When I think about link building I think about the psychology of internet marketing. If you’re reading an article and that article imposes a rigid set of rules on your online marketing tactics (especially in regard to your link building) then you should probably exercise some careful discretion.
All these rigid rules are great for beginners, but they often don’t help you understand the reasons why a specific type of SEO tactic is helpful or not helpful to your website. To understand link buying you really need to understand some of the history behind inbound links.
Link Building in the Early Days
Back in the early days, link buying was considered to be a norm. That’s changed since then and now people get very worried whenever the topic is brought up. Many write it off as a nonsensical thing for you to focus any time on. But it didn’t start that way –
- Buying links worked like a charm
- Buying links was expensive and took up a lot of time. (Not a lot of SEO’s were willing to pour that kind of effort into their clients websites.)
SEO is Not Always the Same for Everyone
Frankly, it’s hard to take one approach to SEO and apply that to everyone’s websites. I think seobook states it well, “Rand [fishkin] recently stated that he no longer recommends paid links. If you philosophically didn’t believe in buying links then why would you spend $1,000,000+ building a web graph of link data?”
That’s an important point!
Buying links might not always make sense, but it does accomplish the same types of things that broken back-link building would accomplish for your website (Which, by the way, is considered a totally white hat thing to do).
The real risks in buying back-links compared to broken back link building are associated with purchasing links from domains that are, in effect, merely a link scheme. However, before we get “linkomatically correct” here, let’s just remember that even the white hat Inbound Marketing Software company, Moz.com was warned by Google at one time that they would face a manual penalty if they didn’t cut down the guest posting links (because of it possibly looking like a “link scheme”). Needless to say, this made Rand Fishkin very unhappy.
If Moz possibly faced a penalty, it definitely sends the message that none of us are really safe from having a website that look like a link scheme.
I promise you, the solution is not to get up on any specific type of inbound marketing tool soapbox and start proclaiming your tools or strategies work the best and that SEO is dead… wait, isn’t it?
Start Taking Action
If you’ve burned your website, start a new one and change the way you do SEO. The problem is not SEO, the problem is the style of application you’re using. Are paid links bad? Some, but you can get really great results with paid links as well.
Recently, I paid to feature my company at a partner event. I was given a sponsor link on the partners website… is that “paid” link wrong?
No, good SEO’s think outside the box.