A lot has been said recently in the SEO blogosphere about the good and the bad of buying links. Matt Cutts threw down the hammer in his blog with regards to how Google is restarting its quest to rid the SERPs of websites that have obtained their top rankings by "manipulating" the algorithms through buying links. Many SEO's from around the globe have responded in kind that they believe buying links it still a viable way to improve a search marketing campaign.
At lifeBLUE, we have managed SEM campaigns for clients that have sometimes involved paid links. We don't view it as a means to an end, but rather a supplemental bit of support for any top-notch SEM. The truth is, if you're hoping to compete for just about any competitive keyword terms in Google, you're going to have to acquire authorititative links that have targeted anchor text in them.
And what's the best way to get that done? By creating compelling content that results in links (link bait), by blogging, by developing resources within your industry and by buying links. All pieces of the pie are equally important when we are running a client's campaign.
Over the years there has (basically) emerged a right way and a wrong way to go about buying links that follows the same principles that differentiate spam from acceptable marketing. You can't buy links exclusively to boost your campaign. You can't buy links that all have the same anchor text and point to the same page. As always, it's about being "natural" in your search marketing campaigns.
We feel we accomplish that by blending our link-buying activities seamlessly into our overall marketing scheme for every client, and never overdoing it when it comes to buying 30 of the exact same link. The only links that are truely worth buying are those that get prominent placement on leading sites in your vertical - those priceless ones that just can't be had by link bait or tools or resources.
Thanks for keeping us honest, Google, but paid links will be here to stay for a long time.