Search Engine Optimization (SEO) centers around three tactics: improving a site’s technical structure, providing valuable content, and obtaining authoritative links pointing to site pages. Insofar as linking is concerned, SEO practitioners have long been divided into two camps — those who follow the unwritten linking derived from guidelines provided by the search engines, and those who do not.
Over time, have these “rules” and their stated penalties stopped people from participating in questionable link schemes? To some degree, yes. Most have stopped wasting their time creating “free for all” directories and artificial networks of sites designed solely to generate link popularity. The more acceptable approach of buying links that pass authority and PageRank, however, is alive and kicking. After discussing the issue with SEO practitioners currently buying links, it’s clear there are definite risks associated with any benefits coming from a purchased link, and one should consider those risks before entering the fray.