It’s an already common practice to have guest posts in your blog or to be a guest author in someone else’s blog or magazine. This can have various goals, like creating a steady stream of content for your page or getting a space for your work for people to read it.
But there are other reasons to submit an entry in a blog that doesn’t belong to you or to allow other authors to write in your blog, and that’s the backlink.
But what is a backlink? you might wonder. According to ahrefs.com “Backlinks are links from a page on one website to another. If someone links to your site, then you have a backlink from them. If you link to another website, then they have a backlink from you” (if you want to know a little bit more on how to use it, read the article: How to Build Links for Your Website and Get High Rankings)
So why is this important, then? It’s because of Google SERP, it’s always because of Google…
The more relevant sites backlinks to yours the higher you’ll be in the Google SERP, amongst other factors, of course. Actually, the backlink strategy is one the most effective inside the SEO world to make your page rank higher. People dedicated to this are called outreach managers, and they are constantly trying to put backlinks of their page on someone else’s they consider valuable, in the form of blog posts or other entries not as common as the blog post.
Now, this means that we can go talk to everyone and ask them to put our links in their entries or offer them a blog post for our page to rank higher?
In principle, yes, but, as always, with Google, nothing is as simple as that. First, you need to find a relevant and coherent site to put your link on, and then you have to make a deal with the managers of the site for them to allow you to put your link on their site. There are two ways to do this, one is to generate a very good piece of written value and insert a link on it and the other is to pay for it.
In early 2010, a lot of people were paying for submitting their articles or even just the links, a practice that Google didn’t like because it lowered the quality of the SERP page content. So they “prohibited” the Paid backlinks in the Penguin Update (2012) lowering the rank of all the pages created with the sole purpose of containing links on them and earning money in the process.
Since then, then backlink strategies have been much more sophisticated, and now we have Inbound Marketing, which bases its success in attracting people with good quality content in the form of written entries filled with backlinks to other pages, sometimes paid sometimes not, and also Native Marketing, which embeds the ads directly into the content without disrupting the content nor visually or thematically.
Back to the title of this article, Does Google allows paid backlinks in their SERP pages?
In principle, they don’t, but you can find some ways around it, creating a serious business around the paid submissions, where you don’t charge for the backlinks, but for the space in your blog or your audience, much like any other mass media company. If you are in this position and you are wondering how to make a profit out of your blog but without filling it with an advertisement, you can implement the Pay For Submission strategy.
Of course, if you want to be “out in the open” with your legitimate business, you have to let Google know those links are sponsored by adding the tag rel=”sponsored”. That way, when Google’s crawlers crawl your blog, they’ll know in the spot those links are paid for and that you are not trying to “fool” the system.
You can also apply the tag rel=”nofollow”, that way, the owners of the link can’t benefit from the backlink in terms of the Google SERP, but only by the click the link gets. Read this article to know more about the Follow no Follow the discussion: Nofollow vs. Follow Links: Everything You Need to Know
The next question you might have is: Why someone would give good quality paid content in exchange for a no-followed link?
You need to consider two things here: first, the person asking for the backlink in your blog is earning money to do that, so in no way this is a favor from your to them or vice versa. this is business like any other. And second, you have to consider the power your own site (the one that contains the backlink) has in this exchange. If you have a well know and highly visited the site you might know this already but the fact that you have the link to another page is huge for that other site, only because of the clicks it can gather. If you give away a do-follow link that could be a little unfair for you. On the contrary, if your site is small and your reader’s base si little, you should consider giving the space for free, this can be the case for blogs that are at the beginning of the pay for submission strategy, building the reader base.
There’s the case of huge mass media sites like journals or magazines, that don’t accept money in exchange for backlinks, they only accept professional quality hand-crafted content with a series of requirements and limitations. These sites are the biggest ones and they don’t earn by charging the content creators but by charging the readers or even by allocating some advertisements, usually using marketing technics such as native marketing or inbound marketing.
In conclusion, all of your blog and magazine managers have a real profit opportunity by using Pay for Submission strategies, as long as you do it out in the open and you have transparent and clear submission guidelines according to what Google’s like and accessible for anyone to see it. And remember, you are not charging for backlinks, you are charging for submissions, which is not bad or dishonest at all.
Native Marketing Example (ruined)
In ThemeKraft.com we have a perfect plugin for you to help you with your Pay for Submission strategy called BuddyForms Pay for Submission, and due to its simplicity, you can do this today without any coding knowledge. It allows you to generate a form where your guest authors can write their content, upload all the media they want, submit the content and pay for it, all on the same page and without the need for you to moderate the process, but only the content and the publishing. That way you can save a lot of time and resources. You can find BuddyForms Pay for Submission plugin here along with all its documentation, and our tutorial video.
Remember that if you need any help implementing the plugin, you can write us at [email protected]. We have our monkeys working day and night with the sole purpose of helping you.