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Paying For Links


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72 replies to this topic

#16 clueless

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 11:54 AM

QUOTE(Randy @ Aug 30 2005, 12:03 PM)
Pick up a newspaper or magazine, or see an ad on TV, and the consumer can immediately recognize it's an ad because of the way it's presented.

Buying a link, and only a link, is a different story.  Often there is no way for the consumer to tell if it's a paid advertisement or not.  Especially for those normal surfers who are not as immersed in this stuff as we are.

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That is a very good point. I have thrown up my hands. I am with Torka and Adam Smith.

#17 qwerty

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 12:05 PM

I know there are going to be detractors ("I don't owe the search engines anything! It's their problem, not mine!"), but here's a thought: any link that is somehow labeled as an ad passes no link pop or PR, and is not taken into account algorithmically in determining the quality of a site's outbound links. So this would be sort of like the nofollow rel. You'd do a link like
CODE
<a rel="ad" href="http://junkysite.com">Be a man! A big man!</a>


#18 Jill

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 01:15 PM

QUOTE(qwerty @ Aug 30 2005, 11:58 AM)
True. I read a post like that a year or two back, and it was one of those moments where you hit yourself for not having realized something. The writer said that if you think an ad for a travel agent on an SEO site is obviously just intended for link pop, you must not think SEOs ever travel.
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I guess relevancy is really not the right word then!

The real key is whether the venue that your ad appears has the same or similar target market as to those who would be interested in your products or services.

This is the part that throws people off who are building links. They get so hung up with the relevancy thing, that they think they need to link and get links from their competitors, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Any site where your target market hangs out is a good one to place your link on, whether for free, for an incentive, or for cold hard cash.

#19 Jill

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 01:21 PM

QUOTE
CODE
<a rel="ad" href="http://junkysite.com">Be a man! A big man!</a>


Well, I'm one of those that believe it's up the search engines. I sure am going to take my link pop from my paid links as long as I can get them!

#20 lyn

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE(torka @ Aug 30 2005, 12:06 PM)
Or all the low-relevance ads will drive away a significant portion of the site's core audience (people like Randy, who won't go back if there are too many ads, no matter how good the info is, for instance). Even if they do still rank highly in the SERPs, they won't be able to retain much of the traffic they get
--Torka mf_prop.gif
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That's exactly it.
If the sites let garbage ads undermine their value to visitors, they'll either lose their means for continuing or they'll fix the problem by becoming more selective about whose ads appear. And as larger media buyers get into the act, expectations will go up at the same time they bring more dollars to the table for the right media space. Websites that protect their credibility and audience will be rewarded with higher revenues for fewer ads/links.
The SEs shouldn't have to get all that involved - it should just become uneconomical for sites to buy a lot of spurious ads for nothing more than unrelated link pop.

L

#21 Debra

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 04:02 PM

QUOTE
The real key is whether the venue that your ad appears has the same or similar target market as to those who would be interested in your products or services


So simple a concept and yet so frequently ignored.

Those links on the O'Reilly pages and others like them all typically end up in the same locations (bottom/sides) so it could be fairly easy to implement an ignore factor to links in those spots. To the average webmaster who uses links along the bottom as nav tools this isn't a big deal. For sites selling site wides this is going to (and has) meant a drop in ad revenues.

Where does it stop? If they ignore links along the bottom and/or sides people will just pay for page center. What happens then? The links on all pages are ignored? I realize it's a simplistic view but really - how else can they stop the pimping of links othewise?

#22 tempy

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 07:59 PM

QUOTE
...Often there is no way for the consumer to tell if it's a paid advertisement or not. Especially for those normal surfers who are not as immersed in this stuff as we are....


Hmmmm. Like many Google adsense/adwords advertisements in many ways. wink.gif

In fact, I remember on one of Google's adsense help pages where they talk about the advantages of 'blending in' adverts in certain cases.

I never buy links, mainly because I don't like the smell of it all and much of what I do is academic rather than commercial.

But I really don't see much difference between buying a link to affect popularity and buying an 'advertorial' in a prestige magazine. In the print media you can sometimes ven get an editorial piece printed, if you wine and dine the right journalist.

The online paradigm is different, so the methods are different.

But it's not a moral issue, of course. Google is a private company and can do what it likes. Whether this approach will bring more 'relevant' links than, say, MSNs approach is debateable.

#23 Jill

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Posted 30 August 2005 - 10:40 PM

QUOTE
I never buy links, mainly because I don't like the smell of it all...


Just curious what it smells like?

mf_fartnew.gif

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Never thought I'd actually have a use for this one!

#24 projectphp

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:41 AM

QUOTE
Dodge pays about $80,000 per second to advertise during the Super Bowl.

And all they get is millions of eyeballs smile.gif Same as a link: you buy one, you get eyeballs and clicks. Why do you want/need SEO benefit as well?

IMHO, buying probably won't, and shouldn't, lead to a SE penalty, but it may have little, or no, benefit. That is the same as Dodge getting no ongoing benefit from super bowl ads, unless it is particulalry good, and they get talked about on the Today program the next morning.


OFFTOPIC:
I used to watch a LOT of the Today show (it is on at like 4 am here and I worked nights) and boy, is that a BOOORING show


#25 tempy

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 05:37 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Aug 30 2005, 11:40 PM)
Just curious what it smells like? 

mf_fartnew.gif

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Never thought I'd actually have a use for this one!
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Kind of like spam in a microwave. mf_microwave.gif

#26 Jill

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 07:34 AM

Ok, so why do you think that buying a link seems spammy? I just don't get that.

I get that buying any old link just for a link is spammy, but there are tons of ways of buying great links that are 1000 times less spammy then some of the silly reciprocal link exchanges I've seen.

#27 projectphp

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 01:16 AM

I don't think link buying could ever be called spam. It is certainly something the Engines, Google especially, want to fight, but that doesn't make it spam.

As an comparable example, if a service delivereed opt-in emails sent every 5 minutes that had a chance to win some prize, an ISP might want to stop that (fair use policy) but it wouldn't be spam by any definition I know.

Link buying is different to hidden text, because as long as the links are visible, they are not really hidden in anyway shape or form.

Of course, the site selling links may be spamming, but that isn't the link buyers fault, just as AdSense shown on a scrapper site isn't spam wink.gif

#28 Debra

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 09:40 AM

QUOTE
I don't think link buying could ever be called spam. It is certainly something the Engines, Google especially, want to fight, but that doesn't make it spam.


You have to know something is being done to call it spam. How can they tell the links on a page are paid for? They can't so it's easier to say "don't buy links".

This tactic of buying site wide links (which is where most of the "link buying is evil" comments come from) is one webmasters want to stay away from when buying links IMO. The engines can easily detect massive links in certain page locations and discount when they do.

And are they spam? I say no...bad judgement calls on link buying yes, but spam? Everyone has the right to buy ads on websites, in magazines, on billboards.....as long as they follow the rules of the publication. The site makes the determination what the rules are and who they want to host - not the search engine.

Edited by Debra, 01 September 2005 - 09:49 AM.


#29 tempy

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 11:12 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Aug 31 2005, 08:34 AM)
Ok, so why do you think that buying a link seems spammy?
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I don't. That was just a frivolous response to your 'how does it smell' question. My previous post makes it fairly clear that I have no problem at all with link buying. I think 'tacky' is a more accurate description.

#30 Jill

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 11:44 AM

Well, I don't think it's tacky or smelly! It's good business, good marketing and good link building when done correctly. smile.gif




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