Paid Linking is Dying. Time to Move on.

Sat 20 February 2010 13:42, Editors

[Christopher Angus] The fields of Search and SEO are – at least in terms of the internet – not incredibly new areas of business, after all, since the early days, people have wanted their websites and web businesses to perform well for them whilst simultaneously outperforming the competition. It might not have always been called the names it has now, but we can all understand its methods and age in some respect, at least.

As an established and successful SEO myself, I’ve been around long enough to see business trends, methods and techniques rise and fall, with these days predominantly being affected by how Google chooses to mutate both itself and its algorithm.

One such method of SEO that has seen drastic change as the years goes by is that of linking. Plain old links to your website or business. More specifically, I’m talking about the practice of paid linking; something which – in the past – was a genuinely viable internet marketing and SEO tactic, which sadly – for some – is no longer true in this day and age.

As multiple and subsequent Google rule and algorithm changes have taken place over the months/years, paid links have been rendered nigh-on illegal in the eyes of the biggest search engine around. I say “nigh-on” and “illegal” because you can still technically seek out paid links to promote your site or business, yet Google will frown upon this and penalise your site as they see fit. So you can do it, but you’ll be punished for it. A bit like taking too many cookies from that jar in your mother’s kitchen. Sure you can go ahead and take that last cookie, but you’re definitely going to get busted for it.

Of course, there are practical solutions to and many a way around this potential predicament, with social media marketing and linkbait manufacture being viable alternatives. Social media marketing is in essence the practice of promoting something via social media/bookmarking websites such as Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon and even Facebook these days is being used a viable area in which to exhibit social marketing tendencies. Linkbaiting is the technique of generating something of interest, be it an article, video, cool picture, or anything that people will want to link to and then getting it “out there” for people to see.

Both the social media marketing  and linkbaiting methods hope to gain links in what is very much a traditional method: by generating interest in something so that users/readers/etc are wanting to link to that particular item. The two are also often used in conjunction with one another, with social media channels being used to actively promote a given linkbait. Any SEO Company worth their salt will employ these tactics these days, especially above using paid links, due to the potential penalisation that they now carry.

 is a successful internet marketer and SEO, having been rated the 26th most influential marketer in the world in 2009. His company is Warlock Media and he can be reached via email at

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