The interweb is full of people who claim to know the secrets of SEO.
Now, it would seem, those people are coming to me with increasing regularity to ask me if I would be happy to put paid links on my site (I think my Page Rank went up, hence the requests).
I've had 6 emails in the last 3 days saying something like:
I’m contacting you on behalf of my client in the legal sector that is wishing to heighten their online presence, via working with excellent websites such as yours.
They are one of, if not the most respected practice in the UK and cover all legal verticals, including: medical negligence, accidents at work, family law and holiday claims amongst others.
I’ve approached you as I think your site would an ideal space for my client to sponsor a page or perhaps incorporate a link of some description.
I'm happy to take their money, frankly. However, some initial research suggests that Google could potentially penalise both my site and the site buying links if they deem their links to be paid. I think that pretty much the only way Google can tell if a link is paid is if it is "not natural" looking, i.e. nothing to do with my site content (not the case by the sound of most of the emails) or the anchor text is too obvious, eg the world's best law firm rather than Biggie & Smalls Solicitors LLP.
My question is, does anybody have experience dealing with SEOs on this type of thing? And what advice can you give in terms of how I should present the content and crucially the links?
ps. from my research, I now understand why Ning makes us use nofollow links.
i dont understand why google would penalise, anyone has rights to sell ad space, you can create pdf or powerpoint presentation with all on-site-promotional offers and collect $ from sponsors
Google "google penalises paid links" and you will see what I mean.
Nah it's fine. I've got both. Wait till you go under 500K Alexa rank, gets tons of offers like I do.
Thanks Josh, so do you do it? have you got an example?
yer, 3 google adverts, 3 partner adverts
No, it's not fine. I have been penalised by Google. Google stopped delivering Adsense to one of my sites because of 'paid links', and I hadn't even been paid for it.
I had parked a domain I was not using with SEOParking and didn't realise that they placed paid links on the site - links they got paid for, not me. The parking was free to me because they made money from paid links.
The type of paid link you are talking about, and I also have been approached many times, is still a paid link and can potentially get your site penalised.
Now, if you really want to argue about this, even ads you place on your site that you have sold are paid links. How does Google determine the difference? I suspect by the link destination .
In other words, Google 'knows' who makes these offers and who is providing paid links. Unless they are silly, they know about these people making the offers.
You may get away with, you may not. Is it a risk you want to run? How much do you make from Adsense versus the paid link.
My suggestion is don't accept them.
i agree with Jeff... paid links destroy pagerank and can kill SEO efforts
Thanks Jeff and JFarrow.
This is the conclusion i'm coming to as well. That said, millions of sites have organic 'dofollow' links, that's one of the factors used to give sites page ranks, but it concerns me that any dofollow link could incorrectly be interpretted as paid.
I've been approached by the same companies but have declined to accept their offers for a different reason - that being that I find the links they want me to place to be irrelevant and deceptive. The key word they want me to link from have nothing to do with the site they want me to link to. I refuse to do that to my web viewers. I don't respect sites that do that to me when I visit, and I won't do it to others.
links are penalized if its odvios they are from link farms like linkmarket but even then you can get away with it if you make it less odvios they catch you when you use the auto link page generating service so if you dont link to \your link page they dont find it
or more precicly they had found it in the past but when the links removed its still crawled but not considered actively part of your site structure (or so it seems)
a paid link that seems naturaly part of your text i s ok
like if yiu had a sentence when experiencing legal trouble legal advice can be obtained through your local law schools legal aide help lines. and you want to add a paid link with the term law firms just add or local law foirms after help lines.
ps your penalized for buying links not for selling links as far as im aware