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Ok so buying and selling links is illegal.right or wrong?
hulahoop




msg:4223952
 4:30 pm on Oct 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have been following a couple competitors and they have bought links from a no 1 ranking site (not quite a competitor). It was a obvious as day that it was a paid link. So I emailed the No. 1 site and concurred those links were paid and if I wanted my link there it would cost $400 per month! I never replied. It basically pissed me off so much that my hard work all these years were being chipped away but my competition willing to buy links. I submitted a report on link purchase and sale to Google 3 times 3 months ago and never got a response (even though I mentioned I had proof and to contact me) and the competition are still climbing the serps while other sites are dropping.

So does anyone know how to end this unfairness? Google says they care but haven't done anything about it. So should I go ahead to buy links too since it doesn't seem like it is illegal if there is no penalty?

 

Planet13




msg:4223990
 6:18 pm on Oct 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

My suggestion is to post it on the google webmaster tools forum with the response email that the company sent saying that it would cost $400 per month. Post a link to the page that has your competitors links on them. Then file a spam report with google and link to the post on the google webmaster tools forum 9and include the email that you got back saying that it would cost $400).

don't expect to hear anything back from google though.

Google has said that they don't try to take direct action on each individual report. What they try to do is analyze the info and incorporate it into their algo updates so it will be better at catching spam / paid for links. But if it is sever, they might penalize them manually. couldn't hurt to try.

londrum




msg:4224051
 8:34 pm on Oct 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

So does anyone know how to end this unfairness? Google says they care but haven't done anything about it. So should I go ahead to buy links too since it doesn't seem like it is illegal if there is no penalty?

what's unfair about it? its not illegal, its just like buying an ad on a site.
the only reason that google are trying to convince people that it is "illegal" is because they cant tell a paid link from one which is supposed to be a vote, which ruins their algo. so now they've got it into everyone's heads that buying links is a sin.

wheel




msg:4224062
 9:05 pm on Oct 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Suck it up, buttercup. Buying links is not illegal. It may contravene Google's guidelines, and if so, Google may or may not do anything about it. That's life.

Besides, what's unfair about it? You can buy links too, or not. That seems pretty fair to me.

Get over your poor, complaining attitude about being beaten in business first. Then you can treat this as a risk appraisal decision.

ianswebo




msg:4226184
 9:08 pm on Nov 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Links are just like ads, besides pagerank, the link generates traffic from users clicking on it. Google might not like it because it "poisons" there results but also because they want you to buy adwords to appear on the first page.

graeme_p




msg:4230370
 5:06 am on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

@ianswebo, when people are paying willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a link from a single page its fairly obvious that the direct traffic it generates is irrlevant.

koan




msg:4230384
 7:28 am on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Gotta agree with graeme_p. These links get those kind of prices for their power to influence Google, not for their referral traffic. It's not illegal, of course, but it's black hat SEO. If Google caught it, the site could get in trouble.

creative craig




msg:4230393
 8:24 am on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Make a note and move on with your own link building/SEO, the time you have wasted over this is money lost.

There are probably many sites out there that are buying links in your competitive niche that outrank you but you have not realised.

martinibuster




msg:4230394
 8:27 am on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Re links for juice VS traffic. The most expensive links are the JS links sold by ad networks like Federated Media, etc.

hulahoop




msg:4230543
 3:28 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

ok so where should I be working to get links from then? I know this is a little off topic. Is it blogs, directories, company websites (I should think they won't give links unless it is in the links page and if so are those reciprocal links worth anything?)?

I want both link juice and traffic but I want it legally and unfortunately Google is very important and I don't want to do anything that would jeopardize my site.

Please advice.

FranticFish




msg:4232800
 7:41 pm on Nov 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Work your way through the library here. I spent days and days reading it and it gave me soooo many ideas.

You also have the option of starting a second site and copying what the sites above yours are doing. You can have a squeaky clean site for the long term, and a risky site for as long as it works.

Bear in mind that if you decide to do this that there may be risks for your squeaky clean site if you are identified as the owner of both by Google. I'm not advocating this strategy, just putting it out there as an option. I've not crossed over to the dark side myself but it looks very tempting sometimes when I see the sh*t that people are getting away with.

Planet13




msg:4232811
 8:08 pm on Nov 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

when people are paying willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a link from a single page its fairly obvious that the direct traffic it generates is irrlevant.


I agree about 90% with that.

I think that most people who paid the several hundred dollars required to get listed in the Yahoo directory were doing so for direct traffic from yahoo, as opposed to amping up page rank for better google placement, but that is just a hunch.

Also, I think that there are manufactures of products who don't sell retail to the public, but may have a page which lists preferred retailers, and they MIGHT charge a fee for listing your site there with a followable link.

If Google caught it, the site could get in trouble.


To which site are you referring? The site that is selling the link, or the site that is buying the link? Or both sites?

From what I have read, the site SELLING the link would just have the amount of page rank it flows out devalued, but that is just what people say (and people say a lot of things).

The reason I think that is because you see so many people on the google webmaster forum who claims to have been hit by a penalty, and then after careful analysis, it seems more likely that the page rank incoming links to their sites were just devalued. their site still ranks for their domain name, but they just rank a lot lower for more of their keywords.

I am assuming / guessing / hoping that the caffeine update has somehow given google, through more processing power, more ability to determine purchased links.

hulahoop




msg:4232829
 9:24 pm on Nov 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ok this hits me with another quick question. You mentioned giving out actual follow links devalue a site right? So when is it valid to give out a link? I've heard only to sites of authority or similar sites. But wouldn't that devalue the page ranks as well? Confused. Note that I am a site owner and not a SEO person so i am pretty much fumbling here. Thanks

hulahoop




msg:4232830
 9:27 pm on Nov 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes FranticFish, I have seen many competitors doing what you've mentioned and honestly I had one site that I spinned out from my main site. Honestly it takes too much time running a business and etc and putting time into a dummy site felt like a waste of time. I felt it was more productive to put more time into my actual site and business. Well of course the 'what ifs' can come into play. What if the dummy site did well. But honestly speaking, most of the main sites only do well and it is quite easy to spot if it is a duplicate site as our products are quite recognizable.

ken_b




msg:4232850
 10:17 pm on Nov 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

when people are paying willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a link from a single page its fairly obvious that the direct traffic it generates is irrlevant.

It's not at all "obvious".

A single link from a well chosen single page can indeed be placed for the direct traffic it generates.

Even for modest cost items a link like that might be justifiable

FranticFish




msg:4232851
 10:20 pm on Nov 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think that most people who paid the several hundred dollars required to get listed in the Yahoo directory were doing so for direct traffic from yahoo, as opposed to amping up page rank for better google placement, but that is just a hunch.

OK, so when was the last time you used Yahoo directory to search the web? :)

...it is quite easy to spot if it is a duplicate site as our products are quite recognizable

Just add an 'affiliates' page to your main site, then voila! The naughty site is an affiliate. Not you.

ken_b




msg:4232856
 10:25 pm on Nov 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

when people are paying willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a link from a single page its fairly obvious that the direct traffic it generates is irrlevant.

It's not at all "obvious".

A single link (otherwise known as an AD) from a well chosen single page that sends very well targeted traffic, can indeed be placed because of the direct traffic it generates.

Even for modest cost items that have a high enough markup, a link like that might be a bargain at $100.00 or more, and for high cost, high margin items the cost of the link/ad, might well be considerably more.

How long the link/ad stays in place could seriously affect the price.

i rahulgupta




msg:4259990
 8:03 pm on Jan 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Buying link is not worth more so its wrong.

CainIV




msg:4260375
 3:48 am on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

So should I go ahead to buy links too since it doesn't seem like it is illegal if there is no penalty?


Some people rob banks and don't get caught either.

The penalty doesn't always relate to the crime.

In this case, its pretty difficult to get any consensus on what is 'right and wrong' in links.

I would say it is more fair to look at and analyze what is seen, and what is not seen as a paid link.

scottb




msg:4261442
 10:24 pm on Feb 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I had the impression that buying and selling links is OK if they are nofollow but not OK if they are dofollow.

Google has said it frowns on buying PageRank by using paid dofollow links. If selling all links is bad, then Google would be hypocritical because that's what it does with AdWords.

almighty monkey




msg:4270548
 1:24 pm on Feb 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

Gross misuse of the word 'illegal' going on here.

No 'Laws' are being broken. Google's webmaster guidelines do not get enforced in court. You will not go to prison, nor will you get a fine. Unless your playing a game of Google Bowling and wiping out your competitors, its all good.

My personal stance; Its not my job to write Google's algorithm, and it certainly isn't job to make a huge multinational conglomerates life easier. Who they put that the top of the SERPS is completely up to them, as is how they determine that. I'm not employed by Google. I don't get a say.

As an SEO, my job is to second guess them, and to bring paying customers onto websites as a result. If Google has written an algorithm that ranks sites that buy links...whelp. Their bad.

But, that said, Google has made their intentions clear that they want to filter this behavior out. They'll either figure out how, or they'll die on their arse and we'll all start searching on Facebook or something.

Either way, Link purchasing isn't a long term marketing strategy. And most legitimate business' want long term marketing strategies. White-Hat will probably continue to pay dividends years from now.

Its not morals. I couldn't give any less of a crap what Google thinks of my activities. Its what's best for the project. And what's best for the project is rarely just throwing money at the problem.

shazam




msg:4298544
 9:48 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not illegal and not unethical unless you are going to allow an unethical/antitrust corporation be the judge.

It's simply advertising. They would prefer that adwords was the only advertising available and they know they cannot control everything....yet. Thus the misinformation campaign.

When you pay for your adwords campaigns, you're buying links. This of course is ok, because google gets the money. If you buy links/ads elsewhere, they will try and con you into believing it's illegal, wrong, or unethical. The only thing unethical or immoral is their attempt to con people into believing that the only place you can buy links legally is from google.

It should be illegal for them to punish companies who advertise/buy links elsewhere which is essentially what they do. You can safely spend as much as you want with adwords and your organic serps will likely improve, but if you do the same elsewhere, then they might severely punish your company with serp penalties.

No other company would be allowed such non-competitive practices, but they obviously have friends in high places and are untouchable.

Crush




msg:4310666
 7:56 am on May 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Basically he can pay 400$ and you cannot and you are crying? Please, you will not get much love here from fellow business owners/webmasters.

The guy who ponies up the cash is rightly in the #1 spot, so start competing and stop complaining.

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