Marketing 2 min read

Google's John Mueller Says Google Ignores Paid Links

Bakhtiar Zein /

Bakhtiar Zein /

In response to a question, Google‘s webmaster and trend analyst, John Mueller, said that paid links don’t help websites rank on the search engine.

Links have been a vital signal in search engine ranking since the late 90s. Along with finding new web pages, links — among other factors — help the search engine determine how well a page should rank in results.

SEOs soon realize this and started exploring various link building tactics, and paid link building is an example. So, what are paid links?

Paid link-building is when a website pays a third party domain for a followed backlink that points back to their domain. In other words, you’re paying other sites to link to your content.

Although Google frowns at the practice, the SEO community has always debated whether paid links help websites rank.

To put the debate to rest, a person asked Google’s Mueller the question:

“Are backlinks important in ranking factors? Because nowadays, 80 to 90% of websites are buying backlinks, which I think is very unethical. But these websites are also ranking on the first page. Why?”

Here’s the Google Webmaster’s response.

Paid Links Don’t Help Websites Rank on Google

First, Mueller confirmed that links still play a significant role in the ranking algorithm. However, he suggested that it’s just one of the many deciding factors that’ll make your website show up in search results.

The Google webmaster then when ahead to describe how websites use various SEO methods that do not affect rankings. According to Mueller, paid link-building is one such tactic.

Mueller said:

“This is something where we also see that a lot of sites do things that aren’t really necessary for their website and web search. They’ll go off and buy a ton of links, and then we ignore all of those links.”

Although websites explore weird tactics to improve rankings, they may not actually be profiting from it.

Tons of factors are responsible for a page’s ranking on the search engine. “And it doesn’t have to do with anything sneaky that they’re doing,” says Mueller.

Read More: John Mueller Claims Google SEOs Have it Harder Than Others

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