The way links work has changed a lot since the early days. Of course you can click on them and they will take you to another destination still, what we’re talking about are backlinks and the way that they perform in regard to your standings in the SERPs.
Even though it is a dead practice, some people continue to buy links. Google doesn’t like it when you pay for links. It doesn’t matter if you are paying cold hard cash, trading favors or promising services – it’s all the same to them, and it’s all taboo – the rule is NO using paid links to give your rankings a boost! This is one area where Google speaks up loud and clear so there is no misunderstanding.
This doesn’t mean you can’t buy link, however. This is where it gets confusing for many webmasters. It’s okay to buy links and it can be done without penalty. Just make sure you no-follow them, or use other methods to make
sure Google disregards them.That is really the key to it all. Paid links do have value for webmasters and Google does realize that, which is why there is a way for them and rankings to peacefully coexist.
Paid links in the right places can be valuable for driving traffic as long as Google doesn’t think you are trying to pull a fast one, and convince them to use this type of link to determine your site’s value.
However, there still is one area where inbound links can look a little gray hat. Links from blogs and social sites are increasingly valuable, so what is kosher? If people addicted to Digg see your information being Dugg all over and decide to link to you, that is their choice – no grey area at all. But what if you paid a consultant to do a review and post it to Digg or StumbleUpon or some other network? Would it matter at all?
The short answer is that paid links are fine and can drive you some traffic, but you have to do it right! So – nofollow any links you directly pay, barter, or bribe people for, but anything outside that or resulting from such activity is fair play. That’s just creativity and reaping the rewards of hard work.