Paid & Sponsored Links
In Google SEO Rules
If you’ve paid any attention to SEO at all, you’ve likely heard that paid and sponsored links can be the death of your SEO results for your blog.
If you host affiliate links, sponsored posts, receive review copies of products, or get paid (or receive any goodies) in any way to link to anyone, you have to be VERY up to speed on this topic.
Paid doesn’t necessarily translate only to money, as review copies, perks, and goodies all count. If you’re required to promote a link as part of being accepted as a speaker, those links are also considered compensated. There are dozens of examples like this!
So Google’s Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Web Spam team, and thus SEO, addresses the webspam team’s criteria for whether something is a “paid link”?
Here is some of the questions that (according to Matt) Google asks when reviewing links:
– What is the value of the gift, product, or service?
– How close is the gift, product, or service to actual money?
– Is it an outright gift or a loan?
– Who is the intended audience?
– Is the intent of the gift to get links?
– Would the gift be a surprise to third party?
It’s very important that you never fall prey to companies that attempt to buy or bribe DOFOLLOW blogs from your blog/website.
Here’s a very recent example of a business trying to buy (compensate) me for a dofollow link to their blog. This is one of dozens of ways that nefarious companies attempt this. You have to learn to avoid these games.
Matt Cutts gave a few other examples as well but there are dozens of danger zones with compensated links that can accidentally run you into trouble.
If you’re not sure what the difference between a nofollow link (which passes no linkjuice) and a dofollow link (which passes linkjuice) is… start here.
Matt has prior commented on why accepting money to put a dofollow link in a post is a bad idea. He also talks about why paid links will get you in trouble but regular advertising links (like Chitika) will not.
It’s really simple: If you post a link on your blog that you have received any variety of compensation for (or that you are required to promote as part of your involvement with something you are compensated for), then simply mark the link as nofollow.
Do you have any questions about paid links, sponsored links, or nofollow?
~ Kim ~
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