Text links have become a hot commodity in the last couple of years. Website owners have realized that they can earn money by selling links and businesses have realized that they can increase their search engine rankings by buying links.
Have you seen a high Google PageRank website with a handful of external links within the sidebar?
In most cases these are links that the website charges for on a monthly basis. This site, statcounter.com, sells text links on their Google PageRank 10 website for a of couple grand each a month. The companies that purchase a link from this site are hoping to increase their search engine rankings and Google PageRank. If you are looking to buy links from sites similar to this, you can
1. Contact the websites directly and see if they are willing to sell you a text link.
2. Go through a text link broker who will find text links like these for you.
###Is it worth it?
Before you run off to buy text links ask yourself if the link is worth it, without possible benefit from the search engines would you still pay for it? In other words does having that link bring in enough traffic or sales to justify its’ expense? If you say yes than it’s a good link to buy.
So if you buy links how much will your rankings increase? There are cases where companies have bought text links and achieved high rankings and then there are companies who have purchased text links and not seen any major benefit from the search engines.
Here are some companies who purchase text links and rank well
* Fortune City buys links for the keyword “web hosting”, they currently rank number 1 on Google and number 8 on Yahoo.
* VeriSign buys links from and other places for the keyword “ssl certificate” they currently rank number 4 on both Google and MSN, and number 5 on Yahoo.
* BizRate buys links for the keyword “cheap cameras” they currently rank number 2 on Google and number 1 on Yahoo.
There multiple factors beyond just the purchase of text links that cause these sites to rank high on the search engines. If you look at the 3 examples above you may have noticed that
1. They are all well established brands that have been online for years.
2. They have tons of pages with unique content.
3. There are hundreds if not thousands of sites that link to these 3 brands naturally.
If you have a brand new site and are looking to purchase large quantities of text links like Fortune City, VeriSign, and BizRate I would reevaluate the decision. Most new sites will not see great search engine benefits from buying links and the ones that do usually are not going after competitive keywords. If you want to see benefits from the links you need to keep them live for a while. Search engines know that people purchase links which is why they take the age of the inbound links into account when determining the ranking of a website.
If you are going to buy text links, here are some things to consider:
1. Buy text links from related sites.
2. Try not to buy all page text links, it looks unnatural.
3. Text links within the content of a website will generally be more effective then a text link within the footer or the sidebar of a website.
Buying links is not necessarily a bad thing and if you have a large budget it could be worth it, but don’t buy them for the wrong reason and without knowing what you are getting into because you can get penalized. You may want to think safe by buying links from directories and most importantly only buy links (pdf) because you are looking to get sales and traffic from that link and not search engine benefits.