Discount or Ignore Paid Links

Discount Paid LinksThere has been some post and comments lately which have expressed frustration with Google’s attempts to discount the referral power of links purchased to bolster rankings. Why people have a problem with this makes no sense to me. I personally don’t have a problem with any SE discounting paid links. Why wouldn’t they attempt to discount paid links? Isn’t the whole purpose of a search engine to provide clients with the most relevant results possible, results not influenced by tactics or games? I personally want my organic search results to only contain sites that are reputable, sites where the owners have worked hard to get there, have written good content, have naturally established themselves in relevant circles, have referral links from past clients, or associates, based on a good product, solid customer service and historic proficientcy. I don’t want directories, no matter how “good” the content is, or fly by night companies looking to make a quick buck, who have paid for links to sneak themselves on the first page. it is sites like these which muck up the SERPs organic results.

Some will spew that ads on the SERPs are actually paid links, to which I totally agree, but we know they are paid links, we understand the bias there, and they are obviously quarantined away from the organic results. In my mind the search engines have earned the right to sell space on their pages based on the traffic they attract. This incredible level of traffic is based on the satisfaction of searchers, due to the accuracy of previous organic search results. So, in my mind, if you want qualified traffic quickly, then paying a search engine and picking out some targeted keywords in a PPC campaign might be the best way to go to get started. But there is no way someone should go out and attempt to purchase a bunch of paid links in an attempt to bully their way onto the organic search results page, that is not what organic search pages are there to provide, and the search engines are looking to stop you. Don’t risk your business in this manner.

Search engines attempt to deliver relevant results for search clients, these results consist of both organic results and paid ads attempting to match the purpose of the initial search. However, when a SEO uses other sites they own or control to provide links to improve their clients rankings, that too is a paid link. Do these sites, which have been artificially forced onto the SERPs, occasionally give the searcher what they need, perhaps, but not always, and that is the problem. Random links from a site, which only is linking out because it was paid to do so, can’t ethically be considered a link with any value, it is a tainted and usually irrelevant link. Search engines rightfully use the number of links and the quality of the sites providing the links, to assist in determining the quality of a site, that makes perfect sense to do so. But links from sites that have no relevance, or from individuals who have never used the product, really don’t have any business handing out a link and should be discounted, or not used in the rankings at all.

All a paid link can really tell us is the site buying the link has money to spend on links, and the site selling the links enjoys cashing checks. That really isn’t a sound foundation for a legitimate referral. So Google, Yahoo, Ask, all of you guys, please continue to weed out those sites that purchase links, and those SEOs that use other sites to game the rankings, they are attempting to bury small business owners who are working to establish themselves online by working on content and links the right way.


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