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Pricing Text Ads for PageRank Purposes?
HenryUK

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 3:42 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Actually it isn't me. But an associate of mine is responsible for a site that has a PR9 home page and a large number of PR8 pages, PR7 pages, you name it, all the way down.

He has been offered some money by an advertiser - with a product relevant to his site - to put text links on all pages, or certainly on a large number of pages.

There has been *NO MENTION* of PR by either side - my associate is not hawking his site's PR around, he has simply been approached by this potential advertiser.

There is a legitimate link between the site content and the advertising content, and it's all basically above board.

I have pointed out to him that these links ought to boost substantially the PR, and thus the SERPS of the advertiser, increasing traffic and enquiries way above that which will be directly generated by the adverts. He has asked my advice on pricing.

Any ideas anyone?

 

Dolemite

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 4:02 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'd be careful about this sort of thing. Its a bit of a gray area, but people have been penalized for buying PR.

If the guy's really just interested in the advertising, I'd do the linking through a redirection script that's disallowed in robots.txt.

Otherwise, have your friend charge accordingly for the PR. I've been quoted $2k/month for similar levels of PR.

Google made a mistake making PR such a viable commodity. They should not be surprised to see it bought and sold.

seospeedwagon

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 4:08 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have seen countless sites doing this sort of thing. If the client and his sites appear above-board then your friend should have no problem engaging in an activity that generates some revenue for his business. I have colleagues who have been offered (and taken) about $1k/month and sell monthly contracts to advertisers (hard-coded links throughout their high PR sites). If the client wishes to gain some PR or receives it inadvertently, there is no reason anything unjust will have transpired. He will have paid for advertising like anyone else.

If your friend doesn't take the deal, I suspect there are countless others who will!

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 4:14 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I'd be careful about this sort of thing. Its a bit of a gray area, but people have been penalized for buying PR.

Because he states that "There is a legitimate link between the site content and the advertising content", I doubt this would be an issue. There is just no way on a hand review that Google would know why the links were bought and sold. On this logic, no high PR site could ever sell ads, because whether or not the links are to relevant sites it is deemed selling PR.

apays14

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 4:23 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)


I agree with you seospeedwagon. I have a client that sold links on his site (PR9 pages plus several PR8 pages through out the site). But my client sold he's links for a lot less (under $500 per month). The numbers that you guys are talking about are way higher than what I've seen. I should really tell my client to raise his prices!

By the way as for the business implications of this kind of deal I think it goes with out saying that the links have to be at least somewhat relevant to the site.

seospeedwagon

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 4:35 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1: I couldn't agree more. It would be another story if the links were to be marketing a service totally unrelated to the site on which they were displayed. However, even in THAT case - i.e. they were totally non-sequitorial - Google wouldn't be likely to react. How do they know the advertiser isn't merely a super-inept-uuber-lousy marketing exec or account buyer with bad intuition?

Apays14: I agree. The business implications are more important. If the links were IRRELEVANT then HenryUK's friend's site might appear "commercial" for displaying them, however, he says they're relevant. I don't see what the problem would be. (BTW: As for your client's prices: I don't think this happens so much that there is an industry rate - but probably $500 is more than reasonable for text links when you can buy graphic imagery and large blocks of visual real estate on many websites for that kind of money) (...let's not forget that the online advertising industry - while growing - is far from being stable, strong, healthy, consistently-mainstream or otherwise). In these nascent days, I think you'd be nuts to turn down revenue...within reason.... (You would not catch me marketing porn or genital-enlarging medications from any professional website, for example.)

ogletree

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 5:42 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

If a site is a PR9 there is a good chance there is a lot of traffic and a good place to advertise. I think if nothing has ever been said about PR then just charge normal and make the links so that Google can not spider them. There is no reason to give somebody PR unless you really want to. I am about to make all my outgoing links invisable to Google.

Craig_F

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 5:53 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

> There is a legitimate link between the site
> content and the advertising content

I have a client that does this now with PR7 links. As long as the above holds true, I don't think there's anything to worry about.

Worst case if Google does see it negatively they'll most likely just stop the transfer of PR and not penalize anyone....as long as the sites are related (and the selling of PR is not mentioned anywhere) they can't justify a penalty.

rfgdxm1

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rfgdxm1 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 6:27 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

>rfgdxm1: I couldn't agree more. It would be another story if the links were to be marketing a service totally unrelated to the site on which they were displayed. However, even in THAT case - i.e. they were totally non-sequitorial - Google wouldn't be likely to react. How do they know the advertiser isn't merely a super-inept-uuber-lousy marketing exec or account buyer with bad intuition?

Or, how does Google know that the seller just has no clue what links on high PR pages should sell for, and decided to sell links for dirt cheap? Based on the random surfer model, one would assume that a high PR page gets reasonably high traffic. If someone is selling links on a high PR page dirt cheap, even if your site is unrelated you might get enough click throughs that convert to cover the cost of the link. The buyer may not have cared about the page rank, and figured the price was right for the number of eyeballs that would see his ad.

Dolemite

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 6:43 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I'd be careful about this sort of thing. Its a bit of a gray area, but people have been penalized for buying PR.

Because he states that "There is a legitimate link between the site content and the advertising content", I doubt this would be an issue. There is just no way on a hand review that Google would know why the links were bought and sold. On this logic, no high PR site could ever sell ads, because whether or not the links are to relevant sites it is deemed selling PR.

Maybe. Still, I'd be careful. You never know who might report you...I know if I was competing against the guy, I certainly would. That leaves it up to google to respond as they will. This is a situation where I'd prefer to see a "neutralization" rather than a penalty (unless its just a blatantly obvious attempt to manipulate SERPs).

There's no problem with high PR sites selling ads. 99% of the time ad links go through tracking URLs that don't transfer PR very well, if at all, which I think google would very much prefer.

There's also a significant difference between graphic/banner ads and text link advertising. Since most advertising networks don't allow you to set the ALT text of your ads, there's really no keyphrase optimization value there.

Think of a banner ad with no ALT text, linked through a tracking URL versus a directly-linked text link ad. HUGE difference there.

Vec_One

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 8:19 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dolemite, I find your point regarding the reduction of PR transfer through tracking URLs interesting. I'd like to know how much it does reduce the PR transfer. Can you (or anyone) elaborate on this at all?

Thanks!

seospeedwagon

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 8:34 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

rfgdxm1: Agreed. Free enterprise. IMO Google is unlikely to care anyway (I believe they have much larger fish to fry). However, if they did, I agree that they wouldn't have enough information to act reasonably in any meaningful way without some uncertainy about motives/know-how/objectives of the parties involved.

Dolemite: My reserations about "reporting / tattle-tailing" aside, a spam complaint against the host site would, at most, cause Google to look at the PR-transfer to the advertiser versus the site displaying the links. Even then, however, what is illigitimate about this kind of activity? Why route links through the ad engine? Or more specifically, why do you think google would "prefer" this? Companies have been trying to grow their backlinks since the beginning of the algo-based search engine. It's one thing if the anchor text and link frequency are mismatched with site quality, style, ease-of-use, content etc. But if the links legitimately drive visitors to legitimate sites and make visitors legitimately satisfied, Google should rejoice in the effectiveness of its algorythmic philosophy, regardless of how a link got somewhere. (Note: if the advertiser has enough money to pay for links in this case, perhaps it is an indication that they are satisfying customers already). However, I do think some responsibility perhaps falls upon the site displaying these links not just to ensure relevant content, but also to make sure that the links lead to legitimate websites that are consistent with the anchor text. Again, this is not b/c Google would penalize them. But perhaps only b/c that site's own visitors would feel mistreated if they were directed through misleading ads to an unexpected page of content...

seospeedwagon

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 8:44 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

One more thing for anyone in this post thread: not to transition into the age-old debate of linking-ethics but, how is purchasing links any different on the moral scale from link-swapping, which has been conducted for eons?!

Dolemite

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 9:25 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dolemite, I find your point regarding the reduction of PR transfer through tracking URLs interesting. I'd like to know how much it does reduce the PR transfer. Can you (or anyone) elaborate on this at all?

Here's a more relevent thread [webmasterworld.com] on affiliate links and PR. The issues are pretty much the same as tracking links, since they're basically the same thing. My take on the situation is that unless the original links are reasonably SE-friendly and the redirects are handled correctly, PR is not transferred.

Dolemite: My reserations about "reporting / tattle-tailing" aside, a spam complaint against the host site would, at most, cause Google to look at the PR-transfer to the advertiser versus the site displaying the links. Even then, however, what is illigitimate about this kind of activity?

It seems a lot of SEO's get defensive about questionable link practices. Its an understandable reaction, as google's attempts to police these tactics threaten their livelihood.

That aside, I was actually alluding to the possibility of a spam report being filed on the linked site, not the linking site. While there are implications at both ends, I believe that is best way to go about things. Obviously, if google feels the site offering the "advertising" is exploiting their system, they'd be free to take action on it as well. They're sure to spot it in a backlink check if its having the intended effect.

Why route links through the ad engine? Or more specifically, why do you think google would "prefer" this?

Google would prefer this since it doesn't distort their index any further. I think they've made it clear that buying PR is not OK. SearchKing, Galaxy, etc. are proof enough for me.

One more thing for anyone in this post thread: not to transition into the age-old debate of linking-ethics but, how is purchasing links any different on the moral scale from link-swapping, which has been conducted for eons?!

One single link traded between sites is less of a distortion than one-way text links placed on every page of a site. The ethics don't always matter when you need to be practical. Something could be 100% evil but as long as it isn't wildly effective, why bother dealing with it? I've seen reciprocal links be quite effective, but it isn't the magic bullet that $2k worth of text links can be.

115francis

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 5:36 pm on Aug 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

At what point can all these text ads on sites with good PR negatively affect their PR? People sell text ad just like they sell pops--to make money and stay alive. Can google really penalize sites for trying to stay in the black (or get in the black)?

George

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 6:30 pm on Aug 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

...and how do they know they were paid for!

Even if they do know (shoppong Yahoo), the experience we have so far suggests PR is passed on. Otherwise all Yahoo Shopping links would pass on No PR.

mosley700

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 6:34 pm on Aug 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Can google really penalize sites for trying to stay in the black (or get in the black)?

Yes. SearchKing, for example. Google can drop whoever they want to. If you really want to stay in Google's good graces, put a suck-up page on your site proclaiming how Google is morally superior to all the other SE's.

projectphp

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 1:08 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Tell your friend to sell ASAP. What would he be penalised for? Google isn't in the business of taking people down. SearchKing actively sold PR. Your friend is selling advertising. Big difference.

Also, Google does not, repeat does not want to run tOK" attitude. They just don't like ppl messin' with them, which is fair enough. If you aren't messing wid 'em, they wont mess wid you!

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 1:30 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't worry about it. If its a valid piece of textual advertising, why would it matter? Think of the site as a piece of real estate. You have a viable commercial property and are leasing prime real estate space to tennants.

Who cares if its a PR10 or PR3 site? Hehehe, not a good comparison. What I'm getting at is the value of the proposition. There are some very high traffic sites that sit at PR5/6. As many have said before, it is one part of the equation, and a large part.

The thought has crossed my mind on how Google maps PR7+ sites. I would think that depending on the industry, high PR sites who make a practice of selling links just for PageRank are probably operating at a risk. Those who keep a low tone and sell advertising space to qualified advertisers offer value.

dudmembership

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 8:32 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Any ideas anyone?

For that amount of PR, for a large amount of pages (how many are we talking exactly?), I wouldn't sell it for less than $3000 - $5000 per month personally. Just because of the mere fact that they could probably sell individual ads for each of those pages and make a lot more money. Of course, it does depend on the market that you are dealing with. If it is likely to make the advertiser lots of money (ie. insurance, computer parts, or such) and there is lots of competition.. they are more likely to be willing to part with the cash.

PR9 links are EXTREMELY hard to get and are worth their weight in gold.

I personally don't really know how beneficial it would be to have multiple links from the one site. I am convinced that they probably start to lose their value after google sees more than 5 or so from one domain. Seems like a simple algo fix to me.

Dolemite, if you are really so concerned about living by Google's rules, you may want to re-read the google guidelines. They actually say that you shoudn't participate in any "link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank". Can you honestly still consider your sites 'clean'? Any link swap made for PR purposes alone is 'distorting' the google results. And just like google has the right to delete anyone they want from the index, we have the right to do whatever we like with our sites. Basically, it's not our problem how distorted their index is - that's their responsibility :)

HenryUK

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 8:59 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks all. Just an update. My associate eventually managed to find two competitors both interested in similar markets and the bidding took the price up to around $15,000 per month (for text ads on a large number of pages on a high traffic site).

However I think that the focus was on likely direct referrals, and that any PR boost would be regarded as secondary.

thought you'd find this interesting.

George

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 11:15 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Actually it isn't me. But an associate of mine is responsible for a site that has a PR9 home page and a large number of PR8 pages, PR7 pages, you name it, all the way down


Thanks all. Just an update. My associate eventually managed to find two competitors both interested in similar markets and the bidding took the price up to around $15,000 per month (for text ads on a large number of pages on a high traffic site).
However I think that the focus was on likely direct referrals, and that any PR boost would be regarded as secondary.

henryUK, very interesting. However, can you help us with the missing pieces?
If PR is not a factor, how many visitors were there, (and why mention PR at all)?
I Know of a PR 6 site that gets 25 visitors per day, and a PR 3 site with 2000 visitors per day, PR does not always help with guessing visitor numbers :)
Also for $15,000 to break even could mean anything from 3000 click throughs to 50,000 click throughs plus, depending on the market, and the conversion rate in the sectors I know.
Can you tell us where this one lies if it is not being too cheeky?

HenryUK

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 11:58 am on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

PageRank was not mentioned by anyone doing the deal AFAIK. It was just something that I brought to the attention of the webmaster. (They haven't done any SE optimisation on their site, it's just linked to a lot and has huge amounts of great content, updated all the time.)

I am not sure of the full traffic details of the site but it is a hugely popular site with millions of page impressions monthly and probably weekly. It would be well worth advertising on even if PageRank (or even Google) did not exist.

Broadly speaking I think that the advertisers were in the travel market.

H

George

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 15476 posted 1:42 pm on Aug 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks HenryUK, that fills in some spaces. much appreciated.

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