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Bruce Clay himself with a guest post that is probably the strongest caution against paid links that I've read to date.
Comments8 Comments  

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from hugoguzman 1274 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Lot's of assertions and cautionary rhetoric but precious little data/evidence to support the claim.

The fact of the matter is that paid links continue to be a major SEO force, just as they always have been.

All due respect to Mr. Clay, but this and other assertions about Google's impending magic elixir that will wipe away paid links are little more than wishful thinking in my book.

Why? Because:

a) the web is too big (billions of URLs indexed across the globe)

b) inbound links and anchor text are the backbone of citation-based ranking algorithm

Does Google occassionally bring the hammer down on particular sites (or even entire search verticals) that overindulge in paid links? Yes, from time to time.

Am I suggesting that paid links should be the backbone of a sound SEO strategy? Absolutely not.

What I am saying, however, is that this article, for all its huffing and puffing, has little material evidence to stand on.



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from crimsongirl 1274 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I hope Clay is right, but we've been hearing stuff like this for a long time, and paid links still seem to work for many sites.  When will judgement day arrive?  It's taking a long time.



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from ogletree 1274 Days ago #
Votes: 4

You have to remember there are two kinds of paid links.  The kinds that can be detected by humans or machines and the kinds that can't.  If I make an offline deal to get a link up on a page the only way you can know it is paid is to have been at the meeting and seen the money change hands then there is nothing google can do about this.  You might be able to detect this with small companies but when you are talking fortune 500 companies there is no way to know because people link to big companies all the time.  A good example is when Google sent out free Nexus cell phones to people or when they send out free Google refrigerators. Any link acquired from that is a paid link.  If Nike sends out shoes to a bunch of bloggers they are going to get some links and they are paid for.  Google is not against paid links they are just against stupid people buying links.



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from Jill 1273 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Completely agree with Hugo on this.

The article sounds like it was written by someone from Google as it's just selling their propaganda rather than there being much truth to it.

Google will penalize you for paid links. Okay. And for comment spam. Sure. And for multiple keyword rich domains.

'cept they don't.



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from JulieJoyce 1273 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Also agree with Hugo and Jill...it's quite a bombastic piece. I really think that people overexaggerate penalties, as I've seen maybe 2 examples of it in the last year.



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from toddmintz 1273 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I submitted this post.  I don't necessarily believe Bruce is saying anything new.  However, Bruce blogs about as often as J.D. Salinger writes books.  And, the volume in which he makes his argument makes his post worthy of the Sphinn Front Page despite its perceived lack of orginiality.



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from idietcola 1273 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@ogletree - i agree with your first line - who's to know hay?


I must admit i tend to lean away from things like izea with their mappable networks, disclaimers whacked across all things, i gernally agree that providing the site doesn't state  - we sell contextual links i buy.


it must be said though - ive seen ppl get 2nd page on terms like - life insurance - from what is hammering every pdirectory they can find - thus how to penalise that big G? guess they expenct to find a paid link in a paid directory


Thanks for the read.


iDCx



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from demib 1273 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Totally agree, ogletree. There is just no objective way to see if a link is paid when the deal is done off line and the link is inserted the same way all other editorial link on a site would be. Google do try to filter out paid links and they want the average webmaster to think that they do this almost perfect. The fact is they don't. So yes, there is a risk in buying links but its not as high as Bruce claim, you can seriously limit it and by the end of the day if you don't rank in your business with pure organic strategies then your are not getting any traffic anyway - so taking the risk of not getting any traffic in exchance of actually getting some (at least for some time) sounds like a good deal to me :)



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