Why I'm testing out paying for links
As part of my ongoing authority site case study, I'm going to document all of the stuff I try to grow my site. The good, the bad, the illegal (to Google). I'm going to try whatever I think will work and I'll do my best to report on the results and find out what works and what doesn't.
Growing the earnings of your authority site is all about increasing the traffic.
For any given page on the my site I can expect 15-30% of the people who land on the page to click through one of my links to Amazon. If those people buy anything within 24 hours then I get a commission, usually around 3-6%.
The easiest way to increase the earnings on my site is to pump out more content. This is in full swing with my freelancers writing articles for me, roughly 1 new article per day.
The other lever to grow your earnings is to rank higher in Google. Most of the clicks for a search query go to the first result with smaller and smaller amounts for every spot after that. This picture from Internet Marketing Ninjas shows the break down of traffic split by position:
The website I purchased has a couple of keywords that rank #1 in Google and most of my traffic comes from those keywords.
This is a dangerous position to be in because if anything happens to that keyword I'll see a huge drop in my earnings.
To help mitigate this risk I've been hiring writers to create a ton of content, mostly review articles of products in my niche. My goal is to rank for these keywords and diversify my traffic a little bit so I've got less risk to the site.
Buying links vs building them organically
If you follow the 'white hat' SEO rules and build links naturally, the best way to do this is through guest posting. Guest posting is where you write an article and post it on somebody else's website with a link back to your site. This shows Google that other people trust your website and helps you rank higher.
Unfortunately in niches that are more commercial, people who run websites know that you are building links to monetize your affiliate pages so they charge money for backlinks.
So even trying to play b the rules and do things the Google-approved way, you still end up having to fork over money in exchange for backlinks.
Did the link i bought actually do anything?
Ultimately if I'm buying links, I'm expecting my site to rank higher in Google and help me make more money.
Unfortunately this is hard to directly measure as rankings take time to change (anywhere from a few days to a few months to see movement). It's also complicated because I'm continuously adding more content and getting guest posts so it's hard to say if a single link I got will actually move the needle.
What I can do is look at the domain where my link was placed and see how strong the site is.
For the $114 I paid, the link I got actually seems pretty decent. Here are the stats from Ahrefs:
And for comparison, here are the metrics for my niche site that I bought:
So what does this tell me?
The DR (domain rating) for the site I'm getting a link from is pretty good. This is because of all the backlinks the site has.
Unfortunately you can see the organic traffic is basically nothing which means Google isn't showing this site a lot of love.
I'm not sure if I'll actually get much of an SEO bump from this link because it appears Google isn't giving the site as a whole much traffic but it's hard to tell without waiting and measuring the results.
I'm working on building more links with other sites in my niche. Most of this is going to come from guest posting and paid spots on sites that require payment for backlinks.
When I bought my niche site it had almost no backlinks. There were 2 strong links from sites with a domain rating of 70+ which is why it was ranking so highly for the main keyword.
Hopefully by building out more links I'll see the other pages start to rank higher and really see a large bump in income.
My next posts will cover some of my keyword research methods I'm using which can be really helpful to drive traffic by focusing on low competition keywords with high volume.
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