Is Buying Backlinks Safe in 2024?

buying backlinks in 2024

Nobody is debating the importance of link building for SEO as they were a few years ago. In 2024, everyone’s trying various (both effective and ineffective) methods to acquire links.

Some opt for complex routes like building their own in-house team, some delegate, while others take the simplest path – buying links. Is buying links ethical?

Do they work or are they useless? In this article, we’ll discover this topic, specifically addressing:

  • Why Do SEOs Buy Backlinks?
  • Is Buying Backlinks a White Hat Method?
  • Should You Buy Links or Avoid This Method?

Spoiler: There actually is one safe-for-SEO way to buy links in 2024! But more on that later in the article…

Why Do SEO Pros Still Purchase Backlinks?

Backlinks are vital for determining where your site lands in search results and how much traffic it pulls.

They basically tell search engines how legit your site is and if its content matches what users are looking for.

That’s why SEOs keep getting backlinks for their promotion strategies. But over 50% of them say it’s one of the toughest tasks they face. 

referring domains vs dearch traffic graph
Many SEOs still go ahead and buy backlinks, even though there’s a lot of debate around this process in the community. There are a few reasons why:

Access to authoritative resources

Buying backlinks can provide access to authoritative and high-quality resources that may be difficult or impossible to obtain organically.

Accelerated results

Building a natural link profile takes time and patience, as everyone knows. Buying backlinks allows you to speed up the process.

Nothing in link building happens overnight. For example, it usually takes around 3.1 months to see the impact of links on search result positions. So, anything that speeds this up sounds appealing.

Control over anchor texts

When you buy links, you can control the anchor texts. This helps optimize them for keywords and phrases relevant to your site.

Filling gaps in the backlink profile

Sometimes a website needs links with specific characteristics that are difficult to obtain naturally. Buying backlinks allows you to fill these gaps in the backlink profile.

However, it’s not as simple as saying that every purchased link will bring the expected results. It’s like reading tea leaves!

The effectiveness of paid links depends on many factors, from the authority of the linking site to the relevance and contextual fit of the content.

For example, if you buy a cheap link from a low-authority site for a couple of bucks, it’s unlikely to bring you riches! However, investing in high-quality and relevant links from top-tier resources could be a path to treasure!

So, where can you find these treasures? Let’s discuss this further in the article!

Is Buying Backlinks a White Hat Method?

In SEO, there are concepts like “White Hat” and “Black Hat.” These are two different approaches to optimization.

If you stick to White Hat, it means you’re playing by the rules: you’re using strategies that are completely legal and comply with search engine recommendations.

But if you opt for Black Hat, you’re looking for sneaky moves to game the system and bend the rules a bit.

Why buying backlinks isn’t considered a white hat method?

Goes against Google guidelines

Google is clear that purchasing backlinks to boost your site’s search rankings is a violation of their rules. If caught, you might face penalties like losing search positions or even getting deindexed.

This warning is widespread. But in reality, Google just ignores such links, leaving you out of pocket with no benefits.

Lacks authenticity

Backlinks are supposed to naturally arise from organic interactions (typically when users share your quality content).

However, purchasing links disrupts this natural process and makes it appear artificial and fake.

Risk of low-quality links

Buying backlinks carries the risk of obtaining low-quality, irrelevant links from sites lacking authority. This risk is significant and could harm your site’s reputation and ranking. 

Yeah, in general, buying backlinks isn’t really playing by the rules of white-hat SEO. But it’s not as straightforward as it seems.

The whole idea of “buying links” is pretty nuanced, so it’s not a simple good or bad call in every scenario.

How Much Do Backlinks Cost?

When we get asked, “How much does a link for my site cost?” we’re always a bit stumped. It’s a tricky one, given the variety of link types and their potential impact on search engine rankings.

A link could cost you anywhere from a couple of bucks to a couple of grand.

The price depends on a multitude of factors. Here are a few aspects of backlink pricing in more detail.

Premium Backlinks

Premium backlinks are what every SEO wants to get their hands on. These links come from authoritative and well-known sites like HubSpot, Forbes, or The New York Times.

They have high trust with search engines and attract a huge amount of organic traffic. In short, such links really deliver results.

However, buying these links directly is practically impossible due to their status. Such sites simply don’t engage in selling them, which is why they are so valuable.

The harder it is to get a link, the more value it holds for SEO. But they are usually formed as a result of successful PR campaigns or organic content distribution.

For example, our team got our first link from Forbes through fruitful and prolonged work with HARO. We responded to reporters’ inquiries and provided genuinely expert responses.

It wasn’t quick or easy, but we managed to achieve such a wonderful result.

Links from Link Farms

Link farms are networks of sites artificially created for the purpose of selling backlinks.

By the way, Google doesn’t approve of this, but it doesn’t always catch such maneuvers.

So, with this in mind, you probably thought that such links don’t cost much, right? But it’s not that simple! Prices for such links can be quite high. They can vary depending on the authority and quality of the source. 

Sometimes, a link farm consists of several sites with cheap domains, like xyz., built using the same template, filled with very or even extremely low-quality content.

And yet it may have thousands of associated domains but a very low DR (although this metric can easily be manipulated).

It’s easy for Google’s algorithms to expose such a link farm. And that means complete ignorance from Google and no help in ranking your site.

Related article: What is Link Farm and How to Identify It?

Links from Forums and Blogs

Links from forums and blogs are often seen as more budget-friendly. You can usually get them for a couple of bucks per link.

However, their effectiveness will also be low, just like the price ( if you’re dealing with sources that lack relevance and authority, which is pretty much the norm).

Such links may bring some benefit, but their impact on search engine rankings may be minimal or even non-existent.

Where do people buy such links? Most often, it’s platforms like Fiverr. You enter your request, and boom, you’re bombarded with offers to get tons of links for peanuts.

In most of the cases, these are links from forums where anyone and their grandma can drop a link without a second thought (until the forum moderators step in). 

buying backlinks on fiver

And so we’re claiming that forum links hardly carry any weight for your backlink profile. But on Fiverr, you spot tons of rave reviews about these cheap links.

Yes, we’ve been wondering where on earth all these reviews come from.

How is this even possible? But then, one day on Facebook, we stumble upon groups where you can buy fake reviews for Fiverr. The puzzle has come together!

buying fake reviews on fiver

Besides forum links, you can buy links from blogs. When the creators manage to boost a blog, they realize that they can make money from it by selling links.

percentage of blogs selling link inserts

Often, such blogs start selling links left and right, turning their site into a dump. They might have a DR of 70+ but still place links to anything in this world. Here’s a perfect example:
example of improper backlinking

Other blogs may be more selective and careful when choosing who they collaborate with. But that’s more of a rarity.

If a site is already into selling links, they usually don’t hold back.

Basically, the cost of backlinks depends on various factors: the authority of the site, the region, the relevance of the content, and others.

The price for backlinks can vary significantly. So, it’s critical to carefully assess the potential benefits and risks before getting them.

Use services like LinkDetective to evaluate the cost and quality of different types of backlinks and make a smarter decision. And by the way, you can find out if a blog is selling links with its help too.

What to Avoid When Buying Backlinks 

Alright, let’s wrap up everything we’ve discussed and quickly run through the red flags when buying backlinks:

Cheap link sellers

Don’t fall for the trap of getting links from bargain sellers on platforms like Fiverr or People Per Hour. Sure, the price might catch your eye, but the quality of these links often falls short.

These sellers usually peddle bulk links from low-grade sites. Best case scenario? You’re just throwing money down the drain, albeit not a lot.

Link farm sites

These sites don’t serve up organic or valuable content for users, so Google’s search algorithms usually sniff them out and ignore any links from them. Google’s Search Advocate, John Mueller, sums it up nicely: “You could go off and create millions of links across millions of websites if you wanted to, and we could just ignore them all.”

PBN

Skip the invite to join PBNs, aka private blog networks. Even if some PBNs seem legit, they often go against Google’s recommendations for quality content and natural backlinks. Sure, there are ways to make PBNs legit and actually effective, but few bother. Most just stick to basic schemes.

Low relevance and authority sources

Don’t bother buying backlinks from sources that lack relevance and authority. Sure, they might be cheap and easy to get. But their impact on your site’s SEO might be zero, or close to it.

Ignoring search engine guidelines

Avoid practices that go against search engine guidelines. These are usually link manipulation, hidden text, duplicate content, and the like. They’re basically a red flag to search algorithms.

By avoiding these practices when buying backlinks, you’re minimizing risks and setting yourself up for long-term success.

Risks of Buying Backlinks

What happens if you don’t steer clear of the practices mentioned above? Well, here are the risks you’re likely to encounter:

Negative impact from search engines

Buying backlinks can lead to serious consequences (like your site’s ranking dropping or it getting temporarily removed from search results).

Search engines, like Google, strictly crack down on attempts to manipulate site rankings.

You’ll end up with low-quality and mismatched links

Many backlink sellers peddle links from dodgy sites or ones that don’t match your site’s niche. This could damage your site’s authority and raise red flags with search engines sooner rather than later.

Non-return on investment

There’s no guarantee that investing in buying backlinks will bring the desired results. Links might turn out to be ineffective, leading to financial losses.

Issues with removing unwanted links

Trying to later remove bad backlinks can become a headache and require significant resources. The link removal process isn’t always straightforward and can lead to various problems.

For example, useful links or domains are often accidentally removed.

Short-term gains, long-term losses

Possible quick gains from buying backlinks can eventually turn into serious problems in the future. Your site’s reputation could suffer, and its search rankings could significantly deteriorate.

Violating search engine rules can lead to long-term optimization issues.

How to Buy Backlinks?

Buying backlinks can be a risky move, but there are some safe ways to do it.

The best and safest method is to turn to reputable link-building agencies. Instead of directly purchasing links, you pay for a link-building service.

These agencies use only white-hat methods, have extensive connections in various niches, and can get links from authoritative sites that don’t sell links. 

The cost of such links typically starts at $300 and can go up to several thousand dollars. Yes, they’re not as cheap as forum links on Fiverr, but you’re getting a link that’s genuinely beneficial for SEO. 

Hiring a link-building agency comes with several advantages:

  • Security. Your links will be built using methods that comply with search engine standards.
  • Expertise. SEO professionals will take care of your project and ensure you get quality and relevant links.
  • Access to premium links. Reputable agencies can secure premium links for you, such as Niche Edits (editing content within existing articles to add a link) and PR Links (getting published on high-authority and high-traffic sites), thanks to their extensive network of contacts in different niches.

Getting links through well-known agencies is one of the options where you don’t have to worry too much about potential pitfalls when buying backlinks.

Wrapping Up: Buying Backlinks in 2024 

In short, there are plenty of options where to buy links. They can cost next to nothing or set you back several thousand dollars.

The outcomes from purchased links can also vary. The key rule in this business is not to be tempted by low prices, but to choose your contractor wisely, one who will use white-hat methods and not harm your link profile.

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