Paid Links

BBC Does Reputation Management Right!

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February 7  |  Reputation Management  |   Ryan Clark

I’m loving this topic and the amount of real world examples I can showcase here are endless. I really appreciate big brands who get their hands dirty and respond to either true or false statements made against them in the real “social” world. I was sitting down this morning @Starbucks, doing my morning blog trolling and came across a very interesting topic. The post by Sam Rutley over at PushON, an awesome example of link bait, titled “Paid Links On The BBC?” has gone from bad to good for the BBC.

Whilst carrying out competitor backlink analysis for a client I noticed a number of high value links pointing from the BBC website, after further investigation it appears that the BBC/someone at the BBC is may be selling links in the footer of this page:

This is a serious accusation for any small or big brand to see come across their stream, but sadly you usually won’t find anyone responding. A company like the BBC has a huge number of websites within their umbrella, so I was overly impressed to see the BBC Sports webmaster, Lewis Wiltshire, respond intelligently and thoughtfully to the accusations.

The key to handling something like this is of course to be to the point, non confrontational because you’re representing your brand. The BBC should be thankful for having someone like this on their team, especially since reputation management is not Lewis’s job at all….the man is a sports editor!

The links in question are editorial, and the fact a site like that would link to interesting sites in the niche is awesome. While the links didn’t look “iffy” to me, I can see how Sam and other SEO’s might speculate that they were indeed evil paid links.

I don’t want to dupe too much of Sam’s content, but here’s the gist of what Lewis replied with in the comments;

I’m Lewis Wiltshire, the Editor of the BBC Sport website and therefore responsible for the pages you mention.

The first issue to deal with is the question you raise in your headline, and then again in your closing paragraphs. To suggest that the BBC sells these links to external websites, which as you rightly say would be against the BBC’s charter, is clearly a very serious allegation. It’s also totally untrue.

None of the links to external websites from the BBC’s UK-facing website are sold. All of them are editorially selected because we believe they offer useful onward reading for our audience.

It’s part of our public service remit to link to other websites, partly for the benefit of the industry and partly for the benefit of our users who trust us to lead them towards useful services on the wider web.

There’s a lot more discussion in the post and I highly recommend reading of all it, taking it in and learning a thing or two.

Read the entire post:

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Paid Links – The Best Way To Rank In The Top 10

January 13  |  Paid Links  |   Ryan Clark

Now you might be double taking at the title because most of you who read this blog know I am not in favor of paid links. Now with that being said, why the hell am I talking about them? Well for the past couple of months I’ve been taking on a lot of clients which involves me to research their competitors backlink profiles. I’ve also taken on a few clients who were competing for some very dominated keywords, and from what I’ve learned is that paid links are still king.

Over the past week I’ve been working in a niche for a client that is tough to break into and we’re starting down a long road of link building. I won’t name the niche at all out of respect for my client, and I don’t want to out anyone for paid links because that’s not my agenda here. From what I have seen it is safe to say Google is not able to keep up at all with paid links, and perhaps they are only targeting sites that are listed in paid link networks. Besides the obvious it seems the best way is to go underground and contact these sites one on one.

From what I can tell, within some of these competitive niches the sites buying links usually are very in quality in regards to content and design. So I’ll admit the sites, even though paying for hundreds of links, should most likely still be ranking where they are. So will these sites eventually get the ban hammer dropped upon them? I’m starting to think most likely not, but I’m going to be keeping my eye on a few sites to see within the next year what happens. I’m also wondering if these sites were buying links years ago and because they’re all decently old, are they getting a get out of jail free pass?

I took a good amount of time looking at the advertising pages that some of the link sellers had open to the public. Most of them did not seem to fear the big G at all and openly set prices to text links. On top of that a lot of these sites had a solid PageRank of 5-7, and again it brings me back to wondering just how solid an old domain can be. So with all that being said, what are your thoughts on paid links(sorry to beat a dead horse, but she’s still breathing a little)?

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Kevin & The Googlebots “Paid Links”

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December 30  |  News  |   Ryan Clark

Here’s another hilarious cartoon from Kevin & the Googlebots with a hilarious spin on paid links. I wish we could just pay Tyler to work on these cartoons everyday because they’re always hilarious. Click on the image to get it a little bigger, but for all his fine work go to his website and leave him a comment.

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November 20  |  Link Building, News, Paid Links  |   Ryan Clark

I just wanted to get a discussion going on MediaWhiz’s new product I didn’t need long to figure out this will go poorly for advertisers no matter what. The business model will work great for them, but not for long until Google figures out a way to start dropping the ban hammer. Google is clear on paying for links to influence the search results, which in reality just clutters the web with shitty sites that keep you from finding what you want. So how many of you will actually consider trying something like this out?

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Best Of The Web Directory Links For SEO

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August 20  |  Link Building, Link Building Tools  |   Ryan Clark

This is the first post in the section for Paid Links, which is just as it sounds…everything related to buying quality text links from very reputable review services such as Best Of The Web. This is perhaps one of the most well known, and oldest directories on the web today. It has been running since 1994 when an University student named Brandon Plewe created the platform to enable he burgeoning online community to nominate and vote for best-of-class websites in a variety of categories. The site blossomed into a web directory of unique and content rich websites that served the online community.

This is one of the few web directories that I recommend to clients when we’re doing a campaign in a tough niche. Getting into the BOTW Directory requires that your site be up to standards, and dish out unique content, or a original service. If your website makes it then you’ve managed to attain a link that is worth its weight in gold.

Best of the Web is committed to maintaining the high standard of listings that has proven key to its success while continuing to grow. To rank among the Best of the Web, a site must adhere to the strict criteria of editors who ensure that it contains substantive unique content, navigates in a user-friendly manner, contains no broken links or pictures, is up and running 24/7, and conforms to universally accepted web standards. In this way, quality sites are added to the directory on a daily basis and listed in relevant categories that run the gamut of the alphabet from the arts to zoology.

The great thing about paying for a review to be in the site, is that you not only get the link juice, but targeted traffic that comes from the directory. You can get your listing within 3 business days, and once approved you get acess to a control panel with all your stats and payment history. Pricing is set at $99.95 annually recurring review fee, and $249.95 one-time review fee.


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