I see a similar story in forums all the time. It’s usually along the lines of ..
I’ve written my articles, now I need to rank them…
How do I get backlinks?
Where do I get backlinks?
Should I buy backlinks?
What type of backlinks do I need?
And everyone who sells manufactured backlinks on the forums jumps in and says… “Of course you do.. Buy them here”
And I say. “No don’t do that – you’re playing with fire”
If you’ve invested all this time and energy in your blog, and you’re relying on SEO, why would you now risk upsetting Google by throwing manufactured backlinks at it.
It’s like buying a beautiful carpet and getting dodgy carpet cleaners around to clean it.
Now Backlinks are a major ranking factor, but there are lots of other factors that Google use to decide how worthy your site is. Here is an exhaustive list of 200 ranking factors.
First, what are backlinks and why are they an important ranking factor?
Backlinks make the World Wide Web what it is – a web. A structured collection of web pages of information that link to other pages of related information.
Look no further than Wikipedia as a perfect example of this concept in action.
When you read a page on Wikipedia for example about Lake Como, it will give us summary information on the surrounding geography, the climate, and its famous lakeside villas. If we choose to, we can then click on the link for more information about what was summarised.
For example, we can click on Villa D’Este which overlooks the lake, which takes us to another page where we can find out who used to live there…
It’s a natural process that flows – similar to a conversation.
And it’s because Wikipedia do such a good job of delivering content, that it’s no coincidence that they lurk at the top of the SERPs whenever you do a search.
So you can see it makes perfect sense to model what Wikipedia do when it comes to our back linking strategy.
There are two types of backlinks – Internal and External
The backlinksI have just talked about where Wikipedia links to other pages on Wikipedia are called internal backlinks. Google loves these on your site because they provide a good user experience.
For example, if you have a site about food and you’ve written a new article about double chocolate muffins, then there’s a good chance your visitor would be interested in article about orange and poppy seed muffins, so you should put in a link to it.
If you have a page about your favourite cakes, then you probably want to put in a link to your new double chocolate page.
In other words the links go both ways.
And the same is true with the other type of backlinks, which are external backlinks. In this type, you link to other websites which add value to your reader’s experience. As you can see above, I provided a link to Brian Clark’s article about all the Google ranking factors in case you wanted to learn about this subject.
It makes no sense if I suddenly linked to an article about Swedish meatball recipes and it makes no sense if popular Swedish culinary blog linked to my site…
What is a manufactured Backlink?
As I’ve just demonstrated, we as humans like to read about one thing at a time and enjoy being presented with further more depth information about what we are reading about if we choose to – which we can do by clicking the link
So here lies the problem with fake or manufactured backlinks. They are simply not going to be relevant.
When you buy backlinks, you are paying for someone to comment on a forum, or a social site like reddit and drop in your site’s url. You have little control of they are linking to your site.
The most expensive types of manufactured backlinks are ones where you pay for someone to write a paragraph about a similar subject such as yours eg cupcakes, on a high page ranked website, and link to your site in the middle of the article. These types of sites are referred to as Blog Networks, the link is a contextual link and you usually pay a monthly rent to keep that short article there.
Now I fully understand if you are in an ultra-competitive niche like car insurance and you absolutely must do anything to rank, but you need to know, that by employing an SEO agency or getting someone to make you links, then you are gaming the system, and you might be caught by the Google Monster.
So my advice would be for the aspiring blogger who wants to rank their article is to give the Google Monster what the Google Monster wants to eat –
> Produce great (world class) content that is going to be shared naturally.
> Add social buttons to encourage it to be shared.
> Link your content to your other related articles and other related external articles.
> Go to Buzzsumo.com, put in your search word about the article you just wrote and see who shared it. Contact those people by their twitter name and say..”Hey I saw you were interested in article A. I thought you might be interested in my similar article B. Here is the link – enjoy.”
> Keep writing great content.
> Keep Going. Its depressing in the beginning when you see no one has even seen your article, but by persisting you are telling Google that your content is fresh and should be taken notice of.
In this video, Matt Cutts, the head of the Google Anti-Spam Team talks about how they view paid backlinks.
My advice is. Give it a few months depending on your niche, and the Google monster will raise its head and take notice of your content – and at the same time blow fire on those bloggers who have bought manufactured links or whose content is stale and haven’t written any posts in months.
Do you buy backlinks? Please comment below.