What is a Paid Link according to Google

Today Matt Cutts talks about the not so obvious paid link. Basically it’s broken down like this:

– What is the value of the gift, product, or service?
– How close is the gift, product, or service to actual money?
– Is it an outright gift or a loan?
– Who is the intended audience?
– Is the intent of the gift to get links?
– Would the gift be a surprise to third party?

Source – Matt Cutts G+ Account
The way I look at this is “if” I have a feeling the exchange is a little shady or maybe even a little grey hat SEO, I’ll probably pass on it.  Matt talks about the “connection” of how close the gifts are to actual money and how valuable is it. He even talks about reading the FTC’s guidelines who has a lot of different examples. Most of the examples Google views falls along side with what the FTC views.

I have been approached many times with payment to put a link up for a monthly retainer. It never made sense to me to make a commitment to a company to put a follow link on my site or my clients’ sites.

You can watch the video here made 3/3/2014.

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