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Buying & Selling Google PageRank - Too Good to be True?

by Alice Seba

There seems to be a lot of buzz about websites that are willing to shell out big bucks for links on sites with high Google PageRank (PR). And many webmasters and webmistresses are going crazy to cash in on the big windfall.

The Basic Premise of "Buying" PageRank is this:

People assume that the higher the PageRank, the more valuable the link. Therefore, if they buy some links on the highest ranking sites, they will receive the most benefit.

There are a few problems with this theory. Before you buy and before you sell any links with the hope of gaining PR, consider the following:

1. Where is Your Link Coming From?: Let's say that you are being offered link from a site whose home page has a PageRank of 9. Well, that's all fine and dandy, but if you are not receiving your link from the home page, you need to know the PageRank from the precise page that is linking to you.

Generally, Google indexes links coming from specific pages that have a PageRank of 4 or higher.

2. Number of Outgoing Links on the Page: If there are many outgoing links on the particular pages, the effect on the pages linked to will be minimized.

Sure a high ranking page can transfer some of its PageRank to another page by linking to it...This is true, but the effect is diluted as the page only has so much PR to transfer.

Therefore, it is very possible that getting a single solitary link from a page with a PageRank of 5, might be more effective than receiving a link from a page with a PR of 7 that has numerous links on it.

Before you buy: Always ask how many other links will be included on the page.

3. Long Pages & Placement of Your Link:
Google only indexes approximately 750-1000 words to a page. If your link is at the bottom of a lengthy's not likely going to be indexed or affect your PageRank at all. To check how far down a page Google has indexed enter: in the search box.

4. Let's Be Serious: Google PageRank is Not the Key to Search Engine Traffic: Sure, it's nice to be able to boast about your great Google PageRank, but even with a PageRank as low as 2 or 3, you can actually get a steady stream of search engine traffic. In fact, if you're targeting very specific keyword phrases in your optimization, as you should be...PageRank is not such a big factor.

5. Where Does the Selling Site Get It's Backwards Links from?: Perhaps, they have a good PageRank, but they could be using deceptive techniques and just haven't been caught yet. If you see a site with backward links from a ton of FFA (free for all links) pages guest books, and the like, steer clear. These people will not have their PageRank for long.

Don't get me wrong, building your PageRank is useful and a desired thing. But there really is no reason to shell out hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, to artificially boost your ranking...particularly if the opportunity is not as good as it sounds.

For a more sound approach to building link popularity, PageRank and your online business, read Increase Your Link Popularity: Building a Link Popularity Strategy (

Alice Seba is the owner and editor of, an Internet Marketing & Networking resource site for work at home moms and other entrepreneurs.

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