Buying backlinks is one way to improve your website traffic and domain rating in record time. It can be simple and fast when you learn its basic principles or when you hire the right agency or in-house team with experience of link building. But it’s a tactic to approach with caution if you want avoid Google penalising your site.

To avoid black hat link building, you need to learn what PBN websites are, how to avoid them, and how to create niche edits and buy guest posts. So, that is what we will be talking about in this article. So buckle up, and let us show you how to buy backlinks without getting a headache. 

What does buying backlinks mean?

To buy a backlink means paying a website to publish a link that will lead to your site. The idea behind this purchase is usually to connect a more popular website with an established audience and reputation to a newer website or a website with a smaller audience. 

If you have ever tried to send an outreach email and ask a website for a backlink for your page, you probably know what we’rere talking about. 

In case you haven’t ever tried it, it looks like this. You send an email requesting a backlink on a particular website, and their editor sends you their prices.

These prices vary from website to website, depending on many factors we will mention. That is why it is essential not to waste your money and time on bad transactions, and we will teach you how to recognise good deals when buying backlinks. We will also show you how to avoid penalisation from Google, as Google doesn’t approve all types of buying links. 

What is Google’s stance on link buying?

Google does not officially approve of link buying, although it recognises it happens. Google states that “any links that are intended to manipulate rankings in Google Search results may be considered link spam”, which includes, “exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links”. However, that guidelines also say that, “Google does understand that buying and selling links is a normal part of the economy of the web for advertising and sponsorship purposes. It’s not a violation of our policies to have such links as long as they are qualified with a rel=”nofollow” or rel=”sponsored” attribute value to the tag.”

Even though Google recommends avoiding buying links, the reality is different. Many marketers and business owners are buying links, and some of the most famous websites have well-known prices for links. This is because many website owners are aware of the value of a good backlink and choose to monetise this asset.

When you start doing outreach, you will get many replies containing price per link and details on whether the links will be “do follow” or “no follow”. It will be hard to get a link without paying for it. Almost impossible in some niches.

How can you avoid getting penalised while buying links?

You learn which links can be detected by the Google algorithm as bad backlinks and try to stay away from those. It seems simple, but this process usually requires hiring an expert or agency specialised in building links.

So, Should You Buy Backlinks?

If you ask us, the answer is yes, you should. As we mentioned above, there aren’t many niches in which you will be able to get links for free. So, the only way to get backlinks is by paying for them.

We can confirm that the casino industry, insurance, and finance businesses aren’t getting free backlinks from content, as these industries are not content-oriented. Also, competition in these niches is insane, and your brand can be visible only when you start buying backlinks.

The only thing you have to worry about when buying links is finding the people who can create backlinks that are not suspicious to Google. 

How much do backlinks cost?

The cost of a backlink will depend on the type of website you want to place the link on, it’s traffic and domain authority, and the niche within which you’re working. Backlink prices vary, but there are some parameters you can use to work out if a link is priced fairly or overpriced. 

Niche pricing

Niches like SEO and General Marketing are very competitive. However, this makes it easier to create backlinks, as many websites are familiar with SEO practices. Those websites have a lot of content, which makes it easier to find a nice spot for a natural backlink. Expect this type of backlink to cost from $100 to $300 per backlink.

Creating natural backlinks can become more challenging if you are trying to build links in the IT, legal, or health industry. This is because you need to hire a link builder who understands the content and this industry. Prices for these range between $300 to $600 per backlink.

The most challenging niche is the casino and finance industry. This is something that many link builders avoid doing, as it can be complicated to get in contact with admins and editors. Usually, people with websites about casinos, gambling, or even the porn industry are not eager to negotiate on price, as they know how valuable their links are.

It is also hard to find a link builder who can create many backlinks in these niches, affecting the prices.

In the past year, we also saw an increase in the prices, with some sites charging 100% more than before, so if you had some lists and pricing, be sure to recheck prices. This is essential when planning your link-building budget.

Other factors that affect the cost of each backlink

  1. Website traffic and domain rating

The role of each backlink is to serve as a bridge from other websites to yours. The better the traffic of the particular website, the more chances of increasing your audience. Considering this, websites with high traffic and higher domain ratings are more expensive to get links from than websites with low traffic. Moreover, sometimes websites without significant traffic signal that something is wrong with that website, and you should avoid paying for backlinks on websites without traffic.

  1. Content quality

If you are trying to build backlinks with a guest posting strategy, you will be asked to pay more for publishing that article on websites with fantastic content. It will also be more expensive to find a writer who can give you a topic with a specific angle that a well-known website would approve for publishing. Also, you can sometimes find a website that doesn’t charge for publishing but requires a high level of content from you – so your backlink price becomes higher, as you’ll need to pay for an experienced writer.

  1. Brand strength 

If you have a well-known brand, editors will be more open to collaborating with you, and you will even get offers to publish backlinks on your website in exchange. This will cut the time in the link-building process and will make it cheaper over time.

How to avoid buying bad backlinks?

If you buy backlinks on directories and forums, it will probably have a small or almost invisible effect. So we recommend avoiding these kinds of backlinks. They can’t harm your website significantly, but they can be a waste of money and time.

Another bad practice is buying backlinks on PBN websites. These websites are created solely to link to other websites and improve its organic search ranking. They don’t have any purpose other than enhancing backlink status, which usually means they don’t have specific content and are not usable for anything else.

It’s super important to avoid buying links on PBN websites, as it can trigger Google penalties. There can be a manual penalty on your Google Search Console. You will get a notification there, and you will be informed that there are unnatural backlinks. This may cause parts of your website to become deindexed (invisible in the search engines).  

When this happens, you can submit a reconsideration request after you fix this problem. However, this manual action is not done very often. If you buy PBN backlinks, you will probably just be ignored by Google. This is happening as Google’s algorithms are improving in recognising and ignoring signals from these websites. It can also happen that Google discovers the whole network of PBN websites, and it can cause massive drops for all the websites using them. 

If you managed to avoid those backlinks, you would have a massive advantage as the algorithm improves. 

How to recognise a PBN website

To an experienced link builder, it takes a few seconds to notice a PBN. But, it is essential to pay attention to specific rules for people, starting with link building. PBN websites usually don’t have any traffic, but they do have a higher DR, and the backlinks in their content are created with exact match anchors. 

You can check this via Ahrefs, but if you don’t use it, you can sometimes notice a PBN when you check the content.

As we mentioned above, they don’t have interesting content. It’s usually just fluff no one wants to read. Sometimes you can recognise them as “general websites” that write about almost everything. You can read some posts about gambling, health, tech, etc. Some websites are not general, but they are still PBN websites, and the best way to recognise them is by anchor words that are not natural and have poor content. 

Here are some examples of anchor words that you might find on the PBN website:

  1. Best gym equipment
  2. Click here
  3. Hoses for backyard 
  4. Best insurance company

These anchors are not something you would naturally find in an informative article. Instead, you can recognise them as spammy ways to take you to some company or product page.

Where can you find PBN websites?

To avoid them, you need to know where to find them. These PBN websites are often hiding behind fast and cheap backlink offers. You can come across those offers on freelancer platforms, so be very careful while trying to cut costs. 

We would be wrong to claim that there aren’t great freelancers for link building on these platforms. And we would also be wrong if we didn’t prepare you for this. Just take into consideration that process of white hat link building can’t be as cheap as some of those offers are. 

Another fact regarding link building is uncertainty because too many people are involved in the process, from writers to editors of different blogs to link builders and brands. 

This situation makes every offer on that platform that claims to get a certain amount (more than 10-20) of backlinks in a short period (in a month usually) quite suspicious. 

Just remember that even if you are buying backlinks, you need time to:

  1. Set up an outreach
  2. Analyse competitors
  3. Find websites with adequate requirements
  4. Negotiate the price and timeline
  5. Create high-quality content or find adequate placement

It usually takes more than one month to get the first backlinks, and if anyone can get you more than 50 backlinks in one month, they are probably scammers with the PBN network. Or they have an enormous team of link builders. 

What to do when you buy backlinks on the PBN website?

If you think you might have some PBN websites in your backlink profile, you can use the disavow option to mark them in Google Search Console. This will tell Google to ignore those backlinks. 

Experts from Ahrefs recommend avoiding disavowing if you don’t get a manual action notification. Also, they recommend not to disavow them unless you know you have a PBN in your backlink profile. 

Every disavows will eventually cause drops in traffic and domain rating as you will be telling Google to ignore link juice from those websites. So unless you are sure those are PBN backlinks, don’t remove them.

How to buy quality backlinks

There are a few good tactics for buying quality backlinks, but first, let’s focus on how you can discover which backlinks are worthy. 

We have already learned that buying links in forums and paid directory listings is not worth your time and money. This leaves us creating quality guest posts and doing outreach for niche edits.

Niche Edits

For this backlink strategy, you need to analyse competitors to find the best websites. After that, you need to create an outreach template and contact those website editors. You can ask them for a specific spot for your backlink in their content and ask for a price, or let them tell you the price after you ask for a spot.

Before sending the first email, making sure that the website is suitable for your link is essential. When you check if the website is PBN or not, spend some more time analysing it.

As this type of link building can be very fast, you need to ensure other companies do not overuse that website and that it doesn’t look like a backlink farm. Think of it like this. If you can spot many guest post articles there and no articles from the editors of the website, skip it. If you can’t find the “about me” section on the website, skip it.

Check out what is going on in the anchor cloud of a website. You can do this with Ahrefs, and if you notice some suspicious words such as casino-related, crypto, or pornography anchor words. 

The best way to make sure that you are doing it right is to use only websites that have a company blog. This means that the best backlinks are made on websites that are not your competitors, but they are selling something in your niche. For example, if you are buying links for a body lotion, you can mention it on websites that are speaking about motherhood, make-up, healthy lifestyle products, yoga, etc.

Paid Guest Posts

The latest SEO trends indicate that contextual keywords are most visible in SERPs. Guest posts are great for assuring that your backlink gets the context that is important to your client around the keyword that you are competing for. 

Asking for a guest post goes the same way as for the niche edits. You analyse where you competitors have backlinks and approach those websites after the analysis of quality.

However, with paid guest posts, you have some extra steps. This process includes checking the previously written topics and creating the best topic idea for implementing your backlink. In addition, some websites require a specific point of view, and they have a whole list of writing guidelines that you need to respect if you want to publish an article there.

Sometimes you need to write a specific number of words. In other cases, they ask you to add internal backlinks and links for reputable sources, to find adequate images, etc.

After that, you need to write a brief for a writer and wait for them to finish it. Then, when they finish writing the article, you need to check how well the backlink is implemented and send it over. After the payment is made, your article will be published on the website.

If you are working for different clients in the same niche, this type of buying backlinks can be beneficial, as you can add more than one backlink in these articles if it is allowed by the editorial team. But as with anything that makes your link-building process faster, you need to be careful while applying this technique.

How do you do it at Dream Digital?

As a white hat link-building company, we offer all of our clients outreach on their behalf to improve their backlink profile. So we have two different approaches where we have an outreach team, and we also work with websites that we already have established great collaboration.

This means that we are often able to build backlinks faster than in-house team members, as they need to create those collaborations when they arrive at your company. By creating strict rules when it comes to the websites we work on, we keep link quality high.

We specialise in niche edits for websites with domain ratings above 20. When it comes to traffic, we consider only websites with traffic higher than 750 users per month. This criterion for domain rating and traffic and our experience allows us to ignore PBN websites. It removes the possibility of getting penalised by Google.

According to the latest trends, the most important thing when it comes to niche edits is context. So, we only add backlinks to articles that make sense to our clients. For example, if our client is selling gym equipment, we are adding their backlinks to articles that are about sports and healthy life choices. 

Our team monitors the number of backlinks we create on each website for our clients. As it turns out, some agencies are selling more than one backlink from the same website, and we avoid this practice. The reason behind this decision is simple. You can’t significantly improve your ranking and traffic if you have more than one backlink from the same website. 

Over time, we encounter a lot of websites that are not usable for link building, and we keep those on our “don’t touch” list, which we share with our team to keep websites safe from those.

Let’s wrap it up

Buying backlinks is something that most companies and agencies nowadays are doing to improve their traffic, domain ratings, and the visibility of the whole brand. It is up to you how you choose to acquire backlinks. However, we strongly advise learning as much as possible about the differences between white-hat and black-hat SEO practices. They can be crucial for developing your website and your business. A good backlink profile is a base for each website, and sometimes it is more critical than other marketing activities because it remains active even when you stop investing.

If you are wondering when isa the best time to start buying backlinks, we can tell you that the sooner you start, the better. Your competitors are already doing it while we speak.

Maybe you are looking to start acquiring links yourself or maybe you are looking for an SEO agency to do this for you in partnership or as part of a package of white label SEO services. If this is the case, it is vital you pick the right agency to help you create a great backlink strategy supported with exciting content to assist you in finding your audience and climb the search results. 


Written by

Warren Hill

Helping marketers and agency owners deliver quality SEO by outsourcing repetitive SEO tasks. Warren is an SEO specialist with over a decade of experience, and developed his business working for big brands in the UK and US. He aims to develop 10,000 new careers to great people in the Philippines.

don’t forget to share this article


want to learn more?

Book a demo

Once you have begun seeing some success using our LinkedIn strategy, you may be wondering how you can scale this.

[contact-form-7 id=”10496″ title=”Dream Digital Footer”]