Why It is Unethical To Pay for Backlinks

Gaining high-quality backlinks can be a difficult task

While there are many ways to gain backlinks, only a portion of them will help you achieve the goals of long-term SEO success. The goal of achieving higher rankings and increased online visibility has led some to explore shortcuts that, while seemingly promising, tread on shaky ethical ground. So, today we are addressing a controversial practice that has been the subject of many debates — paying for backlinks. As websites vie for the top results in search engines like Google, the allure of expediting the process through purchased endorsements has become increasingly tempting. However, beneath the surface of this seemingly innocuous strategy lies a moral dilemma.

Gaining High-Quality Backlinks for Therapists 

First off, we are going to talk about some of the best ways to gain backlinks ethically. Then, we will compare how these differ from more concerning methods. Luckily, we have already created blog posts in the past on this very topic, so there is a wealth of information to draw from!

When it comes to ethically gaining backlinks, there are several ways to go about doing so. Some of the best ways we suggest folks start this process include:

  • Being listed on relevant therapist directories
  • Acting as a source of information for reporters and media (HARO)
  • Writing guest blog posts 
  • Being a guest on a podcast
  • Public speaking  

None of these require a dime from your part and act as organic ways to build authority with your practice. While not all backlinks are going to be treated as equal (depending on the trustworthiness of the site in question), these are still great ways to help improve the online exposure of your practice over time. However, putting in the work and finding the best organic backlinks for your practice can be a time-consuming process. Due to this, many people may try to find other methods to build their list of backlinks. 

Can I Pay for Backlinks to Speed This Process Up? 

In short, we don’t recommend it. While it may seem that paying for backlinks for therapists can be a way to shortcut the process, it doesn’t help accomplish Google’s goals of helping the best, most helpful search results show up first in the search results. Instead, paying for backlinks acts as a way to artificially boost the authority of your site, which is frowned upon in Google’s eyes. While the temptation to purchase backlinks may arise from a desire to expedite SEO results, it undermines the fundamental concept of merit-based search results. 

The Real Cost of Paying for Backlinks 

A graphic of people buliding links on a webpage. Learn how tips for improving backlinks for therapists by searching for "therapist SEO". You can also learn more from our guide to earning backlinks!

Search engines, like Google, continuously strive to provide users with the most relevant and high-quality content. When individuals or businesses pay for backlinks, they disrupt the natural progression of link-building. This can potentially lead to the promotion of content that lacks authenticity or true value. This practice not only compromises the integrity of search engine results but also fosters an environment where success is determined by who pays the most for credibility rather than the inherent quality of information. Thus, eroding the trustworthiness of search results. 

Understanding Therapist Directories

Paying for backlinks from unrelated sites can do much more harm than good for your site. However, there are citation sites that can offer support depending on the nature of your practice and the services you provide. For practices that have more niche services or offer support for particular populations, it can sometimes be harder to find the exact type of client you hope to support. However, directories like Therapy for Black Girls can help provide a resource to help facilitate getting therapists connected with their ideal clientele. While this particular directory does have a monthly membership fee, this is a bit different from the type of links that are created when making deals with sites that only work to artificially boost your rankings. 

With therapist directories, there are a wide number of free options available. However, some of these will have paid membership options that may have other benefits for therapists. Of course, not paying for these directories is still the most economical option. But, choosing some that will help your practice accomplish your overall goal of getting connected with your ideal client can be worth the investment if the need arises. 


In conclusion, pursuing high-quality backlinks for therapists demands ethical considerations and strategic choices. Gaining organic backlinks through methods like being listed on relevant therapist directories, contributing to media outlets, and engaging in guest appearances can be time-consuming. But, they stand as pillars of authentic authority building. Paying for backlinks, though tempting for its perceived expediency, defies the essence of merit-based search results. It risks compromising the integrity of the online ecosystem.

A top down view of the word SEO on a desk surrounded by different SEO elements. Learn tips for improving backlinks for therapists by searching for a guide to earning backlinks todayThe real cost of these practices is in the erosion of search result trustworthiness and the promotion of content that lacks authenticity. Understanding therapist directories, with their potential to support specific practices, emphasizes the importance of discernment in link-building endeavors, distinguishing between authentic support and artificial attempts to manipulate search engine rankings. Ultimately, investing time and effort in ethical backlink strategies proves to be the sustainable path toward long-term SEO success for therapists.

Start Improving Backlinks for Therapists with Simplified SEO Consulting

It can take time to build a list of high-quality backlinks that will benefit the standing of your practice. Our team understands the obstacles you may run into along the way. We are happy to offer support for building backlinks and cultivating improved SEO rankings. Start your SEO journey with Simplified SEO Consulting by following these simple steps:

  1. Apply to work with us to improve your SEO
  2. Meet with an SEO specialist 
  3. Start building better backlinks!

Other Services Offered with Simplified SEO Consulting

Our team knows there are many aspects of SEO that you may need help addressing on your site. This is why we offer a variety of SEO services. Other services offered include our Done For You SEO Services and DIY Online SEO Courses. We also offer a 12-week Done With You Intensive SEO Program. Visit our blog to learn more today!


About the Author

Sterling Humburg-Cage graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Psychology in 2020. He has integrated what he learned in school into his work as an SEO Specialist with Simplified SEO Consulting. Sterling prides himself on helping current clients & alumni problems solve difficult SEO issues.  He’s great at giving clients multiple options about how to approach a situation, finding solutions to some of the more technical aspects of SEO, and responding in a timely manner to client concerns.  Since he started, Sterling has met frequently with our alumni and provided them with extra problem-solving support. He now provides additional support with a variety of local SEO services. He often goes the extra mile to do outside research. By doing so, he sure private practice owners have everything they need to rank well on search engines long term for the keywords their ideal clients are using!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.