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Are backlinks any good in 2021? Believe it or not, backlinks still work to make SEO campaigns successful. You can’t do without quality backlinks if you’re serious about getting higher search rankings and relevant traffic to your website’s pages.
Can you now deny the importance of backlinks? Hell, never!
But here’s the thing,
Isn’t it enough if you’re focussing on creating high-quality content? Won’t backlinks simply follow?
The bitter truth is that you need to supplement great content with effective blogger outreach and link buying.
Don’t worry if you have no clue about how to buy links for your site. This guide will take you through the entire process of purchasing quality links cost-effectively.
Ready, let’s get started.
Buying backlinks means you pay a site to link to your site.
Buying a backlink could take the form of a sponsored post, a guest post placement, a link placement, a product review or any other such form of paid link-building. In this section, let’s understand more about paid backlinking, it’s key advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s take a look at Google’s definition of a paid link:
“exchanging money for links or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a ‘free’ product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.”
Whether you’re buying links or selling them, it’s against Google’s Webmaster guidelines.
Disclaimer: At Search Eye, we do not recommend or endorse any form of paid backlinking. Buying links or running a paid link-building campaign is purely a client’s decision. Paid backlinking is risky and attracts strict site inspection and action by search engines.
The critical difference between paid and organic backlinks is that you pay for the former. You can acquire an organic backlink by producing insightful content and connecting with bloggers who might want to link it
But when you pay those bloggers a fee to include your site’s link or content on their site, it’s a paid link.
Does that mean that all organic links come for free?
Both backlinking strategies cost money, time, and resources. Paid backlinking may save you some time. But paid backlinks are risky as they can cause your website to get penalized by Google.
Let’s now look at some of the benefits and pitfalls of buying backlinks.
Buying-backlinks comes with its set of advantages and disadvantages. In this chapter, let’s look at why you should or shouldn’t buy backlinks.
First and foremost, backlink buying gives you more links, which is most likely to result in higher search rankings.
Studies show that paid link-building does work for many businesses:
78 percent of companies who buy legitimate paid links consider them to be efficient backlink building opportunities.
69 percent of businesses using paid link buying considered their campaigns to be efficient
While there are quite a few advantages of buying backlinks, make sure you buy links relevant to your niche. Plus, don’t forget to get links from high-quality websites.
Let’s now learn about some of the possible disadvantages of buying backlinks.
The idea of buying backlinks does come with a fair share of risks. What are some of the pitfalls of buying backlinks? Let’s take a look:
Ok, so now that you’ve got a brief idea of the fors and againsts of link buying, let’s learn about how you can buy quality links to your site.
The long and short of it is that buying links is safe as long as you’re purchasing those links from a solution provider who’s following the industry norms. You should stray away from buying links on spammy sites or from agencies that buy such links. In this chapter, let’s look at some safe link purchasing practices.
When you acquire a high-quality guest post link, it improves site authority and fetches more site traffic. There are quite a few blogs and publications in every industry that offer to publish guest posts.
And some of these sites offer priority publishing along with a do-follow backlink—that often comes at a price.
Whether you choose to go for non-paid or paid guest articles, you can outsource the service to an agency or a freelancer.
What all to consider when buying guest post placements:
If you’re an SEO manager, then you probably must have come across this term called PBNs. Let’s understand a PBN and whether it’s an effective channel to buy links for your site.
What is a Private Blogging Network?
A Private Blogging Network is a group of niche blogs created to promote or link to one specific website. A business may make such a content network pass link juice to their web property. Most often, the sites in a PBN are not related to each other.
Is PBN Illegal?
Google’s guidelines suggest that PBN links are spammy, and you should not consider them when getting links for your site.
It’s one of the reasons why PBNs are an attractive option.
Benefits of a Private Blogging Network
While PBNs are an illegitimate form of link-building, they do work for some businesses like this one.
That’s why many SEO managers and content marketers use PBNs to build links for their site.
Risk of a Private Blogging Network
First off, getting links from a PBN is a blackhat SEO technique. You should not consider this option for link acquisition when aiming to build links the white hat way. The following image shows a clear-cut difference between blackhat and whitehat SEO techniques:
Coming to the point, if Google finds out that a site has acquired low-quality manipulative links from a Private Blogging Network, it will penalize the website.
The search engines can discover such links because most PBNs have low publishing cycles, thin content, and zero internal linking.
Do all Paid Links Come from PBNs?
Some SEOs often make the mistake of believing that a paid link is the same as a PBN link.
In either of the two specific cases, you need to analyze the website and link-quality before going ahead.
How to get media coverage quickly and effectively?
To get quick backlinks from stuff like features and interviews, you need to hire a PR agency.
When you think of search, the first thing that comes into your mind is a directory. Web directories are as old as the internet.
Let’s take a look at some of the common types of directory links:
Small business directories like Manta are great for listing businesses like Home Repair, Auto Repair, Legal Aid, etc. Some of these directories offer do-follow links, plus the facility to register your business for free.
It’s easy to create local citations on search engines like Google and Bing. You can also put your business details such as name, address, phone number, and website link on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
These are directories where you need to pay to get listed. Since such directories have limited listings, the link-juice is relatively higher. For instance, the price of a listing on a directory like Best of the Web is USD 149 per year.
The coolest thing about a niche directory is that the backlink you get is niche relevant. That’s why investing in such directories is a cool way to buy a backlink that fetches authority, traffic, and customers. For instance, this garden directory charges USD 4.99 to USD 34.99 for single website submission.
Buying backlinks on the relevant niche directory is undoubtedly an effective way to enhance your link profile. The key is to focus on quality and to keep an eye on the business outcomes.
A fantastic way to buy links and visibility for your business is to sponsor niche events.
Whether it’s a local startup event or a health seminar, you can choose an event that aligns with your business niche, sponsor it and get a backlink.
Yes, you heard it right—content acquisition. Content-acquisition may be a lesser-known way to spend money to get quick links, but it may turn out to be quite useful.
Although content-acquisition is a terrific way to promote your business and acquire link-worthy content assets, it may be a little out of reach for small to medium-sized companies with significant budget constraints.
How about paying money for a good cause? If you donate to charitable organizations, they will list your business on their site, and you’ll get a valuable backlink.
Find local charities online or visit platforms like Charity Navigator to look for causes and charities that might be relevant to your business.
What is a Link Exchange?
Link-exchange is a way many businesses offer a backlink in exchange for another link. This way, site owners in a particular niche help each other grow their link-equity. The link-swap is usually content-based.
Let’s understand link-exchange with the help of an example.
Suppose you’re looking for a link back to an established blog in your niche. Let’s call it ‘X’. You pitch your content to the editor of X. X agrees to offer you a link, but on the condition that you provide X with a link back on a reasonably high authority website.
This way, your website gets a link, and so does the established blog X. In this example, we talked about two businesses exchanging links.
But there are many bloggers, agencies, and SEO professionals who run and have access to private influencer networks.
These groups help each other get access to sites and links that may otherwise be hard to attain.
Is It Safe to do a Link-Swap?
Although Google is against any form of excessive or manipulative link-exchange, link swaps are quite common.
In fact, a study by Ahrefs reveals that:
What’s the cost of a link-swap?
If your agency is doing a link-swap, they will invoice you for the final acquired backlink. If your in-house team participates in a link-exchange, you need to calculate the cost of earning or buying links for third-party sites.
A popular way to acquire paid backlinks is to get niche bloggers and influencers to review your products.
The ideal way to start is to offer a free product trial to the blogger. Some high-profile bloggers ask for an additional fee to review the product. Take a look at this example of a product review by a fitness blogger:
Many authority sites are happy to link back to guides and resource pieces that add value to their content.
Again, if you need to get such quality links, you can hire a content marketing and blogger outreach agency.
Some bloggers are happy to link back without any fee, while others charge a fee for placing a link on their site.
What are Niche Edits?
In the SEO world, links in existing content are known as niche edits. When you get a blogger to add a link in a piece of existing content or a web-page, it’s called a niche edit.
With niche edits, you may end up compromising on the quality of a backlink. But you end up getting the cost and speed advantage. Go for niche edits that are close to your business requirements. Plus, make sure that niche edits aren’t the bigger pie of your link-building portfolio.
Fiverr is a freelance marketplace where you can find SEO freelancers selling thousands of links for as low as USD 5 or USD 10. The process of buying links on Fiverr may seem like a quick way to get a ton of backlinks.
But here is the vital question,
Does buying backlinks on Fiverr work?
The answer is relatively straight-forward—never fall for any quick link-building scheme on any freelancing platform.
If you find a genuine freelancer who writes for authority sites in your niche, it might work as a decent way to buy natural backlinks. Make sure to check the freelancer’s credibility and the list of sites on offer.
To maintain a healthy link profile and to stay away from spammy backlinks, you must follow some best practices while buying links. Let’s briefly look at the link-buying check-list:
It’s always a good idea to track your backlinks regularly. You can trim links that aren’t good enough or affect your site’s link profile.
Like any other marketing strategy, you need to plan your paid backlink acquisition strategy. If you know the cost factors in advance, you can decide the type of links to aim at before going out there and buying those links. In this section, let’s understand the various factors that determine the cost of paid links.
Every blog has a different quality of content and its unique readership. The cost of getting a link on a DR 70 website is higher than the price of a link on a DR 45 website. The simple rule is that you need to be prepared to shell out more $$$ when you wish to get links from higher Domain Authority sites and a larger audience.
Every time you reach out to a site to request a guest post or a link back to your article, they’re concerned about your site’s authority and brand strength. It’s easy to get a link if you’re an established brand or a site with high domain authority.
Because many other niche sites would want to link to content from your site; however, a new site may have to put more effort or invest more money in getting quality links.
The cost of buying links in different business verticals varies; why? Because every industry has a varying demand and supply of backlinks.
Business Niches with Relatively High Cost of Backlinks
Let’s look at some industries where buying a link can be an expensive affair:
Loans: The loan industry is pretty big right now. If you’re looking to build links in the loans niche, you must first create some robust content assets.
Real Estate: The market for Real Estate backlinks has become quite competitive. Thus, the high price for links.
Finance: Be it Personal Finance or Business Finance, many companies are vying for quality backlinks in this space.
Casino and Gambling: Unless you are affiliated with sites in the Casino and Poker niches, you might have to pay a high price for links on such websites.
Business Niches with Medium Cost of Backlinks
Let’s look at some niches where the backlink isn’t that pricey:
Technology: This niche is vast—it includes everything from Cyber-Security to web-hosting to Virtual Private Networks. Explore the technology niche, and you’ll find that it’s full of awesome link-opportunities.
SaaS Businesses: The SaaS industry is quite a competitive one. But at the same time, you’ll find lots of bloggers and content marketers open to building and exchanging backlinks.
Legal: Legal knowledge commands a high-price, and so do legal backlinks. But you’ll also find a decent number of link-opportunities at a reasonable price.
Food and Nutrition: The food and nutrition space is full of influencers with a large following. If you want them to link to your site, you must create some unique and valuable content. Else, to start a collaboration with these bloggers, you need to shell out the money.
Business Niches with Low Cost of Backlinks
Here are some industries where buying backlinks may be relatively cheap:
Charities: There are people out there producing content in this niche. As they’re doing it for a cause, they don’t charge a significant fee for backlinks.
Education: Companies in the Education business have many great link-building opportunities—you need to go out there and reach out to the publishers in this niche.
Video Games: Video gaming content is in vogue; many publishers out there and some good-quality links up for grabs. Go out there and play.
Hobby Sites (Entertainment, Cars): The Hobby niche links are easy to come by. That’s because there’s a great deal of demand for good content in this niche.
The anchor text in a link is a clickable text that leads to the linked page.
Why does anchor text matter?
While buying links, you can either choose a specific anchor text or stay flexible about it. Although it’s not a compulsion to determine an exact keyword anchor or brand match anchor, being strategic about the anchor text can improve link-building outcomes. A study by Ahrefs shows a positive correlation between keyword-rich anchors and search engine rankings.
Making sure you get your choice of anchor in a backlink may push up the backlink cost. At the same time, you might end up with better business results from such links.
Do-Follow and No-Follow Links
One of the things that showcase a link’s quality is whether the attribute is No-Follow or Do-Follow. Do-Follow links pass link juice to the site earning the backlink, while a No-Follow link does not.
That does not mean that No-Follow links aren’t useful for your website.
No-Follow links can send a ton of valuable referral traffic to a site. Do-Follow links are still more practical and would cost you more than No-Follow links. You can check whether a site offers a Do-Follow link or a No-Follow one by checking out their page source.
Acquiring links is a time taking process. Purchasing links is undoubtedly a faster exercise, but you need to plan for better results.
It’s natural to want to know the cost of buying links. That’s the best way to plan for your link-building campaign. In this section, let’s learn about the average cost of buying links from different link-building channels.
Whether you’re pitching a guest article or a guide you published on your site, the goal is to get a link. There is always a percentage of bloggers who are ready to offer a quick sponsored link.
According to a study conducted by Ahrefs, in 2018, 12.6 percent of bloggers were prepared to sell links. These bloggers belonged to different business verticals such as Fashion, Fitness, and Travel, etc.
The Ahrefs study found that the average cost of buying a link from bloggers is USD 361.44. A significant cost factor for such links is Domain Authority. The following image graph shows how the price goes up with the target blogs’ Domain Rating.
If you closely observe the above graph, you realize that a larger proportion of sites have a DR higher than 40.
Ahrefs also conducted a study to find out the proportion of bloggers charging for guest posts.
The study revealed that the average fee for a guest post was USD 77.80; this was back in 2018. Here is the break of the authority of sites included in the research.
If you look at this graph, you’ll notice that most of the blogs in the study have a DR lower than 39.
Hence, a lower average cost of buying guest posts.
If you do a quick Google search, you’ll find various agencies selling all types of links. Make sure you choose an agency whose focus is on organic link-building and high-quality backlinks.
For understanding, let’s suppose you were to buy links from an agency like Search Eye.
Here is the price list of the different type of links offered by Search Eye:
High-quality Guest Posts: USD 65 – USD 310 per link/mention
Manual Outreach: USD 515 per link/mention
Niche Edits: USD 65 – USD 135 per link/mention
Digital PR: USD 515 per link/mention
Podcast Booking: USD 625/interview
Let’s now look at the comparative price chart of some of the popular link-building agencies:
|Agency||Hoth||Search Eye||loganix||Fatjoe||Outreach Monks|
|Price of a Guest Post on Medium DR site||USD 160||USD 145||USD 200||USD 95||USD 109|
No doubt buying backlinks can help you get links at a faster pace. At the same time, paid links can be risky as they are against Google’s regulations. But if you properly assess each domain’s quality and authority, then buying links can fetch more backlinks in less time.
More backlinks are likely to result in higher search rankings and traffic. If you do a thorough quality analysis, you’ll end up buying relevant and non-spammy backlinks. The trick is to buy links that are as good as natural links—that’s when you’ll never face a penalty. Plus, your link profile will remain clean as well.
I hope you found this guide on buying links useful. Do share your experience and suggestions in the comments section below.