It seems that search marketers just can’t get their heads around the concept of life without paid links. It’s as if SEO just cannot exist without at least a sprinkling of links that include the exchanging of cash. Personally, I’m not a fan of buying links. No, seriously. Sure, I’ve experimented with them–those crazy days–but these days I’d prefer to create some kind of great linkbait than risk getting caught up in a paid link scandal.
However, I’m often asked my thoughts on the best strategies for buying paid links. So, I’ve compiled a list of ten strategies to use if you’re convinced that your only option is to buy yourself some link-love. And, yes, these tactics have all been approved by Matt–my brother Matt back in England, hi Matt!
Before I get started, I’d like to offer a Jake Baillie influenced disclaimer: These tips are provided purely as entertainment and are not designed for you to try and circumvent Google’s noble efforts to clean up the web–or at least make room for its own
- Only buy links from sites that are highly relevant to your web site content. If you sell ring tones, that link from an online florist will stick out like a sore thumb!
- If the site you are buying links from already has more than 5 paid links on the page, walk away.
- If the site labels the links as “sponsored” or “paid links” or anything like that, walk away.
- Be selective in your targeting. Don’t buy footer or sidebar links if you can help it.
- Vary your anchor text. Try to make your anchor text look natural. If you buy links on 100 pages, and they all use the same text, you’re asking for trouble.
- Avoid any paid link where the seller is also an affiliate for the broker. Those “earn money selling links”banners? Yeah Google can see those too!
- Check that the page ranks well for its targeted keywords. If it doesn’t rank well for its own keywords, it will likely not help you.
- Point the links at different pages within your site. Don’t buy lots of links for your homepage.
- Try to get the links in a contextual format. A link that is part of a highly relevant paragraph will be more valuable.
- I guess I should round this out to ten. Don’t worry about buying PageRank. A brand new page may be highly relevant to your industry and rank well, yet the PR shows 0/10. Ignore that, PR takes forever to catch up.
There are certainly many other tips, and SEOs better qualified on paid links than I, so feel free to add your tips below. And, if anyone knows Matt Cutts’ IP address, let me know so I can redirect him to Disney.com or something.
(Some of this post originally appeared on Gooruze. If you were a member, you would have read this first!)