Backlinks: To Buy or Not to Buy, That is the Question!


Backlinks are one of the core measures that Google uses to evaluate a small business website/blog and determine where the site will appear in search engine results. 

Unfortunately, many small business owners have been convinced by some Internet marketers to buy links to build up the ranking of their websites.

Matt Cutts, speaking on behalf of Google in the video above, makes the point that buying backlinks is contrary to Google’s quality guidelines and will not add value to a website in the final analysis.  Elsewhere, Matt Cutts has stated that Google is improving its capacity to determine whether or not backlinks are artificially generated.   While you may experience a temporary surge in rankings on Google by buying backlinks, you will suffer in the long run.  

Recent history shows that Google eventually enforces its quality guidelines.  For example, for a long time Google had been warning about duplicate content (information on websites copied from elsewhere) and many sites enjoyed a temporary benefit from using this approach.  However, early in 2011, Google punished the sites that had ignored their duplicate content guidelines:

Google’s response to Poor Quality Sites 

I predict the same will happen to websites that have created backlinks artificially by buying large numbers from suppliers who have little concern for the quality of the small business website being promoted or for the relevance of the backlinks being offered at a price.

What Google really values, as Matt Cutts explains, is organic backlinks – backlinks that occur naturally because of the quality of the content on a website.  Matt argues that if you create great content then people will not only visit your site more often but also create backlinks to your articles/blog posts by mentioning them on social media sites and their own blogs or websites.

Here is a perfect illustration of this principle of organic backlinks which occurred in the last week.  A French Chef, Alain Braux, created a blog post about his Raspberry Souffle which was picked up by a website with a high page rank and this created a quality, organic backlink for his Healthy Chef Recipes blog site:

Alain Braux’s site, which draws on his cooking and nutritionist background, offers French recipes that are easy to make and healthy to eat.  His attractive and informative site was designed by my friend and business partner, Anne Corcino, of SEO   Alain offers many recipes on the site as well as his healthy French recipe books.

As Matt Cutts argues, in the final analysis what is important for a small business blog/website is to offer quality, relevant content that will generate organic backlinks from people who value what they read.