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Rewarding Back Links With A Higher Ranking
Posted 18 May 2008 - 12:26 AM
I run a Yellow Pages for business travelers. Companies who target business travelers can list themselves for free in the directory. At the end of the listing process I send them an email with some HTML code with the request to put that code on their website. This code will load my website banner including an ALT attribute with the relevant keywords. Placing a banner I reward with a higher ranking the in the relevant searches for that company.
My questions: I like to put this banner reward system on my site. This means I explain to companies on a page accessible via the site menu, that I reward them with a higher ranking when placing the banner (at the moment they only receive an email at the end of the listing process). Do search engines consider this strategy as 'buying links' since I 'pay' for that link by giving a higher rank? I do not what to run the risk that SE give a penalty because of this strategy.
Posted 18 May 2008 - 02:22 AM
Posted 18 May 2008 - 01:26 PM
Thank you for your reply. Search engines certainly count these inlinks as votes for the authority and quality of the site: Google delivers a solid 5,000 visitors a day. When lets say 4 companies in a specific city place the banner (with relevant key words for the query and with a deep link to the relevant city page) it will result in a top 5 position within the SERPs. My site has more than 400 inlinks from companies within the directory. For me rewarding placing a banner is a good strategy for excellent rankings, but I'm not sure if this is allowed according to SE.
Posted 18 May 2008 - 06:11 PM
People have the perspective wrong. Paid links not equal to bad. Bad links include paid links as a subset. the issue isn;t whether SEs will think it is a paid link, but whether these are the sorts of links they are intersted in. To me, these wouldn't be the sorts of links an SE would be too keen on, and iof they are all exactly the same, they wouldn't be terribly hard to discover (and discount).
It might not always stay that way, though.
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