I was just forwarded an email from a popular internet marketing list where a company gave people linking at them a chance to win $500 or $1000 for linking to them.
For each link you put on a page online, before May 30th, 2008 midnight you could have entered into a draw for the cash prizes. For example; if you put up 5 links on various sites, blogs, or even in a forum... you get 5 tickets into the draw. We did not accept 5 links on one URL as 5 tickets to the draw; it needs to be 5 separate URLs.
It is much harder for Google to kill paid links when those links come as a side effect of a contest or promotion.
Email lists of would be internet marketers have grown less responsive as blogs offering free information have sprung up, but having an email list or other audience that is not public will be a valuable tool for running contests through such that you can buy links without being called a spammer.
The beauty of having a list or large RSS subscriber base is that even if Google tries to take away your PageRank they can't take away your audience, which is already sold on you and do not care about your PageRank.
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