Want Good SEO? Don't Buy Backlinks

Don't buy backlinks to improve your SEOBusiness owners everywhere are constantly searching for ways to better their SEO (Search Engine Optimization). While there are plenty of good ways to get your company recognized by search engines, we're here to tell you that buying backlinks just might tank your long-term ranking.

Let us explain. To search engines like Google, links are like votes. If you have more votes (links), Google will probably pick your site over another, and your website will "win" the search. So why can't buying votes further help your website win?

Google ranks certain links higher than others. If it comes from one of their trusted sources, it has a much larger liklihood of showing up. Google also considers words near the links, in order to understand what the links might be about. describes it like this:

Lots of people link to Amazon with the word "books" in the link, so Google effectively considers that a vote for Amazon to rank well for the word "books." Since few link to Amazon using the word "cars," you don't see it ranking for that.

If Google doesn't trust your link, however, it can be bad news for your SEO. If this is the case, your purchased backlink might either:

a) Carry no priority whatsoever, and not show up in a search
b) Penalize your site, and discount other links (even if they are legitimate) from your site

How can Google tell? Believe it or not, they have an entire team dedicated to investigating web spam - including purchased backlinks. Google also encourages other members of the online community to report any link-selling (often these members are those who have been caught themselves, and want Google to lighten their penalty on their own website).

In sum? Yeah, backlinks may seem like a good shortcut to getting your website out there, but they can hurt you in the long run. Instead, take a little more time, and seek out good link opportunities. Blogging, for example, can be a great way to boost your SEO and increase your link number. You can even consider guest-blogging on another website with similar clients, or partnering with other companies who will, in turn, link to you.

Want to improve your SEO? Send us an e-mail or give us a call, and we can improve your company search engine ranking.

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).