martinibuster - 4:28 am on Nov 27, 2012 (gmt 0)
I agree with what Zydo said about the blogroll link. Another issue is that there's a bit of under the table link selling going on with those and in the United States that can run afoul of FTC regulations (requiring)asking bloggers to disclose advertisers. So there's a question as to it's legality if money has been exchanged.
If money has been exchanged and your blogroll link is properly labeled as Sponsored or Advertiser, then Google will spot that and best case scenario will pass depreciated PageRank and worst case scenario slap a penalty on your site and send you the unnatural links love letter.
Then there is the issue of other sites listed in the blogroll. Any site that is low quality or off topic may have a negative effect on the PageRank flowing from the link and may associate your site with that low quality site.
So that's two more issues with blogrolls to be concerned about.
As far as in-content links, I get the feeling you're talking about article directory marketing or paid articles. For the paid articles there is the FTC issue to consider. If it's properly labeled as sponsored etc. then there is the Google Love Letter issue to consider.
Both the article directory and paid articles programs are, in my opinion, garbage. There are several reasons they are garbage, chief among them is the poor backlinks those sites typically have and the next reason is that the site/page may have links that are to poor neighborhoods. Just use common sense. A legitimate article published in a high quality site doesn't allow in-content links because that's promotional garbage.