It is safe to use paid blog posts to build links to my site?
 by Casey Markee

It is safe to use paid blog posts to build links to my site?

  • I've heard that it's possible to pay bloggers to post reviews about my website on their blogs in order to build links to my site.

    Can I be penalized for this? If not, how do I evaluate a blog and ensure the posts I buy result in the greatest benefit to my site?

Answer: First of all, it's not completely safe. Google does treat paid blog posts (also called paid reviews) the same way they treat paid links. That means that sites can be penalized both for buying and selling paid posts.

Matt Cutts make Google's stance on paid links clear on his blog last year...

It should be clear from Google's stance on paid text links, but if you are blogging and being paid by services like Pay Per Post, ReviewMe, or SponsoredReviews, links in those paid-for posts should be made in a way that doesn't affect search engines. The rel="nofollow" attribute is one way, but there are numerous other ways to do paid links that won't affect search engines, e.g. doing an internal redirect through a URL that is forbidden from crawling by robots.txt.

Any paid post obtained to provide a boost in the search results is a violation of Google's Webmasters Guidelines and Google requires they be handled using one of the following methods...

  • Adding a rel="nofollow" attribute to the href tag.

  • Redirecting the link to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file.

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