Friday, July 22, 2011

On Using Paid Links

One of the most important things to any online business is getting a good amount of traffic coming in. And in order to do this, a site must be able to distribute its links to as many places as possible. However, as one will soon find out, this is much easier said than done.

And it is at this point that many site managers often resort to getting paid links. So what are paid links? As the name implies, these are the links that a party generates for a site in exchange for payment. And since these links are often included in the link count in the ranking systems of search engines (where link number is important), these will greatly help in increasing the particular site's rankings. However, as good as it may sound, there is a caveat attached to this one.

As you can see, since paid links can artificially (in the sense that it was not generated by genuinely relevant pages) change a page's ranking, they are often seen as a threat to organic searches. Thus, many search engines have instituted rules and safeguards in an attempt to prevent paid links from being counted in their rankings. Google, for instance, has began penalizing sites which are caught buying and selling links. However, with all these, paid links do still manage to get listed in the search engines' directory.

And with that, the question still remains: is it worth all the risk to use paid links in your sites. Sadly, there isn't really no clear answer to this one. Natural links (the ones you build up) can be quite hard to come by. In fact, you will be practically begging most of the time for high ranking sites to link with you. And often, the links that you get can be indirect, going through several pages before leading to your site. Thus, it all becomes tempting to buy links to quickly boost your site's rankings.

However, if you do take the risk and decide to buy your links, there are several ways that you can do so without greatly putting your site in danger. One of the best tips that you can keep in mind is to never be too dependent on them. Though paid links do give you a good initial boost, it is definitely not a good idea to build your site solely through them. Instead, after having gained a good foothold thanks to those paid links, it would be better if you follow up with an extensive link building strategy to maintain your position.

Also watch out where you get your links from. Make sure that you buy links only from sites with relevant content and stay away from commercial sites that solely sell links, as these are the ones that are the most common targets of search engine sanctions. As a precaution, regularly check your page rankings for indications that you might have been penalized for buying links and respond accordingly.

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