In the current search marketing environment, it’s exceptionally hard to find a website that’s ranking highly for competitive keywords in niche fields that isn’t employing paid link tactics to bolster their position. To illustrate, we’ll dig into 5 random queries that come to mind:
The purpose of this is not to highlight sites we believe to be spam, but to delve into the makeup of websites to see if Google practice’s what it preaches when it comes to its ‘don’t do it’ approach to paid links.
On the whole, the sites covered all have a range of high quality and what we believe, natural and relevant links. This clearly isn’t enough for them to rank highly for the queries they would like to as the evidence shows that £000’s (maybe even more in the case of exchangeandmart.com) has been spent gaining extra sponsored links, heavily targeting keywords in the anchor text.
The main explanation behind this stems from the intensely hard task to gain natural links for specific product pages or your sales landing page. Even if you can achieve this, will the anchor text be optimal enough to navigate search engines directly here? Probably not.
In our opinion you should always look to gain natural links first, prioritising fresh link worthy content and viral campaigns over writing out cheques. As the evidence shows, there is no real harm in incorporating a small paid link tactic to your overall SEO strategy but only do so if the sites are relevant and most of all, highly trusted by search engines.
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