We get it. There is a time and place for everything, including bought links. We all know people buy links. A recent survey of 200 SEOs (conducted by SEOptimise) showed 50% of respondents buy links, and 20% would consider buying links depending on the scenario. Only 26% said “no – we keep clear of any link buying activitiy.”
This is not surprising, and is consistent with what we’ve seen with in-house SEOs. Anecdotally, link buying seems be in alignment with the aggressiveness of company culture, how many risks an organization is willing to take to, and the competitiveness of the market.
A paid link normally has one purpose and its value only lasts as long as search engines’s paid link algorithms don’t detect it. It’s like buying a sick horse.
If You Are Buying Links – Read, Think, and Act on This:
If you are buying links, you better be cooking up other link building plans for when the sick horse dies and traffic tanks. It happens, and we often get pulled in to help triage the situation. What do we do? We define a holistic link building strategy that isn’t just about SEO, but is about building the brand as a whole – this is the new link building.
The best type of link building creates opportunities to build a brand through brand awareness, diversity of your link profile, and engagement (not to mention all that great traffic, which is the desired end result anyhow). Even if Google’s algorithm changes and the link, for whatever reason is no longer valued for ranking, only one portion of the overall value is compromised. It’s like diversifying your retirement portfolio.
Spend your money more creatively and in ways that accomplish multiple goals in addition to building your site’s authority or relevance. Spend your money on time and really really cool prizes. A couple ideas?
- Organize a competition among your peers.
- Organize a competition for your customers.
- Sponsor a charity event.
- Host a charity event.
- Provide university scholarships.
Link building as the SEO industry has known it is on it’s way out. It’s not dead yet, but will have a slow, drawn out death over the next few years (and in some spaces quicker than this). Good old fashioned quality article writing and infographics will live on, but with a holistic perspective rather than the typical SEO-only perspective we too-often see.
It’s amazing what we’ve seen happen when clients start diverting money away from paid links to more multi-dimensional link building. Given the right strategy, content starts writing itself and people will start talking about (and linking to) your brand. The best of class SEO programs are partnering with other departments to pony up budget and resources, footing part the bill from social media and PR budgets. Now that’s getting a lot more bang for your link building buck.
Need more link building ideas? Consider a 4-day SEO intensive, where you walk away with a 12-month SEO roadmap.