When you frequent SEO forums and ask how to improve your traffic, the answer arises almost immediately: create quality content and find backlinks. Typically, the following post is from a backlink seller. But let’s ask the question: is it a good idea?
Toxicity and price
Websites have reputation scores. The higher the score out of 100, the better the reputation of the site. Conversely, the lower the score, the less frequentable the site. However, the score cannot be bought or manipulated instantly: it takes a long time for a site to be considered reputable.
Therefore, the prices of backlinks on these sites are affected. The vendor offering a $5 backlink doesn’t mean you well. Depending on your niche and the language of the site, it takes between 50 and 200 dollars per backlink, since you will also be asked to provide the text – around 500 characters – to go with the link.
For content in French, we start with a minimum of 200 dollars per backlink, for a site with a score between 30 and 50. The buyer has no guarantee that the backlink will bring him traffic. It is therefore caught in a vice: should we absolutely bet on backlinks to gain traffic, SEO and reputation, or should we adopt a completely different strategy? You can cut the pear in half.
Social signals: the alternative solution
Next to backlink sellers, there are social signal sellers. For 5 euros, you will have 35 social signals, on different social networks. As it is Facebook, Reddit, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, you will not have the problem of the toxicity of the domain nor that of the referencing of the content. For this last point, if you really have any concerns, as you will be provided with a list of the links created, you can always index them on your side.
What is a social signal? For Facebook, this corresponds to a post with likes and shares. On LinkedIn, a post on a newsfeed; on Pinterest, an image with a link and text and on Reddit, a post. Generally, you can also make your market à la carte: take only LinkedIn or Facebook posts, or only posts on Reddit.
As with backlinks, you will need to provide the link to your website and an image. You can write the text yourself and activate the rewrite option, so that the different messages do not look too similar. Does it bring traffic? Yes. Does it help for SEO? Yes, indirectly. Google sometimes goes on indexing strike for certain content, without anyone really knowing why. Having social cues sprinkled here and there will strain his hand a bit.
Backlinks vs. Social Signals: Who Wins?
The difficulty with buying backlinks is the lack of transparency from sellers. Indeed, if they reveal their catalog when you are considering the transaction, they risk losing it. Why go through an intermediary when you can deal directly? Moreover, the platforms that are in the catalogs are not always aware that their site serves as a host of backlinks.
The other blocking point is the neighborhood: in the purchase of backlinks, nothing guarantees that you will not encounter problematic content: software piracy, prostitution, drug trafficking, etc. Insofar as it is not always possible to disavow backlinks in the Google console, this can be penalizing. Indeed, to establish reputation scores, the various tools are also based on neighboring content.
With social signals, this is a problem that will arise less, especially if you favor posts on Reddit or LinkedIn. The principle of social networks is the sharing of content, Google will never penalize you for this. Conversely, Google officially hates buying backlinks and regularly removes from its search results what it suspects are link farms or PBNs (private blogs network).
Investing in social signals is a good alternative, both for the wallet and the reputation. As for the purchase of backlinks, in general, it is better to avoid them.