Selling Links Guide: Best Strategies in 2024

Navigating Complexities and Avoid Risks When Selling Backlinks
Published on 
May 27, 2024
Updated on 
May 27, 2024

Website owners and indie bloggers have been selling links for a long time now and plenty of them make a lot of money doing it.

Much of it is billed as “sponsored content,” but anyone who knows SEO and backlinks knows that pay-to-play link selling is taking place. While Google is quick to condemn a lot of link selling (and buying) as black hat, it is possible to do it well–that is, without getting yourself in Google’s bad books and without alienating your market. 

Let’s get into selling backlinks and how you can integrate this practice into your business model. 


  • Selling backlinks is a lucrative practice for website owners and bloggers, offering opportunities for revenue generation.
  • Despite Google's disapproval, backlink selling can be conducted ethically and safely by adhering to guidelines and avoiding spammy practices.
  • Strategic partnerships, selective link placements, and ethical pricing are key to maintaining reputation and SEO integrity.
  • Successful link selling requires clear communication, value provision, and a commitment to long-term partnerships.
  • Ultimately, backlink selling demands a balanced approach that prioritizes both profitability and ethical standards.

What is Selling Links?

Selling links involves leveraging a website's authority and reputation in order to offer other sites the opportunity to boost their search engine rankings. Backlinks are a fundamental component of SEO, hence people are willing to pay good money for good links. 

The way it typically works is like this. 

A website will create a page where they advertise their link selling service. Here’s a travel blog using a fairly standard “Work With Us” page:


The page will be a list of various “collaboration” options, potentially including things like Guest Posting opportunities, as well as the paid options like “sponsored posts” and perhaps even just “paid links.”

This is really all you need to do to set up a landing page for your link selling service. Either include the page as a component of your main and/or footer navigation menu and anyone searching for link buying opportunities (using search operators like “write for us,” “work with us,” etc. and appending it to the industry or niche in Google) should find your site. 

If someone was searching for these kinds of opportunities in the travel industry, for example, they might use a search operator like the below:

Why Websites Sell Backlinks?

The short answer: because it makes money. Sometimes a lot of money. 

While there are no large scale studies done of people selling links, what they charge and how much they make, as a link building agency that does a lot of link prospecting and blogger outreach, we see these kinds of pages and have these sorts of discussions all the time. 

Backlinks continue to be one of the most important Google ranking factors (the most important, depending on who you ask) and they can radically improve your organic traffic, conversions and revenue.

It makes sense, then, that people take links seriously and are willing to pay for them (potentially big money).

What Kind of Links Can You Sell?

There are different ways websites sell links and charge for link placement. 

Sponsored content links

Sponsored content links involve companies paying for the inclusion of their content or links within your website's articles or posts. These links are seamlessly integrated into the content, providing value to both the advertiser and your audience. 

Advertising Space Links

Advertising space links involve companies paying for the placement of their links on your website, akin to renting out ad space. 

These links are prominently displayed to your audience, offering exposure to the advertiser's products or services while also providing a link back to the purchasing site’s domain. 

Affiliate Links

Affiliate links direct users to specific products or services, allowing you to earn a commission for each sale generated through those links. 

By promoting relevant products to your audience, you can monetize your website traffic effectively and the owner of the product and service gets, in addition to a dofollow backlink to their website, referral traffic and potentially sales. 

Niche-Relevant Backlinks

Niche-relevant backlinks are links that align with your website's content and cater to your audience's interests. 

These links enhance the user experience by providing additional valuable resources or information related to your niche. These are ideally the kinds of links you want to be selling as they benefit both you and the person buying them. 

Permanent or Temporary Links

Permanent or temporary links are offered either as long-term placements or for a specified duration. Here’s an example from the travel blog used above. They are upfront about the fact that link placement is not forever:

Permanent links provide ongoing exposure and SEO benefits, while temporary links offer flexibility for short-term promotional campaigns.

Do-Follow and No-Follow Links

Dofollow and nofollow links can both be sold, with do-follow links carrying more SEO weight by passing link equity to the linked website. 

No-follow links, on the other hand, signal to search engines that the link should not influence the linked website's ranking, but they still offer exposure and traffic benefits. Bear in mind that what people are ultimately paying for is the SEO value of a backlink. 

If you’re a major site with a ton of monthly traffic and a large readership, then you might still be able to sell someone a nofollow link just based on the potential referral traffic (the people visiting your site after clicking the link) alone. 

Upsides of Selling Backlinks

If you are willing to do things the right way–there are a lot of websites that are completely unscrupulous when it comes to selling backlinks–and are positioned to be successful at it, there is actually quite a good case to be made for doing it. 

Revenue Generation

Selling backlinks presents a lucrative opportunity for website owners to diversify their revenue streams beyond traditional advertising methods. 

By leveraging their website's authority and traffic, they can attract buyers willing to pay for high-quality backlinks, thus increasing their overall income potential.

Improved SEO

One of the significant upsides of selling backlinks is the potential to enhance the SEO performance of both the seller's and buyer's websites. 

High authority backlinks from reputable sources can increase search engine rankings, driving organic traffic and visibility. This mutually beneficial arrangement fosters a symbiotic relationship between websites, contributing to a more robust online presence for all parties involved.

Enhanced Authority

Selling backlinks can bolster the authority and credibility of a website within its niche. As websites with strong reputations opt to include backlinks, they signal to search engines and users alike the trustworthiness and relevance of the linked content.

This association with reputable sources elevates the perceived authority of the selling website, establishing it as a trusted voice and valuable resource within its industry.

Downsides (Risks) of Selling Backlinks

There are basically two things to always keep at the forefront when selling backlinks: Google doesn’t like it and it can hurt your reputation. 

Damaged SEO and Google Penalties

When selling or thinking about how to sell links, it is crucial to bear in mind that Google, in principle, is against all link selling. They have been forever. 


If you notice, what Google says is “the consequences for a link selling site start with losing trust in Google search results…[meaning] lower rankings for that site.”

If you are irresponsible and flagrant enough about your link selling, you might even get slapped with a manual action penalty from Google, which, in the worst case scenario, might mean temporary deindenxing:

Given how trigger-happy Google has become with “spam” and the increasing focus of its algorithm updates on eliminating it, if the company believes you are contributing to the amount of spam backlinks out there in its index, it might decide to come after you for it. 

Loss of Credibility

In the 48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene contends that your reputation should be safeguarded at all costs. The truth of the matter is that when you sell links haphazardly, you risk your reputation. 

This is especially the case if a website engages in unethical practices such as selling links to low-quality or irrelevant websites, participating in link schemes or link farms, or failing to disclose sponsored or paid content adequately. 

The kinds of links that you often get from link builders on places like Fiverr were likely purchased from websites that don’t care about who they sell to (and may exist purely to sell links in the first place):

Additionally, if the website's primary focus shifts from providing valuable content to solely selling backlinks, it risks alienating its audience and damaging its reputation as a trustworthy source of information. 

How Much Can You Make Selling Backlinks?

As we mentioned at the outset of this article, there are no large-scale studies looking at what kind of money people are making from selling backlinks. 

Backlinks on high DA/DR websites can be worth hundreds of dollars. If you’re a high authority website with a lot of visitors and are well-trusted in your niche, a link from your site–either as a direct link insertion, a sponsored post or a guest post–could easily be worth that. 

If you sold a link for $250 (which is not unreasonable), and you sold 10 of them a month, that’s $2500 right there. We know of plenty of websites that are very likely selling 3 or 4 times that many links per month. 

It really depends on how big a part of your business model you want to make it, your site’s desirability as a referring domain (i.e., do people actually want a link from it) and whether you know what you’re doing. 

How to Sell Links Ethically and Safely?

Because the backlink selling space is filled with so much spam and because you can do real damage to your own and to other people’s SEO, it’s important to sell links ethically and safely. 

Adhere to Google Guidelines

If you adhere to Google’s guidelines, you are essentially covering both bases (ethics and safety). 

Google is expressly against selling backlinks in order to pass on PageRank. In order to stay in Google’s good books, treat buyers fairly and keep the internet free of spam, always make sure to use “nofollow” and “sponsored” tags to identify paid links. 

What’s more, always disclose sponsored content and paid links for readers and search engines. This is how you maintain trust and keep to Google’s best practices. 

Avoid Spammy Practices

Google has begun to take a very harsh anti-spam stance. This means link farming and private blog networks are all but dead in the water at this point. Don’t sell people trash that is going to hurt their site (and potentially yours as well). 

Instead, make your link trades or sales about value. That’s how you protect your reputation and your (and your buyers’) SEO. 

Selective Partnerships

The websites that sell to anyone and everyone are not doing themselves, their clients or the web any favors. 

Be discerning when it comes to who you sell to. Choose relevant and high-quality websites for link placements to maintain the integrity of your website and avoid association with low-quality sites.

Ethical Pricing

The digital marketing space is full of predators.

It’s an industry where service providers and the purchasers of services can be worlds apart when it comes to knowledge and understanding. Not everyone stays abreast of big changes in the industry, particularly best practices and approved tactics. Because of that, there are a lot of predatory link builders and sellers out there. 

Just because you can get away with selling someone a very expensive lemon, doesn’t mean you should. Charge what you’re worth. If you’re a DR15 website with under 5,000 monthly visitors, don’t act like you’re the New York Times. 

Price your backlinks fairly based on your website's metrics, link type, placement, and market rates, ensuring both profitability and attractiveness to potential buyers.

Connect with Legitimate Buyers

Reach out to SEO agencies, freelancers, backlink marketplaces, and your own network to find legitimate buyers interested in high-quality backlinks.

Spamming hundreds of sites in irrelevant niches is likely not going to land you any buyers and could get your email address placed on spam blacklists. 

Establish Ground Rules

Set clear guidelines for the types of backlinks you're willing to sell, ensuring relevance, quality, and transparency in link transactions. Follow external linking best practices

Link Selling Strategies

If you’re willing to accept the risks and do things right, let’s have a look at some of the best link selling strategies. 

Partnering with Link-Building Agencies

Collaborate with agencies specializing in link-building to connect with clients seeking quality backlinks, leveraging their expertise and network to maximize outreach and results. Through strategic partnerships, you can access a wider pool of potential buyers and ensure that your backlinks are positioned effectively for maximum impact.

Joining Influencer Networks

Engage with influencer networks to expand your reach and connect with companies interested in purchasing backlinks, tapping into the credibility and audience trust established by influencers. By aligning with influencers whose audience matches your target market, you can increase the visibility and desirability of your backlink offerings.

Offering Backlinks as Add-On Services

Provide backlinks as supplementary services alongside other digital marketing or SEO offerings, creating package deals to attract clients and offer comprehensive solutions for their online visibility needs. 

Offering bundled services not only simplifies the purchasing process for clients but also allows you to showcase the value of backlinks within a broader marketing strategy.

Creating a Content Marketing Funnel

Develop a content marketing strategy to attract and retain clients by showcasing expertise and value, nurturing leads until they are ready to purchase backlinks. 

By guiding potential clients through a structured content funnel, you can educate them on the benefits of backlinks and position your offerings as a valuable solution to their needs.

Emphasizing Key Benefits

Highlight the benefits of purchasing backlinks, such as saving time and improving SEO performance, in marketing materials and conversations with potential buyers. By clearly articulating the value proposition of your backlink services, you can instill confidence in clients and drive conversions effectively.

Establishing a Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Differentiate your backlink services by highlighting what makes your offering unique, such as the quality or relevance of your website, to stand out in the market. By emphasizing your USP, you can attract clients who are specifically seeking the attributes that set your backlinks apart from competitors.

Prepare your website

Before we wrap things up, it’s important to touch on something foundational when it comes to selling backlinks. 

It’s something we briefly touched on above, but it’s worth restating and providing some guidance. In order to sell any links, you need a website people actually want a link from. 

Preparing your website to sell links involves optimizing various aspects, including site authority, content quality, and audience engagement. To enhance site authority, focus on improving search ranking, credibility, and trustworthiness within your niche. 

It’s important to regularly update your site with valuable content and engage with your audience through social media and newsletters. Additionally, decide on the placement and type of links to be sold, ensuring transparency and clarity for potential buyers. 

By maintaining high-quality content and boosting audience engagement, your website becomes more appealing to potential link buyers, ultimately increasing revenue opportunities.

Link Selling FAQ

Is it Legal to Sell Backlinks?

Selling links is legal (there is no legislation prohibiting it), but search engines are against it. When it comes to organic search, you could say Google kind of is the law. What it says goes and if you want to remain visible in its search engine, you need to be very careful about how you sell backlinks. 

How do I price my backlinks?

We touched on this already, but a good link is worth its weight in gold. That said, you need a good value proposition if you’re going to sell anything. Charge based on your domain authority, traffic, niche and the market rate in your industry. 

Can Selling Backlinks Negatively Affect My Website’s SEO?

It can. We showed you what a manual action penalty from Google looks like when they believe you’re selling links as a means of passing on PageRank. You could lose ranking and traffic for doing it. 

What makes a good link?

“Good” is context-specific,l but, generally speaking, a good link is one that comes from a relevant referring website, a high quality referring website (in terms of traffic, domain authority, reputation) and provides value for both the users/readers of the target page and referring page. 

Are paid links worth it for SEO?

They absolutely can be. Google would rather you didn’t buy or sell any links, but the cold hard truth is that some two-thirds of all pages on the web have no links. The fact of the matter is that without buying and selling backlinks, almost no one would link to anyone else and links are perhaps the most important component of ranking. 

Wrapping up

Selling backlinks has long been a profitable venture for website owners and bloggers alike, offering a lucrative avenue for revenue generation. 

By adhering to Google's guidelines, avoiding spammy practices, and establishing selective partnerships, website owners can navigate the landscape of link selling while safeguarding their reputation and SEO integrity. 

Ultimately, selling backlinks requires a strategic approach, clear communication, and a commitment to providing value to both buyers and the online community at large. 

Why Trust Us On SEO

Eric Carrell & Sebastian Schaffer have been working in SEO for over a decade, building their own projects - understanding and testing SEO strategy, along with building hundreds of white hat links per month for our projects. They take their learnings and experience and apply them to the strategy that drives our link building strategy for our clients.

Eric & Seb have always believed in quality over quantity, doing things the right way so we future proof our client’s websites against future Google updates and the evolving industry of search.

While Seb handles the company strategy around culture, processes and structure, Eric is constantly working to improve our service offering, customer experience, and following the industry in parallel with Google’s Quality Guidelines so that we are always one step ahead of our competition and aligned with what Google wants to see for your site to rank higher.

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