The digital age brought a lot of new marketing tools to our doorstep, and companies are now spending record amounts on marketing and seeing incredible results. In fact, companies are now spending an average of 12% of their budgets on marketing alone.
Part of that spending goes to SEO, but where does that money go? In doing your research about SEO, you may have seen advertisements for backlink building services. Let’s talk about SEO backlink services, whether or not they are legit, and how they can help your business.
What Are Backlinks?
If you’re not familiar with the term, we highly recommend checking out our beginner’s SEO course to get you up to speed. Backlinks play an important role in your search engine rankings, and it’s the only major factor in SEO that you aren’t supposed to have control of.
Backlinks are links from one page on the web (off of your site) to one of your pages on your website. Look at the links we’ve used so far in this article, linking to our own course (internal) as well as a statistic from The Wall Street Journal. In the eyes of the WSJ, that is a backlink.
Because of that, WSJ now has slightly more search engine “juice” or “authority” to establish its credibility, not that it needs it. However, for a smaller company, getting a link from a website that has high authority could
Some links are more valuable than others. A link from your neighbor’s gardening blog won’t necessarily do much for your SEO prospects if you’re running a B2B business. However, a link from the WSJ could be the difference between ranking on the first or second page of Google, which means the difference between getting traffic or not.
Businesses know this, and they have developed ways to cheat the system. Although, there is one problem with that.
Google’s algorithm doesn’t want you to cheat your way to the top. They want to be certain that every time their users search on their platform, they are getting the best possible information put in front of them. They could hire every computer specialist on earth and never be able to monitor every search, so they need an algorithm in place to handle it.
How Do Websites Build Backlinks?
There are a few types of off-page links you can receive and they all have different levels of value. You may have links from social media onto your site, which is a great way to bring in extra traffic. However, while they are beneficial, these types of links don’t directly help to build authority.
The way you build authority through social media is by putting out your content for others to potentially link to you. Your links on your social media platforms will still help Google find your new pages and navigate through your site, but it won’t help you build authority.
Social media will still work in tandem with your SEO strategy and should not be neglected in your marketing strategy. It’s a great place to draw in traffic to your website and spread your newest content to the masses, which will hopefully play well for your link-building strategy.
Assuming you’re posting quality content, you can always use what’s called “linkbait” in the industry. This is a misleading term because “clickbait” has such a negative connotation. However, linkbait is simply quality content that other sites will want to link to. If they can’t find you on Google yet but they can on social media, then this is a great place to offer your best content.
The next is links from directories. These are very important for Google to find your website initially before you build up any backlinks from other websites, and they can even help you get ahead of local competition. Try to get on every directory you can for free, especially:
- Google My Business
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau
- Chamber Of Commerce
- Yahoo Local
These are particularly helpful for Google’s crawlers to find you, for building organic traffic from people looking on directories, and for allowing customers to rate your company. Don’t neglect this in your SEO strategy as it’s a free technique that can go a long way.
The last type is the type that builds authority for your page and establishes your foundation of trust with Google. Backlinks from other websites, blogs, or news outlets are the ones that really grow your SEO prospects.
It’s really easy to build backlinks if you’re The New York Times or The Washington Post. This is because you’re a huge and trusted media outlet at the very top of the totem pole when it comes to resources, journalists, and credibility. You’ll have an entire network of smaller papers, blogs, and news companies linking to your stories every day.
However, if you’re a small wine store trying to get noticed online, it can be a greater challenge. Here, affiliate marketing is the best way to start building links, along with asking people within your network for help, and of course, buying links. Once you start building attention, creating quality content (linkbait) should be enough to continue your link-building efforts.
Building a positive reputation in the online community will be your best asset in the long run. Remember that SEO is an ongoing process. You can’t just sprint to the finish line and expect it to last forever.
Why Doesn’t Google Want You To Buy Backlinks?
You can buy backlinks. The question is whether or not you should, and that entirely depends on the service. We will go more in-depth about that in a moment but it’s very important to note right away that if you see ads like “rank #1 on Google in 5 days” or “1,000 quality backlinks for $50”, don’t waste your time.
The reason Google doesn’t want you to buy backlinks is that their company, like yours, has a product/service they are offering to their customers. In their case, they are trying to maintain their spot as the number 1 search engine in the country.
It isn’t just Google, but we’ll continue with them for the example. Bing, Baidu, and others do the same things. They want to maintain credibility with their users and they can’t do that if you can cheat your way to the top without giving them a slice of the pie (think of search ads).
What Happens If Google Catches You?
Google uses its highly advanced algorithm to determine if you purchased backlinks. If something seems “off” to the algorithm, it will alert their systems which will bring in some human intervention to determine it.
You’re probably thinking that it’s pretty hard to determine with certainty whether or not somebody paid for links, right? Well, if a company has already established itself as a link-seller, that’s a red flag. If you’re running a modeling agency and a bunch of pet stores link to you, that’s a red flag. If you get 90% of your links on the 16th of the month, every Monday, or 100 in a day after averaging close to zero, these are all red flags.
This is why we said those backlink scams are scams. However, there is good news. Google doesn’t typically penalize the buyer too much, mostly the seller. That means that there is a fairly low risk of purchasing links from a company that knows what they’re doing.
How Backlink Building Services Can Help Your Business
It’s obvious by now that your website can’t go very far without building up backlinks, and these services simply help you get them. The biggest benefit is that with the risk you’re taking, you don’t necessarily have to keep taking it.
Once you build up some authority and it’s easier to find you on Google, bloggers and bigger websites will have an easier time finding you when they are doing their research. If you have quality content on your site (especially statistics, videos, and infographics) they will be inclined to link to it. It’s building that initial momentum that is the real challenge for newer websites.
Make sure that you are optimizing your posts for SEO value, trying your best to create quality content, and using all the free tools to your advantage. If you get all of that, then buying a few links will go a long way.
How To Choose Backlink Services
We mentioned that there are plenty of backlink-building scams out there and it’s important to avoid them. If Google gets the idea that you’re trying to cheat the system, it will remember that for a long time. That’s something you want to avoid at all costs.
However, the benefit of giving your SEO prospects a boost is so undeniably worth the risk, as long as it’s a controlled risk. That’s why you need to do a little research on a company offering backlink services before you jump in.
You’ll want to see the packages they are offering first. Again, if you’re running a specific type of business, Google knows this. It’s all over your website, it’s on your social media accounts, it’s listed on directories, including on your Google My Business account.
Because of this, it would look very suspicious to Google if your business was only getting links from completely unrelated industries. If you’re running a local pizza shop, a couple of links from the town hockey teams and flower shops won’t look suspicious at all. However, if you’re an eCommerce store only getting links from wildlife observatories, candle shops, and after-school programs, it’s going to be obvious.
Check the package and think as if you are trying to investigate this. Would anything stand out to you? Irrelevant business, only linking on Fridays, too many links all at once, or anything else? Make sure the company knows what they’re doing.
The best thing you can do is to read their testimonials and check references from previous customers. This will give you the best idea as to how well their services have performed over the long term so you can make the most informed decision.
What Are The Best SEO Backlink Services?
The best services are always the ones that offer relevant links at a reasonable pace. The company needs to be able to meet you where you are and not flood your website with a thousand links all at once from a bunch of random companies.
The sites that will be linking to you also need to have authority themselves. Again, a link from another low-ranking website won’t help you much. One link from the WSJ will give you far more credibility than 100 links from small sites. Now, you’re not going to be able to buy links from the WSJ but finding sites with some authority is the key.
If you can find those services, it’s worth the risk. Avoid any of the known link schemes and you’ll be good. Remember, it’s the seller who gets penalized. The buyer will be put on the Google equivalent of an FBI watchlist if you want to call it that. The risk is low, but the reward is high.
Should I Buy Backlinks?
Now that you know about backlink building services, you may want to incorporate them into your SEO strategy. Links really are the only thing that gives your website any teeth in Google’s eyes, so it’s often worth the risk. Stay up to date with our latest SEO news and contact us with any questions about SEO backlink services today!