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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Comments (23)


  • Sweet, first things first, promote yourself ofcourse, actually this article would have been great if it was published 2 years ago i guess, but i guess it still wake some people up these days.

    Can I see an overview of the other 25th world most influental marketeers? i'm quite curious about those, since i don't seem to know them all...

    Za 20 feb 2010, 16:09

  • "but you’re definitely going to get busted for it." - not really. 99% of paid links go unnoticed and unpenalised. Only the stupid or really high profile paid link schemes get caught. Paid linking, for all its bad publicity, still works. The key is to use link networks that know what they're doing, run by experienced folks who are one step ahead of the search engines.

    P.S. kudos to you Chris for getting not one but two followed links to your own company in there, and that on your first SC blog post. I've been blogging here on SC for +1 year and I haven't been able to pull that off.

    Ma 22 feb 2010, 12:23

    • Marketers 2009

    @Roy, the top 100 you can see here:

    Ma 22 feb 2010, 13:31

  • I agree with you Barry. Actually I think that in highly competitive markets there's no way you're going to get in the top 10 without paid links. But maybe I'm just too stupid ;)

    Ma 22 feb 2010, 16:27

  • How good are you really when you need to call yourself 'established and succesful'?. BTW: The last piece of the article is somewhat missing " is a successful internet marketer and SEO,"?

    Ma 22 feb 2010, 17:20

  • @Steven: now now, let's not go into "Chris Angus bashing" mode here. I know Chris from my previous job and he's a smart fellow who knows what he's doing. It's just a shame his first post on SC is not quite up to his usual standards.

    And I call myself an SEO as well - search engine optimiser. The last word of the acronym can have a slightly different meaning depending on the context. :)

    Ma 22 feb 2010, 17:38

  • @marketers 2009, thanks! that clears some stuff op. Let's plough through that list!

    Di 23 feb 2010, 00:25

  • I agree that link baiting is better, but the chance that google employers come across your site and penalize it manually is very very small.

    Di 13 sep 2011, 20:38

    • Arne

    Its now the linkbaiting that is trending. Still works, and I like the fact that you need some creativity for that.

    Yesterday on a webshop faire in Holland I saw some really brilliant linkbaiting that really impressed me.

    Vr 25 jan 2013, 11:37

  • I agree that link baiting is better, but the chance that google employers come across your site and penalize it manually is very very small.

    Do 10 okt 2013, 05:42

  • How is this anno 2014? Will the new Panda Update 4.0 penalize the cowboys finaly?

    Vr 23 mei 2014, 05:28

  • Yesterday on a webshop faire in Holland I saw some really brilliant linkbaiting that really impressed me.

    Di 18 nov 2014, 06:22

  • How is this anno 2014? Will the new Panda Update 4.0 penalize the cowboys finaly?

    Di 18 nov 2014, 06:23

  • Thanks for information.

    Do 18 jun 2015, 10:02

  • I agree with you Barry

    Thanks for information.

    Zo 19 jul 2015, 19:12

  • love this website's content.

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    Zo 20 sep 2015, 06:06

  • Amazing Stuff!
    Thanks for shared an interesting information.

    Ma 28 sep 2015, 06:28


    Di 13 okt 2015, 09:28

    • angliaog

    Million canadian men and women in 70 days

    Songza subscribes 1 million canadian users in 70 daysas online music services from spotify ltd.Startup is tracking significant user growth in canada with its offering of on demand tunes organized into playlists based around mood, time or activity.

    In a just two months, a million canadians just less than 3% of the populace have signed up for songza media inc.'s streaming music service even as the company works out exactly how it may pay artists' royalties, Keep the service free and still make money.

    It was truly popular on apple inc.'s iOS principle, Exceeding 900, 000 Canadian installs of the app on iPod Touch, IPhone and iPad devices in that period(Individual users can sign up once and then download songza on many device).Explains to canada, songza's first proliferation market, along with a tech savvy population with widespread access to the internet and cellphone use, have fork out to its canadian success.So realistically speaking, it's a less noisy niche location,

    Relatedsongza beginning singing a canadian tune

    Microsoft rolling out xbox music service to defend myself against apple

    Songza does not sell audio marketing while it does have display ads, mister.Roman said he sees the biggest money making opportunity in creating branded content for example, a mercedes benz fitness playlist created with the luxury carmaker's new york fashion week sponsorship, maybe a"Neat and happy"Playlist designed with biodegradeable cleaning utility caddy maker method products inc.

    "We're basically taking lifestyle brands and working with them to create important content on songza that makes some specific part of their day happier, he explained, noting that he believes brands will pay to be pertaining to that happy time.

    The company is also working with celebrities and artists like bieber assault, who put together a canadian pop jams playlist and looking to land business with uniquely canadian consumer brands.

    While arena streaming music players such as pandora media inc.And spotify have not yet arrive in canada(Pandora had been available but left the market in 2007 after a dispute over high royalty fees), Songza used a deal with Re:Sound music certification co, the not for profit agency that collects and distributes speed right royalties for recording artists and labels.

    Songza and as well as re:Sound have not publicly disclosed the amount the company pays for the best to offer on demand music.Version soundexchange), Other online music investment strategies like Slacker Inc.And rdio corporation, for example have reached deals with record labels or artists themselves to pay for the best to use their music.

    Richmond hillside, ont.Based manufacturing tunezy inc.Is taking a stab at that model by bringing into play independent artists not signed to a major label.But it's not looking for reoccuring fees, advertising or branding deals to keep it afloat with money.

    Leader and founder derrick fung said as the music industry as a whole scrambles to find a sustainable business model, he believes people are no longer all in favour of or willing to pay for music.

    He plans to make money off his web based service with social reward elements which is in a public beta testing mode with plans for a full launch in november by offering artists a platform for selling all of the trappings that attend the songs they create.

    "We help music artists and bands[generate off of] both exclusive products that they'll offer to their fans and experiences, mister.Fung alleged, citing dinner with a painter before a concert, a backstage hangout and virtual concerts as experiences.

    Intertainment news multimedia system inc.Bought a 20% stake in a lot more claims in april and mr.Fung has other private investors, with plans to raise a larger round of funding the coming year, he explained.

    The company is utilizing about 500 artists, who can upload their music on to tunezy's proposal, which is built on the soundcloud and youtube apis to make the transfer logical.

    The startup charges $5 per month to list an infinite amount of merchandise and takes a cut of what artists charge for experiences and virtual concerts sold or hosted through the site.

    Transcanada mulling rail bridge if keystone xl delays last, ceo russ girling reads

    Bank of canada's stephen poloz plays down affect of fed tapering

    Law society '80%' sure missing lawyer died weeks after millions faded away from trust

    James pattison takes crown as canada's richest as new information reveals david thomson's fortune small compared to thought

    Di 20 okt 2015, 10:10

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    Ma 9 nov 2015, 08:58

  • The blog is about the creative aspects of the field. Author actually comes up with a very creative approach.

    Wo 18 nov 2015, 09:07

  • Very intereting article but if you want to rank high with an new website what do you do,wait till google rank your site from nothing,I don't think so.

    Wo 25 nov 2015, 15:39


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