Here’s a great interview with three professional link builders. The thing I find interesting about this interview is the repeated encouragement from Julie Joyce of Link Fish Media, Inc. to incorporate link buying into your marketing plan. She says point blank that link buying is absolutely necessary in an “ultra-competitive” niche.
In her own words:
I’m going to harp on paid links here but I do think it’s that all paid links are crap. Secondly, I’d say that it’s the idea that you can compete in an ultra-competitive niche without buying links. People say it’s possible but no one is willing to step up and point you to an actual example. I can’t really imagine telling a client like that to just write great content.
This was in response to the question, “What is the biggest misconception in link building today?”
I’m going to assume that by “ultra-competitive niche” she is referring to niches like SEO, Internet marketing, and real estate. I’ll have to say that I don’t encourage my clients to buy links, but you have to do what you think is right according to your own comfort level. I will say that I’ve done just fine targeting small businesses in the Internet marketing arena without buying links myself.
Is link buying evil? I don’t think so. Is it unethical? Probably not. It is against Google’s guidelines. And all that really means is if Google catches you at it, then you can expect to have your sites de-listed or penalized. If that’s a risk you are willing to take, go for it. Is it necessary? Hmmm … not for most local businesses. And probably not for most businesses, period. But you’ll have to decide it for yourself.