Paid links hurt ranking?

Hello all,

I was wondering. Lately for one of my sites people have been asking to purchase a simple site-wide sponsored link on my site. Currently I have like 5 of them and the sites are quality sites with fast growing rankings. Does having simple one-way links on your site hurt your ranking with Google? Does it matter the quality, PR or alexa ranking of the sites that you are linking to?

The quality of the link does effect your SEO.

Yes, the quality of links (ie, the quality, reputation, PR etc of the site/page giving the link) will have an impact on your search ranking. But unless you have got links from a bad neighbourhood, it is unlikely to pull your ranking down. If you’ve got links from sites that aren’t doing anything bad, but haven’t got a lot of google-cred, that won’t harm you, they just won’t give you as much of a boost.

Links from bad neighbourhoods can have an impact, particularly if you have a high proportion of them to good links, but Google aren’t going to penalise that too much because it would be very easy to manipulate it and for people to harm their competitors!

Paid links should always be marked as ‘nofollow’, and so should have no impact at all in your search ranking, either for inbound links or outbound links.

Do you honestly believe what you are saying? Have you tested this or are you just going by what you heard from others.

If what your saying is true then nocking your competition off the top would be as easy as buying a load of dodgy links for your competition or building hundreds of spam sites to link to them.

Google have gone on record time and time again stating that links to you can’t hurt you. (links to a bad neighbourhood CAN and WILL hurt you).

To address the actual question in the original post: yes, the quality of sites you link OUT to does matter. The PR doesn’t matter (because you’re sending them PR, unless you nofollow the links) and Alexa ranking is more or less useless for any purpose other than selling your site, so don’t worry about that. But yes, the quality of those sites you link to can affect your rankings, especially their own linking practices. If you link to a whole bunch of spammy link farms just because they paid you, that can hurt your rankings. Only link to sites that have a genuine use for your visitors, and nofollow paid links to be on the safe side.

people have been asking to purchase a simple site-wide sponsored link on my site.

As stated above, google requires that such paid links are on nofollow basis.

See for further details:

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLC_frBE306BE306&q=paid+links+matt+cutts

On the other hand, a site has been able to buy thousands of high PR dofollow links from Unesco world heritage site (up to $1,5 million) without any problem.

Yes, sure for Google is likely to penalize the websites or blogs that resorted to buying of links. Buying of links should be avoided.

Yes, sure for Google is likely to penalize the websites or blogs that resorted to buying of links. Buying of links should be avoided.

That’s a pretty sweeping generalization. Think about it - is there really no such thing as a beneficial paid link? Yahoo Directory, anyone? Go take a look at the Matt Cutts video on Youtube about this topic. Editorial standards have a lot to do with it.

Complete rubbish!

If google are so good at detecting paid links then why on earth do they have to resort to asking for people to file a spam report?

Fact, google are useless at detecting paid links. Even paid links that are reported rarely get devalued.

What about image links… ie: paid ads that are just an image with a link??? Does google take into consideration that you have an image that links to another site and does not hurt you because the site you are linking to has a bad or 0/10 PR?

A link is a link and as such image links pass PR. ANY advertising links should be nofollow if you want to stay within googles t of s. That doesnt however mean that this is what you should do :slight_smile:

What exactly can happen if you link to a bad neighborhood? If you leave ads on do-follow ?
What will google do if you do this ?

In extreme cases it can get you de indexed!

The Quality of links (from where you have been linked) has great impact on your ranking.

Agreed with this. Try to avoid buying links if the sites you link to get deindex are get ranked poorly it can effect you

Google frowns upon paid links (from what I’ve been told) but I know several sites that ranked well for competitive keywords and they mix paid links with free-natural link building campaign.