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Buy Backlinks

If you’ve ever dabbled in link-building, you’ve probably been offered the opportunity to Buy Backlinks. This contentious practice remains a hot topic in the SEO world as we approach it.

The first question on many marketers’ minds is whether buying backlinks is still a viable strategy or a potential path to penalization. Buying backlinks can yield rewards like increased organic traffic and improved search rankings when done right- with a nuanced, future-proof approach. Get it wrong, however, and you risk wasting your budget lining unscrupulous site owners’ pockets.

The debate around buying backlinks has raged for years, with some SEO professionals staunchly opposed and others touting it as an effective link-building tactic. As search engines’ algorithms continuously evolve, so must our perspective on ethical backlink acquisition.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the safest and most sustainable ways to buy backlinks. From vetting link sources to structuring agreements, we’ll cover everything you need to future-proof your backlink profile while avoiding penalties. Whether you’re a seasoned link buyer or just starting to explore this strategy, this article will provide an essential framework for ethical and impactful backlink buying in 2024.

What Is Link Buying?

The premise of buying links is quite simple. A site owner will agree to place your backlink on their website at a price.

This link in your backlink profile boosts your organic traffic and helps you achieve better search rankings in Google’s search results.

While this is the dream scenario, it’s only sometimes achievable, especially if you use black-hat SEO tactics like link schemes. Search engines can easily identify these manipulative practices and issue penalties.

However, if you go the white hat route by acquiring paid links on high-authority sites by creating quality, editorially-placed content, you have a better chance of making bought links work for your SEO. This ethical approach aligns with search engine guidelines and can deliver sustainable ranking benefits.

The key is understanding that not all paid link-building methods are equal and beyond. As search algorithms get smarter at policing low-quality links, your link acquisition strategy must prioritize natural link patterns, authoritative sources, and providing value to readers. We’ll dive deeper into these nuanced best practices throughout this guide.

Should You Buy Backlinks?

There is no simple yes or no answer to this question. However, you’re missing out on external links from many high-quality, relevant websites if you outright refuse to engage in paid link-building.

In some highly competitive industries, like insurance, online casinos, and finance, paid backlinks are often necessary to gain ground and visibility. You can guarantee that major, multi-million dollar businesses in these sectors are investing heavily in buying links at scale.

With that said, paid link acquisition methods must be carried out carefully and focus on adding value to readers. Any tactics perceived as manipulative link schemes could raise red flags with search engines,ing, leading to penalties that negate your efforts.

We’ve compiled a video guide below that analyzes the various considerations around buying backlinks, both from an SEO impact perspective and from the angle of adhering to search engine guidelines. Leveraging paid links can be an effective strategy when done properly, but there are also risks to factor in.

Google’s Stance

One of the main concerns about buying backlinks is the risk of being penalized by Google for engaging in unnatural link-building practices. As such, it’s crucial to understand Google’s official stance on paid links.

Google’s guidelines warn against buying or selling links that pass PageRank, considering it violates their link schemes policy. The search engine frowns upon artificial methods of gaining links that don’t adhere to their quality guidelines.

From Google’s perspective, you technically shouldn’t buy backlinks if you want to follow their webmaster’s best practices. Their guidelines state, “Buying or selling links is an unnatural link scheme and is in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.”

However, buying and selling links remains an incredibly common practice that many SEO professionals leverage. While Google hasn’t explicitly condoned these tactics, it has hifted away from aggressively penalizing every instance of paid links.

The more recent approach is devaluing links Google identifies as potentially being part of a link scheme rather than issuing heavy-handed penalties. This gives websites more leeway to engage in paid link-building when done thoughtfully.

As we’ll cover in this guide, the key is ensuring your paid link acquisition follows the principles of providing value to users and avoiding manipulative tactics. Paid links need to align with Google’s vision of natural link patterns and quality content – otherwise, you risk having your investment devalued at best, or penalized at worst.

Why SEO Professionals Buy Backlinks

In the early days of SEO, it was possible to gain many free backlinks simply by using tactics like the infamous “Skyscraper” technique.

In 2022 and 2023, website owners became much more aware of the monetary value of their links. If you perform outreach today, you’ll quickly discover that many sites will only agree to post a backlink if you pay them directly.

Most website owners and publishers have realized they can earn significant revenue simply from selling backlinks. This makes acquiring free links through techniques like the Skyscraper method exceedingly difficult, even with amazing content and an established brand.

As a result, an increasing number of SEO professionals have embraced paid link building as a necessary tactic, provided it’s done ethically and value-driven, aligning with search engine guidelines. We’ll explore strategies for sustainable paid link acquisition throughout this guide.

How Much Do Backlinks Cost?

Now we’ve established that buying backlinks can be a viable SEO tactic when done properly, you may wonder about the typical costs involved. The pricing for paid backlinks can vary significantly depending on a number of factors:

1) Authority of the Link Source 

High authority domains with a strong track record, large audience, and positive reputation understandably charge premium rates for backlink placements. Expect to pay $500+ for a single link from an authoritative source like Forbes, Entrepreneur, etc.

2) Link Placement Quality 

Highly relevant, contextual link placements within the body content of an article come at a higher price than footer/sidebar links or low-quality directory-style listings. The more valuable and editorial the link, the more expensive.

3) Link Permanence 

Temporarily sponsored or paid links may be cheaper upfront, but permanent backlinks that renew annually tend to provide better long-term ROI if they maintain their authority over time.

4) Niche Factors 

Certain niches like finance, travel, and gambling have an abundance of paid link opportunities and sellers, which can drive up pricing through competition.

While low-quality paid links may be available for $50 or less, we advise budgeting at least $500-$1,000 per high-value backlink from an authoritative, relevant source when building paid links properly. The exact costs can fluctuate based on the criteria above.

The key takeaway is that quality, sustainable paid links from authoritative, relevant sources should be viewed as an investment, not a cheap commodity. Later in this guide, we’ll discuss vetting sources and structuring paid link deals.

How Much Do Backlinks Cost?

Why Charge for Backlinks?

As mentioned earlier, the main reason website owners charge for backlinks is because they understand the significant value those links provide to businesses seeking to improve their search rankings and organic traffic.

Additionally, there is legitimate effort involved in vetting opportunities, creating quality content, and properly implementing paid backlink placements. Many site owners believe it’s only fair to be compensated for providing that value and service.

One prime example is bloggers and content creators who offer sponsored post/link opportunities. When you read through many popular bloggers’ monthly “income reports,” you’ll notice that revenue from paid link placements and sponsored content makes up a sizable proportion of their earnings.

The numbers can be staggering – we’ve seen cases where bloggers earn upwards of $15,000 per month just from selling backlink opportunities within their content. With that kind of income potential, it’s no surprise the practice is so widespread.

From the website owner’s perspective, their backlinks are a valuable commodity that deserves proper compensation, not just given away for free. As search engines emphasize quality over quantity for backlinks, that perceived link value will likely increase even further.

While the costs may seem high, investing in premium backlinks from authoritative, relevant sources can yield incredible returns for businesses when done as part of a larger strategic SEO campaign. We’ll dive more into evaluating pricing and structuring paid link deals later on.

Examples of Bloggers Selling Backlinks

The prevalence of bloggers and content creators selling paid link insertions, typically labeled as “sponsored posts”, illustrates just how lucrative this income stream can be. Here are some examples:

This fitness/mommy blogger reported that over 80% of her revenue came from sponsored posts containing paid backlinks.

For this family of travel bloggers, their highest single-income earner in March 2019 was sponsored posts.

This personal finance blogger revealed earning $4,612 in one month, with sponsored posts as the biggest revenue driver.

These examples make the incentive for selling backlinks very clear. Bloggers and content websites increasingly rely on the link-building industry for a major portion of their income. For many, it helps fulfill the dream of working remotely as a digital nomad.

The practice is especially common in highly competitive niches like finance, gambling, and others, where businesses aggressively pursue any perceived search ranking advantage. Every external link a website places passes PageRank, which could boost a competitor’s visibility, so there is an immense monetary value attached to that link equity.

Ultimately, whether you choose to buy backlinks depends on your growth goals, tolerance for risk, and the competitiveness of your industry. A comprehensive, future-proof strategy is essential to reap the rewards while mitigating potential downsides covered later in this guide.

The Risks of Buying Backlinks

While buying backlinks can be an effective strategy when executed properly, there are some significant risks to be aware of:

❌ Wasted Investment: Paying for low-quality backlinks on directories, forums, or through private blog networks is likely to provide little to no SEO value. Google’s ever-improving algorithms are adept at identifying and ignoring these spammy, manipulative links.

❌ Manual Penalties: The more serious risk is receiving a manual action or penalty from Google if they determine your paid link building violates their webmaster guidelines. A human reviewer could flag your site for participating in link schemes, resulting in a significant drop in rankings and organic traffic that can be extremely difficult to recover from.

However, it’s important to note that manual actions specifically related to unnatural paid links are becoming increasingly rare as Google gets smarter. The search engine generally opts to devalue spam/low-quality links algorithmically rather than issuing heavy-handed penalties.

That said, egregious violations of Google’s paid link guidelines could potentially still result in penalties that cripple your site’s visibility. This underscores the importance of being judicious and ethical in your paid link acquisition strategy.

Any scaled paid link-building efforts need to prioritize long-term value and relevance over short-term tactics that could be construed as manipulative link schemes. While the upside of an effective paid link campaign can be immense, the risks of harsh penalties make developing a nuanced, future-proof strategy essential as we move and beyond.

How to Buy Backlinks?

There are various methods for buying backlinks, some more ethical and sustainable than others. As we explore different paid link-building tactics, it’s important to weigh the potential risks against the rewards for your SEO goals.

Link-Buying Methods:

❌ Not a good link-buying method.

🟠 A link-buying method that is worth investigating but may not be the best idea.

βœ”οΈ A great link-buying method.

❌ Spammy Services on Freelance Marketplaces

Many new website owners first encounter the option of buying backlinks through services offered on freelance websites like Fiverr or PeoplePerHour. While these marketplaces can offer some legitimate link-building services, they are also rampant with spammy, low-quality link sellers to avoid.

Here’s an example of a typical shady listing from PeoplePerHour:

“I will provide 500 high authority backlinks to rank your website”

These bad link building services usually promise an unrealistic number of backlinks for a very low price. They may even claim to create “white hat” links or guarantee big ranking increases.

However, any deal that seems too good to be true likely is. Proper, ethical backlink building is a time-consuming, nuanced process that has no certainties. A typical whitehat link building campaign involves:

βœ… Creating a data-driven backlink strategy
βœ… Conducting careful outreach to relevant, authoritative websites
βœ… Negotiating paid link opportunities with discerning site owners
βœ… Creating high-quality, valuable content to host the backlinks

Any service offering hundreds or thousands of backlinks for just a few dollars is undoubtedly taking dangerous shortcuts you’ll want to avoid.

Beware of PBNs

A common black link tactic used by these low-quality sellers is leveraging private blog networks (PBNs)β€”a cluster of websites they own solely to sell backlinks. This allows them to generate links easily at scale with little effort.

However, search engines like Google are extremely skilled at identifying PBNs and will punish sites that use them, as it’s considered a clear violation of their link scheme guidelines.

Low-Quality Links

In addition to PBNs, these spam services generate backlinks through other low-quality methods, such as automatically-generated blog comments, guestbook spam, low-quality directories, and more. While cheap, these tactics provide no real SEO value and put your site at risk.

When paying for backlinks, it’s crucial to stick to trusted, authoritative sources and follow ethical link-selling best practices. Anything seeming too cheap or unrealistic from freelance marketplaces should be an immediate red flag to avoid.

🟠 Niche Edits

Niche edits are a popular paid link-building strategy where you pay website owners to insert a contextual backlink to your site within their existing content.

The Upside

Niche edits can be an effective way to acquire quality backlinks because they allow you to:

βœ… Carefully vet and choose which websites to get links from
βœ… Generate backlinks to important pages that may not naturally attract many links
βœ… Quickly build new backlinks at scale
βœ… Have some control over the anchor text used

When done properly on legitimate sites, these paid links can be difficult for Google to distinguish from editorial links, providing a way to ethically influence rankings.

The Downside

The major risk with niche edits is potentially getting backlinks from low-quality or spammy sites that oversell link insertions. If a site owner is willing to add locker-room paid links en masse, how many other sites are they doing this with?

While individual paid links on a site may fly under the radar, Google’s algorithms can identify larger patterns suggesting a site is a link farm or participating in link schemes. Getting associated with one of these sites can potentially backfire and harm your own search rankings.

This underscores the importance of thoroughly vetting any site on which you pursue niche edit paid links. Key quality signals include:

  • Legitimate, transparent website ownership details
  • High-quality, original content relevant to the site’s topic
  • Natural, consistent organic search traffic patterns
  • A clear content editing/paid link policy that isn’t overselling

Niche edits can be a sustainable paid link tactic, but exercising caution in who you work with and avoiding ANY links from private blog networks or blatant link sellers is crucial.

🟠 Paid Guest Posts

Paid guest posting involves paying to have your article published on a third-party website, with the inclusion of a contextual backlink. This shares many of the same benefits as niche edits.

You can carefully vet and choose authoritative websites in your niche that are a good fit. You control the content and can strategically build backlinks to important pages using your desired anchor text. When done on legitimate, high-quality sites, paid guest posts can be an effective way to acquire editorial backlinks that positively influence rankings.

The major downside is the same risk as niche edits – potentially getting duped into paying for a guest post on a low-quality, spammy site that oversells paid links. This could lead to Google identifying it as a link scheme.

When pursuing paid guest posts, you need to thoroughly vet the site’s quality signals like:

  • Legitimate website ownership/editing standards
  • High traffic from relevant sources
  • A track record of publishing authoritative content
  • Reasonable paid post pricing that’s not suspiciously cheap

For both niche edits and guest posts, you either need to create the content yourself or pay to outsource it, adding to the investment. However, some high-quality sites may be open to publishing your content for free if you have established authority.

Overall, paid guest posting can be a sustainable link building tactic when done properly on authoritative, relevant sites that aren’t overselling paid link opportunities.

❌/🟠/βœ”οΈPaying an Agency

Hiring a link-building agency is another common approach businesses take to acquire backlinks. This differs slightly from directly paying for links yourself, as you’re enlisting professionals to execute a link acquisition strategy on your behalf.

This approach benefits you by allowing you to access the expertise, resources, and established processes of an experienced link-building team. However, the quality of results can vary significantly depending on the agency you hire.

When vetting link-building agencies, their specific tactics and standards are the main factor to evaluate. You want to avoid any agency using unethical black hat methods like private blog networks (PBNs) or link schemes that could lead to Google penalties. However, an agency following best practices for ethical, sustainable link-building can be a worthwhile investment.

Some tips for identifying a reputable link-building partner include:

βœ… Discussing their specific link-building strategies and getting full transparency upfront
βœ… Reviewing case studies with clear, data-backed results for real clients
βœ… Checking the agency’s own website authority and backlink profile quality
βœ… Reading independent reviews and testimonials from multiple clients
βœ… Clarifying their use (or avoidance) of any paid link tactics

Red flags to watch out for include:

❌ Suspiciously low pricing that seems too good to be true
❌ Guaranteeing a certain number of backlinks from specific high-authority sites
❌ Promising an unrealistic link velocity (quality link building takes time)

When hiring an agency, you’re betting on their expertise, ethics, and ability to consistently acquire links that follow search engine guidelines. Taking the time to properly vet candidates can pay dividends while partnering with an unscrupulous link seller could put your website at risk.

βœ”οΈ Sponsored Content

Sponsored content is a white hat paid link-building tactic that can be an effective part of an ethical backlink strategy. It involves paying websites to publish promotional/sponsored blog posts containing a contextual link to your site.

The key difference from guest posting is that these paid placements are clearly disclosed. The backlink is typically marked with rel=”sponsored” or rel=”nofollow” attributes. This transparency signals to Google that you have paid for the link placement.

While nofollow links don’t directly pass PageRank or ranking authority like followed editorial links, they still provide value in a few ways:

  • Driving referral traffic from the publisher’s audience
  • Increasing your brand’s exposure and visibility
  • Potentially earning follow-up links organically from the content’s reach

Additionally, sponsored content lets you get featured in large, authoritative publications that may not normally accept guest posts. This type of exposure can have compounding benefits for your overall backlink efforts.

The downside is that these nofollow sponsored links need to have the direct SEO impact of followed links. However, they can still be a worthwhile investment as part of a balanced, future-proof link-building approach that adheres to Google’s guidelines around paid link disclosure.

When leveraging sponsored content, it’s advisable to pursue these opportunities on high-quality, reputable sites with robust sponsored content policies and pricing aligned with the caliber of their audience. As with any paid link tactic, thorough vetting of the sources is crucial to maintain best practices.

Website Quality is the Most Important Factor

In the realm of online presence, website quality reigns supreme. Whether contemplating the purchase of backlinks or engaging in link building, one cardinal rule remains steadfast: prioritize site quality above all else.

Search engines like Google possess sophisticated algorithms, capable of discerning nuances in website credibility. While they may not explicitly detect paid links, they are adept at detecting signals indicative of monetary transactions for links.

The peril lies in the association. Should a search engine deem the linking site unworthy or suspect, regardless of the link’s origin, your website stands vulnerable to penalties. Conversely, if your links stem from reputable sources favored by search engines, you’re shielded from such risks.

Before investing in any link, scrutinize the prospective website. Seek out hallmarks of excellence: compelling, original content, transparent ownership or operation details, robust traffic metrics, and evidence of an engaged audience.

If a potential link source meets these stringent criteria, the prospect of payment merits consideration. Conversely, should it fall short, prudence dictates avoidance.

In the intricate web of online visibility, the quality of your digital footprint determines your fate. Embrace discernment, prioritize quality, and safeguard the integrity of your online presence.


In backlink acquisition, the decision to buy or not to buy remains nuanced. Yet, amidst this complexity, there are actionable steps you can take to navigate this terrain wisely and mitigate the risk of incurring Google penalties.

Our agency stands ready for those seeking a trusted partner in professional link-building endeavors. With a wealth of experience in procuring paid links alongside an arsenal of white hat strategies, we’ve garnered the trust of over 50 brands.

Reach out today, and let’s embark on a journey of strategic link-building services tailored to elevate your digital presence.