I've noticed some of my competitors got dozens of links instantantly by signing up for this [snip] advertising network. They have a bunch of newspapers in their network and they provide a list of their advertisers (most of them have no interests in reaching the [snip] market, they just want the links). Here is one of their sites, [snip] and look at the paid links at the bottom of the page. Will search engines look at this as a form of spamming / link farm or is this a legitmate way to get links. Should I consider signing up for this? It's worked for some of my competitors. But, I want to be careful not to do anything that may be looked negatively apon by the search engines.
[edited by: pageoneresults at 3:27 pm (utc) on Mar. 11, 2004] [edit reason] Removed Specifics - Please Refer to TOS [/edit]
Heywood_J, it sounds like it's working for the moment. Whether it will keep working is anyone's guess. When Google has detected links being sold primarily for PR purposes, they have turned off the PR-passing ability of the sites selling the ads. Would the situation you describe trigger such a move? Hard to say, but the possibility exists.
It seems less likely that the advertised site would be penalized. There are no absolutes in this business, of course.
I'd suggest being sure you have the ability to cancel your ads if you aren't satisified with the traffic or SE performance of the ads, and that you monitor their effectiveness on a routine basis.