Less than .1% of websites have a PageRank of 9 or 10, but those high PageRank backlinks are more valuable than any other type of link you can obtain. The relationship between backlinks and Google's PageRank system can seem complicated, so this guide will break it down for you and help you understand the parts that really matter for law firms. Keep reading to find out why it's a worse idea to buy high PageRank backlinks than to make them yourself, and why low PageRank backlinks can actually be worse for your website than no backlinks at all.
Why Your Law Firm Needs High PageRank Backlinks
In order to make sure that law firms were building backlinks from high quality, authoritative websites, Google started determining how much “link juice,” or authority, a particular website gives when it links to someone. High PageRank backlinks give much more link juice, all else being equal, than low PageRank backlinks.
The reason that Google makes these distinctions isn't to privilege the most elite websites. Instead, it's as a way of recognizing that usually, high PageRank backlinks mean that a website has established a certain amount of authority in its subject area. Whether you buy high PageRank backlinks (we don't recommend it—see the section below about buying high PageRank backlinks), build them yourself, or get them organically, you will see your search rankings become higher after getting these links than low PageRank backlinks.
Sources for High PageRank Backlinks
Some of the best places to get great backlinks without needing to buy high PageRank backlinks are social networking and bookmarking websites. You won't get low PageRank backlinks by circulating your message on Facebook or Twitter—instead, you'll get the kinds of high PageRank links that you might have thought you'd need to buy.
What's more, when you get links from these websites, you may be able to get additional low to mid PageRank backlinks simply through word of mouth. This kind of viral spreading of your link is exactly why high PageRank backlinks are so valuable. If you buy high PageRank backlinks instead of generating them yourself or having them created organically by interested web viewers, you will miss out on many of these benefits.
What Link Quantity Has to Do With High PageRank Backlinks
While it's true that low PageRank backlinks won't give you as much link juice as high PageRank backlinks when all else is equal, all else isn't always equal. The biggest factor that can make a difference is link quantity. When there are too many links on a single webpage, you'll get much less of the link juice from your high PageRank backlinks. In fact, if there are hundreds of links on the webpage where your link is, you might receive less link juice from a very popular website than from low PageRank backlinks that you built organically on websites with few links.
Because of this, it's important to check how many other links are on any page where you create high PageRank backlinks. If you buy high PageRank backlinks, make sure they aren't appearing in places where they'll have to share their link juice with too many other websites.
Can I Just Buy High PageRank Backlinks?
This is the first question of many marketing professionals after they realize how difficult it can be to get organic high PageRank backlinks. While low PageRank backlinks can be quite easy to build just by talking to colleagues and friends, it's not always easy to build links on websites with more traffic and more name recognition.
However, even though it may be tempting to buy high PageRank backlinks, it's better not to. For one thing, if you buy high PageRank backlinks, you'll usually be posting them in a pattern that appears non-organic. These non-organic patterns can be detected by Google and lead to your website being penalized. In the end, it might have been better for you to have low PageRank backlinks than to buy high PageRank backlinks.
What's more, you actually lose most of the benefits other than the search engine optimization benefits when you buy high PageRank backlinks. When you grow your backlinks on your own, there's a much better chance that even a low or mid PageRank backlink will start your content going viral. Purchased backlinks tend to look more like spam and have a much smaller chance of being picked up virally.
Are Low PageRank Backlinks Ever Worthwhile?
Before you decide to buy high PageRank backlinks, consider creating a new strategy for making more low and mid PageRank backlinks. Why? Because these links are actually the lifeblood of most law firm backlinking strategies that work, and they offer you the best chance of getting picked up organically by people who will post your content elsewhere.
For example, a low PageRank social bookmarking website like Metafilter might seem like it doesn't have enough users to make it as worthwhile as a StumbleUpon or Reddit. However, upon closer inspection, you'll see that the users of this website are very likely to re-post content they find there on their own Facebook or Twitter accounts. That kind of viral potential makes it much more worthwhile to build low PageRank backlinks.
Generally, you'll only be penalized for low PageRank backlinks if you're buying them and using automated techniques. Organically built backlinks are unlikely to be penalized, no matter what website they're built on.
Finding New Places to Get High PageRank Backlinks
Since you probably won't buy high PageRank backlinks after reading this guide, how should you build them? The best way is probably to start really using the internet to learn on a daily basis. If you're keeping track of a dozen or more websites with frequently updating content relating to law or legal marketing, you'll find out the newest sources for building the best high PageRank backlinks possible.
There's no reason that your law firm should have exclusively high PageRank backlinks, though. Keep trying to find mid PageRank backlinks as often as possible, which also helps Google to see that you're not gaming the rankings.