Buying Text Link Ads

    August 7, 2005

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).

Reader Comments

Darren Rowse is the founder of, a blog about the many ways of adding an income stream to blogs.

Darren owns and writes a variety of blogs including Digital Photography Blog and Camera Phone
. He is also a co-founder of the Breaking News Blog Collective.