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Using PageRank to buy/sell links
it's gonna happen like it or not...
Murdoch




msg:414246
 2:24 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Okay, so you know and I know that more often than not PageRank is not an accurate indicator of how much a link will strenghten your site. However, especially with the new PR update, many websites are using this to raise their prices on pages that were previously low PR until now. Google has effectively creadted a "PR market".

Now, my job is only to buy links. Our company is not interested in link exchanges, never have and never will. On top of that our consensus is that the next update will severely devalue reciprocal links, provided the domain contains more than X amount (the theory behind this being that reciprocal linking is useful to a point and then becomes spammy if abused).

My question is: what prices would you consider reasonable for an annual link on a site based on it's PR? I try not to play this game as I myself know that PR (especially from the "foolbar") is next to meaningless. But try convincing someone of that, especially when they just work in the marketing department of their business. These are the numbers our team has been throwing around:

PR 4/5 - $200/yr
PR 6 - $500/yr
PR 7 - $1000/yr
PR 8 - $3000/yr

Anything above that seems out of reach. Anything below that is really just not worth our money (I know even a PR 0 link can help but I won't pay for it)

Thank for any info you can present...

 

eZeB




msg:414247
 2:56 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

hmmmm... the consensus on our team is that paid links have been, and will continue to be severely devalued on the next update!

AdDoctor




msg:414248
 3:17 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

I disagree. Paid link can be effective if they are placed well above the site and carry relavant text to the content of the page. When purchasing text links, page rank should be not nearly as important as the sites traffic and # of backlinks, in addition to the placement of the ad on the page (below footer, in the fold, etc).

oddsod




msg:414249
 3:30 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

You value a 4 the same as a 5? And have a steep jump up from 5 to 6? And do you factor in the number of ads on the page you're buying links from?

eljefe3




msg:414250
 3:35 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Paid links are effective if you do your homework and you see that the links you are buying from benefit other sites which are buying links. If you do the right searches, you can probably find the links you are looking for at a lower price than what you think they are worth.

I've had many link brokers approach me to sell links through them, but by the time their margins are added in, the price does come into the range that you speak of.

Bottom line is if you want good links, it might take time and human resources to find them, but they are out there.

ogletree




msg:414251
 3:43 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Make sure you don't advertise that on your site. Google frowns on selling PR and advertising that you do it might get your sites all banned.

Murdoch




msg:414252
 4:01 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

You value a 4 the same as a 5? And have a steep jump up from 5 to 6? And do you factor in the number of ads on the page you're buying links from?

These are just preliminary numbers. They do fluctuate based upon how much we like a site, and it's relevancy to our own market. In this particular case if someone wants to negotiate a price based on their PR4, and I really like the site, then I'll offer them $200. If their site is PR5 and it's relevant but just okay, then I'll offer $200. But I usually start off a dialogue just asking them what they are looking for, leaving PR out of it altogether...

IMHO I don't think $200 to $500 from PR5 to PR6 is that steep, all other factors being in good standing. If you think it's a big jump then I certainly value your input on the subject. All I'm looking for on here is what others think is a good number to work with...

Make sure you don't advertise that on your site. Google frowns on selling PR and advertising that you do it might get your sites all banned.

Keep in mind that I'm never the one to bring up PR when it comes to negotiating prices. I'm merely looking for some standards to base our numbers on when someone replies to me with "Our site is PR5 so yada yada yada". Happens all the time. Quite frankly I think prices based on PR is ridiculous but then again I also think Survivor is a horrible show. Point being is that it's the public's perception, not mine that will ultimately guide our decisions.

oddsod




msg:414253
 4:05 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> IMHO I don't think $200 to $500 from PR5 to PR6 is that steep
You're right, it's not steep. I was thinking in relative terms. $0 from a 4 to a 5 but $300 from a 5 to a 6.

If I can go off at a tangent a bit...

We all know that PR is logarithmic. How come then the increases in price as you go up the PR scale (other things being equal) are usually linear? Does that make the PR8 and PR9 links fantastic bargains?

abbeyvet




msg:414254
 4:09 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

I buy links for a couple of clients and frankly I couldn't care less what the PR of the site is. As long as it is a relevant site which will sends quality traffic that converts, we are happy bunnies. There are links from pr1 and 2 sites that send more/convert better than ones from pr6. They are a lot cheaper generally so the ROI is vastly better - the high pr sites jack up their prices based on... well, franky, nothing but a bunch of meaningless pixels.

I wish they would take the stupid thing off the toolbar altogether - it's no more than a distraction.

jdancing




msg:414255
 4:10 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Your prices are a good starting price for links purchased strictly for page popularity benefits. Keep in mind, a super relevent PR5 link that will also generate targeted traffic can go for $2000 a year.

Murdoch




msg:414256
 4:36 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

We all know that PR is logarithmic. How come then the increases in price as you go up the PR scale (other things being equal) are usually linear? Does that make the PR8 and PR9 links fantastic bargains?

I'm hoping THEY don't know that :)

These prices are just what I am (initially) willing to offer. Obviously if someone offers me a lower price than this to begin with (I never throw a number out first) I'll usually take it if the site is decent (like you said, based on number of outbound links, traffic, relevancy, etc) and honestly I believe a link to a PR9 site is unable to be purchased. Out of my league anyway (outside of search engine listings and the such). If you get a link from a PR9 site that is relevant to your market then I bow before you.

I buy links for a couple of clients and frankly I couldn't care less what the PR of the site is.

Me neither for the most part. It's the people I solicit that usually bring it up.

I wish they would take the stupid thing off the toolbar altogether - it's no more than a distraction.

A distraction that unfortunately is here to stay. More unfortunate is the fact that the general public (those that use and think they understand the toolbar) will base the so-called importance of the sites they see on a 1 through 10 scale.

Your prices are a good starting price for links purchased strictly for page popularity benefits.

Thank you. This is my point exactly. I think in the near future, with the influx of PageRank and the Google toolbar to the public, especially in a marketing sense, a lot more financial advertising decisions will be made based on that little green bar. I would guess that in at least 60% of my conversations with link sales, PR comes into the conversation. When it does, telling someone that PR makes no difference is bad business IMHO.

moose606




msg:414257
 7:25 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

How can the search engines ban sites for selling text links, when Overture and Google both use the practice?
Advertising is the backbone of many internet business models.

voices




msg:414258
 7:39 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

On top of that our consensus is that the next update will severely devalue reciprocal links, provided the domain contains more than X amount (the theory behind this being that reciprocal linking is useful to a point and then becomes spammy if abused).

I don't know about the next update, but this is certainly going to happen. So is now even a good time to buy links? Assuming many pages are going to be dumped soon?

Murdoch




msg:414259
 8:03 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't know about the next update, but this is certainly going to happen. So is now even a good time to buy links? Assuming many pages are going to be dumped soon?

I think now and always is an excellent time to BUY links, but soon it will be considered spammy to over-trade links. While I believe that Google will reward people to a degree for having reciprocal links, I think if they see you have 500 inbound links and 250 or more are sites you have outbound links to, you will be penalized.

That 250 is just a number I threw out there BTW, I have no idea what percentage it will be if they indeed do it at all.

As Yoda best put it: "Always in motion is the future"

ogletree




msg:414260
 5:38 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is nothing wrong with selling links. There is something wrong with saying that you are selling links because they have PR. There is a fine line.

voices




msg:414261
 9:47 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Don't sell links, sell advertising on your web site. What's the difference?

AdDoctor




msg:414262
 3:48 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sounds like semantics. If search engines are going to counting paid links, it wont matter what you call them or why you are selling them.

I think link exchangings and selling is critical to keeping search engines relavant.

ogletree




msg:414263
 7:04 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

The only reason I bring it up is because they do. G does not like poople to sell links for the purpose of helping your site rank better. They do not want you to do anything to help your site rank better. They consider that manipulating their index. They think that the only links that come to your site should be from other people without you paying them.

Look at how they describe it. They call it a vote. If you buy links to improve you are stuffing the ballet box. If you sell widgets and you buy a bunch of links to rank for red widgets there is no harm. But if they allow you to do that then they have to let the guy who sells porn buy a zillion links and rank for "low rate credit card" or "tonka truks". Have you ever seen the keywords these guys go after. Their goal is to rank for evrery possible kw that can ever be typed in.

G's algo was based on the fact that nobody was doing anything to rank better. They have had to spend a lot of time trying to fix that. It is flawed when you try to fix something that can't be fixed.

The only reason I have said anything is that I know Google has a problem with people overtly selling links for the purpose of ranking better. They will ban you if you say that on your site and you get turned in. (and you will)

AdDoctor




msg:414264
 9:19 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

What happens if you sell advertising on your site and it looks exactly like google adsense or adbrite except its not in javascript...its in static html and it create a link back to the advertiser?

Will you get banned for doing that too?

avi wilensky




msg:414265
 9:29 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

There is no supply/demand equilibrium that determines the price of a link. Some site owners sell dirt cheap, many tend to overvalue. The site owner quotes you a price (based on his/her conception of what it's worth), and you have to weigh certain options to accept or decline. Some consideratons to think about when link buying:

-the # of outbound links on the page
-are quality sites linking to the page?
-does the site change or is it stale? Use the Wayback Machine at archive.org. Dynamic sites are better!
-the more relevant, the more it's worth to you.
-the position of the link on the page. Links in the body/content section are best. Links near the top of the page are worth more than at the bottom.
-i think i covered the key components but there are many more.

ogletree




msg:414266
 3:50 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

From what I have seen it is only if you say you are selling links because of the PR. You just can't say that.

Murdoch




msg:414267
 1:31 pm on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

The only reason I bring it up is because they do. G does not like poople to sell links for the purpose of helping your site rank better. They do not want you to do anything to help your site rank better. They consider that manipulating their index. They think that the only links that come to your site should be from other people without you paying them.

I understand that this is the goal of G, but it is a bit idealistic in a society like ours. There's no difference between buying links and buying advertising space. In fact, IMO they are one and the same. All sites I buy links from are relevant to our market and would generate traffic from potential customers. The added bonus is that it helps with our search rankings. The only thing I would be guilty of is perpetuating commerce.

I think G "publicly" frowns on this sort of thing, because search engine ranking is supposed to be based on quality results. But in the end it always comes down to the exchange of money, which stimulates the economy, which lets people purchase products and ad space and to an even simpler degree, use the internet.

I myself give a thumbs down to "black hat" methodology concerning the purchase of any link you can find for the sole purpose of getting keyword relevancy for phrases not even dedicated to your area of expertise. So I agree with you there. But I see nothing wrong with how I go about it. Thanks for everyone's input on this issue BTW, it is interesting and very useful.

AdDoctor




msg:414268
 2:28 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

HOW long until search engines completey discount all paid links?

defanjos




msg:414269
 8:24 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

HOW long until search engines completey discount all paid links?

They cannot ever discount all paid links. This will only happen if they discount all links.

How can a SE know if I paid joeblowwidgets.com for a link, or he simply linked to me on his own?

Murdoch




msg:414270
 1:24 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

How can a SE know if I paid joeblowwidgets.com for a link, or he simply linked to me on his own?

This is my theory as well. The only things that the search engines can weigh are the factors they can follow. They can't read the e-mails that were sent back and forth between companies.

Which is what leads me to believe that in the future they will develop a way to discount spammy reciprocal link sites (Those with X amount of links that also have a link pointing back to their site, where X is a high percentage of the total links on the site) but it is impossible to tell whether a one way, prominent link on a site was placed there due to the exchange of money or just because the other site rules...

victorP




msg:414271
 2:55 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

PR 4/5 - $200/yr
PR 6 - $500/yr
PR 7 - $1000/yr
PR 8 - $3000/yr

.............

I really wish I could get those rates, I pay some of those prices on a monthly basis!

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