Many webmasters buy links on other sites. There are two main reasons for buying links; the possibility of traffic from the links, and to improve a sites search engine ranking. Before buying any links you should always decide which of these if your focus, or whether you are trying to benefit from both factors.
Most webmasters buying links are doing so as part of their search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines rank your site for particular keywords or phrases. One of the biggest factors in where your site ranks is the number and quality of links pointing at your site. Search engines such as Google prefer high quality links; links that are on well established websites with similar content. Google assigns every website a PR ranking (from 0 to 10), with a higher number being better. Higher PR links pointing at your website will increase your own PR ranking. The PR itself doesn’t change your search ranking, but good quality links will. Links can be bought for short periods (a month) or longer periods (a year or more). Generally speaking, the higher the PR, the more expensive the link. Of course other factors also contribute, such as how prominent the link is and the niche. But the key is that if you’re only buying links for SEO purposes then not a lot else really matters. You don’t need a flashing banner, just the link in text form. Of course, you should only buy links on sites that are relevant to your proxy. The search engines prefer links that look ‘natural’, so from a similar niche.
If you decided that SEO is not part of your proxy promotion strategy, then link purchasing based on factors such as PR is rather pointless. However, it is possible to buy links that will increase your traffic. Proxy top lists will often sell ‘sponsored’ spots, which are links in the most prominent position (i.e. the top) or highlighted in some way (i.e. coloured background). These are much more about gaining traffic, and are usually more short term (anything from a day to a few weeks). The more traffic that a top list gets, the more expensive the link will be. Other sites (including other proxies) often sell their advert space in the form of banners. Again, this can be an effective way to drive traffic to your site. Of course, the site needs to be related to proxies. There is no point in buying a banner ad space on a healthcare website, as it isn’t likely to be very effective. Generally speaking, the price of a link or banner will be related to the amount of traffic that the site gets. You’ll need to decide whether you’re getting good value. To do this you’ll need to examine your site logs and ad revenue. There’s little point in paying for any kind of advertising if you don’t recoup your costs, and make some money on top. Always remember to be prepared for surges in traffic, and ensure your proxy host is up to the job.
If you’re buying links for SEO purposes, remember to use targeted keywords as your anchor text. If you’re looking for traffic, a description or keywords can be more useful than just listing the site name. Remember that paid links are for set time periods. Use this to your advantage. A new link (or banner) is often clicked by regular users, and traffic can trail off. It can be wise to switch links (to another proxy in your network) to keep things fresh, and to maximise your earnings.
You can find links for sale on webmaster forums (see our proxy resources), or on the site selling links. If you come across a site that you’d like to advertise on then contact them to see if a deal can be made. Always check the PR and/or the level of traffic before committing to any purchase. Remember that there are some scam artists out there, so don’t sign up to anything too expensive or long-term before you have trialled the service.