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On Buying Text Link Ads

Posted By Darren Rowse 7th of August 2005 Search Engine Optimization 0 Comments

Stephan Spencer has posted a good piece on buying text links to help promote your blog and to build it’s ranking in Search Engines – he writes:

‘The business of text link ad buying has matured, and it’s on the up-and-up. We’re not talking about “buying PageRank”… what we’re talking about is a totally legitimate business practice of buying text ads where you choose your hyperlinked words carefully based on keyword research and your advertisement appears on a reputable, relevant website. And of course, it links directly to your website, sans click tracking, so the ‘search engine juice’ flows unhindered.’

Read more of this post here.

I have personally not bought text ad links on others sites and have relied upon a more natural approach to building search engine ranking – however I’m not adverse to the strategy. In fact these days with the clutter of the web growing it may be one of the best ways to get your blog ranking higher in Google and Yahoo.

I’d give a few of words of caution though before we all rush out to buy some incoming links.

1. I recently received an email from one of the affiliate program providers that I used to use quite a bit with a word of warning to publishers about using advertising terms above such links. They said that they’d had good advice that Google were devaluing the weight of links associated with words like ‘sponsors’ or ‘link partners’ or ‘advertisements’. I’m not sure where they got the information or how much notice we should take of it – but perhaps its worth keeping in mind.

2. Once you buy a link on another site you’ll definitely gain a little ‘Google Juice’ for your linked to blog (ie it will contribute to Google ranking you higher) – however keep in mind that these links need to be maintained and to sustain your page ranking you’ll need to continue to pay for such links. If you don’t renew your text link and it is removed from the site where you buy it you risk loosing page rank at that point. A text link isn’t just for Christmas – it needs to be maintained over time and this cost should be built into your initial purchase.

3. The most powerful and effective incoming links to your blogs will always be from high ranking and relevant sites. So if you want to buy a link to your ‘stereo system’ blog the most effective way to do so would be to find another (highly ranked) site with similar keywords to link to you by using a keyword that you’re targeting in your link. Other links might help a bit but don’t just rush into buying any old link.

4. Also try to buy from reputable sites. Links from spam sites that engage in poor search engine optimization practices can be penalized by Google. Also remember that blogs with many other outbound links on them to other sites are not thought to be as powerful as sites that only have a handful of such links. Ideally you want to be linked to on a site which is not seen to be spamming the system in any way.

With these things in my mind I’ve resisted buying text links (please don’t hear me as saying they are totally bad – I’ve just chosen to avoid them). I do occasionally do reciprocal links to other sites who I have a relationship with the webmaster of or see as a quality site – but in general I’m much more comfortable in growing my search engine ranking through more organic inbound links – ie through people linking to me because they see something on my blog that they think is link worthy. In a sense these are the most powerful links as they are one way and usually very relevant (and they don’t cost a cent).

Update: One place to buy Text Links is Text Link Ads (aff).

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I tend to agree Darren [Hope you’re feeling better today!]. My attitude is that if I am doing a good job, then the links will happen naturally.

    One tip though, if you are going to buy links, before you do, make sure that the conversion rate of your website is as high as it can be. More traffic is often seen as the answer for every website’s problems, but I see a lot of sites that leave a lot of money on the table from their current traffic, just because the owner hasn’t fine-tuned the site’s conversion mechanisms.
    Experimentation and measurement are the primary tools of success on the web.

  2. I too tend to agree Darren. I’m sure I read somewhere recently that purchased links were being devalued by Google. I’ve just been trying to find where I read it but it now eludes me.

    I find it interesting that people suggest buying text links when there are obviously some better ways to achieve the same goal. I have yet to see a black hat SEO buy a link anywhere and there are quite legitimate ways of achieving what they do – although a perhaps a little slower – without going over to the dark side.

    Personally I think good anchor text is a very good way to go to impress search engines and there are some other good ideas that have been posted here and elsewhere.

    A long term strategy is far more important that a quick boost from a paid link that comes and then fades away. Unfortunately a long term strategy is not very appealing to a lot of people.

  3. Hi,

    Checkthese sites http://www.digitalcamera-hq.com and http://www.digitaladvisor.com out they buy links from sites all over the web and they get very good positions in google , they have millions on links on yahoo.com. Should we follow there footsteps or is this consider spam? they have links on Gizmodo.com as well

    Regards Paul

  4. You raise an interesting point Paul but if you care to compare the first site you mentioned and Darren’s site in Alexa you will see some interesting figures.

    Now I know that Alexa is not the be all and end all of statistics but it does look interesting when you see Darren’s site that, according to Darren, has no purchased text links compared with a site that you suggest invests quite a bit in purchased text links.

  5. I found my info at http://www.mikes-marketing-tools.com/link-popularity/

    Darrens site has about 360000 and thoughs two sites have around 900000 and 2700000.

    I don’t want to get penalized by google? it is a little confusing what path to take, on one hand you have sites that have alot of links from natural growth and on the other hand you have sites that pop out of know where that buy links. which path should one take?

    I really don’t know how google could crack down on the buying link stratgery without effecting other sites that have links from natural growth, how is google suppose to determine what are buyed links and what are not.

    Regards Paul

  6. Paul

    I’m sorry but I’ve been up since 1am and my brain is just about mush so if I ask an obvious question, or one that you’ve already answered, I hope you’ll forgive me.

    But what is your motive for buying incoming links?

    Is it to gain traffic from those sites or to ensure that your site becomes more attractive to Googlebot and gets spidered more frequently?

    If it’s the last option then all you have to do is post your website URL in posts in places like this and you’ll get spidered regularly.

    During the last week I re-invented a fairly dead site into the blog that you will see at the other end of my name and since I’ve posted here, and in other places, and included my URL the site has been hit by Googlebot on a daily basis.

    And that that’s something that will happen just about anywhere you may post that allows you to include your URL and doesn’t shut out the spiders.

  7. I run a fairly large and high-ranking content site and have to say that the text links keep things afloat and are really a large portion of my revenue. How can I turn down thousands of dollars a month for a few links? Doesn’t take any effort on my part and I can stick to providing the high-quality content that Google loves.

  8. It’s interesting to see how the actual links from some of these programs are tucked into the already very busy layouts of the sites selling them. Certainly the only benefit is a potential PR increase (not that that isn’t significant mind you). I can’t imagine ever finding, much less clicking one of these links.

  9. […] Buy Links – Many professional web masters have a budget to purchase links from other highly ranked and and relevant sites. I won’t go into this too much here but you might like to read more about it in my recent post On Buying Text Links. […]

  10. Hi there,

    when I first started my new blog, I bought a good few text links from various companies, however I would much prefer to wait until google decides to spider my site properly (or whatever it’s called). I found that the text ads, were ok, but very expensive, and as I am on a budget, i only invest in them a bit. then i read somewhere that google frowns on them. It’s hard to know what to do. For now I just keep on blogging!

    P.S i have found this site an invaluable resource, I can see why it is so popular.!


  11. Only Google knows if its a good value or not. Many have had good succes with text link ads, but it depends on how you buy them.

  12. Google takes so long to update the backlinks that by the time the links have any effect on your SEO other links will have boosted the site alot anyhow… unless your getting ads from relevent sites who’s traffic is moving on to you I don’t see much point in buying links.

  13. well i don’t have money to buy links, i have adsense but for god sake
    i dont earn anything at this moment. Im curious about adwords , but most most related sites where involved in adwords has eliminating countries, in short its not global, that is why i cant sign i to their forms because our country is not included.

  14. Something related but not exactly the same is buying links on StumbleUpon.


    We’ve done a few campaigns with moderate success, will likely purchase in the future. Something to check out.


  15. not sure what g&y have to say about buying links. if the sites are realted then it might be worth considering. blindly buying it for the sake of seo may not be a good idea.

  16. As long as they’re from relevant sites and directories, go for it!

    check out http://text-links.us/

  17. Hello Stuart,

    i red your article this is so nice but i am confused about link buying factors. I am wondering that which factor is the best for buying text links in your opinion. Alexa? Domain age? Page rank? Indexed Page from google? or Backlink quantity of site? Victory of the site on that keyword which i am thinking to buy? Would you please line them up?

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