Link Buying and Link Development

    February 20, 2007

I’ve recently been on a particularly aggressive link buying spree.

Although as a SEO I know buying links means buying some degree of placement on search engines, and Google is the main target.

However, I’m buying for informational sites – communities and blogs – with no real revenue streams.

So instead of trying to link bomb for money keywords, I’m trying to hit longtail search traffic, which may bring in much more targeted traffic – traffic either more likely to join a community or subscribe to a blog feed, or else click out via paid ads.

Overall, I’m trying to increase overall rankings and overall traffic, rather than target a minority of keywords.

Now, here’s my strategy:

1. Search for related topic sites

2. Prioritise the ability to place links with description text

3. Prefer homepage links over sitewides

4. Prioritise links on older and more established sites

5. Avoid sites/pages of PR5+

6. Hit a larger number of PR3-PR4 sites

I’m scouring webmaster forums, and although my first inclination was to buy from advertised link sales, I’m now shunning these in order to approach webmasters I see with related sites more directly.

In fact, here’s my type of links to avoid:

1. High PR – too above the radar, I want the softly softly catchee monkey approach

2. Sites advertising link sales – an invitation to get caught with your pants down

3. Sites linking to anyone who’ll buy a link – pills, porn, casinos – you know the score

4. Sites recently bought from a drop or deletion – plenty of cheap links here, but they are cheap for a reason

5. Unrelated sites – for obvious reasons

Although I’ve targeted buying links directly from websites in related fields, I’ve also made a few mass directory submissions.

The warning with directories is that I personally suspect the biggest, strongest, and highest PR directories – which are also the most expensive – are also probably knee-capped in Google for ranking purposes.

I’ve risked some purchases here, but restricted it to around a half-dozen directories, where they had PR on the targeted categories. PR2 is fine for me – some can’t even reach that.

What I’ve actually been most aggressive with for directory submissions is the lower end established directories – PR4-5 on the homepage, only a year old, but with PR and cached pages for key categories.

My reasoning is that these will deliver a better return on investment (ROI) compared to the larger directories. A link purchase here, another one there

Also, I’ve emailed a couple of the directories to ask about pricing for mass submissions (20+ sites). Most directory owners will jump to discount for mass submissions, so this helps with the whole ROI scenario.

Overall – it may seem as a SEO that rather than simply buying links for clients, I’m currently buying links for my own sites.

However, the bottom line is that if I can leverage my own sites for clients I will – but my own sites felt like they were slowly decaying. A fresh influx of PR may – or may not – help revive them.

The clincher will be seeing how traffic develops over the coming weeks as the links are gradually indexed.



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