• http://www.michael-martinez.com/ Michael Martinez

    What was the point of this article? Why should the SEO community care about it?

  • Julian Grainger

    I think Conductors links work but not for the reason people buy them. I believe Conductor has been shopped by Google and probably knows the sites Conductor buys from anyway. So directly, its a risk for a number of reasons.

    However I would still buy them and this is why.

    These are high quality websites with lots of visitors.

    Text links have decent click through rates on sites like these so they have the potential to get a lot of visitors.

    Conductor, from the rates I have seen, is cheaper when compared to buying a banner to drive that traffic. It is more relevant to the content it is in. And it starts a user journey of discovery.

    I believe the eyeballs they deliver is what will push up the rank of the website (if your website is any good). Getting visitors to good content generates links naturally.

    And that increase in traffic with the right people is why Conductor has a role to play in SEO.

  • OSD

    Isn’t a bit hypocritical to call out the potential black hat consequences of working with a company like Conductor when SearchEngineLand prominently displays advertising for Text-Link-Ads, a company notorious for black hat practices that has been banned by Google, Digg, and other reputable websites in the past?

  • http://www.adventuresinsearch.com Elisabeth Osmeloski

    OSD – keep in mind, there’s separation of editorial & advertising here on SEL, not to mention the fact that columnists opinions are just that; as you’ll see in the disclaimer at the end. That said, articles like this one are simply intended to help readers weigh the risk vs reward of any SEO/link building tactic, regardless of vendor.

  • http://seoroi.com Gab Goldenberg

    @Michael – You gave me a chuckle. But this is a case study, and useful for anyone in the link selling business to learn about pitching.

    @Conrad, why don’t you write a follow up article? Set up a small, high quality site and buy links with Conductor. Maybe even take Julian’s advice, which seems pretty sound to me, about using them for the links obtained via editorial mentions, given by people who visited by paid links. Then write that up as a case study.

    Also: Advertising isn’t “unethical”. Google is not the arbiter of ethics, regardless of any “do no evil” mantras. See e.g. China. Paid links are advertising, and you can be a completely moral person yet buy text links.

    As an knowledgeable SEO who’s got several years’ experience under his belt, please call things by their names – greyhat or blackhat SEO, or text link ads or paid links or advertising. Not “an unethical business practice.”

  • http://mitteclothing.com JonPape

    I couldn’t determine how valuable the links Conductor was selling would be and even though the example publishers they displayed in the demo were “ok”, the other examples I found weren’t of much value.

    Paid links sound like a rainmaker paradox to me: if your rankings go up, the service worked; if your rankings don’t improve, throw more time and money into buying links and it will eventually work.