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Paying For Links

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#61 Debra


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Posted 08 September 2006 - 11:21 AM

Based on that information, I've gotten my site listed in about a dozen of the top directories, including Yahoo! I applied for DMOZ but there is a long wait.

I went back and re-read your first post and realized I missed the sentence above. You're probably good to go if you have those, I'd focus on getting links from other sources at this point.

#62 Michael Martinez

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 01:29 PM

QUOTE(alan @ Sep 7 2006, 04:50 PM)
Okay, that brings up a question for me.  I'm very new at this, so I'm going to just add that comment to my "everyone is entitled to their own opinion" basket.  But pretty soon links won't have any meaning in SEO because all of them will have been eliminated from the formula because they are paid, or spammy, etc.

Most human-conferred links are neither paid nor spammy. Estimates vary, but so far all the studies I've seen or seen reference to still suggest that a (shrinking) majority of Web content is not commercial in nature ("commercial" being broadly defined as something like "any page related to, having to do with, or otherwise pertaining to commerce" -- so an "About this company" page would be considered commercial content).

With respect to links and SEO, many SEOs went off in the wrong direction several years ago when they jumped aboard the link bombing train. Technically speaking, link building is not search engine optimization. But there are "SEO" firms that do nothing more than link build.

From what I've been reading here and elsewhere, Google's current search algorithm is based on TrustRank...

That is quite incorrect. The TrustRank algorithm was developed by researchers at Yahoo! and Stanford University, and it was only a theoretical proposal that the same research team has repudiated in subsequent literature.

Google has publicly admitted to the following things:
  • They actively devalue links they feel should not be conferring "reputation" (PageRank and Link Anchor Text) -- most commonly paid links and links on pages tagged as spam
  • They have one or more trust filters that are triggered by one or more types of events (an "event" being any identifiable data occurrence during their processing of data)
  • They honor the rel=nofollow link attribute, meaning that they treat such links as untrustworthy (no PageRank or Link Anchor Text is conferred) without penalizing the rest of the links on the same pages
  • They place greater restrictions on the pages listed in their smaller (main) index than on the pages listed in their larger (supplemental) index to ensure quality
So my question is this: Is it a good idea to continue to list my site in more of these top directories and pay the $40.00 - $70.00 fee for each link?  Several of my directory links have ended up on PR 4 and PR 5 pages (some on PR 0 pages as well).  Or am I better off spending my money on a good dinner?

Toolbar PR is not an indication of quality with respect to links. What I advise people to do, when assessing quality, is to make a personal judgement about the page where their link will go: would you as a surfer find value in that page? Is it a page that you would really want to see and visit?

How long should it take for Google (which is now recognizing my site for the less popular search terms in my industry, including a #1 spot, but not for the popular terms) to recognize these directory links?
View Post

Every major directory gets crawled constantly. It is normally just a process of days before freshly updted directory pages appear in Google. It may take up to a couple of weeks after that for the pages they link to be crawled and indexed. I usually allow about a month for finding, crawling, and indexing but I've seen it happen in less than a week. It varies.

#63 Debra


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Posted 08 September 2006 - 04:44 PM

Toolbar PR is not an indication of quality with respect to links.

If the PageRank displayed on the toolbar is not an indication of quality, what is it?

#64 Jill


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Posted 08 September 2006 - 05:16 PM

Your own brain.

#65 Debra


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Posted 09 September 2006 - 06:56 AM

That same brain will tell you this statement is incorrect:

Toolbar PR is not an indication of quality with respect to links.

Edited by Debra, 09 September 2006 - 07:04 AM.

#66 torka


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Posted 09 September 2006 - 11:22 AM

Could you expand on that thought, Debra?

See, my understanding is that the toolbar PR number is a made-up number that supposedly is based on a historical "real" PR number from sometime in the indeterminate past (how far in the past, Google doesn't say). Given that it's only updated a couple of times a year, my general assumption has been that it's at best outdated and inaccurate.

So my inclination has been to think it's not a very valuable measurement of much of anything. At least, it sure doesn't sound on the surface like anything I'd want to pay a whole lot of attention to.

As a result, I've spent a fair amount of time here on HR advising people to pay no attention to toolbar PR. I'd hate to keep telling people to ignore toolbar PR if it can actually be put to some good use in assessing link quality.

--Torka mf_prop.gif

#67 mcanerin


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Posted 09 September 2006 - 12:43 PM

Here is why Toolbar PR isn't useless:

1. Google still resolves duplicate content and other issues based on PR.
2. Good, established sites naturally tend to have good displayed PR.
3. If you have looked at a site and know it's solid, why would you think it's PR has dropped since it was last updated? That usually only happens to spammers. In practice, most sites attain and keep a PR that's fairly stable for long periods of time.
4. Toolbar PR is not pulled out of the air, it's a general indication of the number and quality of links to a site. Why would anyone ignore information like that? The fact that it can be faked or manipulated really isn't the point. You can fake lots of things, but at some point you need to make a decision anyway.

There are many caveats to using PR to judge a site, and you can't judge a site based only on PR, any more than you can judge it on usability, W3C compliance, etc alone. But all these things add up.

If a site that looks good to me otherwise has an unexpectedly high or low PR, then I will often dig a lot deeper than I may ordinarily, and I often find something that I missed earlier (like it's a well made, but duplicate site, etc).

For me, I use every tool I have to judge and evaluate sites. Each and every one of them have problems, and I don't know ANY single datapoint that is a flawless indicator of site quality.

What I also know is that if enough datapoints tell me something, I'm more likely to believe it. PR is one of those datapoints.

Anyone who judges a website based on W3C compliance alone is crazy.
Anyone who judges a website based on usability alone is crazy.
Anyone who judges a website based on anchor text alone is crazy.
Anyone who judges a website based on title tags alone is crazy.
Anyone who judges a website based on content alone is crazy.
and, yes...
Anyone who judges a website based on PR alone is crazy.

But if you look at all these things and others before coming to a conclusion, you will probably make a good choice.


#68 Jill


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Posted 09 September 2006 - 01:23 PM

That same brain will tell you this statement is incorrect:

Toolbar PR is not an indication of quality with respect to links.

I agree that the statement is incorrect. Of course toolbar PR is an indicator of quality with respect to links. It's exactly what it is!

#69 AJA


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Posted 02 February 2007 - 03:14 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Aug 30 2005, 10:12 AM) View Post
I have no idea of what Google or any of the engines are currently doing, but it makes sense to me that they would attempt to figure out which links might be purchased ones (and therefore not a vote) and simply not count them as a link.

I can't imagine them penalizing for them as that would be trying to dictate something that has potentially nothing to do with the engine and its own mission.

But it makes sense for them to just not count paid links.

That said, most of the time it's going to be very difficult for any engine to determine a paid link from a non-paid link. They can look for words like "sponsored by" near the link, and use that, but as we know those buying the links just for link pop. will do everything in their power to make sure their links appear to be a natural vote link, so they'll never catch them all

I doubt the engines will care if they catch them all anyway. As long as they can eventually discern the difference between paid links and real links, their algos should remain intact.

I think they're still a pretty long way off from being able to tell the difference other than in the most obvious cases.

But the main thing is that imo, you shouldn't have to worry about a penalty or anything like that.

Jill Hi
Im A Newbbbee
Apologies if not posted in the correct position

I have a question for Yourself, Debra, Scottie or anyone who can advise

I am working on a couple of sites to optimise and the next area is the link and have looked around at some brokers! and need advise as to what to be aware of so not to be trapped into a package that is no more than a Farm

I am careful and caring of these sites and would not like to harm any future rank they could gain
although in saying this understand that linking is another part of the steps to optimise both our site and that of our clients

We have a site that is a Directory in a specific Business Niche and this is weddings And the Wedding directory caters to advertisers so in the case of gaining links we are not in a position to ask those who are paying for positions to link to us (our directory is very very affordable so unable to offer discount for link) It is also very specific to a region Location and is very new and although is ranking well it has no page rank as yet!

I have a real itch to learn more about the optimising side of this and add value to clients we build sites for including helping our own site to reach near 1# position for teams that are relative.

So I have asked alot from you here and I than you all in advance (ps I have been visiting this Forum) for almost two years and felt important to thank everyone for all I have already learned and I understand I have allot to learn still and that this will never stop as we learn every day.

I would like to find a respectable and recognised for the want of a better would ( school ) were I can learn more.

I respect the school of Life and all you and those who post have taught me till now but as i said I have a long way to go.

Many Many thanks Aja

#70 Cornbread


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Posted 20 April 2007 - 05:40 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Sep 3 2005, 08:57 AM) View Post
Tempy, your post made me think of something else...

In the real world, all advertising has to be labeled as such...in newspapers, magazines, etc. Even in search engines, the FTC has stated that paid results need to be clearly labeled.

I imagine that some day in the future, any link that is paid for on a site, as opposed to a real vote, will need to be labeled as such or be subject to whatever laws there are about that. Once they're labeled, the search engines will be able to distinguish them as well.

Seems like it will be really hard to enforce something like that though. Because what will be the distinguishing criteria of something that needs to be labeled. Will it be just an exchange of money? Is an exchange of links also considered advertising?

Should be interesting times as our little Internet starts to grow up!

Jill I know this has been discussed before but I can't find the topic. Is it worth it to buy a link from the prestigious Yahoo Directory, and better yet, will it improve rankings in Google?

#71 Randy


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Posted 20 April 2007 - 10:09 PM

Welcome Cornbread ! hi.gif

That's pretty much a decision you have to make for yourself in what's good for your site. Will the paid link bring you enough traffic to pay for itself and hopefully a bit more over the course of its life? If so, it's a good business decision.

With anything you're paying for you really need to take any advantage you may or may not see with the engines out of the equation. View it strictly as a business decision. Because the links may or may not count with Google etal and you really have no way of confirming if/how much good they do you.

That said, in the past I wouldn't have even considered paying for a Y!D listing because they used their crappy snippets instead of my own content in the Y! SERPs. Not even if I thought the directory link might bring me enough traffic to offset the loss, because I knew it would also screw up my natural Y! search click thru potential. Now that they've (finally!) given webmasters a way to control if the Y!D info or info from the site itself shows I'll at least consider it with newer sites.

#72 sddreamweavers


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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:00 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Sep 9 2006, 11:23 AM) View Post
I agree that the statement is incorrect. Of course toolbar PR is an indicator of quality with respect to links. It's exactly what it is!

This is absolutely correct. I just finished reading the math behind how PR works and this is how PR is calculated. However, the algorithm doesn't go into the types of links and whether or not they need to be related or not.

#73 projectphp


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Posted 08 May 2007 - 09:26 PM

sddreamweavers, the PR you see on the Google toolbar is notoriously fickle, and that is, or rather was (the topic is pretty old) the debate here.

However, the algorithm doesn't go into the types of links and whether or not they need to be related or not.

It makes no difference.

People confuse the issue a bit, and assume that PageRank is the only link analysis that can, and is, used by Google. That is just plain wrong, as there are Brazillians of possible link analysis algorithms (look at Ask Jeeves HITS and the use of anchor text for just two) and, IMHO, it is far more likely that Google has added new link analysis algorithms to the mix rather than changing PageRank.

Think of it this way: you don't change a recipe's ingredients, you usually just add a few more, i.e. you don't (and can't) change flour, but you can add additional flavourings when making bread.

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