I wouldn't be trying to buy time on a national network with that million dollars. But let's leave that aside.
If someone wants to spam the Web and not get in trouble for it here are some of the currently tolerated methods. These are proven methods that bring in traffic.
And, btw, I'm one of those people who feels that online businesses which refuse to link to competitor sites are only hurting themselves. A good resource ALWAYS provides alternatives, and just as it's considered good business sense to tell customers where else they can look for hard-to-find merchandise and services when they walk into your store, so it's good to tell them where to look on the Web.
You'll get more sales from repeat customers than from one-time customers, right? Well, give them a reason to keep coming back to your Web site, and your chances of making sales increase.
Now, on to the list of acceptable link spamming.
1) Create a Webring. Don't JOIN a Webring, CREATE one. All the member sites will link back to YOUR site directly.
2) Create an award. Make it a serious, selective award, but one which is not hard to earn. Give it only to Web sites which concern your topic (and if you're a business webmaster, giving out awards will seem more credible than if you're just some fan site).
3) Create a banner exchange. You have to be able to host it on your domain, and you need to make sure people will include a text link back to your banner exchange Web site. It needs to be topical. Even a hardware store can create a banner exchange for do-it-yourself craftsmen and hobbyists.
4) Create an affiliate program. 95% of your affiliates will sell nothing. But they will ALL link to your Web site. How do you think Amazon.Com got to be so big and dominant?
5) Exchange links with people. I've heard all the excuses business Webmasters give for NOT linking to the competition, but it's a win-win scenario for both sites. You get free advertising, you increase your relevant inbound linkage, and you establish credibility with online customers who see that even your competition is willing to link to you (and it doesn't hurt that you are willing to give some credibility in return -- people LIKE Web sites that provide them with links to related Web sites).
6) Create a links directory. Why do you think so many people are starting up their own directories? Because the surfers want more links. The edge with a links directory, however, is that you want to let people search it from other Web sites. This increases your directory's visibility and brings in more submissions, and it increases inbound links. You don't have to limit particiation to just your topic. You'll get the quality links, but you'll also get a lot of other links, too.
7) Participate in online forums for your industry or hobby where you're allowed to include signatures and the messages are actual HTML files. These pages are still being indexed (and they can get high rankings). Don't spam the boards. Just talk about the topics and get your signature out there. People will follow the links from the boards and the engines will, too.
8) Post press releases on the free press release services (there are several, although most are hard to find).
9) Contribute articles to online magazines and news services. Make sure they give you links. Don't worry about whether they are going to pay you. If you're trying to make a living as a writer, you've got no time to run a business. :)
Notice I didn't say anything about getting listed with the right directories. All these methods ensure that you qualify the sites that link to you. Everything will be on topic. Relevance is a given.
Now, if you want some less than pristine suggestions, you can always create your own network of domains and sign them up for your affiliate program, run your banner network, join your webring, and promote your award program.
I would NOT give them identical or even near identical content. Nor would I give them the awards. I would have an "under consideration" graphic for the awards.
If you want to build up your link popularity in the search engines it's realy very easy to do. ANYONE can do it. You just have to stop telling yourselves you're the one exception. There are no exceptions to the rule, not as far as the typical small business or non-commercial Web sites go.
As with any marketing program, you'll get better results from a long-term approach than from an overnight approach, but if you wanted to you could boost your link popularity in about two weeks (it would take longer for the search engines to acknowledge that). You'd have to bust a gut doing so, and I don't think that's necessary.
But the bottom line is really this: once you have the link popularity, you don't need the search engines. Yes, they are still important, but if 3,000 Web sites are linking to you, people WILL find you. There is no way they won't.
And then you're going to learn that even being ranked in the top ten for your keywords on most search engines only achieves a certain plateau effect. You have to do other things to keep building your traffic.
The real benefit comes from the fact that every inbound link to your site is a free advertisement, and that people do eventually follow those links. And the more people who come to your site, the more people who will eventually link to it, especially if you do the things I suggest above. The search engines won't penalize you for creating these services and getting other sites to link to you. If nothing else, they'll recognize you as an "authority" in your field even though you may not know anything more than the next guy.
Like I said when I started this rant: the best marketers are getting the top-ranked positions in the link-popularity based search engines. It's all about marketing, and the top marketers don't say, "I can't do this" and "That won't work for me". They say, "How can I get other people to help promote me?" And then they go out and do it.
So the link popularity algorithms all fail. They are never going to beat the old tried and true methods of bringing in relevant results because link popularity is an easy thing to spam. You can be just as deceptive with link popularity as you can be with keywords. You just look more credible with link popularity.