Oct 7, 2007

Be weary of the idea behind incentivized links

You may have hear it here and there, get links, get lots of links to your website. By getting links, it is the solution to your website problem. Well, what people are saying is not a myth according to my experience and I believe that they are true.

By getting links that are related to your blog it will help boost your blog or site authority for search engines. By having relevant and related content with each other, each link provides a small representation of the legitimacy of your website to search engines that it is not a spam. On top it, the site traffic can also be exchanged with one another in a natural fashion therefore the both of your site will benefit as a result. Whether the links is in relations to directory or sites, that doesn't really matter and the idea behind it is as long as it is done in a natural fashion then it is all good and dandy.

The problem hits when people start to incentivize others to provide them with a link in hopes to jump start their blog. Now, we all know as a rule of thumb that natural links are the best and anything that's unnatural is not. Google has been keeping quiet about the way their algoirthem works for sometime and the actions they will take against others who are incentivizing others to gain traffic. I don't blame them, afterall they are the biggest search engine on the web today. However, through Google's actions by removing one of my favorite blogger John Chow of its' own website name under its search, it has definitely shaken the idea of incentivizing your traffic.

Now, if John Chow's site was an isolated incident we can say okay he's pushing the link back a little bit too much therefore he got the Google judge to rule against him. However, I have been keeping an eye on Google and it seems like a lot of "paid" directories have been heavily penalized as well. Starting from a decrease in SERPS all the way to some actually getting de-listed from Google. What does this all mean? In simple terms, the search terms for these high page ranking sites are disappearing and where do I think this is heading? Yes, incentivized and paid links on individual sites!!

Here's a quick video directly from Google which affirms my points. Matt Cutts, the spokesman from Google tells webmasters that "Buying links is outside of our (Google) guidelines".

Ok, so is it the end of the world if you have a few paid links? Well, no but keep it real low and concentrate building up your site through natural links. And for those of us that did not incentivize links or pay any links, great! Afterall, cutting corners gets you nowhere even on the web. Nothing is better then doing everything the natural way right? -Swapw

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