Why You Should Never Buy BackLinks : An Experiment

Backlinks are inbound links that are directed towards your website or blog. It’s a known fact that backlinks plays a great role in the ranking of your site in search engines. While number of backlinks are certainly important, their quality is at least as important if not more.

If you are unaware of backlinks, and why they are important, go ahead and check this post. A simple search for “buy backlinks” will return thousands of results on Google. Specially, if you are one of Fiverr user, you would know how many build thousands of backlinks gigs we can find on Fiverr for $5.

buy backlinks from Fiverr

As a new entrant in the blogosphere it takes a lot of effort to build backlinks and one might be tempted to take the easier route and buy backlinks. But should you buy backlinks, such as those available on Fiverr, to boost your page rankings?

Recently, I shared my experiment on buying Facebook likes from Fiverr. Similarly, I also tested the effect of backlinks bought from one of the many Fiverr gigs on my SERP rankings.

More about backlinks:

Which Backlink Fiverr Gigs did I purchase?

In my experiment on whether or not one should buy backlinks, I purchased the following two gigs from Fiverr:

  • Buy 25 Penguin-safe PR5 backlinks
  • Backlink pyramid with 5000 forum profiles pointing to 2000 anchor text profiles

The seller responded immediately asking for keywords and links for the ordered gigs. Sure enough within 3 days I received an “Order Completed” message from the seller with a text file of all the links that were created.

Backlink Quality

I went through the list of backlinks that were created by the seller and tested a few of them. As shown in the example picture below, the PR5 backlinks were low quality profile links with absolutely no activity.

Low quality Profile Backlinks

The backlink pyramid gig was even worse. Just by looking at the links you could say they are of little or no quality.

Backlink Pyramid

Many links did not exist and those that did exist disappeared in a few days as moderators identified and removed the inactive or spammy members.

Effect of bought backlinks on Site Traffic

I bought the backlinks for a site that received an average of about 1250 page views a day. Also, most posts appeared within the first page of Google SERP for the keywords they were written for. As shown below, in about a week from the date of purchase, traffic dropped 70%:

Site affected with bought backlinks

Note that I made no other major change at the same time other writing 2-3 new posts. I also received the following message on my Google Webmaster Tools:

Webmaster  bad backlink warning

Looking at the average position (under Traffic->Search Queries), posts that were in the first page were positioned beyond 250. The number of impressions and clicks showed a huge drop as well. Sure enough, searching my targeted keyword did not show my posts.

It was almost as if Google discredited my posts completely. Could this be due to Google’s Panda or Penguin updates? Submitting a site reconsideration request did not help. For any blogger it would be near to impossible to recover from such a hit and restore his/her site’s credibility.

The backlink gig sellers argue that this is impossible. Their logic is that if this was the case then one could easily purchase bad quality backlinks to their competitor’s sites and destroy their credibility. But my experience shows a different outcome.

How to Undo paid Backlink traffic drop effect?

The backlinks that were created will exist unless the site moderators delete them as spams or if you manually go after the 1000s of links and request the moderator to delete the link. In other words there is no going back to your original state. Fortunately, Google introduced the disavows link tool to discredit any low quality backlinks to your site. All you have to do is upload the text file sent to you by the seller. Google will not take these links into account while accessing your site.

Disavow links

Within a week from uploading my text file with links to be disavowed, traffic on the site recovered to almost the level it was before the backlinks purchase and has been steady if not increasing over the last few days.

Traffic recovered after removing bad links

You get what you pay for

Some argue that there is no way one can see the effects within a week and some say that it is not even the links but some other changes that I performed at the same time. I did not make any other major change in the site and my data indicates that Google can sense and re-assess your rankings in about a week’s time.

Many backlink selling services agree that the quality of the backlink is important and that the links that they create for you are superior. In essence, they say “you get what you pay for” and as more money from you.

Should you buy backlinks?

Would I have seen a different result if I spent more and bought one of the other services that claim that their backlinks are of good quality? Or, would the gigs that drip-feed backlinks over a period (instead of creating 1000s of backlinks all at once) been better? Maybe, I do not know and I am not even going to try.

Such black-hat SEO techniques are not worth it and may be against Google’s terms and conditions in most cases. The other important point to remember is that they do not add traffic nor engagement in your site. Avoid making backlink building mistakes and spend that time improving your existing content, providing quality new content, guest-authoring, and other known and established backlink building methods.

While the shortcuts may work for the people, who wants to make a quick buck, one cannot achieve sustained long-term growth, eespecially with Google working to separate out good content websites from the spams, and one using black-hate SEO. There is no better alternative to hard work, creativity and patience and if you are a dedicated and passionate blogger this is how you should work.

FYI: You can always report paid links to Google using this form.

Hope this experiment serves provided you with some points to consider before you decide to buy backlinks. If you have any comments please do share with us.

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Article By
Anand is a self-learned computer enthusiast, a part-time blogger, and a Scientist by career. He blogs at htpcBeginner.com about Linux, Ubuntu, Home/Media/File Servers, XBMC, and related HOW-TOs.


COMMENTs ( 25 )

  1. SKULL_BOY says

    Buying links is very dangerous, i tried with one of my blog and my traffic dropped, i was like crying and the seller of the links said she didn’t have control over the links provided again, the best option is to get it natural, not by spamming

    Thanks for this great post…

  2. says

    Not all sellers on Fiverr sell bad backlinks. I have bought some Gigs (from women) and I have got always very good backlinks. Perhaps women dont do blackhat ??

  3. says

    Good article and I praise your research – nothing beats actually testing a theory. I found the page searching for an easier way to get backlinks! I’m in an industry that is hard to find quality sites that allow posting comments or articles so am finding it very difficult.

  4. says

    Once I also buy backlink comments from internet but after few months I checked that these comments or backlink have been deleted. Its nice to me. But What is the proper way to get backlink as its not always possible to comments on other bolg.

  5. param says

    I am not a pro at this, but as many articles as I have read till now i support the school of thought that natural linkbuilding is the best method. With google coming out with panda, hummingbird etc you will never ever know when your website has been hit due to bad quality links. I guess here its about quality. Get lesser but better links from reputed sites.

    Does anyone know if links in footer is also considered bad for seo ?

  6. Santosh says

    It was really helpful for me i was searching to buy back links for my blog, i understand to play safe game even it takes time, i was a new techie it really helps me a lot thanks anand for article

  7. Prajwal says

    One more great post.Though buying backlinks was good option in the past time, with google becoming smarter day by day, white hat seo techniques are the best for any kinds of blogs i guess!

  8. Nidhan says

    I think backlinks are great for the website visibility , but cheap and rough backlinks could spoil your search engine reputation in a couple of days. Now that’s how the good bloggers take care of the business.

  9. Devagya Uikey says

    It’s always better to walk on safe path though i have never used any black-hat technique so can’t say about experiences and never will use especially after reading this article and by the way thanks for share.

  10. Winson says

    I’m surprise that the disvow link only took 1 weeks for the result to recover. Morale of the experience, do not even buy backlinks from fiver. But i think it’s alright to buy social medias service such as likes/twitter/pinterest from fiverr instead.

  11. Dean Saliba says

    Not all gigs are a waste of time, as Aaron pointed out there are some cracking gigs if you search hard enough for them. It sounds like the write did no research at all before buying his gigs.

    • Anand Subramanian says

      I researched and I knew what I was getting into and how I could reverse things if something went wrong. Sure there may be a small percentage of good backlink gigs. But for most general bloggers, it would be best to spend the time and money on white-hat techniques and features that have been proven to improve site rankings rather than buying backlinks and hoping that the ranking improves. My personal opinion.

  12. rahul says

    I was also buyed a dofollow backlinks and having same problem of traffic dropping.
    Thanx a lot for posting this post i hope now will again recover my traffic .

  13. Narender says

    Truly Agreed Anand Dear . Such a blackhat techniques works for a little time but after some period you have no option rather then feeling silly about your decision of buying links .

  14. Gaurav Heera says

    such a nice post…..and you are right that there is no alternative of hard work and it’s also very hard to recover from any of Google penalties, but if i found a good and legitimate site offering a paid back link on his own site then what to do? can Google also recognize that paid link?

  15. Dhruv Bhagat says

    This seems to be a real experience.. Thanks for sharing this..

    But, many people do recommend me making YouTube videos from Fiverr.. Should I go for that ?


    • says

      Fiverr is a nice place to get things done. The only thing which is not recommended is going for black hat SEO techniques like link building, article distribution on spam sites and so on. You can use it for many purposes like Youtube videos, logo or other creative gigs.

  16. Vijayraj Reddy says

    Good post Anand Subramanian with graphs, bloggers should concentrate on natural and quality link building rather than going for these cheap backlinks…

  17. says

    Well, Quality Comes at Fair price, if you expecting 5000 Quality backlinks for $5 you are fooling yourself, I had a similar experience of buying such backlinks which I mentioned on my post on HellBoundBloggers.
    You are lucky enough that Disavow tool worded for you everyone is not that lucky.
    Fiverr is surely not the place to buy backlinks, though its very useful place for many other things.

  18. says

    Nice Article Anand

    earlier i brought so many back links from fever .

    links are almost 10k +

    i have test file where is the option in webmaster tools upload test file and remove all these back links

    • Anand Subramanian says

      Thank Chaitu. Just google “Google Disavow Tool” or use the link that is already in the article. It will direct you to the page where you would upload the links.

  19. Aaron says

    Sorry but the writer is stupid enough to point those backlinks directly to the site. You should have a certain strategy and you can’t term that “Dont buy links from Fiverr”. There are still some goldmines which if you search through you will get them. I am ranking for highly competitive terms just be using fiverr and no, not by pointing those forum profiles to the site. You need to have a quality tier I. Make them yourself or get it done from Fiverr(Search for that). Then blast those tiers with the spam links.

    Its a major misconception going on. Its just like saying you should not drive a car because you might die in an accident. Its all about how you use it my friend.

    ~No offense.