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Is It Safe To Buy Backlinks In 2024?

Corey Batt

Should you buy backlinks? 

In the world of search engine optimization (SEO), this is a controversial and confusing question.

Google says you shouldn’t buy backlinks. But lots of people do. 

Some websites buy backlinks and successfully boost their search engine rankings. But others have seen their traffic crash after being at the receiving end of a Google manual action taken against them.

This article explains everything you need to know about buying backlinks. We explain some of the nuances of buying backlinks, which link-buying practices are safe, and which ones could damage your search engine rankings. 

Finally, we explain how to buy backlinks yourself. 

Let’s get into it.


What Is Buying Backlinks?

Why Buy Backlinks?

How Much Do Backlinks Cost?

What Do Google’s Guidelines Say about Buying Backlinks?

How to Buy Backlinks

Buying Backlinks: The Final Word

What Is Buying Backlinks?

Buying backlinks is when you pay someone money to publish hyperlinks on their blog that lead to your website.

The alternatives to buying links are:

  • Attracting links naturally: In other words, creating great content and hoping that people will link to it because they like it.
  • Building links: You create great content, but you also reach out to other website owners and specifically ask them to link to it. Usually, the content is meant to spark the interest of the owners of specific websites. 

What constitutes buying backlinks is nuanced. 

Giving a website owner $50 to place a link to your home page in an existing blog post clearly counts as buying a link.

But what if you pay a link builder to generate backlinks for you? Some people also consider this to be buying backlinks. 

Why Buy Backlinks?

There are several benefits to buying backlinks:

💰 It’s fast: Building links takes a lot of time and attracting them naturally takes even longer. Buying backlinks allows you to quickly increase your site’s authority, improve your rankings, and get traffic flowing to your website. 

💰 It’s easy: Buying backlinks is usually easier than link building, depending on what it is you’re buying. For example, you might just have to message a site owner and offer to pay them to insert a link to your website in a relevant place. It’s worth noting, however, that buying some links does require effort on your part. For example, paying for a guest post often involves writing the post as well. 

💰 You can accurately target relevant sites: When you buy links, you can choose which websites you’d like to link to yours. This allows you to target authoritative sites in your niche.

💰 Sometimes you have to: In some industries, buying links is so common that site owners have to buy them just to keep up with the competition. This happens in industries like gaming—casino websites being a good example. 

How Much Does It Cost to Buy Backlinks?

How much backlinks cost depends on your industry, the quality of the linking site, and the person or company you are buying the link from. 

In some industries, for example, ranking on search engines is super profitable. In these niches, buying links comes at a premium because there’s high demand and site owners know these links are valuable.

Here are some examples of how much you are likely to pay for backlinks in different industries:

🎮 The gaming industry: $250–$350 

🏠 Real estate companies: $350–$600

💸 Companies in the finance sector: $600–$1,500 (sometimes more!)

In a 2022 study, Ahrefs reached out to 450 websites asking to buy a link. The average cost of those who responded was $361.44. This is likely to be higher today. 

Obviously, you can get links much cheaper than this. For example, this seller on Fiverr is offering to build 500 high domain authority, contextual backlinks in two days for just £5 (about $6). 

If that sounds too good to be true, it’s because it probably is. With link-building services, you get what you pay for. These 500 cheap backlinks would likely have very little impact on your search rankings. 

Worse, it could turn out that the seller builds spammy links. These are links that offer no value and only exist to artificially inflate a site’s rankings. We’ll explain more about them in the coming sections.

For now, just know that they can actually reduce your site’s rankings. 

At Authority Builders, we charge between $177 and $297 per link for niche edits, depending on the linking website’s domain authority. 

So why can you trust our backlinks, not those of cheaper link builders?

It’s because search engines like Google are more likely to rank content that attracts backlinks naturally, since these backlinks show that people think the content is valuable for their audience. 

Our links appear natural to Google because they offer tons of value

We perform manual outreach with websites relevant to yours that publish great content. This way, when Google sees the links, it assumes they were built naturally, and gives your website a rankings boost. 

Because we do it properly, our process usually takes between 4–6 weeks. But it delivers results for our clients

What Do Google’s Guidelines Say about Buying Backlinks?

Google Search Essentials (formerly Webmaster Guidelines) says:

“Avoid getting involved in link schemes, such as buying links from other sites to increase your ranking. This is against Google’s spam policies and can result in a manual action against some or all of your site, which will negatively affect your site ranking.”

Yikes! So should you avoid buying backlinks?

Not necessarily. 

That’s because Google also encourages website owners to promote their business online. Sooner or later, this is probably going to involve buying a backlink.

Let’s say you produce software for the real estate industry. Naturally, you’ll want to promote your business to realtors. One way you might do this is to buy an advertorial on the National Association of Realtors’ website. 

Naturally, you’d want the advertorial to include a link to your website so potential clients can find out more and get in touch with you.

Google is unlikely to punish you for a link like this. At worst, it will recognize it as an ad and will ignore it.

When buying links is OK

Google generally doesn’t know whether you have purchased backlinks or not. But what it can measure is the quality of the links pointing to your site. 

High-quality backlinks come from websites that:

✅ Have content that is relevant to yours.

✅ Offer quality content.

✅ Are authoritative and active in its industry.

✅ Have good organic traffic.

When buying links is a bad idea

Because backlinks are such a critical search engine ranking factor, they have become the basis for a whole industry. 

Some unscrupulous link builders will offer to build huge quantities of low-quality links very fast. These backlinks are usually very poor quality and are sometimes known as toxic links.

These links often come from places like:

⚠️ Link farms: Websites that exist solely to sell links. Their content is often poor and covers very broad topics. 

⚠️ Private blog networks (PBNs): PBNs are when several websites owned by the same person link to each other in a bid to inflate their authority rating. Like link farms, they aim to make money selling links and their content is poor. 

⚠️ Illegal, hacked, and other dodgy websites: Links from these websites are cheap and easy to buy.

At best, buying these backlinks will be a waste of your time and money as search engines will ignore them. But buy too many of them and you could get a Google penalty. 

Is paying a link-building agency safe?

Some people say paying a link-building agency for backlinks counts as paying for links. 

But these businesses wouldn’t exist if they didn’t build links that are safe and help websites rank.

The reason link-building agencies are safe to work with is because they usually organically generate high-quality backlinks.

This involves creating great content that audiences find valuable and then manually reaching out to high-quality, relevant websites. 

However, you still need to do some research to make sure the link-building agency you work with:

🔎 Showcases its expertise through engaging and relevant blog articles or videos. 

🔎 Provides case studies of its campaigns.

🔎 Provides stats on the impact of their work on client websites.

🔎 Shares its list of clients and their feedback.

How to Buy Backlinks

When it comes to buying quality backlinks, you have three choices:

  • Pay a link builder to buy them for you.
  • Pay a link-building agency to build them for you. 
  • Buy them yourself.

If you choose the first or second route, all you have to do is send the link builder or link-building agency your target pages and anchor text copy—then sit back and wait for the links to appear.

Most link-building agencies go beyond simply generating links. They will also:

✔️ Analyze your backlink profile.

✔️ Propose a backlink strategy.

✔️ Write content and anchor text on your behalf.

✔️ Provide regular reports on the progress of your link-building campaigns.

This means everything related to link building is done for you. At Authority Builders, we call this comprehensive service ABC Plus.

How to buy backlinks yourself

Buying links yourself is cheaper but more time-consuming. It’s also difficult to get it right. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide for buying niche edit backlinks. This is when you pay a website owner to add backlinks to their existing content.

1. Find target websites

Step one is to create a shortlist of websites that you want to reach out to. You might already know a number of websites in your niche that are authoritative. These might be a good place to start. 

However, it won’t take long for you to exhaust these options and they might not even accept payment for links—so you’ll need to look further afield. 

We recommend looking at your competitors and seeing which websites link to them. If they link to your competitors, the chances are they will link to yours, too. This technique is called a link gap analysis.

To do this quickly, we recommend using an SEO tool like Ahrefs. Here’s how:

a.) Open Ahrefs and type your domain name into Site Explorer. In this example, we’re going to use the vegan cooking site

b.) In the left column, click “Link Intersect.”

c.) Add some competitor websites in the fields and click “Show link opportunities.”

d.) Ahrefs will show you a list of websites that link to your competitors but not to you. In this case, 16,026 domains link to’s competitors—that’s a lot of link-buying opportunities!

e. ) Click the “Export” button in the top-right corner to download a spreadsheet with the results. 

2. Vet your shortlist

Look at each website on your shortlist and check whether it is worth buying a link from. Websites should:

✅ Be relevant to your niche.

✅ Have good quality content.

✅ Be active and up-to-date.

For example, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History links to both of’s competitors. However, the museum isn’t really relevant to the vegan cooking niche, so you may wish to disregard it. 

3. Calculate your link velocity

Search engines can’t tell whether you are buying links—but they can tell whether you are trying to game their algorithm. 

Let’s say you’ve been generating links at a pace of one per month. But then this suddenly spikes to 500 per month out of nowhere. Search engine algorithms are likely to flag this as unusual and may ignore the links or even issue a penalty. 

Therefore, it’s a good idea to build links at a steady pace that seems natural. 

The speed at which you build links is called your link velocity. To calculate your ideal link velocity, you need to build links at a slightly faster rate than your competitors. 

You can work this out by going back into Ahrefs. 

a. Type your competitor’s website into Site Explorer. 


b.) In the left column menu click “calendar.”


c.) Click on the backlinks tab. In the menu, choose “Dofollow” and under “Backlink type,” choose “In content.” Uncheck “Lost” at the bottom. Select “Last 3 Months” in the bottom-right menu. 

d.) Ahrefs will now tell you how many new links the website has got in the last three months. Divide this number by three to find out how many new links you’ll need to get per month for your link velocity to be competitive.

In this case, one of’s competitors is getting more than 5,500 new links per month. That’s a lot of backlinks! 

4. Choose anchor text

The next step is to choose your anchor text—these are the words that are used in the link that points to your site. 

They are important because it’s one of the factors search engines asses when determining the quality of your links. 

Good anchor text reads naturally and is not only relevant to the surrounding text, but also to the content on your website that it links to. 

Here are some tips for getting anchor text right:

💡Create unique anchor text for each link placement to ensure relevance—don’t just send every webmaster the same text.

💡 Make sure your anchor text doesn’t exactly match with the keywords your article is optimized for. Search engines will assume that you are trying to game their algorithm and may ignore your link.

💡Avoid noncontextual text like “click here.”

Here’s a good example of contextual anchor text in a saag aloo recipe on

Click on the first link and sure enough, it sends you to a Seattle Times article on how spinach boosts your eye health.

5. Perform outreach

Once you have your anchor text ready, it’s time to perform outreach. 

This is when you email website owners and offer to pay them to place a link on their websites. 

Getting outreach right is critical because you have to make sure the website owner opens your email and agrees to link to your website. 

Remember that Ahrefs study we mentioned earlier where the company reached out to 450 websites asking to buy a link?

Only 12.5% of those websites responded. 

There could be many reasons for this:

  • They thought it was a scam.
  • They weren’t impressed with the link builder’s pitch.
  • They don’t really understand link building or know what it is.
  • They were too busy to respond.
  • They are inundated with similar requests and can only respond to some.

Your outreach emails need to cut through all of these concerns to show website owners that placing a link to your website is a good idea and that they should act upon it promptly. 

Here are some tips for an effective outreach email:

✅ Use a compelling subject line

Getting people to open your email in the first place is the hardest part of outreach. If the recipient has no idea who you are, then there’s a good chance they will assume that your email is spam.

Make it clear what your email is about and highlight how placing a backlink will benefit them. But also keep it short and punchy. 

For example, you might say:

📧“[First name] I’ve got a vegan cheese article you can link to – and I’ll pay”

📧“[First name] Broken link on your site – link to my article instead?” 

📧“[First name] your content is outdated – I have a solution”

✅ Personalize

Have you noticed that all three of the subject lines above use the recipient’s name? That’s because personalization is critical to the success of outreach campaigns.

According to research by Authority Hacker, using someone’s name in an outreach email leads to 50% higher conversions.

That’s because personalizing outreach campaigns shows the recipient that this email is specifically for them and not a generic message that you’ve fired out to hundreds of people. 

You can go further by taking the time to research the person, their website, and business. Then you can say something about them in the email. 

For example, you might write:

“Hi [first name], congratulations on being nominated for the Vegan Chef Association Awards – got my fingers crossed for you!”

✅ Make it about them

The aim of your outreach email is to sell yourself to the website owner. You can do this by focusing your email on the recipient and what they stand to gain from working with you. 

  • Explain how linking to your website will help their users or improve their site.
  • Make it clear that you’re willing to pay for a link.
  • Let them know that it will involve very little effort on their part.
✅ Be succinct

Website owners are busy people with hundreds of emails to read. If your email is too long, then they won’t even bother to read it. 

Try to keep your email to around 125 words and certainly no more than 200—the shorter the better.

✅ Include a clear call to action

At the end of your email, make it clear what action you want the recipient to take.

For example, you might say:

“Please respond to this email to tell me how much you would charge me to link to [page on my website] from [page on recipient’s website].”

Avoid asking open-ended questions or leaving it up to the recipient to decide whether to take action. 

So for example, DON’T say:

“I’d love to get a link from your website and would be willing to pay for it. Could you let me know what you think?”

✅ Follow up

Busy people often miss outreach emails or forget to respond—even if they are interested in selling you a link.

Send a polite follow-up email 3–5 business days after your initial email. Copy the previous message, and remind them of what you want and how to respond.

According to research from Belkins, sending a follow-up email can boost your response rate by 49%—so it’s well worth doing.

You could even send a third follow-up email if the link opportunity is important to you. 

However, response rates drop off significantly after the first follow-up email, so we recommend just sending one.

6. Negotiate

Once you have sent your cleverly crafted outreach emails, website owners should ideally respond to you with a price to buy backlinks from them.

Rule of thumb: Never accept the first offer, always negotiate.

These days most website owners know the value of backlinks. Some have price lists, but many will suggest a cost out of thin air that might seem too high. 

There are two main reasons for this:

  • They’re trying their luck.
  • They have overestimated the value of a link from their website. 

Even if the price of the backlink seems reasonable, it’s always worth negotiating to see whether you can get a discount. After all, every bit you save adds up in the long run.

Send them a polite response email saying:

  • That in your experience the price quoted is too high.
  • Remind them of the value of linking to your site—for example, you might be helping them to fix a broken link or providing them with quality content. 
  • Suggest a price that is much lower than what you would be willing to pay.

If the site owner stands their ground or comes with  a counteroffer that’s still too high, then you have two choices:

💬 Say that you’ll “think about it” and then leave it for a couple of weeks. During this time, the site owner may realize that some money is better than no money and might be more willing to lower their price. 

💬 Thank them for their time and walk away. This stops you from paying over the odds. It could also encourage the site owner to respond with a more reasonable offer to avoid the deal falling through.

If your negotiations are successful, then that’s it! You’ve just successfully purchased backlinks by yourself.

Buying Backlinks: The Final Word

Buying backlinks may be frowned upon by search engines, but in reality, lots of people buy them.

If you refuse to buy links, then you could find yourself dropping behind competitors who do purchase them. 

This is especially true today, as very few websites offer free link-building opportunities. For example, most websites charge a fee to publish guest posts. 

If done right, buying quality links can be a safe and effective way to make your website rank higher on Google.

By targeting relevant websites with quality content, you can provide value to audiences and avoid penalties from search engines. 

While buying backlinks is often easier than building them, it’s still hard work to do yourself. This is especially true if you need to build a large number of links. 

That’s where a link-building agency like Authority Builders comes in. We can build links consistently and at scale on your behalf, providing you with a safe, low-effort way to buy backlinks.

Get started by signing up for a free account today or visit our website to learn more about our link-building services.


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