Is buying backlinks now considered outdated?

man wearing a blue jumper and hat with arm stretched out and text on the left hand side

One big question that doesn’t seem to go away in SEO: are backlinks even worth it these days?

Just a quick reminder, what are backlinks again?

According to the fab team at Semrush, this is their definition of backlinks:

“Backlinks are links on one website that point to another website. They’re also known as inbound or external links.

Search engines like Google view backlinks as votes of confidence. Essentially, you vouch for another site when you link to it.

That’s why pages with lots of backlinks often rank higher on Google. Especially if the backlinks are from trusted, authoritative sources.”


I have actually just created a backlink there… You can see the link I have provided on the word ‘Semrush’ which is:

  1. Naming my source for the purpose of fact checking
  2. Crediting my source for the definition


Here is another example:

On one of our case study pages, I have added a link to the highlighted button, and in the left-hand corner you can see what link it would be taking you to.

What does Google think of purchasing backlinks?

Very quickly… if you want backlinks then there are a few methods of gaining them. These include: guest posting, directories (considered old school now), buying links (to name a few).

When Google is indexing websites across the internet, it will run links through something called PageRank and, most of the time, it will accept links you have purchased.

However, when they know it’s been paid for, then a couple of things could happen:

  1. They will ignore them – this means it will not have any impact your site in a positive way, which is why you’ve bought them in the first place…
  2. You could be castigated – this means Google’s real-life moderators will insert sanction actions on your website, which means your website may not even appear in the SERPs (search engine results pages).


So far, you’re probably already thinking, well it’s not even worth my money, is it?

I urge you to keep reading…

Are people really still doing this?

YES! People are still doing it and it really does not stop the endless emails I get from freelancers pitching to buy backlinks…

I got this one through recently:

Just because the domain authority is high, doesn’t necessarily mean that the sites are relevant to me or my business.

Also, it’s a question of SEO ethics when you’re handing your hard-earned money over to these people…

However, when you’re considering your link building campaign as part of your SEO strategy, you may find the people you are reaching out to want some form of remuneration for adding your link to their site or blog.

So, sometimes you can’t always win.

It’s not about finding the ‘free’ ones (as such) but if you discover a genuine site that your content will provide value to, you may think it’s a fair exchange.

I’ll leave that decision in your lovely hands…

Do we buy backlinks for ourselves or our clients?

The straightforward answer to this question is no.

We’re working with a few clients that have entrusted their SEO strategy with Infinity Digital.

However, we’re focusing on building the site with authoritative and authentic content as well as ensuring their technical SEO is always ‘gold standard’.

We start by understanding their market, competitors, and keyword opportunities. From here, we develop a robust on-site content audit to identify where we can improve existing content and then create a development plan for adding new content to the site – mainly through new pages and blogs.

When we do need to increase the site’s credibility, in Google’s eyes, then we will carry out a Digital PR strategy.

Is there a better way of building backlinks and credibility to my website?

I just mentioned Digital PR, and this is the preferred way for us to build a site’s authority.

Not only does this go hand in hand with brand awareness and top of funnel digital marketing, but it is also the increasingly popular way to gain credible backlinks and you’re probably not even paying for them…

Digital news doesn’t just stop at company news or world affairs. There are now hundreds and hundreds of news outlets that explore various topics around the industries, and YOU are an industry expert in your field, so you will always have something to contribute.

Some tips for you:

  • Make a ‘media list’ of some outlets in your industry or local area – this helps to bring you focus on where your content should be going.
  • Jot down some trending topics you can talk about that will add value to the media outlet’s readers.
  • Conduct research with your customers, followers, friends etc. to collect data around a particular topic to hand over to the outlets to write a story about – you will be credited as a source.

Need some more tips or advice on how best to tackle your SEO link building strategy?

Arrange for a free 1-2-1 with me or Chris, our Operations Manager, who will happily guide you through the process.


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