Think Quality Backlinks are Expensive? Here are 4 Reasons Cheap Ones Cost More
Cheap SEO services are the internet’s equivalent of the Sirens (you know, those three beautiful women in Greek mythology whose beguiling voices lead sailors to their deaths).
On paper, these cheap services just look so tempting: Spend a few measly dollars and receive multiple backlinks to your site in return.
In reality, though, cheap backlinks can be costly. While they won’t quite cost you your life, they could potentially harm your business in the following four ways.
1. Incursion of Google Penalties
Many moons ago, sometime around 2005, SEO was much easier than it is now. You could stuff keywords and buy backlinks, and Google would reward you for it. Now, though, that’s not the case.
Google’s guidelines expressly forbid trying to manipulate the system by purchasing links solely for the intention of ranking higher in the SERPs (search engine results pages). By purchasing links from Fiverr, eBay, or SEO Clerks, you risk a Google penalty. What does that mean? Well, your site could potentially be removed from the search results altogether. Ouch.
2. Inheriting Another Website’s Bad Karma
Even if you don’t intend to manipulate Google’s ranking algorithms, poor-quality backlinks can still harm your website. As enchanting an image as this is, sites linking to one another is a lot like real-world copulation. If there’s something wrong with one of the sites, it’ll get passed on to the other.
If a website is breaking Google’s terms and conditions, and it’s linking in to your site, you’re not going to look too hot in the eyes of the all-seeing search engine. In fact, it’s likely you’ll receive a similar dose of whatever punishment comes the other site’s way.
3. Losing Money
OK, so cheap backlinks aren’t expensive. But that isn’t really the point. Whatever amount you do spend on them is wasted, similar to buying a $2 remote control car.
Reasons these links are cheap include poor longevity and mass sale. In other words, the links will either die pretty soon or they’ve been mass sold to almost everybody – including your competitor!
Your dollars would be better spent on an ice lolly in the park. Hopefully the fresh air will clear your mind and allow you to see there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
4. Suffering Reduced Traffic
Ironically, one of the side-effects of purchasing low-quality backlinks for your site is reduced traffic to it. Whether this is because of penalty incursions or reduced DA (domain authority), it’ll be hard to say. What you’re likely to notice, though, shortly after purchasing such links, is your traffic level declines… and declines… and declines.
Across the web, bloggers have chronicled their experiences with cheap backlinks, and it reads a little like the Blair Witch Project – at least if you’re a fan of SEO. Think lower search engine rankings, sharp declines in new visitors, and reduced revenue.
Doing SEO the Right Way
The reason bad things happen to those purchasing low-quality backlinks is because it’s AGAINST THE RULES. Sure, sometimes Google doesn’t play fair, but this time it has done. It’s made it clear cheating the system will result in punishment, so when punishment comes to those who thought they knew better, it’s hard to feel sympathy.
If you want to benefit from backlinking, then play the game fairly. Create value for your niche so that authorities want to link back to your content. Network with high-profile individuals in your field and put your resources together to create content that Google is proud to display.