PageRank 9 links cheap!!!! Or maybe not ;)
If a market inefficiency is so great that people focus specifically on that inefficiency then the inefficiency is going to dry out pretty quickly. Either the undervalued commodity is going to have is supply quickly exhausted or the market maker which lends the value to the commodity will remove the value. Within any topic or vertical there are ideas and sites focused on those ideas which will have high authority but limited income opportunity. Conversely the sites focused on maximizing revenue generation typically are nowhere near as authoritative. So they either have to create secondary sites, launch viral marketing campaigns, or hunt for authority where they can buy it at an affordable price.
For example, there are lots of sports equipment and sports collectible sites online which have limited authority. There are, however, authoritative sites about each and every sport. It looks like this site, from 2000 with about 20 edu links, DMOZ listings, and Yahoo! Directory listings allows you to sponsor pages for a year for $5 each.
I probably would not sponsor a few pages on that site. I would be more inclined to spend a few grand to buy exclusive sitewide sponsorship rights.
Not all of the sites are going to suggest a price for a reference on their sites (and in fact most webmasters are quite unaware of the value of their content and their link authority). You may have to hunt around to find those kinds of sites. But if you think of sites that
- would have high authority; and
- not be noticed by most of your competitors; and
- almost no income
those will be the sites that will give you great long-term link value. Jim Boykin is great at finding those types of sites.
If you think that getting a link off the site which creates the standards that run the WWW is sneaky or that nobody will find it then you are probably wasting your money, and getting a bunch of links from smaller and more related sites is a better investment, especially in long term. The big pages tend to get spotted quickly, fill up with spammy links quickly, and either algorithmically handeled or manually handeled. I learned that in the past when I did a Mozdev donation.
Some people have assumed that I am a huge spammer because I donated to the W3C, but I have donated to many projects where I didn't donate just for a link, and am not ashamed to admit that I supported the WWW.
I was (and still am) a big fan of donating for links, but have generally got much lazier on that front recently because recently it has been far cheaper to create interesting content or tools to build up the authority of this site. it has enough exposure to where if my ideas are well implemented they are going to spread.
I however do sometimes make spammy pages or buy spammy links. Some are just to joke or play around or test the market. Others are dual purpose or passive lead generation streams (for instance on this page I am not selling anything to do with eBay, I just wanted to test the authority of my other blog and a number of people who find that page end up connecting it to this site and buying my book). I don't actively solicit most of my spammy links (like the ones on the splogs about wall clocks), but what does it really matter if you have a few spammy links if you also have tons of legitimate ones? If getting a few low quality links gets people to talk about you does it also increase your exposure and help build good free secondary links? Sometimes, methinks ;)
Who is the moral authority to determine relevancy of a link or a search result? Are their guidelines anything deeper than self promotion? And why does their opinion matter? So long as whatever you do is enjoyable and profitable and you weight the risk to reward ratios I don't think much else matters.
Gain a Competitive Advantage Today
Your top competitors have been investing into their marketing strategy for years.
Now you can know exactly where they rank, pick off their best keywords, and track new opportunities as they emerge.
Explore the ranking profile of your competitors in Google and Bing today using SEMrush.
Enter a competing URL below to quickly gain access to their organic & paid search performance history - for free.
See where they rank & beat them!
- Comprehensive competitive data: research performance across organic search, AdWords, Bing ads, video, display ads, and more.
- Compare Across Channels: use someone's AdWords strategy to drive your SEO growth, or use their SEO strategy to invest in paid search.
- Global footprint: Tracks Google results for 120+ million keywords in many languages across 28 markets
- Historical data: since 2009, before Panda and Penguin existed, so you can look for historical penalties and other potential ranking issues.
- Risk-free: Free trial & low price.