My Take On The TLA InLinks.com Inline Link Buying Program

A lot of buzz has been generating in the SEO community about the launching of In Links, InLinks.com – The new Text Link Ads program that is an Inline Link Buying Program.  This link buying program seems to be virtually undetectable (but not under the radar 100%) by Google (which is much better then the “elephant in the room” old version of text links TLA offered), and puts the links where they matter most, right into the content of blogs, articles and other places where content is on your website.  I think the only way users can be detected is if they abuse the program.  If they do abuse, they can be caught and probably will be punished by Google.

Nothing new here, but lately I have been noticing how footer, blogroll and general sitewide links are having much less effect on rankings as they once did (even on search engines like MSN and Yahoo).  I still think they provide value for pages being indexed and crawled (which is the first step to getting ranked) but as far as factoring into helping improve the ranking of a keyword – not so much anymore!  If they are useful sitewides that can help with internal linking and link to good content, then I still feel those can possibly help you improve your rankings, but that is more of an internal linking strategy.  That is all this new program is trying to provide.  If you think about it, it is a much improved link placement system, and does actually bring some value and place links in appropriate places and content that matches.

Aaron Wall points out that he feels this program would be beneficial for those in the 8 – 12 ranking positions to move up to a profitable spot, but would not be good for someone ranking in the 100s hoping to move up to the front page.   Aaron, who I have been reading for years and trust, and feel is one of the greatest SEOs is promoting it, and gives no major warnings.

I am going to give it a try, and maybe do a follow up post later on sharing some of the results.

WHY THE CONTROVERSY?

Well for one, in public Google frowns on buying links, and feels this new program may even violate FTC rules by Bloggers not disclosing compensation, even though Google has been turning its head for years when it is the profitable thing to do so, (as pointed out by Shoemoney)  Think about the Google Adsense program and the way it has been abused for a profit, and how Google has been making money off this paid link program for years.

MY TAKE ON ALL THIS:

I have always felt that any kind of link – paid, natural, worked for etc. needs to have value, and add value.  I would agree that there are many text link programs out there that are worthless, and add no value.  I do not feel this InLinks program is one of them.  As long as there is a ROI for paid links, people will keep buying them.  Other SEOs, or Internet Marketers may not come out right and say they buy links, but they do.  I do not see any SEO arguing that this program is bad, or goes against anything they already do.  Like with any links you build, if you have the control for the kind of places your links show up (which you do on this program) you can make the ultimate decision if the link you are getting is going to add value and help out. 

I don’t think it should be a Google decision, or a Yahoo or MSN decision whether or not buy links, it should be a business decision of “will this benefit my site, and add value?”  

Look at it this way:  

If you have a site you are wanting to promote that sells picnic baskets, and are looking for picnic basket related anchor text links, and a home and garden website blog has a post about different picnic tips, and they want to allow you to have a link from them (through this program), then what is the problem?  It is very related, and targeted and SHOULD help in traffic and rankings.  There should have to be no disclosure.  You don’t see me driving around in my Lexus with a big “I financed this car through (insert bank name here)” magnet on the side of my car disclosing it, do you?  There is no difference finding the links on your own and asking the owner for a link, and the link you would get through this program.  This program just makes it easier.

If you are wanting to learn more about this paid links program, and give them a try to see how they work for you, feel free to join InLinks here…and NO I didn’t get paid to post this …

8 thoughts on “My Take On The TLA InLinks.com Inline Link Buying Program

  1. Kieran Hawe says:

    My opinion falls into the middle – I see the value and don’t think it is true “black hat”. Will i use it? Probably not, but more of the cost – $10/mo per link? No thanks I will spend that time and money on blog outreach and other link building techniques.

  2. Cameron says:

    I’m not saying I defend Google’s position on paid links… but it is their search engine. They’re not telling you that you can’t buy paid links, they’re simply saying if you do, they retain the right to drop you from their index. Seems fair enough to me.

    If the police required you to have a big sticker in your window saying it was financed by “XXX” or else they would impound your car, you’d drive around with the disclosure 😉

  3. Mat Siltala says:

    @Kieran Hawe – Fair Enough

    @Cameron – Always gotta play the Devils advocate with me huh bro? I do see your point with the Car insurance (and lets hope the insurance companies are not ever going to following Googles policies), but I agree with you that it is Googles search engine and they can do what they want. I am just saying people worry to much about the invisible “egg shells” surrounding Google, and they market their sites for Google. Don’t market your site for Google, market your site for your customers. Do what you feel is going to add value to your website, and I don’t think you will ever be punished for finding legitimate links.

    I don’t think they will ever be able to police something like this because how easy would it be to just screw a competitor over? I just don’t see it happening so long as the links are even a little trustworthy and legit.

    Who wants to see all the annoying disclosures everywhere on a website anyway, after all the AdSense Ads I already got to fight through???

    Thanks for the comment bro!

  4. John Lessnau says:

    I just wanted to let your readers know that inlinks is nothing new and http://www.LinkXL.com has been running the same service for over a year and a half now. Things are good and we welcome TLA and the publicity they have brought with their deep pockets to the contextual link market place.

  5. Mat Siltala says:

    @John Lessnau – thanks for the comment and yes I have been aware of the program, but TLA was and is a much more visible link buying company and that is why I decided to post about it when I did. You got other SEO’s talking about not buying links anymore (when they will when no one is looking) and I hate all this egg shell walking around where Google is concerned and marketing ones website. My question would be – do consumers ever have to worry about competitors outting them, or Google picking up a pattern of links all of a sudden showing up?

  6. Greg says:

    I think its awesome, I just signed up today and am going to try it out for a couple months and see what happens. I even found a promo code: “100free” – you get the first hundred dollars of links for just 1 dollar.
    Thanks Mat!

  7. faye says:

    This is quite useful especially when you want both to increase traffic and get your rank higher. If it can be run on a stealth mode under google radar, then it’ll be much valuable then for seo

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