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Off-site Seo, Paid Links

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#1 claytonseo


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Posted 12 May 2010 - 07:49 AM

Hi there

What exactly is a paid links?

I'm at the moment looking at a lot of web directories, some of them state that if you pay a small amount of money, your link can be featured and it will be reviewed faster than the free link submissions?

Is this paid links? If not, would it wise to pay the small amounts on get listed higher than the other sites and get more traffic?

I'm asking this because I understand that Google does not like paid links.

I also tried to search this topic before posting it.

Thank You

#2 ukdaz


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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:47 AM

In my opinion you are paying to be included in a web directory whereas a paid link is to have a link on someone elses website/page which is only there because you paid an amount of money to be there.

Paying to be in directories shouldn't get you banned on a search engine - they (G) seem to like links from the Yahoo directory well enough (which is around $300)

#3 bwelford


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Posted 12 May 2010 - 08:49 AM

Welcome to the Forums, claytonseo. :wave:

You ask an excellent question, that in my opinion has no answer. What is payment? If someone sends you a free Ipad and asks you to do a review including a link, is that a paid link?

Clearly the directories you are thinking about are paid links. However what you are concerned about is not my opinion, but what Google thinks. Google tries to present a black and white situation in what can never be. It seems to be linked to the idea as to whether you pay to get visitor traffic directly or to influence search engines. I'm sure I don't know how to figure that out. Yellow Pages are clearly paid links and prove very useful in establishing your position in local SEO. They seem to have Google's blessing.

A Google search for
What exactly is a paid link
gives you the following:

Matt Cutts, Google
Text links and PageRank September 1, 2008

Search Engine Journal
Matt Cutts Confirms Paid Links & Google PageRank Update October 29, 2007

SEO Book
Did Google Win the War on Paid Links? November 24, 2008

If you restrict your search to the Google site, then you can come up with items like the following
Google Webmaster Central
Yell.com sell hundreds of thousands of links - why aren't they punished? April 23, 2010

Google often is somewhat fuzzy in how it gives answers on search related question. In this case, the fuzziness is because the question itself is very fuzzy.

In a sense, your topic is easier since I think you most probably do not have a paid link problem in this situation. On the other hand, I think it's a very poor use of resources. Those directory links will have little value if you are doing it for PageRank reasons. Put your efforts into creating content that attracts links and you will get much better value for money. There's always room for another good blog. :)

Edited by bwelford, 12 May 2010 - 08:51 AM.

#4 claytonseo


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Posted 13 May 2010 - 08:11 AM

Thank you for the response, it seems Google identifies paid links by style themes and relevance of the content, but I guess you already know that.

What im going to is to research on this topic and come back in a few days as im very busy atm.

Thank you again.

#5 jonbey


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Posted 13 May 2010 - 08:30 AM

Google detects paid links by people grassing on others. That is all I think.

#6 DonnaFontenot


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Posted 13 May 2010 - 08:40 AM

Off Topic offtopic

I love the phrases jonbey uses. "grassing on others". Based on its use, I understand the meaning of it, though I have no idea how the word "grassing" fits into the concept of tattling. Still, I'm always kept alert by the fun phrases jonbey uses.

#7 sabrasmith11


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Posted 21 May 2010 - 06:17 AM

Very nice comments which provide us vital information under which all situation are specified by providing the links also.Very interesting post because people think about free links only but it is not as simple as shown.

#8 JVRudnick


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Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:01 AM

there are a ton -- and I mean a TON -- of ways that SEO practitioner try to get 'around' the google guidelines on backlinks. Most of them have never heard of damn hard work, but that's a comment for another thread....

In this case, paid links as we know them can come from any direction...ie you can go after same or the offers come to you....

Sometimes you get a great looking backlink candidate, you ask for same, and are refused BUT are told that you can 'buy' a link...which for many of us SEO types poses the question....how 'risky' is that purchase? And if this is for a client, what does your specific SEO contract say about risking their serps for this kind of gain. Only the SEO practitioner can answer that one...and that's done daily by us all.

Then there's the kind of offer to provide a backlink, that comes via an email. Someone likes a site that you own or rep for a client, and you get something like say this one (we get about a doz of these a week) - with the names changed to protect the stupid --

Dear Webmaster,

First of all let me introduce myself - I am XXXXXX (Link Manager)

I handle online marketing for my client- www.xxxxxx.com

To increase the link popularity of my client's site , we are now looking for triangular Link swapping with some good quality sites. You are already aware that triangular Link swapping is much more popular and beneficial. This way both the sites gets the benefited . I would request you to place my client's link at your site and would offer the following payment monies.

As you can maybe tell, this is from an offshore firm who wants a link on one of our client sites -- a well known Canadian authoritative/trust site in their own channel that's taken more'n 6 years of steady SEO campaigns to rank so well.

And our answer? Good gosh NO!

First, we never ever risk a client's serps. Second, we also know -- as do many -- that such links really do not a lot of good, linkjuice wise....as the site the email sender then went on to list was totally out of channel for the client.

It'd be like having a link on a running shoe manufacturers's site for a diet dog food....

Am I surprised by the number of these idiots who ask this of us and our more'n 30 SEO clients? Not really, they're all enrolled in the "get rich quick" school who believe that rigging links to fool google et al, can work for them.

They've no idea, really...but in a collateral "happy" thought....the more I see this kind of request for backlinks the happier I am that I'm in the "damn hard work - works" school.....my clients love their serps as we bring real ROI to their marketing budgets. The idiotic fools who follow that other school fall by the wayside....sentenced by their own lack of hard work, integrity and get-rich-quick mindset!

So, paid links? Nope, not us....



Edited by JVRudnick, 21 May 2010 - 07:05 AM.

#9 bwelford


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Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:08 AM

Well said, Jim. I might not have chimed in but as it happens I've just deleted an e-mail message with exactly the same wording that you quoted. It was from an independent consultant working for a Montreal SEO company so I found it somewhat ironic.

It was automatically sent to Junk by my Bayesian spam filter, K9, but I do check a few Junk items in case there is anything worth reading.

This is of course entirely a Google-created problem. I delight that there are so many practitioners doing this and regret that there are so many gullible clients who waste their money in this way. The only consolation is that this is a rising tide so Google has to be increasingly effective in ignoring all these zero-value links. That inevitably makes the whole process of link exchanging, etc. even more valueless.

#10 jonbey


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Posted 21 May 2010 - 10:17 AM

Why does Google get the blame? If there were no search engines and everyone just had links on their sites, like in the old days, or used many different directories, then with the increase in web pages these requests would just increase.

I wonder who was the first webmaster that received a link request? Before "Google". People used to link to sites they liked, or as reference (I still use this method, and it works well for me).

What annoys me more today is not people trying to get links on my site, but all the sites out there that do not link. They are the ones causing the problem! News sites that take a press release, rehash it as their own journalistic news and then do not reference anything. This happens all the time with news on research - never a link to the researchers, universities or publications.

People should start link to stuff that they use or like again and then maybe there will be no room for the rest and Google will work so much better as people will stop fearing links.

#11 bwelford


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Posted 21 May 2010 - 11:02 AM

This is a Google-created problem because it is Google that has the PageRank component in determining relevancey of web pages. The assumption is that if you can create thousands of back links of very small value then the sum total of that is worth something. If we only had Bing and Yahoo and no Google, then this back link problem would go away.

If Google changed its model and discounted links of low value and made that new approach very public, then that would mean that webmasters would no longer have any incentive to get low value links. Because Google says so little, it gives them and us a huge headache.

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