Was checking out competitors backlink profiles the other day and found a site that was just plain bad up on Googles first page for a major search term.
So I do a back link check using ahref and find that the number of backlinks had had a sudden jump by about 49,000 in a month.
Dig further and find that they were all coming from a forum.
Go to the forum wondering how they were promoting the site - no mention of this company. Look for the links - not there.
Open up the page source and find in white text on a white background attached to the bottom of every post across the forum links to this company and about half a dozen others.
I presume the forum owner is paid by an seo company for the space.
How do you compete with this sort of thing?
Nothing to do with this issue. Now a days so many industries are buying the links from third parties. The website will be penalized from search engines. No need to worry about this issue. Don't try to buy links from 3rd parties. These are waste of things.
Also, with Google's search algorithm becoming smarter with each iteration, you're basically treading across a minefield that will never end. It's just not a good long term strategy and those sites purchasing links will eventually get caught.