Video Summary: What is a "paid link" - Matt Cutts

  • 1 Matt: Today I am going to talk about the criteria for paid links

    Matt said that things are very clear most of the time. He said that when people pay money to get back links, it's considered a paid link.

  • 2 Matt: What if you bought someone something in exchange for a link?

    Matt said that people can sometimes ask questions such as 'What if I bought someone a pizza instead of paying for the link?' and that's why he decided to explain the paid link guidelines in detail. See unnatural links to your site - Matt Cutts.

  • 3 Matt: Google takes action based on deception

    Matt said that any kind of deception to get back links can result in actions taken by Google. Matt also said that he encourages people to read the FTC's guideline on compensations because Google thinks in a similar way. See when are Google penalties lifted.

  • 4 Matt: What is the value a person is getting for the link?

    Matt said that if someone got a pen or cheap T-shirt then this might not motivate them to take an action, but being given $600 for a link is certainly considered an attempt to buy a link. Matt said that the value of payment is one of the things Google looks for.

  • 5 Matt: How close is the compensation to money?

    Matt said that another criteria Google uses is how close the compensation is to money. He gave the example of a gift card which can easily be converted to money. Matt said that if you bought someone a dinner then they wrote about your blog, Google won't worry about that.

  • 6 Matt: Is the compensation a gift or a loan?

    Matt said that if someone gave you a camera to review it then asked you to keep it, it might be a paid link, but if the camera was given to you just to review it and bring it back then this is not a paid link.

  • 7 Matt: We also look at the intended audience

    Matt said that if someone was given a free trial so that they can buy the product or convert later on then this is not considered a paid link because the intention here was gaining a new customer not getting a back link from a review.

  • 8 Matt: When people ask for things directly it's considered a paid link

    Matt gave an example of people who ask for laptops as gifts to write good reports. Matt said that such a case is certainly considered paying for a link by Google.

  • 9 Matt: If it's not a surprise then it might be okay

    Matt said that it's okay for a movie reviewer to be let inside the theater, but it's not normal for a reporter to get a free laptop. See unnatural links from your site - Matt Cutts.