Are Paid SEO Links Bad?

Are Paid SEO Links Bad? Why do people claim not to use paid links?

So, I’ve got to laugh at this question, it’s obviously going to create some kind of controversy and people will agree and disagree. But if there are SEOs out there who think that paid links are bad, then there is no real way to overcome that over than telling them to fucking wake up. No matter what way, and listen, people will argue that they get links this way or that way, or they’re pitching to journalists. Regardless of what happens, you can get a good PR story out there, and it gets loads of natural links. And that’s good and well, but those are few and far between. And obviously, you pay a PR company for it.

But in general, whether you pay someone to do outreach and you deem that as white hat, you’re still paying for a link because at some point money will exchange hands and you’re exchanging hands you’re paying someone to do that outreach for you. They’re paying for the link. So, there’s no point in people calling it something else that it’s not. One way or another, whether you’re exchanging it for a free gift, or whether you’re exchanging it for a link on their other website, or whatever, that’s where you can become quite clever.

PR Links

But, I think in a lot of cases unless you’re doing just PR, then payment does come into it, and SEOs do it one way or another. And I’ve seen guys stand on stage saying they’re white than white, and yeah, they buy links from my friends, you know, it’s beyond belief. So, I don’t think there’s a way to overcome it. I don’t look at it as someone saying they don’t pay for links and they’re doing all this white hat is a bad thing, that’s obviously what people want to hear. Whether they’re going under the guise of an agency, or Mr White Hat, or whatever it might be, that’s their sales page and they’re going to stick to it.

And I don’t think to heckle someone or calling them out, or anything like that is the right answer. Business is business, and we’re all here to make money. I’d rather just be a little bit more honest with my selling, call a spade a spade if you like. And other people will refuse point blank to budge on that. There is no real way to overcome it if you’ve got guys out there who are looking for putting content out there, and everyone will link naturally. I think unless you’ve got something really funny or really exciting to say, then that ain’t going to work for day to day clients. If you’re a big brand, Coca Cola and stuff like that, then sure, you can do that stuff. But if you’re Bob the Builder out there who’s got nothing exciting to say, then I think you’re going to have to adapt your approach.

So, it does depend on the type of client you’re working with as well, but I think most SEOs will tell you what they say to a client and what actually goes on are very different stories. Whether they admit that or not in public, again is a different story. So, I don’t think there is any real way to overcome it, I think you’ve just got to go with the flow and if people want to play the Mr White Hat and continue to say that they don’t pay for links, then so be it. They can carry on, and if they get success, then great, we always want to see everyone doing well. So, hopefully, that answers that one.

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 17 years.

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