Buy links, trade links, sell links, request links, links, links, links - what does an SEO or webmaster do? You can't live without them, you can't live with them. A WebmasterWorld thread has a fun thread that somewhat sums up the "conundrum" SEOs and webmasters are in, when it comes to building link popularity.
Here is the post that sums it up for many SEOs:
We're paying an SEO firm some big bucks. They have recommended that we buy links to our website from directories including Yahoo!, BestoftheWeb, Family Friendly Sites, Gimpsy, Business.com, GoGuides and several others. They also mention in their report that paid links are frowned upon by Google. Yet they still think it will help our rankings a lot.
I've been under the impression for some time that Google will actually penalize a website, and even remove it from results if you pay for links -- due to intentionaly manipulation of their search results.
It all seems a bit odd. I mean what do you do? Anyone who is performing any sort of SEO is surely attempting to manipulate Google search engine results. So if they frown upon paid links they should frown upon all SEO (after all time is money essentially).
It seems odd that Google would ban a site for paying for links, yet they don't ban sites that perform any other SEO tactics, that are performed purely for the sake of improving rankings (artificially manipulating SERPs).
My boss is asking whether it's safe to buy these links. I'm pretty sure Yahoo! is safe and a few of the others on the list. But what makes one paid link safe and another not, excluding a no-follow?
And don't say it's because they refiew your site -- only a total idiot would pay $300 for someone to review their site. We're blatantly only interested in the link. And we only want that to improve our rankings right?
As senior member, Wheel, said, "You've completely encapsulated the conundrum we're all in."
Can't place blame anywhere. Google wants sites that have earned trust naturally. Webmasters want their sites to be trusted quickly.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.