Is There Value in Still Buying Links?
All too many people these days are worried about the implications of having no links pointing back to their websites. While link building is not as straightforward nor as important according to search engines as it once was, it is still a metric that is considered when assessing the quality and rankings of a particular site. In addition, links in the right places help to build organic traffic in a variety of ways, making it possible for brands and businesses to continue building their clout over time. Many wonder whether buying links or not is still a valuable tactic – after all, there are plenty of businesses out there promising benefits from it. We’ll run through the concept below to settle the issue once and for all.
From the beginning of the internet until about 4 years ago, link buying was a fairly common occurrence. Search engine algorithms had ways of determining quality, but those methods were rather rudimentary and did not take into account a variety of other factors that could easily expose link farms. Beginning in 2011, however, Google began to incorporate ways in which link farming could be more easily discovered, resulting in penalties for those who used them. Ever since, the act has been getting more and more difficult from the perspective of those buying them and achieving success as a result. In 2015, there are many negative repercussions for doing so.
Google Finds Paid Links Easily
There are many different utilities out there – available to everyone – that can be used to access inbound and outbound links on a particular site. Within just a few minutes, those who are knowledgeable in the art of link building can quickly locate all links associated with a website and determine whether or not they are organic. With humans being able to find this information so quickly, it should come as no surprise that Google possesses the same capabilities. In short, buying links has almost no long-term value for the vast majority of brands and will inevitably be discovered – usually in a very short period of time – by those who know the art of pinging URLs best.
Google Punishes Offenders
There are several ways that Google and other search engines act once they have found unnatural links pointing to a given website. In some cases, manual penalties will be added to the site in order to ensure an immediate downgrade in visibility. In other cases, the next set of algorithm changes will more adequately adjust the rankings of the site in question. In the end, however, Google gets its man so to speak, and your site will be hit in a way that makes any short-term gains enjoyed from purchasing links seem like nothing compared to the long-term damage that will be done.
In short, it is absolutely unwise to have others start pinging URLs to your website through paid means. Between the sophistication of Google’s algorithms and the subversive ways in which Google itself is infiltrating these “link rings”, it will only be a matter of time before you are discovered. In order to improve standing via link building, you must strive to produce quality content and gain recognition through this method. Anything else may produce short-term gain, but long-term pain.