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Buying backlinks in 2019

     
9:59 am on Aug 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hello,

I know Google is against buying backlinks in articles, but I see many e-commerce sites buying such links and pointing them to specific categories of products. Two of my website's main competitors are doing backlink campaigns in which they get links from news websites and other authoritative blogs (with high page and domain authority).

They outrank my website for all the keywords on these categories and it been like this for almost a year now. What's your thought on that?

Thanks for your responses
2:20 pm on Aug 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have been doing this for over twenty years. In almost every case, I've seen, buying links eventually gets you slammed. If you have a long term plan in mind, just forget it.

I would report them to google, not that it will help right away. But at least you did your part.
2:50 pm on Aug 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Pjman is probably right, however in ecommerce it's mostly a matter of cost/benefit analysis. If these backlinks help you in the short term and that short term margin is worth the investment, why not do it? I agree that you should have a long term plan. Always keep track of the links you purchased in the past. If these are going to have a negative effect, have them removed. I still feel like it's worth it if you can rank quickly with high profit margins :-)
2:59 pm on Aug 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I heard people saying even Amazon is buying links. I am interested in long term, not some short term benefits. I have reported a couple of results where I found that they have paid links but nothing happened. How do you tell if it's purchased or gained naturally?

I do business in Romania and I think maybe Google does not have such a sophisticated algorithm to detect purchased links. What are your opinions on that.
7:31 pm on Aug 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google does not have such a sophisticated algorithm to detect purchased links.


I'm going to feel really dumb if someone answers this question however just how is it possible for an algo, or human, to tell if a link has been paid for if the link is on the widget topic, from widget site/article to widget site/article and looks completely relevant and normal?

I have several relevant widget topic links to my sites from Quora and I haven't paid for them, they linked to me through their own articles because I am the authority industry source HOWEVER even though I have these links Quora ranks above me in the SERPs so where's the benefit of these links?

Yet more G manipulation against non-US companies is my conclusion.
1:45 am on Aug 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In most cases you get what you pay for ... and some things aren't worth the price.
12:31 pm on Aug 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your responses!

To go a little deeper in the subject, I want to know what are the risks of buying contextual article backlinks for big brands, such as Widget Company?

Let's say I am Widget Company and I am currently ranking number 4 for "keyword category page" and I want to rank number 1. To do so, I go out and buy some contextual article backlinks.

<snip>

The link is inserted on the exact match keyword "widget item". The link was first say on 23.07.2018, so it has over a year. It is possible that they run a backlink campaign? It is quite a competitive keyword and they currently rank in top 4.

I understand; if you are a brand-new website and you start buying links, it is not a good practice. But if you are an authority in your niche, is it possible that Google may not take any action if they discovered some bought links pointing your website? I am not talking about buying a backlink to your homepage with some keyword from a random website, but rather posting an article on website that is related to a particular niche with a link pointing back to my category page. Is Google smart enough to make the difference between a such a links and a natural one?

[edited by: goodroi at 1:42 pm (utc) on Aug 13, 2019]
[edit reason] Please no specific keywords, widgetized [/edit]

1:23 pm on Aug 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If you are able to purchase links (contextual) from sites that actually serve a purpose on the internet, and it might as well be an actual natural link, how on earth is Google going to find out these links are paid for instead of just natural?
3:38 pm on Aug 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My guess is that you can probably get away with a few of these provided that you spread them out in time at least 3-4 months apart, and also provided that you point them at different pages on your site and use natural-looking anchor text.

You also need to already have some other non-bought backlinks before you start purchasing any.

I have six sites, and I've pointed a few backlinks from one to another (spread out over time), and it apparently hasn't triggered any penalties on any of the sites. This is what leads me to believe that you can get away with creating a small number of un-natural backlinks, if you are careful how you do it..
5:32 pm on Aug 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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One thing to keep in mind about buying links: You may lose organic backlinks or link juice from such links.

Just the other day, I nofollowed an editorial link after learning that the link's target has been seeking "sponsored posts."
8:21 pm on Aug 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Pretty sure outbound lines ("you" made) are not valued. The inbound links might have value, but "you" can't control that.

So I treat links for my users (outbound) and don't give a fig (well, maybe a newton!) for what is inbound to me.

Folks either link or not, I don't seek them out. G changed the game YEARS ago and the time and effort involved does not always pay off. More things to do that actually have value.

YMMV
8:12 pm on Aug 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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We've done it inadvertantly by paying for reviews from people in the know in our industry.. or buying promotional text based advertising from e-magazines. Never had a problem.

I think if you do it en masse from low relevant sources, this is where one can get into trouble.

Same thing goes with reciprocal linking - even though Google outlaws it (which is another giant thread), we do it where its relevant and no we do not use nofollow. We basically conduct our business as if Google didnt exist since our competition is wasting tens of thousands on G ads. We do not have that kind of budget so we do it old school and it works fine.
9:23 pm on Aug 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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cnvi, wrt paid reviews and "old school"... keep the Federal Trade Commission in mind, even if you choose to disregard Google.

11:02 pm on Aug 16, 2019 (gmt 0)

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how on earth is Google going to find out these links are paid for instead of just natural?

Because if you can purchase links from a site, Google will know, at some point of another that this site is involved in this kind of link selling business, and when Google knows a site is practicing this, it can simply penalize all outgoing links from this site.

Also, it's not because the SERP looks like crap to some , that it means that Google's sophisticated analytic and predicting system is broken. Google has the power to know things you can never imagine.

Finally, without going into high tech algorithms, one common things to paid links is their "too-rich-to-be-honest" anchor text. And often the same anchor text used hundreds of times.
1:36 am on Aug 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

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If folks link to me, fine ... I didn't ask, did not seek, did not pay.

If folks ASK me to link they are shot down before the conversation goes forward.

On the other hand, if I find something on the web that makes sense to link to FOR MY USERS/NICHE I don't ask, I just link.

Has served me well all these years, regardless of how g once elevated, then demoted, then penalized over the years.

Just keep is simple: CONTENT IS KING and USERS FIRST. And don't do something stupid. :)