Paying for Search Rankings – Is Everyone Doing It?

Some paid links are considered relatively evil, but others are much more widely accepted. Some may not like to admit it, but these strategies are all considered paid links – it all boils down to money (or items of value) being exchanged for a link.

Date published
June 28, 2011 Categories

Paid Links BudgetPaid links are taboo in the SEO world, and many, many link building companies will swear up and down, left and right, that they don’t pay for links. And companies that perform DIY link building probably wouldn’t admit that they’re doing it either, especially if they have been reading up on link building strategies.

Yet, if you do any backlink analysis of your competitors, you will see that there are plenty of links being bought that are affecting rankings, but they aren’t directly named paid links. Some popular examples would include:

Why Are More Link Builders Buying Links?

Webmasters and blog owners are getting smart. If their sites have PageRank and/or traffic, many probably receive regular link requests – from spammy link exchanges to offers to be compensated for the time it takes to make the requested changes.

Website owners are now privy to the game and know they can get something out of placing a link on their site, which is why link builders must be smart about how they write their link requests.

Buying Social Signals

And guess what? Paying for better search rankings isn’t just limited to the link building world anymore.

Now that it’s becoming more evident that social signals are affecting rankings in search, more services are cropping up to help businesses boost their social campaigns. You can buy tweets, social bookmarking, and even fans from via someone with thousands of friends recommending your fan page to their connections from sites like Fiverr.

While some paid links are considered relatively evil, others are much more mainstream and widely accepted. Some may not like to admit it, but the above (and more) can all be considered paid links because it boils down to money (or items with a specific monetary value) being exchanged for a link.

So what’s your opinion on paying for anything that affects search rankings? Is it still relevant? Is it effective?

Will search engines ever be able to crack down on the above mentioned strategies? Why is a blind eye being turned toward some but not others? Your thoughts welcome!

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