What are backlinks?
Links on websites other than your own that go back to a page on your website. Backlinks are also called inbound links because they represent another website’s traffic coming to your own site. The quality and quantity of your backlinks can help you rank higher in search engines such as Google and Bing.
Backlinks are a crucial factor in determining a website’s search engine ranking. As a result, many real estate investors seek to acquire backlinks to improve their website’s search engine visibility. Some real estate investors opt to purchase backlinks to achieve this goal. However, the question is, is buying backlinks frowned upon by Google?
The short answer is yes. Buying backlinks is against Google’s guidelines, and it can result in severe penalties, including a drop in rankings or even complete removal from search engine results. Google views buying backlinks as a way to manipulate search engine rankings, which goes against the spirit of fair competition.
Why doesn’t Google allow purchased backlinks?
The reason behind Google’s stance on buying backlinks is that it undermines the quality of search results. Google’s algorithms are designed to prioritize websites with high-quality, relevant content that provides value to users. Buying backlinks can lead to the promotion of low-quality websites that offer little to no value to users, which ultimately reduces the quality of search results.
Furthermore, buying backlinks can also result in the acquisition of low-quality or spammy links, which can harm a website’s search engine ranking. Low-quality links are those that come from websites that have no relevance to the website’s niche, have low domain authority, or have been flagged as spammy. These types of links can signal to Google that a website is engaging in manipulative tactics to improve its search engine ranking, resulting in penalties.
What should you do instead?
Instead of buying backlinks, real estate investors should focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that naturally attracts links from other websites. This approach may take more time and effort, but it is a sustainable strategy that will lead to long-term success in search engine rankings.
Here are ways to generate legit backlinks
- HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out – connects journalists seeking expertise to include in their content with sources who have that expertise.
- Guest blogging outreach – find niche-specific blogs and offer to write expert content for them in exchange for a link back to your website (often no money is exchanged).
- Donate – by helping your local community the non-profit will often link to a list of their donors.
- Citations – list your website with reputable directories
Unconvinced? Still, thinking of buying backlinks?
It’s true – your competition is likely buying backlinks. Real estate investors are in a unique spot where the value proposition, service offered, and content are extremely niche and often misunderstood in the industry. Therefore, having thousands of backlinks to your website is extremely tough.
Let’s look at 2-3 high-value markets and see how many backlinks the #1 website has. I selected
- Houston TX
- Charlotte NC
- Tampa FL
Each of these sites has hundreds backlinks and is ranking for 300+ keywords.
Let’s look at their backlink profile.
A backlink profile is the quantity, anchors, and quality of links pointing to your website. This has a direct bearing on your ranking as Google’s search engine crawls through the Internet looking for these links.
Each of these websites has some high-quality backlinks as seen by a high DR and traffic is going from one website to the other. They also have low-quality backlinks where links have low DR and no traffic is flowing.
When you buy backlinks – it’s critical you know what you are getting. Too many low DR backlinks with no traffic and will alert Google to spammy links and likely HURT your SEO in the long run.
How to know if your backlinks are spammy or not
Google will make a judgment call on the quality of your backlinks with its algorithm. What you will often find on real estate investor websites is an initial surge of rankings. Naturally, investors buy MORE backlinks. But as Google realizes these are spammy or low quality (low traffic) they will stop following the backlinks or penalize the website linking to your website.
The result is a drop in organic rankings and a messy backlink profile that now needs cleaned up.
Here is an example of a real estate agent with 4,000+ backlinks.
The May core update likely influenced this drop in rankings. You will see that this client’s website traffic and ranked pages took a substantial dive in June though their backlinks continue to grow. In fact, their SEO traffic dropped by 70% after May of 2022 and still has not recovered.
Wrapping it up
In conclusion, buying backlinks is frowned upon by Google, and it can result in severe penalties that harm a website’s search engine ranking. Real estate investors should focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that naturally attracts links rather than engaging in manipulative tactics to improve their search engine visibility. By doing so, real estate investors can achieve sustainable success in search engine rankings while also maintaining the integrity of search results.