The huge debate on link buying continues to rage as Yahoo seems ambiguous about it and Google continues to take a hard line.
Unfortunately, you can’t direct Google’s spiders to disregard links and count on Yahoo to pick them up, so you have to make a choice one way or the other.
Link buying is that gray area of SEO – driven by the need for PageRank, which makes linking surmount all else, the temptation to snag a few high qualifying links is almost irresistible.
This concept of that is all what links are good for is slightly ridiculous. After all, people were linking before Google made it the brass ring, and would continue to link if Google changed their mind tomorrow and said links no longer mattered.
Why? Because the purpose of links first and foremost is TRAFFIC. You want traffic, right? I mean, that’s the whole purpose behind trying to fight your way up the SERPs – the increased traffic from being ranked number one.
What if there were no ranking on the SERPs? What if you just got served up a random mish-mash? What then? Links would go back to their original purpose, which was to generate traffic from other sites to your own.
The whole concept behind the idea of using the linking framework and the PageRank to determine the value of your site is flawed, in that it puts too much value on links at the expense of content (a flaw Cuil claims to have circumvented).
The pressure it puts on sites to shove up their rank by desperately chasing links from higher ranked sites is incredible. But what if you aren’t really relevant to any really good sites?
Concentrate your linking on sites that will send you TRAFFIC not PageRank. Build your content and become an authority in your own right. Not all sites on the front page of the SERPs have PageRank commensurate with their elevated status.
You can make it on the basis of your quality alone. If you are concerned with traffic and conversion, build your linking chain to drive traffic from everywhere on the web, not just from the SERPs. Buy some links, sure, just make sure you no-follow every one.
Links aren’t just for Google, anymore than content is just for Google. We talk a lot about not just optimizing for the search engine. We don’t want keyword stuffing to the point it becomes unintelligible. That renders our content impotent.
Same goes for our links. If we blindly chase after PageRank alone, we could be ignoring vast untapped resources. Just because your fellow dog lover’s blog in Canada carries no PageRank doesn’t mean it worth nothing to you.
She has friends and they have friends, and if you have the coolest dog hoodies on the market her blog could be worth more than links from a dozen big PageRank .gov domains. The traffic you would get from her would be perfectly targeted grade A prime!