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“Paid links from off topic sites get devalued and flagged.” A common claim by otherwise savvy SEOs such as Ross Hudgens.

Ross, would you take three links from the Wall Street Journal if its reporters write about internet marketing?

Would you buy those links?

I would.

Both for the direct traffic (duh) and the SEO boost (duh).

The page is relevant, the readers are interested in the field… what more do you want?

Guys like Ross seem to think that if a site isn’t on your topic, then you don’t get any value. The reasoning is that their site is irrelevant, so the links are bogus.

That’s obviously wrong.

For starters, the Yahoo directory isn’t on any topic. Yet the links are good.

Second, even if the regular audience isn’t core/interested, the author obviously is.

Last I checked, the test for a link’s acceptability to Google was editorial discretion. Not readership discretion.

Lastly, sites are dynamic. You can start out writing about your mother and then end up talking about my mother. Then you no longer have a site. But I digress…

(Those of you who care about paid links and text links, check out my 101 tips on how to buy text link ads.

If that’s your bag, you’re probably also advanced enough for an advanced SEO book free chapter. Also, I personally liked Mike’s bit on buying links for third party sites.)

p.s. I know that the title should have been, ‘Can Count’ not ‘Do Count’, because links from offtopic sites in a sidebar aren’t getting you anywhere. So sometimes, paid links from offtopic sites don’t work. But “do” has more pop to it than the timid “can” … it’s a style issue.
Creative Commons License photo credit: TheTruthAbout…

This post originally came from Michael Gray who is an SEO Consultant. Be sure not to miss the Thesis WordPress Theme review.

You’re All Wrong! Paid Links From Offtopic Sites Do Count


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Michael Gray – Graywolf’s SEO Blog

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