Text Link Advertising

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Text Link Advertising is becoming a much more popular method for sites to earn that extra bit of cash. In particular, this form of advertising is perfect for blogs!

However, personally I do NOT use link brokers either to buy links or to sell links!

There has been a lot of talk about the problems and dangers of selling and buying text links, if you are new to text link advertising then have a read of some of these sources:

Selling text links, not worth the hassle?
Text Link advertising overview

I have chosen not to link to any articles that claim that text link ads are dangerous, will get you banned, will cause you to lose the ability to pass pagerank, will harm your rankings etc… simply because I don’t want to seem biased.

However, my personal opinion on the matter is that you are better off doing link trades with other related sites instead!

If your site is under PR6 then you are unlikely to make more than $50 per month from selling text links. In one of the above links the site owner was offered $70 per month for a sitewide link from his PR7 site. So you really have to ask yourself, do you want to make an extra $70 per month and risk being penalised by Google? Or would you be better off using your link power to do high quality link trades with relevant sites and therefore GAIN instead of LEAK pagerank, and you should easily be able to make at least $70 extra per month from the traffic that those link trades bring in.

I will summarise even further:

PAGERANK 6 BLOG:

SELLING TEXT LINKS ADVANTAGES

*Extra $70 per month

DISADVANTAGES

*Could get banned
*Could lose the ability to pass PR from your site
*Inner pages could stop passing PR
*You could lose some of your current PR
*You are leaking link juice
*If you link to an industry other than your own then you are linking to NON-RELEVANT sites (Read about HUBS for more info on why this is vital)
*Leaking traffic
*You could be using that space to do relevant link trades with authority sites. Therefore you are losing out on new traffic sources

I am sure there are many people who will disagree with my opinion on this, but I feel that high quality sites have very little to gain and a LOT to lose by selling links. Therefore it is only the low quality sites that should benefit from selling links.

So everytime someone tells me their site sells text links I instantly de-value the site.

Your thoughts?

Dean

  • http://seohotline.com Ahmed Bilal

    Just thought I’d reply to a few of your points:

    *Could get banned

    I seriously doubt it.

    *Could lose the ability to pass PR from your site

    True – but only if you are linking out to unrelated sites. That’s something you can monitor when approving links.

    *Inner pages could stop passing PR

    How so?

    *You could lose some of your current PR

    Not true – that would only happen if your site’s PR was reduced relative to the PR of all other websites, and that would only happen if you stopped building links to your site for a long time.

    *You are leaking link juice

    So?

    *If you link to an industry other than your own then you are linking to NON-RELEVANT sites (Read about HUBS for more info on why this is vital)

    Agreed

    *Leaking traffic

    I personally hate that argument – it’s used by a lot of people to ‘protect their traffic’. Point is, if you link out to quality resources, you wont lose your readers. Instead, you’ll gain their trust for recommending good reading material to them.

    *You could be using that space to do relevant link trades with authority sites. Therefore you are losing out on new traffic sources

    True

    Hope it helps.

    I think high quality sites have little to lose from selling text links, but they should only sell advertising if it’s lucrative enough, and should protect their brand religiously.

    But please, no more talk of protecting readers and traffic :)

    Current score: 0
  • http://deanhunt.com Dean Hunt

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    This game is all about opinions and although we share a lot of beliefs we seem to disagree on text link selling.

    However, are you aware that sites like phpbb.com can’t pass PR? This was due to text link selling.

    What about Statcounter (Pr10), were you aware that they no longer pass PR either?

    Are you aware of Googles official stance on selling text links?

    You really should read:

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/tell-me-about-your-backlinks/

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/text-links-and-pagerank/

    and especially read:

    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/text-link-follow-up/

    Here is googles stance:

    “Google does consider buying text links for PageRank purposes to be outside our quality guidelines.”

    and

    “link-selling sites can lose their ability to give reputation (e.g. PageRank and anchortext).”

    Apparantly your beliefs go against everything google is officially saying AND goes against the evidence of many major sites who can no longer pass PR.

    Current score: 0
  • http://seohotline.com Ahmed Bilal

    Apparantly your beliefs go against everything google is officially saying AND goes against the evidence of many major sites who can no longer pass PR.

    Hang on mate, before you get all antsy on me, here’s the thing – I DO know about Google’s stance, and I HAVE been following what Matt Cutts says. As it stands, I’ve also done a lot of research on what actually happens and how Google tracks link-selling.

    My main issue was (and still is) with these statements:

    *Could get banned
    *Inner pages could stop passing PR
    *You could lose some of your current PR
    *You are leaking link juice
    *Leaking traffic

    And out of those, only the first two are contentious points (for the latter three you havent replied…)

    When I’m talking about selling text links, I’m talking about intelligently selling text links, not using programs that leave a trace in the code and can be tracked via Google’s algorithms (which is what I believe happened with phpbb.com and statcounter.com).

    My view on text links is that if you’re linking out manually to advertisers AND they are in your related industry AND they are paying well, then you have nothing to worry about.

    Paid text links are against Google’s guidelines, and they ask you to attach a link condom (‘no follow’ tag for readers who don’t know what that is).

    However, I have two things to say to that:

    1) It depends on whether Google can determine a link is ‘paid’ or not.

    2) Sites that have lost their PR passing potential have made stupid mistakes by linking out to unrelated sites and using advertising codes that can be tracked as paid link scripts by Google’s algo.

    As far as I’m aware, TLA’s script is not detected by Google’s algo – plus there are major SEOs who use TLA (and indeed, who run TLA), so I figure those guys must be doing something right.

    I do recommend to all clients that they should buy links for traffic first, link juice second.

    But it’s all about how Google can track paid links.

    Remember, Google’s isnt the law, and if they say you can’t do it, doesnt mean you cant do it.

    Current score: 0
  • http://deanhunt.com Dean Hunt

    I will finish by saying one thing:

    Google CAN and will penalise sites who sell links. Try buying a link from PR10 statcounter.com and watch how it has no effect on your sites Pagerank.

    But buying and selling text links goes against everything google is trying to create. Google wants the searches to be for the most valuable content, NOT for the sites with the biggest marketing budgets!

    It is clear that google already has people manually checking for sites that sell links, and they have publically stated the dangers if you are caught.

    So the question is… Are you willing to risk your entire web business for the sake of selling a few text links?

    Personally I rate my livelyhood higher than that.

    Current score: 0
  • http://deanhunt.com Dean Hunt

    I didn’t realise you had posted a reply prior to my last comment.

    At the end of the day we are having the same debate that has been going on for many months now. NOBODY has managed to prove it 100% either way thus far, and we are certainly not going to be able to do that either.

    All i can do is explain my opinion on selling and buying link texts. So for what it is worth I will add a little extra of my OPINION that I was going to save for future posts.

    IMO the google sandbox is based largely on the strength and duration of your sites backlinks!

    I also think that new backlinks initially have only a small effect on your PR and rankings and then the full value gets added over time.

    This helps explain part of the reason why old domains can rank so well.

    It also explains why many people say things like “I got a PR8 backlink 3 weeks ago and my PR has stayed the same during the recent update and also my rankings have not gone up”

    So with this in mind IMO buying backlinks is not going to have much of an effect unless you keep the same link on the EXACT same part of the same site for a certain time period. (Lets say 6-9 months)

    When buying links most people buy them for 1-3 months as a test. This alone is all google needs to set of a flag for a manual check of your site.

    Think of it another way. Lets say you did a press release and got a link in an online newspaper… do you think the newspaper would move the position of your link every month? do you think the link would vanish 1 month later and then be replaced by a completely different link? OF COURSE NOT! so there are many simple rules that even sites like TLA cannot avoid breaking.

    I could easily think of algos to spot sites that are probably buying and selling links, I am certain that google can! Also bear in mind that they are actively working on this area on a daily basis. So what you are getting away with now could bite you in the ass in 3 months time.

    Now before you think that I am one of those Matt Cutts loving white hat wimps, I should point out that I have experimented in all the major blackhat techniques and many more that you probably are not even aware of. The industry we are in requires us to push boundries and limits and to experiment. But in this instance I feel that the negatives outway the Pros as far as text link buying and selling is concerned.

    Thanks anyway for your input.

    Current score: 0
  • http://orkut aline

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    Current score: 0
  • http://www.youtube.com Shahzaman

    Really ! i didn’t understand that what he trying 2 say ……If someboy has know that what was he thinking about or doing it realy so tell this me clear meaning plz .

    Current score: 0
  • paris

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    Current score: 0