I don't do link buying. The search engine optimisation agency I work for does not do it either and takes the "white hat" approach of directory submissions, articles, press releases, social media and encouraging the client to have the right sort of quality content instead. It's important to me, to us, to do it right.
Back in September 2005 Matt Cutts wrote:
I wouldn’t be surprised if search engines begin to take stronger action against link buying in the near future.The quote is from the Text Links and PageRank post.
Answers.com enjoys a special relationship with Google's GUI. If you search for any word or phrase then, in the top right, there is a link to Answers.com page about it. There are somethings to note here.
- For the most part Answers.com's context is duplicate and taken from elsewhere
- Google crawls Answers.com
Yuck. Just yuck.
Dictionary.com must have wept the day that they lost the right-hand spot from Google's GUI. Answers.com must have clapped with joy. The prototype Google GUI, which everyone has seen, with the PageRank-like bars on the left of the page looses this link though. Answers.com may still loose out. Further more, Google has the define search command which it could link in instead or, perhaps one day, use GoogleBase.
In the meantime I hope Google continues to crack down on link buying. A great way to do so would be to scare the heck out of link sellers. If you could harm your site's Google's presence for selling links... would you? No.