A recent survey from SEOptimise asked users if they bought links as part of their local SEO campaigns. A total of 202 respondents answered, and the results were fairly even across the board.
The majority of respondents - 26 percent - responded by saying that they don't purchase links to improve their SEO campaigns. Business2Community reports that up until 2007, buying paid links was common practice to increase SEO until Google announced that it was in violation of its Webmaster Guidelines.
However, Google added that not all paid links directly violate their guidelines, and paying for directory links and online press release links can positively drive traffic, increase brand awareness and promote a website.
According to the SEOptimise survey, 22 percent responded that they paid for links depending on the niche and competitiveness of their sector. The author points out that in more competitive niches, it can be difficult to compete for top Google rankings without buying some links.
Yet, relying too heavily on paid links is risky, as Google may revise its paid link detection algorithm down the road.