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I may be stating the obvious when I say that buying links can get expensive. I may also be doing so by informing you that there will come a day when this practice will no longer be effective for Search Engine Optimization. Well, that day may come a lot sooner than you expect. In fact, that day could very well be today.

As many already know, Google has pioneered the way for optimal search engine return. This wasn’t the result of investments or big spending, necessarily, but rather the result of a complicated algorithm which calculated importance, relevance, and the overall natural appearance of links to a given site. It should then come as no surprise that if a link looks bought, then it won’t do you any good.

Back in the hay day of SEO, metatags were sufficient to improve the ranking and serch query position of a website. Then the search engines caught on and that no longer worked. What came to follow was the random placement of links all over the Internet, from directory listings to link farms. This is no longer as effective as it once was, and Google has even penalized high profile websites for this strategy. What is needed, then, is natural links. An example of a natural link is a blog that is informative on a subject matter, linking to a business which deals in that subject matter. This could be the result of the blogger knowing the business personally, or because they simply have used their product or service, and were satisfied with the results. Either way, this link was not paid for, nor is it located on a site simply filled with other links on the subject; and furthermore, the link is surrounded by text pertaining to the subject, which adds relevance to the link.

However, for most businesses, there are not enough people out there who are willing to write about, and link to, their site for this completely natural link building to be effective. There is a very thin line between white and black hat SEO practices, but there are many ways to get natural links, without crossing this line.

Among these methods, many can be inexpensive or even free, but the process is very time consuming. There is a reason for this, as a search result should not simply show sites for businesses that spend a lot on an SEO campaign. If all one had to do was to buy as many links as possible, then that would be the case. However, what is required is a tactical, intentional, placement of links from quality sources. Although this can cost money, the more important part of any SEO campaign is the knowledge of how to do so, and the amount of time put into it.

Understandably, many businesses do not have the time aspect on their side, which is why there are Internet Marketing Firms to assist with those needs. Instead of spending an entire iMarketing budget on expensive links that do little to nothing for your site, consider the option of consulting and working with a firm that specializes in the area. Likely, your ROI will be much higher.

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