How does Google know if it's a paid link?

14 replies
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Hi guys:

I was using OSE to go through a competitor's link profile, and saw a decent directory, nice page authority, nice domain authority, so reached out to them.

They never added the link, but there was a "pay for featured link, 24 hr turnaround time" option, and I paid for it.

Pretty soon after the link went live, my site took a hit in visits.

Now, I know there's a million and one factors in SEO, so it's hard to know for sure, but is there any way google knows this kind of stuff?

It was this directory:

sitepromotiondirectory . com

It's a "featured" link.

Think I should disavow it? Leave it up and forget it?

Thanks guys!
#google #link #paid
  • Profile picture of the author pjunction
    What's your question? is it
    How does Google know if it's a paid link?
    or is it
    Think I should disavow it? Leave it up and forget it?
    .

    If it is the first, then you answered your own question.
    Originally Posted by David C. View Post

    there was a "pay for featured link, 24 hr turnaround time" option.
    I think a baby could figure out how they knew the links on that page were paid for.

    If it was the second question, then why would you disavow it? Ask the directory to remove the link and learn your lesson.
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  • Profile picture of the author danparks
    In order to lose traffic based on bad backlinks, you'd of course need to lose rankings in Google. Did you check your keyword rankings? Have they dropped?

    If they have dropped, though, I doubt it was from the addition of ONE backlink. Imagine if such a creature existed - the ultimate bad backlink. You've just discovered the dream of every person doing negative SEO to tank competition!

    Even with the addition of bad backlinks (plural), if that tanks a site in rankings, it usually takes a while to happen. You make it sounds like the loss of traffic came right after the addition of this single backlink.

    Finally, you discovered the source for this backlink from a competitor's backlink profile. If the backlink could do so much damage, then why isn't the competitor losing rankings (I assume the competitor ranks well or you wouldn't have noticed them and considered them a competitor).
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  • Profile picture of the author Kherk Roldan
    Hi David, Links that are explicitly sold for money are the most obvious. A webmaster sells a link to another webmaster in exchange for a certain dollar payment. That is clearly a paid link, and Matt Cutts said that is the most common paid link example, by far.
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    • Profile picture of the author footfoot
      Originally Posted by Kherk Roldan View Post

      Hi David, Links that are explicitly sold for money are the most obvious. A webmaster sells a link to another webmaster in exchange for a certain dollar payment. That is clearly a paid link, and Matt Cutts said that is the most common paid link example, by far.
      How profound! You come up with that all by yourself?
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      • Profile picture of the author danparks
        Originally Posted by Kherk Roldan View Post

        Hi David, Links that are explicitly sold for money are the most obvious. A webmaster sells a link to another webmaster in exchange for a certain dollar payment. That is clearly a paid link, and Matt Cutts said that is the most common paid link example, by far.
        Cakes that are explicitly baked in ovens are the most obvious example of cakes. A baker bakes a cake by baking the cake ingredients. This clearly results in a cake, and one prominent baker said this is by far the most common way of baking a cake.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Google does not hate paid links. That is a misnomer.

    Matt Cutts at one time even used paid directories as an example of not being bad.
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    • Profile picture of the author David C.
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      Google does not hate paid links. That is a misnomer.

      Matt Cutts at one time even used paid directories as an example of not being bad.
      Is this true Mike? Sounds interesting, can you show me where he said that?
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by David C. View Post

        Is this true Mike? Sounds interesting, can you show me where he said that?
        It's in one of his videos. Search around. I don't have it bookmarked or anything.

        He basically said if you are paying a fee to be reviewed for possible inclusion in a directory, that is fine.
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        • Profile picture of the author paulgl
          Read all this post if you want to know how to buy and sell links.

          Google does not hate paid links. No seo expert would ever say that,
          as one of the first things to do it....buy links.

          Google's whole empire is based on paid links.

          But I digress.

          I sell a ton of links.

          Google does have an algo to detect links that are bought to shmooze.
          However, they don't really know. They can only guess. So, here are
          the rules of buying and selling links. Use this checklist, and you
          are good to go.

          First of all, never have a link on your site or statement that says
          something like, "click here to buy a link." You would not believe how
          many idiots do that. That WILL tell google you are selling links.
          (Now maybe if you make them nofollow, it's not an issue. But
          link buyers do not want nofollow). All you need is a contact,
          or leave it up to whois. The BEST link brokers go there and contact
          you.

          Do not buy a link on a site that has that either. You will then be
          known to buy links.

          Second, make sure you are not selling or buying a link that is
          site-wide. That is, you buy the link on one, and only one, page.

          A link in a sidebar, footer, etc. on each page is a tipoff to a paid link.

          Third, and what might be "most" important, is to buy/sell a contextual
          link that makes sense.

          That is, a paragraph on student loans would be ripe for a sentence and
          link that says, "find out more about student loan interest rates."

          What you don't want, is to buy a link in a paragraph on student loans
          that says, "get more info on vacations in mexico."

          If it sticks out like a sore thumb, it is a tipoff.

          Most link buyers on my sites make up there own paragraph or
          sentence that fits.

          Follow all three, and you will have no problem.

          Paul
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          If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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  • Profile picture of the author enhu
    I'm also interested as to how they will really identify which is paid or not.
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    can I have a signature?

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  • Profile picture of the author Synnuh
    So I can bake cakes with actually using ingredients is what you're saying then?
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  • Profile picture of the author David C.
    What is Google's stance on cakes? Do they have a preference?
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  • Profile picture of the author bijutoha
    I think you must check this...
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    Just a lonely Graphic Designer
    A busy life along Image Processing Professional

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  • Profile picture of the author Goyllo
    How Google know it is paid link?

    Possible answers
    1. If lot's of people doing same thing, then Google catch you. At this time Google employer Matt cutts start exploring russian backlinks tools. So whenever you think about paid link, then avoid large website or community or directory.

    2. The internet world is full of competitors, if some of your competitors find out(by using paid tools like ahref), you have bought some links from other sources, then they will report your site to Google, and later you will get manual spam penalty.
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