How to Profit from Google’s War on Paid Links

written by BlogEx on October 11, 2007 in Blog Monetization with 14 comments

Link, Paid Links, and FUDIn case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or so, Google has recently kicked it’s war on paid links into high gear. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, pause for a minute and go read a couple of articles on this extensive list. No seriously, it’s ok, we’ll wait…

Ok, so now that everyone has been treated to a healthy dose of FUD, let me explain a few things to you. First of all, yes, if you openly sell links on your site and Google finds out about it, they will likely punish you. This had been under debate for a while, I’ve always told people to go ask John Chow, but it’s now official. In fact, Google went even further and dropped the visible page rank scores for several sites such as Mr. Chow’s, Andy Beard’s, and plenty of others. However, contrary to what Google would have you believe, they can’t detect all or even most of the paid links. And rather than following the crowd and kowtowing to the all-mighty G, this is a great chance to zig when everyone else is zagging. Rather than allowing this recent flurry of activity by Google and the mass panic among bloggers and website owners to worry you, view it as an opportunity for you to increase the amount of money you make online.

Of course that brings us to the question of the hour… HOW? The answer is relatively simple. Continue to sell links. With more and more website owners falling for Google’s intimidation tactics, the supply of available links is going to diminish. However, the market for those links is well established and as long as it remains beneficial to buy links (and trust me, it’s still VERY helpful to purchase links), that demand isn’t going anywhere. So, as we all learned in grade school, when the supply drops but demand stays the same, prices go up. Those of us who continue to sell links will have less competition and will be able to sell more links, charge more for the links we’re already selling, or both!

Unfortunately there is a bit more to it than just sitting back and doing nothing. You are going to have to change the WAY you sell links. First of all, don’t flaunt it. The point here is to remain under Google’s radar so if you mention selling links on your site, don’t call it that. Call them contextual ads or something more subtle. Also, don’t join any programs that publicly list their inventory. From here on out the best types of programs are going to be the ones that operate away from prying eyes or better yet, one’s people aren’t even supposed to talk about. (I’ve heard, TLA has something that fits the bill, hint hint.) Also don’t simply list paid links down the side of your site under the header of “Sponsored Links” or “Advertisers” or something like that. Work the links into your text, make them look exactly like any other link you’d drop on your site. Besides, those types of links carry the most SEO value so you’ll be doing your customers a favor.

The biggest problem link sellers are going to have to overcome will be advertisement. One of the nice things about the link broker sites was that they brought advertisers and publishers together in one place. However, I would expect to see more sites cropping up that offer private methods of doing the same thing without risking exposure. Also, publicize your advertising and when someone contacts you, mention that you also offer links. If you have more than one site, when someone contacts you about purchasing advertising or links on one site, mention that you have a network of sites that you’d be willing to place links on. Place listings in different marketplaces mentioning you sell links but don’t include your site(s) URL. Post links for sale in webmaster forums but again, force interested parties to contact you before divulging what you’re offering. Put a message at the end of your advertising page that explains you offer other advertising options with details available upon request.

With large numbers of bloggers and webmasters dropping out of the link market due to these new Google measures, you may very well be able to add to your monthly profits when everyone else is losing a source of income. By standing apart from the crowd, you can pad your bottom line and even INCREASE link sales, you just need to be smart about it, and remain under the radar. Good luck, and if you’re looking to buy any text links, email me, I might know a guy ;)