickly becoming caught. It’s simply too risky of an endeavor for you to even consider engaging with it.

And besides, building a blog from scratch that has great content and that earns it’s place among the blogging elite through it’s own merit and not through manipulating of dollar figures is a far better story anyways!

Here are some thoughts in a nutshell about paying for links:

  1. It’s too risky.
  2. You could get away with it but the risk is never completely gone.
  3. The impact of getting caught is too great to even consider – your brand, blog, business is worth too much!
  4. It breaks terms of service agreements. Don’t do that!

If someone or some random business sends you an email stating that they are willing to pay for some links on your site or do some sort of sketchy paid swap then I’d mark it as spam and go on your merry way. No need to waste any more time with that loser!

Finally, it is my commitment to you that I’ll never accept paid links on this blog, for the reasons listed above as well as for the value of my community. If you want more info on my stance of advertising check out this blog post on disclosure policies!


[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]