Pay for links, Yes or No?

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Should you pay for a link?  Yes, and no.

This answer was once a 100% no for us.  But as SEO has become more and more competitive, we see many more sites in the top of the Search Engine results that are paying for links, and appear to getting better rankings because of it.

The type of links I am referring to here are directory links, not text in blog link farms, or anything developed for the sole purpose of getting your rankings to increase, with very little or no real readership.

A good link should have the potential to bring you more traffic, on its own, period.  There are a ton of directories that are free, and do show up high enough in the search engines, or do their own advertising, to bring real prospects to our site.  It does take some research to identify them, and the directories you choose should be dictated by the industry and location you are in.

It’s logical that a directory charge if the edit and review every submission, and have the expenses of keeping the site running.  Although we are a big fan or organic natural ranking increases through great content and relationships, now and then paying for a directory listing does make sense.

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7 thoughts on “Pay for links, Yes or No?”

  1. Steve,

    You crack me up! We have never charged a fee for a link. And I will be thrilled to add your site. Are you just trying to get blog back links by commenting? (Joking) Steve runs as featured in the USA today small business challenge. We also refer clients to his company for web design.

  2. Hello
    I have always asked a question to myself about SEO and paying for links from directories. Do they work? Maybe or maybe not. Let me share my experience. Every week i get calls from directory services offering me top google listings and yahoo for my site. informing me that i can become top of major search engines and achieve lots and lots of traffic. This maybe so but there is something to consider. When i get a call from these directories the first thing they do is ask me to log on to their site therefore gaining a hit. Then they ask me to search for something random like hairdressers or plumbers say for example in Ascot. In doing this their gaining a hit for the company that has paid to be on that directory and top of the listing. These people can be very persistant trying to extract £300- £500 for a listing. Also as a small business i also like others maybe look at directories to see what the opposition are doing so once again gaining more hits for their website but not necessarily looking for a service. I find the best way to gain more hits in business is to offer a good service and meet friends on the way. Us at would rather not spend the money on this kind of advertising and give something back to the community. ie for us, we do free film screenings for charities. Also we ask other business to link swap with us when we see their work, ie, when we are on a job and there is a company that also does a good job. I would very much like to know other peoples opinion to this.

  3. Looks like the correct response is, it appears you have decided that comments with links back to your site are an effective SEO tactic. Let us know how that works. I am going to leave the comment up, as it is an excellent example of well written spam comments (a tactic we do not endorse.)

  4. Thanks for the interesting post… it made me think. I never considered inclusion to directories as paying for links exactly.

    I’m hesitant about paying for inclusion on directories, as most of them look little better than link farms (minus free websites) but if they can prove that they have real traffic that fits my audience I’d class it on the same category as buying ad space.

    Re: Spam comment
    He is actually using his url as anchor text, which apart from reading really stupid won’t really help him much (he should rank for his own url, one would think). He could also use some formatting and paragraphs.

    However, compared with the comment spam I get on my blogs this guy gets at least a 7/10. You are lucky 🙂

  5. Excellent comment ( and use of the name as an anchor) U.K. ! And correct. I get a bunch of spam comments (100’s a week) that are deleted. That’s the price of having a do follow blog comment field.

    Maybe we should run a contest for all of these people and see who can use the most creative spamming tactics on a blogs comments?

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