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Can you hide paid backlinks from Google?
When it comes to search engines, without a doubt, your website’s link profile is always going to be one of your major concerns. We all know the types of grim Google penalties that can be applied for any kind of link profile misconduct, so for the success of your site, it is obviously important to avoid them.
Building up your link profile is a time-consuming business needing carefully judged decisions, and any site owner, at some point or other, has considered buying backlinks.
However, there is a tendency for many site owners to not invest time in building and earning site links, or alternatively for ones that do to not care too much about ethics.
It is a common problem amongst website owners to struggle with their SEO, and this is down to several reasons. Backlinks can be tempting since they can be both quick and efficient in increasing the site’s ranking and traffic, however this can then lead to using more unethical ways to gain these backlinks through purchase or other digital favours.
This is all very well, but the important thing to consider is whether or not these paid backlinks actually work and can they avoid detection by the robust Google algorithms. Nobody wants their website to get penalised, so find out about the ins and outs of paid backlinks for your site’s SEO, and if you can keep Google from knowing all about it.
Backlinks, basically
If you’re a newcomer to the world of website building and SEO, then you might be wondering what a backlink actually is. Basically, it is an incoming hyperlink form a webpage on one website to another one. These backlinks help to improve the credibility of a site, particularly to search engines, and are especially beneficial when they are coming from sites with a high authoritative value and good reputation.
The ideal backlink
In terms of backlinks, the ideal kind is an earned one, rather than a paid one. These earned backlinks occur when other blogs and sites think that your content is interesting, informative and useful, and they naturally decide to use them as a backlink. You can’t predict or guarantee this ideal backlinks, so it is important to always keep your content top quality and share-worthy. This obviously involves a good content strategy, as well as time, but with good content, likes, interactions and shares are far more likely.
The paid backlink
In increasingly tough SEO times, some site owners have begun to rely on bought and sold links to increase their site’s ranking. A paid backlink involves a website paying for a third party domain to use a followed backlink pointing back to their domain. Search engines see this as forbidden, which in turn can lead to those all too harsh penalties.
Although in the short term, a paid backlink can improve your site’s traffic and ranking, it is not worth the risk in the long term. Since the effect is only temporary, and it can lead to penalisation, your website should keep well away from this type of backlink.
Is it actually possible to hide paid backlinks from Google?
Despite the penalties, there are still some website owners and those that are more inexperienced SEO that believe they can outsmart Google and its algorithms. The search engine though has a massive reach and an incredible ability to find out and interpret data. Even using different VPNs, it is debateable whether you could effectively hide the traces.
Human nature being what it is, when site owners use these paid links for their website, they are always going to create some kind of pattern, making it so much easier for Google to then flag up and ultimately penalise the culprits.
Although it might on occasion be possible to fool the algorithms, it is important to remember that Google also operates a human manual review team that could, one day, just happen to end up with your website on their list. Whether it’s down to a competitor tip, algorithm report or a manual review, if a system of paid backlinks is discovered, the website is going to get punished.
Why paid backlinks aren’t effective
With the huge risks for your site associated with them, the small comparative gains, and the fact that they are usually irrelevant as well as unnatural, paid backlinks are simply not that effective. The difference between a naturally earned backlink and a paid one is clear – one is valid and the other is just not.
Don’t let your website get penalised in the quest for quick yet temporary gains.
Further tips
There are other ways that you can help to improve the backlink profile of your website though. The first thing you should do is have a look at your site’s authority using the Website Authority Checker. It’s a tool that’ll let you check out the authority of the site, and help give you an idea of how it’s going to perform in Google’s rankings.
Remember, when it comes to backlinks, choose quality over quantity, and make sure that you are not receiving them from poor quality sites, which is turn could prevent your own site from ranking well.
Guest posts, for example, are one way of getting quality backlinks with good and useful blog content, but don’t get greedy with them, and always vet them careful to make sure that they are up to scratch.
Another thing is to deal with broken links, which can lead to a bad user experience, as well as making it tougher for search engines to crawl and index your site. As soon as you discover them, fix them.
Final thoughts
With so much online competition in terms of rankings, it can be all too easy to try and stay ahead of the competition with some paid backlinks. The chances of Google finding out though are just too high, and the penalties and harm to the reputation of your site are just not worth risking it.
With proper backlinks, you’ll not only stay ethical, but you’ll avoid getting penalised. And although the SEO progress might seem slow, ultimately you will end up reaping the rewards with an improved site ranking.

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