The use of paid links in a search engine optimisation campaign is always the subject of much debate. On the one side of the coin it is believed that search engines devalue the weight given to paid links when determining the ranking of a web page. On the other hand it is difficult for search engines to determine whether a link is paid for, or not, if it is acquired using the appropriate means. One fact that remains constant though, is that a good link is a good link regardless of its value in search engine optimisation.
Search Engine Optimisation Goal
The ultimate goal of a search engine optimisation campaign is to drive targeted traffic to your web pages. Building links helps by improving your ranking in the search engine result pages for specific search words or terms. As such, building links is treated as a vital facet of an SEO campaign and marketers are constantly looking for cost effective methods of building high powered links to web pages with minimal effort for hopefully massive return. One method is through paid linking.
Paid Link Services
There are a number of services on the web that offer paid linking. Either they offer it through their own network of websites, or they broker deals between advertisers and publishers. Payment is usually determined by the Authority Rank of a web page and paid on a per term basis (monthly or annually, for example).
Search Engine Devalued Links
Search engines are known to devalue links when they are aware that they have been paid for. This could mean that a paid link is worth nothing more than the traffic it directs to a web page, and this is likely to be the best way to judge whether a paid link is really worth it or not. However, some point out that by using certain services it is almost impossible to be found out by the search engines for using paid links. Certain brokers give information about a potential link location but do not give specific details. In these cases, the link may have benefit to search engine optimisation.
A Good Link Is A Good Link
Whatever your views on the matter of paid linking, one thing is for certain – it is a genuine and viable form of online marketing. A link from a prominent position on a prominent website geared towards a related demographic of visitors as your own site can drive a lot of highly targeted and very active traffic to your web pages. In this respect, paid linking is greatly beneficial.
Paid Linking For More Than SEO
When looking at paid linking, it is best not to consider it a form of search engine optimisation. Judge each paid link on its own merit. If the search engines do determine it is a paid link then they won’t give you the benefit of that link when determining your search engine ranking. However, if the link is a good link from a relevant page that naturally attracts a lot of visitors in its own right then it is a viable form of advertising that should be considered. After all this is the goal of your search engine optimisation anyway.