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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    Purchasing Links In Free WordPress Themes
    Hey all;

    I wanted to know your opinion on: http://wpthemesfree.com/

    They contacted us recently about purchasing keywords in the footer of their free templates that they distribute on their template sites. With the nature of our website, this isn't considered black hat SEO by Google. It is pricey to do this, but I think it would be a good way to get quite a few long term, quality link backs.

    I am having trouble finding other sites that do the same thing. Do you happen to know any competitors that I could compare?

  2. #2
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    It is pricey to do this, but I think it would be a good way to get quite a few long term, quality link backs.
    The first thing I would do if I used their theme is go to the code and edit all those links out. How many others would do the same?


  3. #3
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    Buying links will be money wasted.

    1. Most delete the footer link after installing a WP theme.

    2. How many websites that will have your link in the footer will have content related to what you are selling. How many visitors will actually click thru to your site and may be buy something.

    3. What if balck hat, porn, adult sites use the theme that has your links. Will you want that.

    Do not put links on sites that you cannot control.

  4. #4
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    "With the nature of our website, this isn't considered black hat SEO by Google. It is pricey to do this, but I think it would be a good way to get quite a few long term, quality link backs."

    That's not true. Google will zap you for that. It's well known they don't like people buying links for SEO purposes. Sometimes it's hard to tell, sometimes it's obvious and the obvious usually get it sooner or later.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager Steven.C's Avatar
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    I also, agree that the first thing that plenty of people will do is remove the links in the footer file. I've seen it done plenty of times, and it is a step that only takes 2-3 minutes to do.

  6. #6
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Links like this work if they relate to the product. For example, "this theme/web page/widget/tool designed by http:///yourlink.com" . Visitors will follow the link, use the tool/product and if you are lucky perhaps even post another unique and valuable link to your site. So the link works for the theme creator, if it does not get deleted. Personally, I leave the theme creator links in place - they should get something for their efforts. But I would probably delete links other than the creators link - I feel no need to compensate them.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  7. #7
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    According to Google, web hosts and general news sites are free to receive links back from non-relevant sites. That's what I meant by that it wouldn't be considered black hat for us.

    Also do you find it difficult to remove links from encrypted footers?

  8. #8
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blitwin
    According to Google, web hosts and general news sites are free to receive links back from non-relevant sites. That's what I meant by that it wouldn't be considered black hat for us.

    Also do you find it difficult to remove links from encrypted footers?
    Google will not penalize you for links back from arbitrary sites, (except for paid and well known link farms perhaps) they just won't credit your SEO much, if at all, for backlinks from non-relevant sites.

    I don't know about an encrypted footer, but in a WP theme I am using, I simply can go into the Theme Editor and edit out the link in my footer page.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  9. #9
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    It would be considered Blackhat to Google and if they took a look at what you were doing, you could get nailed. They talk about it some here - http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/how-to-report-paid-links/

    There's a difference between sites linking to you on their own for whatever reason and buying links in footers. Those are pretty easy to see.

    I've also seen stuff like that with free web counters. Where people use those free web counters on their site but they also have keywords attached to them. A competitor of mine went crazy with it and got banned.

  10. #10
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    Used to work in that field and I managed to get in top 20 for an important keyword at google, but as soon as I got there I sold the website .

    So I guess it still works!

  11. #11
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    So I have a question for you, why isn't it considered blackhat when a company like Siteground hyperlinks "web hosting" in the template footers that they distribute (i.e http://wordpress.siteground.com/wp2....heme=Atahualpa)? Anyone could be linking back to them. Same goes for the other link in the template for the company that designed the template.

  12. #12
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    I'm just trying to look at it from Google's perspective. Buying links for SEO purposes can get you banned. Google has blogged about this many times, so you're getting it right from the source. Now a lot of times it's hard to tell which links are paid for, which aren't. There can be cases like footers in themes. With what you posted, I think most of that is ok, when you use a theme it's just giving credit to the author. But there are times where it's pretty obvious they're being used just to game the search engines. I had one yesterday that I deleted because it had pharm, casino links, that one is pretty obvious. With what you posted, it's clear they want to rank for web hosting and they have that phrase as a link to their site in their themes. It's a judgement call, not sure what Google would do with your example. I just know for myself, if I have a site I want to build up, I'm not even taking the chance. And I realize there are people who buy throwaway domain names and will take those chance and don't care if they get banned. So it's up to you. But again in general and if Google can see it, figure it out, buying links for SEO purposes can get you zapped. And there are gray areas, some I'm not sure of myself.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the thoughtful response. We're looking to buy a "web hosting" link in templates and have it pointed to our web hosting site. I know I've read on Google's blog that it is OK for web hosts to do this, but I can't find the article again.

  14. #14
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    The first thing I would do if I used their theme is go to the code and edit all those links out. How many others would do the same?
    I agree 100%.. first thing I would do is delete your link from the footer. And it's VERY easy to do. However, if it's encrypted, and not so easy to delete, there could be potential backlash..

    Why pay for something you can't control..? If it was a nominal price, you could take your chances, but I wouldn't under these circumstances, SEO or otherwise.

    It sounds like the authors are just trying to monetize something they built for free.

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    I know I've read on Google's blog that it is OK for web hosts to do this
    something like that sounds like it refers to the kind of sponsor links you see on free hosted sites like Yahoo's geocities, not that one specific business is exempt from their algorithms and groundrules. I would stay far away from the scheme.

  16. #16
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    Don't waste your money. Seriously.
    J. Duffield Affiliate Manager at Snow Consulting
    Let's Connect-PassTheSEO|#GSEG|Twitter|LinkedIn|Blog "Knowledge is Power."

  17. #17
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    It would be considered Blackhat to Google and if they took a look at what you were doing, you could get nailed. They talk about it some here - http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/how-to-report-paid-links/

    There's a difference between sites linking to you on their own for whatever reason and buying links in footers. Those are pretty easy to see.

    I've also seen stuff like that with free web counters. Where people use those free web counters on their site but they also have keywords attached to them. A competitor of mine went crazy with it and got banned.
    From the Matt Cutts post there was a link to http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/hidden-links/ where they discuss extremely deceptive paid links. I think this is what Google is going after. And secondly, this is a manual process, not part of the algorithm. The suspicious practice needs to be reported and then examined manually.

    So I don't think you would get nailed with a penalty but on the same hand I think it would not help - you would be wasting your money. Use the money for some PPC promotion.
    This World is Not My Home
    We're gonna go inside, we're gonna go outside, inside and outside. . . And then we're gonna go go go and we're not gonna stop til we get across that goalline! Quotes from the movie Rudy, 1993

  18. #18
    Member BrettSaver's Avatar
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    don't waste your money on something that the majority of users are just going to edit out anyways.

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