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How and where to sell links

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Selling links is generally considered a grey-SEO practise, which is frowned upon by Google – see Information about buying and selling links that pass PageRank. Therefore, I do not recommend selling links without nofollow attribute. By doing so, you run the risk of getting banned from Google index. If, however, you decide you want to go with it, here are some guidelines for you to follow:

How and where to sell

You can sell links either manually (via forums, social networks, blogs etc.) or automatically (via a link broker).

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Selling manually

If you go with manual sale, you can sell links at topically-related forums, as well as SEO and Webmaster forums by posting a message offering link places to the forum members. However, do not disclose URL of the website from which you sell links to the general public, as people may report you to Google and you will get banned. There are also gossips on SEO blogs and forums that Google hires spies to report link sellers and manually penalises them. So be careful, show the site URL only to people who appear trustworthy (e.g., forum members who has been registered for at least several months, have lots of posts and a high reputation). Also bear in mind that selling links manually could be quite time consuming and difficult to control: you’ll need to remember about expiry dates, constantly look for and correspond with link buyers, strive to maintain continuity in a sense that most of your link spaces are sold and timely paid for – etc, etc, etc.). Also, when selling manually, you have to know and follow the prices, which can vary greatly depending on type of the link (site-wide, home page or deep link) and the website parameters (home page PR, selling page PR, number of outgoing links, site age, number and quality of backlinks). Besides prices may change with time due to changing competition on the market, change in search engine ranking algorithms, inflation and many other external factors. Therefore, it’s pointless to quote any prices here. Your best move is to check forum posts from users that are already selling links and see what prices they quote.

Selling automatically

It’s much easier, on my opinion, to sell links automatically via a link broker, that takes upon itself all the hassle of acquiring new links, extending the existing and removing the expired ones as necessary, as well as handling all pay-ins and payouts. In other words, a link broker takes total control over all procedures associated with link selling. To start placing links on your blog, you will need to enrol for a broker of your choice and install a piece of code on your website. For standard blog engines (such as WordPress or Moveable Type) this can be pretty easy as the broker usually provides an easy-to-follow instructions. With non-standard blog engines, you may need to edit your site php/html code by yourself following general guidelines on where and how the additional code should be installed. There are link brokers for any kind of websites and there are link brokers specifically for blogs. Besides, there are link brokers that sell “stand alone” links (footer links, sidebar links, blogroll links etc.) and there are brokers who sell/buy contextual links, i.e. links within the posts themselves.

Selling stand-alone links

These refer to links in the blogroll or navigational sections (sidebar, header, footer etc.) of your blog. This is the easiest option regardless of whether you want to go for automatic or manual sale. With manual link placement you just add them as usual navigational links to your blog (e.g., in a WordPress blog you do it via widgets). With a link broker, you will get a piece of code or plugin that you will have to install on your blog. Usually this is straightforward, especially for standar blog platforms (see above).

Selling contextual links

With contextual link brokers you sell links within your blog posts. Similarly to navigational link brokers, you will have to install a piece of php code or a plugin on your blog to start selling links. Again, with standard blog types this shouldn’t be a problem. However for non-standard or custom-made blog platforms installing the code could be trickier as you will need to alter php code of your blog. One of the oldest and most reputable companies for contextual links is TextLinkAds.

InTextLinkAds advertisers bid on particular words from your blog posts, and you can sell those wordsto the highest bidders. With Text Link Ads you also have an option to sell “stand alone” links. Other popular link brokers on the market are: LinkAdage – auction system; both navigational and contextual links; any kind of websites LinkWorth – navigational and contextual links, paid posts and ads; any kind of websites TextLinkBrokers – navigational and contextual links, paid reviews and text ads; any websites WP Text Ads – WP plugin, $127, no commissions; links nofollowed! no contextual; blogs only Vibrant Media – In-Text links pointing to video ads; contextual; any kind of websites Summary In summary, if you decide you want to sell links, I advise you first try link brokers that accept nofollow links (e.g. WP Text Ads), as this is absolutely legal and doesn’t break Google webmaster guidelines. Thus it will not cause you any problems with Google at all, as in that case the links are considered as ads.

However, your blog would need to enjoy a relatively high traffic (at least a few 100 visitors a day) to bring you a reasonable revenue. If , on the contrary, your blog has low attendance, then your only bet is to sell dofollow links (whether manually or via loink broker) and doing so, as I previously said, put your sites at risk of getting banned from Google index.

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