Bad practices of link sellers and how to avoid them

Bad practices of link sellers and how to avoid them

If you know a thing or two about SEO, you know that backlinks are essential to your SEO success.

The easiest way to get new backlinks is to buy them. And here I'm not speaking only of backlinks vs direct $$. Every time you put effort into backlinks acquisition, you should be careful about those things if you don't want those efforts (or money) wasted.

Inflated metrics

Let's be honest, metrics are convenient. Using 3rd party metrics like the Trust Flow (TF, Majestic) or the Domain Rating (DR, Ahrefs) is an easy way to compare quickly the strength of pages in terms of "link juice".

Link sellers know that and their marketing message is often based on that.

Yet, can you trust those metrics?

Although a page with TF = 0 has a very high probability of being not powerful, the opposite is less true.

Those metrics can indeed be artificially inflated either intentionally by some unethical sellers or just because the scoring algorithm is not perfect.

That's why you shouldn't rely on those metrics to select your backlinks and you should always look at the actual backlinks to the website to check if the score makes sense.

Conclusion: Use metrics as initial filters but make sure to check manually the backlinks before the final acquisition!

Just imagine you scored a link for $$$, you checked everything and it looks all right.

You're delighted.

Your rankings start to rise.

Yet... what if after 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year this seller removes the backlink either intentionally or due to a website rework?

If you don't follow your backlinks closely you will start losing your hard-earned rankings or (more vicious) sub-optimal growth.

There's a simple solution to this: monitor your backlinks!

You can do this very easily using SEOwl: just add your backlink to your SEOwl's backlinks. It will be checked daily and you will get notified instantly if your backlink is removed.

Conclusion : Link building doesn't stop after the publication! Make sure to monitor your backlinks over time. You can do that easily with SEOwl.

Orphan page

Another common practice of dishonest sellers is to sell backlinks on orphan pages.

This is particularly vicious because you don't always know where the actual backlink will be positioned until it is delivered (and that's why you should ask beforehand !)

Thus everything can be checked, genuine, powerful website, fair price, you buy it, everyone's happy ... and your rankings don't move... why is that?

Well, maybe, the backlink has been positioned on an orphan page ie. a page without any internal link linking to it. It, therefore, do not receive the "link power" of the website!

The green part is the classic way a website is organized. Home links to categories and categories to pages. Eventually, there can be interlinks between categories and pages but we can ignore that here.

The problem is when you backlink is in one of the red boxes eg. :

  • your link is on an orphan page ie. no pages at all link to that page -> no link juice -> worthless backlink
  • or more vicious: your link is on a page and has a link from a category page ... but this category page itself is an orphan page! Here again, you won't have any link juice. If you're lucky the category page itself has some external backlinks that will give some power but most probably if it's not linked elsewhere on the website, it usually means it's a sh*t page without backlinks.

Conclusion : Always make sure the page hosting your backlink actually receives link juice from other pages on the website!

A bit like "Link removal" but more subtle. A lot of tools can report your lost backlinks so a simple link removal can be spotted easily if you're using SEO tools daily...

Link sellers know that.

That's why sometimes when they still want to get your link down, they can do it more subtly.

For example, they can :

  • Turn your backlink no-follow
  • Deindex the page hosting the backlink
  • Change the anchor

Pretty bad, huh?

Conclusion: There's more to backlink monitoring than just new/lost backlinks. Make sure your backlinks are not turned no-follow or deindexed behind your back. (You can do that with SEOwl)

That's it! Now you're ready to buy backlinks safely and get your money's worth ;)

Do you know any other things to check out before buying a backlink? Please share it with me!