Apr 01, 2020 - 01:51 PM
When someone asks, consider it an inbound lead and steer the conversation in another direction.
For example you could ask the person making the offer to write an amazing blog post for your website. Just make it clear that you will only accept it, if it would actually help your readers. If it happens to include a link you should require that it only links to other helpful resources.
9 out of 10 times the person sending you that offer will just give up and go on to other opportunities.
So to save you time, make your response into an email template that includes a writing guide / style guide for your website and a list of possible topics or themes that they could write about.
To learn more about this, look up "outbound link penalties" and you'll see reports of websites being penalized for selling links. Here are two:
Apr 02, 2020 - 01:34 PM
Personally, I have never made link buying or selling a part of my SEO efforts, but I do see evidence of it working for the buyers sometimes. Generally speaking, the site selling the links is at the greatest risk. In a study of 450 blogs, 12.6% admitted to selling links (it was 18.4% in 2016). The risk of selling links is very high, considering the majority of websites rely on search traffic for the majority of their traffic. A blacklisting or manual penalty added to a site could be the sure death of the site.
How likely is it that Google will discover the paid link? Hard to say. Sometimes it is really easy to detect, especially when it is off-topic or coded in a fashion that is clearly a paid link - both of those situations can be detected algorithmically. Even if you do your best to work out a selling a link & coding it with great care, it could still be discovered via:
- Another site not being careful. Once one paid link is uncovered, a simple backlink check across the web looking for other sites that link to the advertiser (including you) would be exposed.
- When a paid link marketplace is infiltrated, perhaps by a Google employee posing as a buyer, the entire network of sites that buy links and sell links could be penalized.
- A competitor may be able to recognize a paid link & report it directly to Google.
- A past employee, partner site, or upset link buyer may also choose to report it to Google.
It is also important to know the laws of your country when it comes to endorsements and reviews. You may not only be violating Google's guidelines, but FTC laws as well.
In summary, adding paid links on your site is a high risk activity. The advertiser is clearly buying the link to manipulate Google, otherwise they'd be happy with a sponsorship or nofollowed link.