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InLinks: MediaWhiz Selling Links for SEO

InLinks- Selling Links for Search Engine Optimization Benefits Techcrunch just picked upon MediaWhiz for launching their new product InLinks that is a straightforward Link-buying system for SEO benefits.

How Does InLinks Works?

With InLinks advertisers can buy links to those sites are then added to publishers sites whenever certain keywords pop up in content. These aren’t pop-up ad links like Kontera and others – InLinks offers full blown links without any notation (like a nofollow) that tare primarily meant for giving out link juice for SEO benefits.

What Does Matt Cutts Thinks about InLinks

Techcrunch shared the following email from Matt Cutts (Head of Google Webspam Team):

Google has been very clear that selling such links that pass PageRank is a violation of our quality guidelines. Other search engines have said similar things. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also given unambiguous guidance on this subject in the recent PDF at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2008/03/P064101tech.pdf where they said “Consumers who endorse and recommend products on their blogs or other sites for consideration should do so within the boundaries set forth in the FTC Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising and the FTC’s guidance on word of mouth marketing,” as well as “To date, in response to this concern, the FTC has advised that search engines need to disclose clearly and conspicuously if the ranking or other presentation of search results is a function of paid placement, and, similarly, that consumers who are paid to engage in word-of-mouth marketing must disclose that fact to recipients of their messages.” Oh, but you say your blog isn’t in the U.S.? Maybe it’s in the UK? Then you’ll be interested in http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/uksi_20081277_en_5#pt11 which covers unfair trade practices and specifically mentions “Using editorial content in the media to promote a product where a trader has paid for the promotion without making that clear in the content or by images or sounds clearly identifiable by the consumer (advertorial).” But you’re not in the UK? I believe many of the unfair commercial practices directives apply through Europe, e.g. http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/rights/index_en.htm to prohibit misleading or aggressive marketing. The reality is that accepting money to link to/promote/market for a product without disclosing that fact is a very high-risk behavior, in my opinion.

What Others Bloggers are saying about InLinks:

InLinks.com – TLA Launches In Links, an Inline Link Buying Program : Aaron Wall – SEObook.com

Normally, It’s a Good Thing to Get Featured on Techcrunch : Rand Fishkin – SEOmoz.org

InLinks – These New Text-Link-Ads May Be Tough to Detect : Amit Agarwal – Labanol.org

Text-Link-Ads Debuts Inlinks.com — Hopes To Fly Under Googles Radar : Deep Jive Interests

My Two Cents

I won’t go into any debate of whether ‘paid links’ are good or bad. I think i have written enough of it already here. But I’d just say that both publishers & advertisers needs to be careful when signing up for these kind of programs due to the fact that they are ‘extremely’ dangerous when they get this kind of publicity and goes inside the radar…


  • Reply jamiekeaney |

    think of it this way…big risk, big reward. If you get busted, you’re really in trouble, according to Cutts. BUT, if you don’t get busted, and you buy links intelligently, you’re gold. The FTC isn’t going to come down on you for buying links, and 9 times out of 10, search engines won’t either because they simply don’t know. Until I see link values decreasing from purchased links, I don’t buy the argument that they’re getting better at it.

  • Reply Saad |

    @jamiekeaney – I agree with you completely. And its very likely for you to get busted when you buy links from a place like inLinks that has been featured in the home page of Techcrunch and got all sorts of publicity against them!

  • Reply Dwight Zahringer |

    Fact of the matter to take in to consideration is that MediaWhiz, who ownes TLA, who owns InLinks and ReviewMe Ads and others. (funny how Aaron Wall reviewed InLinks but failed to mention LinkXL. Maybe because he sold his share in 2007 to MediaWhiz?) They have the strong affiliate and publisher network (not to mention established relationships which Patrick is good at through the industry) to get the press out there for InLinks. You think they didn’t do any deals “off the record” to get the word out? Not to mention that it is a clone of LinkXL.

    We (LinkXL.com) have taken the grassroots approach and let the word spread over the past 2 years and earned a loyal following that continues to grow month after month. Google has kept an eye on us and even made personal visits. Our advertisers or publishers have never been penalized. However, in my opinion they see this as a direct competition with their #1 form of revenue. Remember that they have shareholders to report to.

So, what do you think ?