Buying Links is Shallow, Short-Term Thinking. Buying Blogs? Now that’s a Strategy.

Buying Links is Shallow, Short-Term Thinking. Buying Blogs? Now that’s a Strategy.

Posted by randfish
I've been running an experiment with some dark-hatted links for several months, consistently hoping Google will catch them and remove their value. So far… Nothing. Well, except top 3 rankings for all the anchor text pointed at those pages. Google's webspam team has all the incentive, brainpower and money in the world, yet their bets seem to be centered firmly on Google+ and the social graph eventually subsuming the "natural" results with those biased to what our friends and connections share/+1. Fine. I get it. Link buying isn't going away, no matter how much we wish it would.

Even if link buying is working in the short-term and webspam's being less aggressive, I still think it's a waste of money for three reasons:

Rankings are tactical: Earning your way to the top rankings is awesome, because it brings with it the branding, familiarity, trust, social sharing and dozens of other positive marketing signals that "earned" links carry. Spam and paid links just give you some more traffic (and not even as much as a trusted brand could earn in the same position). Conversion rates are lower than your peers, and the secondary traffic benefits from other sources, word-of-mouth, etc. never come into play.

It's Overpriced: My wife's travel site gets offers for several hundred dollars to put in a few links on a single post, and that's not even an efficient market like those created by professional link sellers and link platforms. Playing the link buying game in the big leagues takes thousands to tens of thousands of dollars each month 

There's Always Risk: You're already familiar with the horrific pain of Google's Kafka-esque penalties, but maybe you're banking on not getting hit, given their relative ineffectiveness over the past couple years. Problem is, Google+ has created two new kinds of risk for link spammers. The first is that social sear