There is a lot of confusion about the practice of buying text links. Some of the major services have been Google-slapped to engaging such a practice dropping to oblivion in the rankings. But is buying all text links bad? No, but let me give a short lesson on bad vs. good text link buying.
First, let’s talk about the good. Buying links in Yahoo’s directory or other quality directories such as Business.com will actually help drive direct traffic to your website and help in the search engine rankings. Quality websites targeted to your niche are in general a good thing. But I need to clarify.
When engaging in link buying (or renting actually) pretend like the search engines weren’t there. Would this link still be helpful to your website? If not then think long and hard about this.
Now, when do you not want to buy links? According to the search engines this is bad practice is you are trying to game the search results. Buying links on un-targeted sites or putting links on link farms or other bad neighborhoods is bad practice.
So, the key here is to pretend the search engines don’t exist and then consider if buying a link on a certain Web property is still a good idea.