Dear Google, How To Buy Links And Get Away With It
Posted on January 9th, 2012. Written by Nick LeRoy.
Let’s first get the facts straight. I’m not a “white hat” nor “black hat” SEO I’m a “do what it takes to rank” SEO. With that said a couple weeks back I was cruising through my Twitter timeline where I read a tweet from someone asking why everyone posts the same crap about “X SEO tactics to avoid“. This tweet was followed up with a comment along the lines of “it would be much more interesting if someone posted about getting away with X black hat tactics”. In addition a lot of hoopla was published last week about Google purchasing links that has caused the SEO industry to freak out. At that point I set out to do the obvious, to share how you can buy links but get away with it! I talked to several individuals I know that are highly involved in the link purchasing world and received an absolute ton of information about the game. One individual shared with me that he has a 2000 site network created strictly to sell links via blog posts. In the last handful of years even with all the algorithm changes and Panda updates he has had a total of ZERO sites penalized. These techniques he shared have helped net over $50,000 a month! Naturally questions ensued and I was able to further find out exactly how you can buy links and get away with it! Best yet the individuals were perfectly OK with me sharing them with you. So on to the goods!
Passing The Sniff Test.
Even when you buy links the first goal is to make them not look like paid links. This is where the “sniff test” comes in. The sniff test consists of any “obvious” signs of a paid or manipulated links such as unrelated anchor text links, several links pointing to the same domain in a single piece of content and even the authority or health of the linking domain. Think about this, outside of the blatant anchor text links from non niche related sites or text that says “paid” or “sponsored” how can YOU tell if a link is naturally given or paid for? It’s pretty common for authors to link out within blog content and Google even encourages this. The key to passing the sniff test is not being able to blatantly tell if the link is paid.
What You Need To Look For When Purchasing links.
When you purchase links the smart way it’s going to include work – nothing in life is easy. Just like organic “White Hat” SEO there are different types of value you want out of each link acquired such as:
- IP Diversity
- Niche Relevance
- Anchor Text
- Authority / Trust
- Page Rank (to a lesser extent)
Now remember that you don’t need every link to fit every one of the requirements. Focus on achieving 3 out of the 5 of these for every link. Get your authority / trust / PR from one site, get your anchor text from another, and your relevancy from another. The goal is to achieve natural looking links. Naturally acquired links very rarely touch all 5 of these characteristics so your paid links shouldn’t either!
What To Watch Out For When Purchasing Links.
As mentioned earlier buying links isn’t as easy as it sounds. Everyone tries to cheat the system and link brokers / sellers will do the same thing. Below are several techniques or things to look out for in general when purchasing your links.
- Hosting a ton of sites on same IP/C-class
- Interlinking their own domains
- Not hiding their SOA records
- Overusing the domains (such as posting 3-4 posts each day with highly optimized outgoing anchor text links)
- Using dropped domains (check archive.org to verify this)
- Linking out 3 times to outbound sites — This seems to be extremely popular with the crap paid blog posts!
In addition to the points above you also want to look at any sites overall health before purchasing a link. How long as the site been around, does it get regularly indexed, are all the pages indexed in Google etc. If they don’t meet these basic requirements you should run away as its a good sign that Google may have dinged them. The last thing you want it a crap site linking to your site.
If The Deal Is Too Good Then Avoid It!
All SEOs have seen the 10,000 blog comments or directory submissions for $29.99 gimmick. Most of us wouldn’t fall for this these days so why would you consider taking up an offer for 100 paid links for $200? Most of the time the sellers have to cut corners to be able to offer such a service. It’s not uncommon for the following red flags to be tripped with these types of offers which could completely ruin your site.
- Purchasing bulk blog post links typically includes the seller writing 1 or 2 unique posts and then using the best spinners to spin the article 50 or 100 times. Red Flag #1
- These sellers sell their entire link network each time someone buys a “package” which can be a clear sign of manipulation to Google regardless of different IPs or niche website. Red Flag #2
- Since each one of these blog posts are nearly the same they have the same outbound link pattern. Red Flag #3
- Blog posts are all published around the same time which builds new links at a unnatural rate. Red Flag #4
Remember that the key to purchasing links is to make them look NATURAL! The get a million links in 5 days for $10.00 gimicks aren’t going to work. Don’t waste your time, money, or your website authority.
Impatient and Don’t Want To Build Links “Over Time”?
Building links over time is very important and a rush of “naturally” acquired links can cause red flags. Once again building links (paid or organically) is all about making it look natural. There are quality signals you can “game” to break this rule and build tons of links right away. Think about it, how often is content going viral, companies exposed on the news, or even mentions in a newspaper that causes a flood of editorial links to be given? These are the types of signals you will want to replicate.
- Push out a press release – make it good with an exciting “announcement”.
- Purchase blog posts in which the entire post is in response to the press release. If you really want it to look natural consider buying one or two posts that tear apart your company as nobody buys links in negative press right?
- Fire up social media accounts – Tweet about the “announcement” and start conversations online.
These are the same type of signals that naturally occur when a rush of links are acquired. These can all be replicated but you have to put some thought into it!
Anchor Text – To Vary Or To Not?
I found this technique especially interesting. Use your favorite back link research tool and plugin the top 5 or 10 websites that are currently ranking well. Replicate their types of back links! If they are using heavy anchor text then do the same as Google is obviously not being too picky. If they are going strictly after authority/domain type links do the same. Of course since your purchasing links you will want to probably buy more links but keep the same ratio of optimized anchor text, URL, “click here” type links. If these ratios are working for your competitors then you can bet it will work well for you too!
Avoid Patterns, Avoid Patterns, Avoid Patterns!
Search engines typically bust paid links because they fall within a pattern. A lot of paid blog posts for instance have three outbound links to the same domain within a post. This doesn’t look natural! Why not link out to an authoritative website that doesn’t compete with you directly and then include a link of your own later in the post?
In Google’s situation a simply search in any search engine for the phrase “This post was sponsored by Google” shows every single post they purchased that links to their chrome browser. These are the types of patterns you absolutely do not want to happen! Every blog post should be unique, use different by lines and link to different pages within your domain. As I have said about 50 times now in this article it’s all about recreating NATURAL and AUTHORITATIVE links. Google wasn’t smart enough to replicate this but are you?