That's what Google's Panda would say if the bear was actually a living, thinking entity. The dinner party is free, but once you get there you'll meet other guests, some are hard working, some charming, some super scientific, some so interesting that you have to invest some time to get to know them. These are the guests that become the most popular, who everyone wants to connect with, or link to. They offer and share great info such as blogs, videos, case studies, advice and opinions. The more this happens, the more other guests want to also connect, and the party host, Panda, takes notice and moves you to the top of the guest list. You rank higher!
But even though joining these circles of friends is free, there will always be a devil in the details. On the surface the devil offers the same ticket to Panda's party, but you have to pay for it. The devil doesn't always wear the "black hat". He's disguised in many different types of get-better-search engine rankings schemes. Even though it's too good to be true, it's tempting. Because it means that you won't have to contribute the usual amount of effort. You don't have to bother offering ideas, experiences or opinions. You don't even have to sincerely interact with the folks at the dinner table.
You are promised a faster, easier way to get those same connections (links). But a point to consider is, that Panda has been around for a long time. Panda has hosted a lot of parties. He's knows exactly what types of connections (links) are legit and worthy of attention. So your bulk purchase of these connections (links) becomes noticeable over time. That drops your name to the bottom of Panda's guest list. You lost your rank, so sad.
Don't focus on purchasing or automating back-linking services and trying to manipulate short-term keyword rankings. Develop an ongoing inbound marketing game plan that has focus on content marketing and lead nurturing. Help people solve their problems while forming valuable relationships. We know your competitors might do it, but with those techniques you’ll always be chasing short-term gains and sacrificing longer-term pay-offs. And it never hurts to join the conversation at the dinner table.
Illustrations courtesy of @WaltWinchel