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Native advertising and paid Links. Good or bad?

Published in seo, web-marketing by max.favilli, 11/14/2014 (edited on 11/27/2014 ) 0

Should you buy links to improve seo?How do you feel about things like paid links, native advertising? Guest posts? Advertorials?

Well, if you are like me, you feel bad in you stomach hearing those terms; but are they useful to improve your SERP rankings? Is that white hat? Black hat? Furry hat?

Should you do it?

Google became very clear in saying all paid links should be no-follow. Watch Matt Cutts talking about this.

And have had a long standing against paid links for a while. Watch Matt Cutts talking about that too.

Google seems to believe paid links are a plague. And I believe they mean it. But I am not sure they are able to enforce that policy.

Paid links are so widespread

By my experience paid links are so widespread google is going to find that battle hard to fight. Search is a Google monopoly, they code their algo, and they are google, but the rest of the world is selling do-follow links.

In all backlink profiles I analyzed so far, paid links were probably 80/90% of the total. And I am not talking about spammy blog networks. I could file a list of hundreds of sites with Domain Authority around 50-60 and Page Rank of 5/6, including major worldwide news agency and leading national newspaper in all G7 countries… Who sell sponsored content with do-follow links.

You may be big, strong, motivated and just, but when everyone else is doing the opposite of what you want I think it’s tough to impose your will. And to date seems google is very far from reaching his objective of exterminating that plague.

Should you go on a buying spree?

No. You should not. And neither I am suggesting to buy links from websites with poor Domain Authority or poor Page Rank. Stay away from them.

Buying links you take risk? Rap genius and Bmw are good example of big names being it by google axe (but not for paid links) so you could be hit too. But I don’t see google starting tomorrow to penalize 90% of the web.

As for all things maybe in few years paid links will be a thing of the past, but today they are not.

Everybody is doing it, and as far as you buy the links from reputable websites, so far, seems you are going to get juice without running much risk.

Everybody will tell… you should not do it.

This subject is sort of a taboo for many in the SEO industry. And I can understand why. Everyone is scared of burning his fingers playing with fire. Plus everyone is willing to look clean, especially since everybody is doing it.

Checklist, buy or no?

  • Is the website authoritative? Or just a wordpress installation stuffed with content to attract paid-links-hunters?
  • Are the recent post engaging and interesting? Or are all blatantly being published with the only purpose of guesting a paid link?
  • Is Domain Authority (©, Trust Flow(©, Domain Rank (© all above a reputable threshold? (I am intentionally excluding Page Rank because it’s semi-officially discontinued.)
  • Is the website content inline with your business?
  • Are you going to get a 1000 words original content written specifically for you, about a topic semantically relevant for your target landing page?
  • Are you sure that website is not currently being penalized by Google? To check, just search on google for the title of the website, their payoff, or the h1 of their homepage, can you find it? Is it a top result for that query?

Some links:

  • Google Algorithm updates history: link.

Some videos:

  • Matt Cutts on native advertising.
  • Matt Cutts on paid links.

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