Should You Buy Backlinks for SEO in 2022?
Many new internet marketers and beginner SEOs are still wondering if they should buy backlinks for SEO.
So, should you do it?
Does buying links for your website helps with SEO or does it do more harm?
Want a legit and quick answer?
There, that’s the TL;DR version of it. You can either continue reading the rest of the article or close this page and go watch more videos of cats eating donuts.
There are two ways to buy backlinks for SEO
I’m going to generalize here a bit, but in my honest opinion, we can categorize the backlink buying process into two ways:
- The bad way
- The smart way
I know, it’s not that helpful, but give me a moment and I will go into more details.
Let’s start with the
stupid bad way of buying backlinks:
The bad way of buying backlinks for SEO
The bad way of buying backlinks for SEO further expands into 3 categories, each one of them being… a stupid way to build links in my opinion.
- Buying backlinks from shady websites
- Buying links for SEO from Fiverr
- Buying PBN links
Sure, stupid might be a harsh word to hear. But well, it’s the truth, and I really don’t care, as long as I can prevent other newbies not get sucked into the trap of paying money for links that will damage their site more than help it.
Let’s go over these 3 ways real quick:
1. Buying backlinks from shady websites
If you do a search on google for cheap website traffic you will usually see my website on the first position. But underneath that, you will find a TON of websites selling website visits that is usually fake and unrealistic. Something like “buy 50k unique visitors for $10.”
A smart marketer would immediately know that amount of traffic is impossible to get for $10 unless it’s obviously fake and bot-generated.
It’s the same with backlinks.
There are a ton of websites out there, selling backlinks for cheap. A quick Google search for “buy backlinks for SEO” has many of these shady websites on the first page.
Weird move on Google’s part, since they always claim that buying links is not the solution for SEO. But yet here they are, ranking these nasty websites high in their SERP.
Anyway, when you check out those sites, it’s the same story, they all sell thousands of backlinks for a couple of dollars. One of them is selling 5k “quality” backlinks for just $20.
Someone who’s new to online marketing and SEO in general might think that shit is legit and go ahead and buy it, not realizing that those links will fuck up their website even more than having ZERO links.
But Stephen, they specified that the links are “High quality”.
Yeah right. And Santa Claus is real too.
Moral of the story: if you see websites or offers or banners or any other type of ads online that try to seduce you into buying 10,000 backlinks for $50, stay the fuck away from those. It’s that simple.
These backlinks are trash and auto-generated using software like Xrumer, Scrapebox, SeNuke, etc. I know, I’ve tried them 10 years ago when it was popular to do that.
Guess what, it’s not 2008 and that shit doesn’t work anymore. Thousands of low quality backlinks from comment spam or forum signatures, etc, are not the answer. In fact you have more chances of getting your website penalized and removed from the search engines, instead of ranking higher.
So keep in mind that.
Moving on to the 2nd
stupid bad way of buying backlinks:
2. Buying backlinks from Fiverr
Listen, Fiverr is a great marketplace to buy cheap digital services that will help you in your online marketing journey.
For example, I’ve written an entire article on the Best Fiverr Gigs to Buy for Your Blog.
But buying backlinks is not one of them.
You’ve probably seen many gigs on Fiverr like:
Buy 250 high-quality backlinks on DA50+ sites.
You might be thinking, hmm, that sounds like a sweet ass deal.
Sorry to inform you, but those suck as well. Even if they promise to give you links on high DA (domain authority) sites, that still doesn’t count.
It’s the same as with the shady sites from the previous point. The sellers promise that they are not auto-generated and fake, but in reality, that’s exactly what they are.
You might even find gigs that sell more “normal” links in the disguise of guest posts. Well, this is a grey area because actually, Google has issued a warning for webmasters doing guest posts for links.
So again, I wouldn’t recommend you buy those services either.
3. Buying PBN links for SEO
Another way of getting backlinks is through a PBN also known as Private Blog Network. Meaning that one person or a group of people own and operate multiple blogs that may or may not be related in their topics.
The idea is to create backlinks more “naturally” by using a bunch of lower authority blogs to send backlinks to a higher quality site.
Blogs that you or your group have control over it, and know when, where and how to put the links in such a way that Google doesn’t get suspicious.
Many of these PBNs (private blog networks) owners will often sell links on these sites to other marketers. They usually advertise their services on internet marketing forums such as AffiliateFix, WarriorForum but mostly BlackHatWorld, and even Fiverr.
You’re probably thinking that if you buy backlinks from PBNs your site won’t be penalized in the future and it’s a much safer alternative. Right?
I mean technically, it can be a bit safer, but that’s until Google or any other search engines discovers that there are a bunch of websites that are all linking together from probably the same IP ranges.
Sure you might get some more tech-savvy marketers that will spread out their PBN websites onto multiple different web hosting services, for example, 2-3 on Bluehost, a few on Siteground, and some on Vultr. But those marketers don’t usually go and advertise and sell links for $30-$50.
They use the PBN internally to boost their own websites without letting anyone else buy links on their network. Why? Because they are not stupid, they know that as soon as that happens their PBN might get exposed and busted by Google.
Plus, if they are really smart marketers they make way more money from creating blogs in multiple profitable niches and boost them up to earn money via affiliate marketing or Google AdSense.
But those are just a small percentage of PBN owners. The rest of them just sell backlinks for cheap, while diluting the quality of their network and with much higher risks of getting exposed.
Also, PBNs are a super gray-area borderline blackhat SEO even. You’re one Google update away and *POOF* your site disappears from the search engines.
Be smart, and don’t fall for this shit. You want to build real backlinks that are of high quality.
What are the alternatives?
Like in real life, there is no damn shortcut. You can’t just buy 3k backlinks and expect to rank overnight for “best credit cards”. That just doesn’t happen.
So what can you do instead if you want to build domain authority naturally?
Well first of all, you should always try and build real backlinks and not waste money buying links for SEO.
But if you do want to do that… well here are a couple of better alternatives. AKA:
The smart way of buying links
First of all, like I’ve said previously. I don’t encourage you to buy backlinks. It doesn’t matter where you buy them from.
But the methods you will find below are generally viewed as safer alternatives to purchasing links.
1. Buy sponsored posts / links
Many websites will have a media kit link at the bottom of their website, where they sell advertising services to others. These include Banner ads, email solo ads, shoutouts on social media, and even sponsored content.
Sponsored content can be in the form of a post or advertorial. They are essentially guest posts that you have to pay for.
Instead of emailing 100 websites not knowing if you will ever get a positive reply back to your guest post outreach, you can simply just buy one, and skip the hassle of trying to publish your guest post for free.
The sponsored post usually has to be provided by you, and you can have at least 1 link pointing back to your website. That essentially becomes a backlink.
Even though Google is wary about guest posts, for now, it’s still a better way of gaining backlinks than buying them from shady places.
How do you find blogs and sites where you can buy sponsored posts?
Google is your best friend. Just use some clever search engine operators alongside keyword modifiers that are related to your niche, and BOOM. You will get a ton of websites where you can buy sponsored posts on.
Let’s say that you have started a blog in the “dogs” niche and you want to buy backlinks for SEO. Instead of buying crappy links from shady sites. You can just do a search on Google like so:
You would notice that I have used the search operator: “intitle” to find pages with the title “Advertise with us” followed by the keyword modifier “dogs”.
Change these to suit your blog or website, as many times as you need in order to get a bigger list of websites where you can buy sponsored content from.
For example, you could also change “Advertise with us” for “Sponsored content” or “sponsor us” or “Media kit” and “dogs” to “pets”, etc.
Buying sponsored content or sponsored posts is a cheaper and safer alternative to buy backlinks than the ones I’ve talked about above. The benefits are:
- You know the website your link will appear on
- It will stay on forever
- Not that expensive compared to the next method
2. Donate or become a contributor / founder
A sneaky way of buying legit backlinks from high DA websites is to donate to them. Yeah it’s as easy as it sounds.
Take a look here:
All those logos that you see on the CMS Made Simple home page are also backlinks and the companies are paying to have their logo + link there. It’s about $349 per year if you want your own link there too.
It might be too expensive for some, but for others, it’s a drop in the bucket considering the high DA of the website and the quality of the link.
Another example: Blender
Hmm, isn’t it funny how we already see some of the same logos on this site as well? It’s almost like this is actually a strategy to get high DA backlinks from reputable sites without rising any questions or suspicions from Google.
That’s exactly what it is. Some of these companies will buy links or more accurately: become sponsors, donators, contributors, whatever you wanna call it, and then they get a link back in exchange.
They go directly to sites with high domain authority, and pay a fixed sum per month or per year, and that’s it. High quality backlinks from high DA sites, without the work involved in creating guest posts, doing outreaching and all that boring and tedious stuff.
Blender is a bit more expensive, for example their lowest pricing for a link back is their “Titanium package” which is $100 a month. Not that cheap, but then again not that expensive either.
Compare this to how much it costs to advertise in real life (think TV ads, billboards, etc) and it’s literally almost free.
Also, Blender.org has a DA of 87. That’s super high. A backlink from a high DA domain is worth much much more than a lower one.
How to find these for your own niche? Easy, you use the same tactic as before with Google and search operators + keyword modifiers. Or if you want a more speedy approach you can check out Semrush (get a free 7-day trial) and discover all the backlinks of your competitors.
You will easily see where they get their backlinks from and you can copy their tactic and do it too.
3. Pay contributors of large websites
This one is a bit too direct for some of you, but many contributors to big sites such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, CNN, etc.
All you have to do is going to those big sites and looking for articles that are related to your niche and look for the author who wrote them.
If the author is a contributor (not an editor or staff member), chances are that you can email them and ask them to add a link to your site in one of their future articles.
If you’re bold enough you can even tell them that you will outright pay them.
Yeah, most of them will ignore you and might even feel offended, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do: hustle.
Again, you can use Google’s search operators and keyword modifiers as I’ve explained above to find relevant sites with contributors that might accept a “bribe” in exchange for linking back to your site for SEO purposes.
Should You Buy Backlinks?
The answer to this question totally depends on you and your risk factor. If you can afford to spend a couple of hundred dollars for a link and don’t care if your website might get penalized in the future, then sure, go for it.
Personally, though I wouldn’t recommend buying links for SEO anymore, not in 2022 at least.
Even if there are safer approaches as I’ve detailed above, I still wouldn’t do it.
It’s simple: I prefer creating high-quality content that attracts backlinks naturally. Occasionally I give my 2 cents when someone over on HARO needs some insight and I get a backlink that way. Other than that I personally don’t care for backlinks.
Plus I’m more of a fan of buying website traffic and building an email list, rather than wasting money on backlinks that I have no idea if they would still be on a site tomorrow morning or how it can negatively affect my SEO.
So I would say that you should try and create links the natural way, through outreach, providing great content on your site, and waiting for others to slowly link back to you over time.
Do whatever the heck you want. My opinion is that if I were to bother with backlinks I would prefer to get them naturally over time instead of wasting money on them.
But then again there are companies and digital agencies out there paying hundreds of dollars a month just for one single backlink, so I guess the shit still works and I’m the idiot.
How do you feel about buying links for SEO in 2022? Let me know down in the comments. Oh and share this with some of your favorite dogs and people. They might waste money on crappy links that would hurt their website even more.
Hi Stephen, thanks a lot for this great informative article!
I had a big problem with backlinks, I bought backlinks from some websites, but after a while I found them removed, It really shocked! I was scammed!
Yeah that can happen, plus they are usually spammed domains anyway and you don’t want that. Sorry to hear that Melissa.
First, thanks Stephen for this great information.
I think to buy backlinks you must search for website with same niche, high DA and with 0% spam score, then contact the website owner.
That works as well, but then again you must be sure that they won’t remove the backlink after a while and that you trust the site not to get spammed in the future.
Thanks Stephen for the great guide, and I totally agree, IT VARIES.
It depends on how aggressive you want to be, and whether the competition is ranking solely on backlinks despite mediocre content….etc. Social signals, paid traffic, building an email list, and organic link building is a lot more safer, though might take more time, and money to see organic growth.
Also, PBNs aren’t as bad especially if you make them yourself, treat them like legit sites, and hide them properly…
Hi Yassine, glad you liked the article. Yes, it varies indeed. I would recommend newbie SEOs to proceed with caution when buying links and think 2 times if it’s worth it. Regarding PBNs, absolutely, if you own the network great, you don’t need to buy backlinks, and it’s safer.
But if you buy links from PBNs that you don’t own and control, it gets a little messy. Should probably make a PBN guide in the future too.