Link building is not as easy as some SEOs make it sound. The truth is that many SEOs that promise thousands of links in several days get these links by buying links. Buying links will get you a good amount of links way faster than organically building up the number of inbound links to your site but the truth is that it isn’t that good an idea because Google considers buying links in order to pass/get page rank to be a link scheme. According to Google “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.”
Of course Google wouldn’t penalise your site if it does not find out that you have been buying links to get your page rank up. However, there is a good chance that they will find out. Eric Enge, who explained why he doesn’t buy links wrote a good entry on how Google can find out that you have been buying/selling links.
For those who do buy/sell links but for only for advertising purposes you shouldn’t really worry since Google considers this as a valid reason. However, you should make sure that the links are properly designated as links for advertising only (no passing of page rank) by…
- Adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute to the <a> tag; or
- Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file
If you have been buying links as part of your link building campaign or has been doing so for your clients this is a good time to rethink your strategy.