The most common way to buy links is to find a site that shows up in Google’s index, then contact the owner asking them to add your link in exchange for monetary compensation. What is often not considered is that published pages don’t change very often.
If you have a page that was published 6 months ago and the only change that page has ever see was adding an < a href... tag, isn't that a red flag?
I know it would be to me! Since this is content that is already online, we'll call this a post-published link purchase.
So a better, but often overlooked way to buy links is in pre-published content.
Buying links on pre-published pages takes a little extra effort because you have to contact the site owner/webmaster/blogger based on their past articles, but ask for a link in an upcoming article.
Since this content hasn't ever been seen by Google it won't raise a [why-is-this-otherwise-stable-content-suddenly-changing-] red flag when the post has a link to your website.
A few concerns with this method:
1. Posts with a single outgoing link are dangerous. Experienced link buyers know that you can quickly get in trouble if your link is the only outgoing link on a page.
Make sure the pre-published page has a few outgoing links in addition to yours.
2. Paid link outers. Just with any link purchase, you’ll encounter a few people who like to use Google’s feedback form to report your site.
You can easily get around this by not telling the site owner which site you own, and explain that you want a few links. Give them 3 links to include in the post. Your link, and two links to trusted authority sites that are not direct competition.
[Ed: You might also consider buying links "for" the competition and ask to have yours included as well to keep things under the radar.]
3. Time and labor. This is a labor intense method. You have to suggest topics for a post that your link will fit into. For many bloggers/webmasters, they don’t know what they’re going to post about so you might have to coach them on appropriate topics that would match the anchor text for the links you’re buying.
The only way around this is to outsource the labor (which adds a hard cost) or to by pass the individual blogger and go somewhere that accepts most links (like a regional web directory or niche directories).
4. Poor post quality. Knowing that they’re writing the post for the purpose of linking to you could lead the blogger to write a lazy post. A poorly written post won’t earn many links so you’ll have to rely on the strength of the main domain to provide some juice to your post. This completely depends on who’s writing the post.
A good way around this is to write the post yourself and offer it as free content. You might be able to get around spending money this way. [Editor's note: Brandon's implying in this context that you pay the site owner and provide the post. Obviously it's not a paid link if you just offer a guest article, like Brandon's doing here.]
Here’s to staying under the radar and on top of the SERPs!
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