i have a hard time with the concept of buying links for the purpose of ranking higher in the search engine results pages (SERP) or increasing a site’s PageRank.

but i’m not so sure why or what aspect of it bothers me.

on the one hand, Google frowns upon the idea so my White Hat SEO side tells me that i shouldn’t entertain the concept.

but on the other foot i start to think of the following:

preface Google’s job, as with all search engines, is to try and organize the chaos that is “information” available on the web. trying to determine (mostly through crazy computer calculations) what results you want to see when you enter a search term/phrase. but as we all know, many times we DON’T get the results we want. it is a flawed system. but the end-game in Google’s mind is to give you the right content. end preface

to that end, if you are a site owner with quality (read worthwile) content that pertains to specific keywords but you don’t rank high for these keywords for any of a number of reasons, should you not be allowed the chance to do so? i mean, that is what Google wants, right? so why should so many non-relevant sites come up high for keyword searches just because a quality site/page may not have much link popularity or PageRank or whatever.

granted, i’m definitely opposed to link farms or crazy linking schemes that employ black hat seotactics to create links en masse. don’t get me wrong.

but, if you have the ability to buy select links from quality, relevant, related sites in order to boost your rankings and you have quality content on your site, is that necessarily bad?

there are many large websites out there that pimp out their PageRank and viewership to advertisers every day (banner ads, etc.) for big dollars. why should this practice be considered okay but having these high PR sites sell text links to quality, relevant sites be frowned upon?

in one sense it’s the same thing, the large site is selling itself to generate a nice revenue stream. who cares if it is banner ads or Google ads or paid links?

obviously this could be abused and people could outbid each other and it could/would become an insane cost model like any supply and demand scenario. but it’s definitely something to think about.

again, this could be an abused practice, but the flip side is that is could be just what the doctor ordered with regard to getting more quality content to rank higher in the SERPs.

i’d love to know the thoughts of other SEO’s with regard to this.