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The Right And Wrong Way To Get Inbound Links For Your Local Business

We emphasize with our clients the importance of inbound links for local business constantly. When having a website, inbound links can be helpful by improving off-page search engine optimization (SEO), increasing website traffic which is helpful with generating leads, sales and public relations for the local business’s webpage.

And though inbound links are important, there are wrong ways and right ways to go about using inbound links for any local business.

There are three major wrong ways (to name only a few) to gain inbound links for local businesses:

  • Bartering
  • Bribing
  • Buying

Bartering: By bartering, I mean suggesting to another webpage that if they use your link then you will in return use their link. This may temporarily boost traffic to your webpage, but in the end it will be noticeable to search engines that the two sites are linked together and, in a way, red flag your link.

Bribing: Bribing is also frowned upon, and can be hazardous to your search engine rankings, as well. Companies offer to send you merchandise, coupons, among other generosities if you make an inbound link that links to their site. This is considered wrong by many, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). And who wants the FTC against them?!?

Buying: Though buying is just as bad as bribing and bartering, it’s probably the most affective of the three due to the fact it allows buyers to keep track of the links, making sure they aren’t placed in locations that aren’t considered good. There are websites and services that will help a local business purchase links that are on other sites, but again, it’s not the best way to go about gaining inbound links.

On an entry level, the right way to use and get inbound links on any local business website requires a minimal amount of steps, and even a beginner can make it happen:

  • Get yourself into online directories: Directories are huge when it comes to people finding and checking you out online. Directories help drive people back to your site, and the more people who come to your website via links and are satisfied with the information you offer, the more
  • Have an optimized business blog.
  • Post in article directories.

Written By

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL's Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.



  1. Neil Asher

    November 23, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I’d be interested to know the best place to buy links, link building is such a pain!

    Neil Asher

  2. Nishadha

    November 23, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Although these practices are wrong big brands do get away with it. I highly doubt Google has an effective way to fight these things. The only problem is if you use a third party automated site to buy links, these links are usually much easier to catch.

  3. Star

    November 23, 2011 at 11:59 am

    i thinks that this is the wrong ways to get inbound links. we can get inbound links from another or third party sites.

  4. Karen

    November 24, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Committing these mistakes just show how desperate an owner is in getting inbound links. I feel that these mistakes are hard to detect as well. I can imagine the consequences when they get caught though. I am sure Google is finding ways to spot these acts.

    • David Moloney

      November 24, 2011 at 11:37 am

      Agreed. These are rudimentary mistakes, but mistakes that I can easily see small business owners make if they are just entering the online environment for the first time.

  5. Maja

    November 24, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    The best way to get links for your site is unconditional and free links for the site.

  6. Danny

    November 25, 2011 at 5:19 am

    although these 3 ways are not good. I think bribing as in “knowing somebody and getting them to place your link on their site” is very normal and Google wont be able to find out.
    Buying can get you into trouble. It happened to a big site not so long ago, don’t remember which one, maybe the wallstreet journal.

    Guestpost blogging is also a good way to get more leads and a nice relevant inbound link.

  7. Farrell John

    November 27, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    On Buying links, even if you have the ability to keep track of your links, acquiring a lot of bought links is really a big no unless you are buying links from sites with PR of r4 or higher. Other than that, it is close to non beneficial or even disastrous as the other site will bring you down if their ranking goes down.

  8. Crystal

    November 29, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Buying can get you into trouble. It happened to a big site not so long ago, don’t remember which one, maybe the wallstreet journal.

    • Jay P.

      November 30, 2011 at 2:22 am

      It was JC Penney I think. Buying links is seen as “Black Hat SEO” which is generally frowned upon by the major search engines.

      Write great content and people will link to you naturally. 🙂

  9. TracyAnn0312

    November 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I think one reason why buying can be wrong is because they do not know where to invest the money they have. This is the main reason I always see why lots of businesses are not doing well for their success!

  10. Mike Piccolo

    December 4, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Thanks for the info. I didn’t know about the flagging for the bartering method.

  11. Dan

    December 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    The best way to get inbound links is to host great content. That way, you don’t have to ask anyone for anything. People will link to your site simply because it’s good.

  12. Richard Powell

    December 19, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Thanks dear for the valuable information about SEO link building, enjoyed it. If You want some more tips about SEO updates please visit our website

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