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My main keyword is: "city widgets," and my two other primary keywords are: "country widgets" and "city widget collectors"
Currently, my SERP ranking for the main keyword is ~110, which is as good as 1,000,000.
My on-page optimization is pretty well done. My domain is citywidgetstricks.com. My page title is City Widgets Tricks, and I have a bunch of original articles about city widgets on my site and main page. However, my off-page optimization is pretty poor. Therefore:
I want to buy 5 links from PR4 sites with the anchor text being my main keyword "city widgets." I want to also buy 10 other links from PR3 sites for my two other primary keywords. All these keywords are from widget related websites.
My competitors have PageRanks of 4 and 3, but their pages are not optimized for my main keyword. They are optimized for a more competitive keyword, which is "city [more trafficked synonym of widgets]).
My question now is: how high will this these links bring my PageRank and what is the likelihood of me breaking into the first page of the SERP for my main keyword with this investment?
Thanks a lot,
[edited by: tedster at 8:57 pm (utc) on Oct. 19, 2008]
Addressing some of your ideas here, PageRank is assigned to a url, and not to a "site". How much PageRank gets transferred is affected by the PR of the url as well as how many links are on that page. More links means less PR is voted for each one.
Also, there are many ways that PR transfer can be prevented - including the rel="nofollow" attribute in the anchor tag, sending the link through a redirect script, and simply being on a page that Google feels is selling links.
Of course, the end goal is not the PageRank, but the high SERP rank.
My option is either to leave my site at the ~110 position or try to buy links to improve my ranking. I don't have anything that Google can take away. Furthermore, I arrived at the decision to buy links after I saw the links that my competitors have. Clearly they have bought a lot of them.
I see your point regarding the assignment of PageRanks to URLs and not sites. Here, I'm referring to the PageRank for my main URL, the domain name.
I would also like to add a few more assumptions for the sake of this conversation. Let's assume that:
* None of the links have a rel="nofollow" or redirect script or any other mechanism to protect their own PageRank
* The number of outbound links on the publisher pages doesn't exceed 20
* Google doesn't know that those links are paid
You need to evaluate yourself whether the links you're considering will be enough, pass as votes, and are from the right sources.
My option is either to leave my site at the ~110 position or try to buy links to improve my ranking
It isn't the case that these are your only two options. It's perfectly possible to obtain rankings for competitive keywords without any paid links. Indeed, even on the pure link side there are hundreds of techniques that don't involve buying links discussed in the WebmasterWorld link development forum [webmasterworld.com] alone.
I don't think there would be much disagreement that Google has taken increasing steps to counteract the effect of paid linking over recent years, which means that a site reliant on (especially low numbers of) paid links for performance is in a very high risk category.
I think I have a better picture of the situation now, but when I contemplate my possible routes, I still see link purchasing as being the quickest possible way to the first page of Google results. I have tried submitting to directories and talking with other webmasters for links, but I'm just bad at this. I don't know what to say in order to motivate a webmaster to link to me. My content isn't the problem. Several people in the industry voluntarily looked at my content and complimented it. Since I don't have much to lose in my current ranking, I don't see a high risk in trying out this strategy.
I'll go ahead and buy. I'll let you guys know what happens.
When should I expect to see the effects of these links?
Makes you wonder. Stay totally white hat and maybe one day you might see a top 20 for a few keywords....or move back to the dark side and rule once again! Well, rule for a short time ;)
And I don't see why everyone says, "Oh you'll get caught". How many sites buying links have you personally seen that have been caught and in some way penalized? Sure we've all heard about some type of penalty or whatnot for selling links (if caught) but I can't really recall any reliable source talking about being penalized for buying links.
[edited by: BradleyT at 6:12 pm (utc) on Oct. 20, 2008]
You can spend less than $1,000 and get a PR5 by buying links from certain paid directories they trust. You will also get good human traffic from the links. I consider it to be safer and more white hat than buying covert links from web sites.
Also, we webmasters tend to talk in terms of "hits" or "traffic" but the reality is that the people who come to your site are human beings who do not deserve to have their time wasted.
My most popular and profitable site is the one I never promoted. People will link to your site if it is good. More people will come and more people will link over the years. Google's trust is worth more than gold, don't blow it.
I detest link building and everything it represents. I've not gotten round to it myself yet but the more I read threads like this the more I think I will have to. The sad facts are that it appears that you have no choice but to factor it in if you want to be up there with your competitors.
Incidentally, a thought regaarding the "short term" argument: maybe it has a place in that it at least temporarily lifts your site and more people will see it, see how good it is and over time the organic links as a result may replace the need for paid links.
Now, playing devils advocate to my own post here, there is a whole cottage industry built around links which does spread the wealth and give more people the chance to earn a crust via the web, which IMO is a good thing in these days of the alleged "single market". It's nice to think that someone in a poorer econimic area has a chance to earn a good living via a global gateway so the more the web can assist in that the better.
[edited by: Simsi at 11:32 am (utc) on Oct. 21, 2008]
We buy millions of links and if a site gets caught I point them at a new domain. This guy is not going to get caught for his tiddly link buy.
How do you order a few million links? The mind boggles. If they bring human traffic then you won't care about Googles' algo.
He will probably not get caught but his question is about increasing his PR. If his link provider gets caught (more likely) and their PR is nulled, then it will flow through to his site.