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Google Reminds Publishers Not to Accept Bribes for Links

In response to a controversial article published by The Outline, Google has reminded publications to refrain from accepting bribes for links.

The article in question claims that major publications on the web, including New York Times, CNN, and TechCrunch, have accepted payments from companies in exchange for positive coverage.

Several writers, who remain anonymous, admitted to The Outline that they accept money for links. Some have done so for years, and people within the industry are well aware this is going on.

Bribing journalists for links is becoming so common that it’s now the new norm, which makes it challenging for publications to weed out such links despite their best efforts.

The Outline does not go into much detail about the motivation behind buying links for prices that can soar above $1000 a piece.

Obviously, these unethical “journalists” are motivated by easy money, but The Outline doesn’t mention why links are being bought in the first place.

Companies are not buying links just to be featured in a one-off article. As SEOs, we know that being linked to from a high authority domain has the potential to influence search rankings.

Google’s Danny Sullivan has since chimed in, reminding everyone that attempting to manipulate search rankings with paid links is against the search giant’s guidelines.

Fast Company’s executive editor took notice of Sullivan’s tweets, and is now actively looking for assistance with identifying any pay-for-play links.

Ideally, this is what what Google wants to see from publishers. Sullivan states that publications should be fine as long as an honest effort is made to thwart paid links.

A couple of writers who contribute to sites mentioned in The Outline’s article responded saying they regularly receive emails from people looking to pay for links.

For the record, here is how Search Engine Journal deals with the growing concern of paid links.

Category News Link Building
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Google Reminds Publishers Not to Accept Bribes for Links

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