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I came across a website the other day that was selling backlinks. The site was well designed and promised some results for a nice low price but not too low. After a couple of minutes it started to sound similar to buying email marketing list which I know is not something you do.

I assume that buying backlinks is considered a black-hat SEO trick and should be avoided.

Am I wrong in my assumption?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

If the links pass PageRank, Google would regard them as a breach of Webmaster Guidelines and may apply penalties. Bing feel much the same.

In short, yes, it should be avoided.

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Thanks for the links and info. I just came across an article on JC Penny's SEO company buying links. An interesting read. –  Lynda Dec 3 '12 at 18:34
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You might want to read up on Penguin, too. Google aren't kidding with their guidelines. –  GDav Dec 3 '12 at 18:44
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Internet death is such a neat thing when it happens to a competitor, don't be that competitor. It was worth quite a bundle of money to us when it happened and was six months to insolvency for the competitor. –  Fiasco Labs Dec 3 '12 at 22:00
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You can buy all the backlinks you like, and get banned all you like too! Search engines are cracking down on this stuff big time. Also, unless the content or domain itself that is linking to your content or domain is relevant to your content, then the backlink is completely worthless anyway, even if it legit.

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Don't pay for links, period. No matter how brilliant the scheme seems, and even if it does work for a while, Google will catch on and punish you severely. If you don't think they're serious about this, Google penalized Chrome for buying links. If they're willing to punish their own product, you can be very sure they'll come after you.

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