In the world of SEO there is always the one main backbone that you can always rely on to get your site indexed as fast as possible, and getting the top results you have always wanted and that is links, there are many ways to get links and there are many type of links which contribute more or less in different ways (and this will be talked about in a different post) but there is one certain thing about those links sources that always stayed the same and this is Links from High PR & Authority domains WORTH MORE!
As websites that qualify to those metrics began to understand the resource that they posses some of they have integrated into they’re business model a new way to monetize themselves and this is Link Selling. This is a spot where a website of High PR and Authority will propose to you a paid link, so you will pay that website a fixed sum to have a link to your website for an agreed amount of time. This will benefit you as you will be seen as a more Trustworthy website in the eyes of the search engines and will gain PR and Authority yourself and thus improve your ranking in the SERP.
This method of acquiring links is obviously unnatural and is disapproved by google and all the other main search engines as those type of links don’t follow the real purpose of links on the web which is of course to show that you have a highly relevant content that will help the users of this website to find what they are looking for but only shows how deep your pockets are without any regard to the users of the selling website and they’re needs.
To stop that phenomenon google allocate many resources in it’s spam division just to find out what websites are engaged in link building and penalizing them for that by dropping they’re PR, Authority and SERP positions.
There are two possibilities regarding how this will affect your website. In case you get caught google doesn’t see this with they’re good eye and you are on you’re way to receive a penalty that may both lower you’re PR by 30%-50% and maybe even back down to zero (depends on you’re whole linking profile) and will may even get you sandboxed in google, meaning you will loose almost all you’re ranking overnight.
Or you will not be caught by google and you will receive the full benefit of having a High PR & Authority link from a well established website that will improve your ranking in the serps. but this brings us closer to our second question.
This is the hardest question, as you don’t always have the ability to control which websites are linking back to you there is always the possibility that a website that is selling links will also link naturally to you. This particular question was raised by many SEOs as google’s penalties are getting much more severe and frequent.
As explained by google’s head of spam department Matt Cutts what will happen in this case is that the selling website will get penalized by getting his PR dropped, and because of his actions all his links will no longer be seen as relevant by google, meaning he will no longer pass PR through them. So basically we can say that you will not be affected besides loosing a valued link to you’re website.
Link buying as a strategy is not good
As a whole, I wouldn’t recommend using link buying as a strategy for you’re or you’re client’s website, not as a whole of course but also not as an incorporated tactic in you’re total scheme. This method has high risk of getting discovered and penalized but it also cost a lot of money and is very hard to maintain once you grow and need more and more links to receive high ranking for those lucrative keywords you need so much.
I would much advise building high quality content that would serve you’re users and will gain you links because of that. As you’re main guideline i would advise you to review every page on you’re website and think to yourself, Does it earn it’s place among the other pages? If every page on you’re website “earns” it’s place by having high quality and high relevancy to your subject so don’t worry, those valuable links will be acquired in no time!