Matt Cutts Explains — What is a “Paid Links”

Paid Links Defined by Google’s Matt Cutts

In the latest Google webmaster help video, Google head of search spam Matt Cutts discussing how google determines what is a paid link.

Cutts on Google Plus says

I don’t post SEO/search/webmaster videos here very often, because this is my personal G+ account, but this is an in-depth (8 minute!) video that explains some of the criteria we use when we decide whether a link is paid or not. Roughly, here are some of the important questions we ask:
- 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?
My guess is that anyone who has been involved with SEO for a while would intuitively understand these criteria, but it’s helpful to clarify some of the questions we ask. Bear in mind that well over 99% of the time, paid links that pass PageRank are abundantly clear—because actual money is changing hands—plus we reserve the right to adapt our criteria when we see new types of spam or abuse.

To hear Matt’s full explanation, please see the video below

Bottom Line

If you paid or get paid for links, that’s against Google search rules and even the FCC.

Alok Raghuwanshi is an India-based SEO Professional, and author of an SEO and social media marketing blog. Take a look and let me know what you think by including your comment below. Thank you and have a great day.

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