Is it against Google's TOS to pay for one in-content guest post backlink on a website in your niche?

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I know Google says it's against their TOS to pay for a backlink (although, many sites pay for directory links). Does this include paying for one in-content guest post backlink on a website in your niche? I noticed that a lot of sites won't let you do a guest post unless you pay them.
#backlink #google #guest #incontent #niche #pay #post #tos #website
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  • Profile picture of the author paulgl
    Google does not say it is against their TOS to pay for a link.

    Since that's false, why bother with the rest of the question?

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    How would Google ever know you paid for a link?
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    • Profile picture of the author expmrb
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      How would Google ever know you paid for a link?
      I think OP is going to tell Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourGoToWriter
    I agree. It was never stated by Google that they are prohibiting sponsored links. It's what advertising is all about.

    Loren
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  • Profile picture of the author guyfromnb
    If your links are from good sources and are relevant to the content of your site, I don't think they should be any problem. It's when links are coming from poor sources in my opinion that problems occur or when we are mass building them.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOGhost
    Directly from Google Search Console:

    Link schemes
    Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.

    The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results:

    Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a "free" product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link...

    What am I missing here? Maybe I'm misunderstanding what Google is saying???
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by SEOGhost View Post

      Directly from Google Search Console:

      Link schemes
      Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.

      The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results:

      Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a "free" product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link...

      What am I missing here? Maybe I'm misunderstanding what Google is saying???

      And I'm going to say it again... How would Google have any idea if you paid for a link?
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        Google knows everything, including your innermost thoughts and fears, of course!

        No?

        Then, it's because you tell them.

        No?

        Then, I give up.

        Google doesn't know you paid, therefore, you and Paul are right.

        The more interesting question: why does this question keep coming up on this forum? First, if you have the question, you should be looking at Google's TO's not asking here about them. Second, it's been answered 2.73 million times already. Can we all make a mental note of this piece of knowledge already?

        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        And I'm going to say it again... How would Google have any idea if you paid for a link?
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      Originally Posted by SEOGhost View Post

      Directly from Google Search Console:

      Link schemes
      Any links intended to manipulate PageRank

      Buying or selling links that pass PageRank.

      What am I missing here? Maybe I'm misunderstanding what Google is saying???
      You are missing PAGERANK.

      And they are talking about manipulating PageRank and other shtuff.

      Google never says you can't sell links. My gosh...their whole EMPIRE IS ON PAID LINKS!

      Google seems to need 2 things that they extrapolate from some algorithm:

      A) That the link is paid for.
      B) The link is for manipulating PageRank or Other things.

      A free link, on the other hand, is free to do whatever you wish?

      Too funny.

      The very same things you say about paid links, google ACTUALLY says about free links.

      But you never care about getting links that are free to shmooze google.....

      Google never, ever says paid or free links are bad.

      That should be end of story...but, no.

      BTW: Google has said things about forum sig links...... and you people ignore that.

      You believe what google does not say, ignore the actual quotes, then go out and do the opposite of what they actually say.

      If you truly believe google hates paid links, then guess what?

      They hate free links.

      You people are the ones who believe money is the root of all evil because you know the quote. Or not.

      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
        It sure seems like they say it is a violation here - https://support.google.com/webmaster...er/66356?hl=en
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        • Profile picture of the author DABK
          Anything that passes PageRank, as per Google (the page you quoted supports this) is against their rules.

          That includes buying links, creating your own links (such as forum signature links, blog commenting links and a bunch of other links people on this forum taut as 'the best' off-page SEO activities) are all against Google's TOS. Because all mess up Google's master plan.

          PBN's are not, in themselves, against the TOS. They become so only if they exist to manipulate/aka mess up with Google's master plan.

          The TOS are interesting reading.... So, I'll quote the interesting part (Yes, it's practically the whole thing, but it is interesting to read it in relation to the advise given on this forum):

          "Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.
          The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results:
          • Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a "free" product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
          • Excessive link exchanges ("Link to me and I'll link to you") or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
          • Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links
          • Using automated programs or services to create links to your site
          Additionally, creating links that weren't editorially placed or vouched for by the site's owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines. Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that may violate our guidelines:
          • Text advertisements that pass PageRank
          • Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank
          • Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. For example:
            There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.
          • Low-quality directory or bookmark site links
          • Keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites, for example:
            Visitors to this page: 1,472
            car insurance
          • Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites
          • Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature, for example:
            Thanks, that's great info!
            - Paul
            paul's pizza san diego pizza best pizza san diego
          Note that PPC (pay-per-click) advertising links that don't pass PageRank to the buyer of the ad do not violate our guidelines. You can prevent PageRank from passing in several ways, such as:
          • Adding a rel="nofollow" attribute to the <a> tag
          • Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file
          The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it."


          The question, for you as a marketer is not if something is against the TOS but whether you will benefit and how (long-term, short term) from your links.


          A link in context on a page that has no backlinks of its own has darn little juice to pass, so, OP, if you buy such a link, make sure the site owner links to the page your link is coming from from a page on his/her site that's got a bunch of backlinks or puts your link on a page with backlinks. And do not tell Google you paid for the link.



          And, of course, make sure they do not sell a lot of links... Google has figured out farm links before.


          (No, I am not talking about you doing something unethical or illegal, ethics / law do not apply ... Unless you promised Google to abide by its TOS. Did you?)




          Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

          It sure seems like they say it is a violation here - https://support.google.com/webmaster...er/66356?hl=en
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      • Profile picture of the author SEOGhost
        Thanks for the input, Paul. You actually misquoted that quote though. It's "money is the root of all KINDS of evil".
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        • Profile picture of the author paulgl
          Originally Posted by SEOGhost View Post

          Thanks for the input, Paul. You actually misquoted that quote though. It's "money is the root of all KINDS of evil".
          The misquote was ON PURPOSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To make a point of how people misquote stuff all the time.

          But you misquote it. You forgot: THE LOVE OF money.....

          Paul
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          • Profile picture of the author SEOGhost
            LOL! I did forget to add "the love of". I can't believe I did that, because it irks me when people misquote that verse and what did I do? I misquoted that verse!
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    It's probably pretty easy for Google to assume links are paid for if the site they are on advertises paid links or advertisements. Google definitely states that any paid link should be no-followed.

    Now, will they catch you? It depends on the site they are on but in many cases, no. I hope it's a make or break link or at least one that is going to bring a ton of targeted traffic; otherwise, you might want to think about it some more.
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    • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
      Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

      It's probably pretty easy for Google to assume links are paid for if the site they are on advertises paid links or advertisements. Google definitely states that any paid link should be no-followed.

      Now, will they catch you? It depends on the site they are on but in many cases, no. I hope it's a make or break link or at least one that is going to bring a ton of targeted traffic; otherwise, you might want to think about it some more.
      Google wouldn't know if link was paid or not if only you and OP
      and no one else had sites not to mention billions of sites and that
      98% of Googles real money generated by other enterprises, which
      not include chasing down some SEO cheaters.



      fastreplies
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      • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
        Originally Posted by fastreplies View Post

        Google wouldn't know if link was paid or not if only you and OP
        and no one else had sites not to mention billions of sites and that
        98% of Googles real money generated by other enterprises, which
        not include chasing down some SEO cheaters.



        fastreplies
        Well, I certainly cannot argue with that completely incomprehensible sentence!
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        • Profile picture of the author fastreplies
          Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

          Well, I certainly cannot argue with that completely incomprehensible sentence!
          Ah, but you did in your initial reply, one I got in email

          dave_hermansen has replied to a thread in the Search Engine Optimization forum.

          Is it against Google's TOS to pay for one in-content guest post backlink on a website in your niche? !
          so, I'm going to reply to that totally senseless post of your

          Read OP again and try to grasp using whatever you have left in your head
          that this is NOT about what G. allowed or not but about if it can find if
          I paid for link or not.



          fastreplies
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          • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
            My comment was in regards to how incoherent your reply was. I'd challenge anyone here to understand whatever point it is that you think you made.

            Oh, and check the attitude. People like you are why so many of the truly helpful people in this industry have stopped visiting WF.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by SEOGhost View Post

    I know Google says it's against their TOS to pay for a backlink (although, many sites pay for directory links). Does this include paying for one in-content guest post backlink on a website in your niche?
    It includes ANY paid for link that conveys link juice and can manipulate ranking. Have no idea what post 2 is trying to say but its obviously wrong. Google has said some kinds of links violate their policies.

    The issue however is if webmasters are bound to Google's TOS. You never sign anything with Google and they crawl and read the data on your site without your permission. They've built their entire multi billion empire on other people's data which they never asked permission to crawl and store.

    So provided they can't tell the link is bought what moral or legal requirement do you have to agree to abide by their TOS?

    and yes its a given in SEO that some (and quite a few) will ask for payment. As long as they are not advertising links for cash and don't overdo it (only linking to sites that are natural to their site's niche) it is doubtful it will ever be recognized as a bought link.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnVianny
    The problem is not about the violation or not.

    It's OBVIOUSLY a violation, as you described posting google's TOS, and whos pulling your leg saying it's not, is only trying to race on the lenght of penis.

    BUT

    google perfectly knows which are the sites and provider selling links and guest posting in exchange of money.

    So if you are "back linked" from them, there's the concrete possibility to get penalized.

    However if you have a good content and your links won't belong ONLY from the site you pay with, it's fairly assumed that you have a rankable site and you won't get penalized.

    In an ideal google's world sites are backlinked naturally from the other sites who genuine like the content, BUT we all know that the are Seo Agencies that make pretty good money.

    If all that violates google's TOS would carry a ban, SEO woud not exist.

    So it's a battle between what you can, what you could try and what is banned.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOGhost
    Thank you for the replies, everyone. I'm now more confused than ever. Just kidding.
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  • Profile picture of the author hoangcf
    I agree. It was never stated by Google that they are prohibiting sponsored links. Google has said some kinds of links violate their policies.
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