Sponsored Links And Paid Links – Are Authority Websites Allowed to Buy Them?

There is a myth among website owners, bloggers, and business owners that once a website has achieved some level of authority, popularity, and trust, it can buy links on other websites. Google employee John Mueller said on Twitter that even big sites are not allowed to buy links from other sites, it doesn’t matter the size and popularity of the website. Any website which buys sponsored links paid links or any type of endorsement from other website is treated equally and qualifies to be penalized for webspam by Google webspam team through manual action.

Here is the tweet where John Muller said that the size of the website does not matter

Big sites paid links

The specific case in this example is a website building tool pitching other website owners in trying to convince them to use a specific anchor text to link to their website. This is a clear case of Anchor text spamming and it is a clear violation of Google webmaster quality guidelines.

In the tweet of John, he clearly states that there is no difference in the size of the site which is buying or selling links. Both the parties involved in buying or selling links will be under the radar of Google web spam team and eventually, actions will be taken against them.

If you have a website which has high authority and trust, it becomes all the more important to retain that trust. The trust that search engines have on your site which influences your website’s search rankings on Google. It is this trust which determines whether you will be able to grow the search rankings and if this trust deteriorates, the rankings will also go down with it.

So here is a brief list of the things that you should not do, even if you are a high authority website with lots of traffic from Google and high search rankings

  • Stop pitching bloggers and website owners trying to convince them to link to your website with a specific anchor text. This is not natural, it is not good for anyone and it deceives the search engines by passing PageRank through the anchor text. Yes, I agree it is a way to create SEO friendly anchor text and there seems to be no harm in requesting others to link to your site (it used to be that way in the old days of the internet) but consider the fact that these links are not natural but endorsed in some way. Endorsed links do not pass the real merit of a website to search engines and tries to gimmick it, which is not good for the whole community.
  • Stop obsessing about anchor texts all the time. It’s not just anchor texts, it’s a whole host of other things which helps you achieve better search rankings. Only going after anchor texts can sometimes harm your website in a negative way. Over optimization is not good and will raise the red flag sooner than later.
  • Authority is a relative and subjective thing. What has authority today, may not exist tomorrow. Just because you consider yourself as an “Authority in a niche” does not give you the privilege┬áto do just about anything.
  • Stop buying sponsored articles on other websites.
  • Stop doing Guest post for signature links. It does not help much and Google has the ability to figure out which link is natural and purely editorial in nature and which links are not.

The takeaway here is that the size, authority, popularity and trust of the website is not a factor and Google treats every website equally. If you violate their quality guidelines, you will eventually get caught.

Links to both the tweets can be found here and here.

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