If you have spent anytime learning about search engine optimization (SEO) then you know about the importance of links. Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or web page. In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web page, directory, website, or top level domain from another web site. If you want to rank well in Google for any remotely competitive phrase then you need links from other websites. Plain and simple.
Matt Cutts of Google has provided a valuable video on how to build links. You can view it here.
In a nutshell here are a few of the ways to build links:
- Participate in a community
- Original Research
- Get a blog
- Run a service (or create a product) that people find useful and give it away for free to the community.
- Website architecture
- Make videos
One thing Matt Cutts didn’t mention is buying links. Yes, you can buy links. If you poke around a little but you will find websites willing to add a link to your site for some cash. This is frowned upon by Google.
Recently, a friend of mine received the following email from Google:
Dear site owner or webmaster of (Removed),
We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.
We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results.
If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.
If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.
Google Search Quality Team
My friend had bought a few links on some websites. He estimates it was fewer than 10 links. Several months passed by from the time he bought the links from the time he received the above Google email. Which leads him to believe that Google did not find out about the link buying but one of this his jealous competitors probably reported him to the Google spam team.
So, you may want to rethink those link purchases. It could be a waste of money and get your site penalized. Sooner or later one of your competitors will probably turn you into Google.