Dodgy Paid For Link Building Strategies – MoreDigital

A little introduction to my experience with dodgy link building strategies

To jump straight to the email transcripts, jump on down, but here is my take on it…

EDIT: Also, to read an article to give some context, check out: searchengineland.com/iacquire-banned-from-google-after-link-buying-allegations-122414

Moredigital.com approached me with a request to add a link to an online gaming platform for a cash sum of *125USD* on my personal web domain. It didn’t quite smell right, but I was curious about the detail, so I replied.After an email reply, more for my curiosity of the detail, ‘online gaming’ is really for ‘PartyCasino dot com’, and when I found this out, I replied with a “thanks, but no thanks – Online Gambling is not something I want to be associated with, and not fitting with my personal beliefs” email.

I then got a reply pleading for it – explaining my audience are into online gaming, and I should consider what “my readers” are interested in.

After not replying to that, I got another email asking if I had reconsidered. It was starting to get annoying.

I decided to reply with a “Sorry, but I fundamentally don’t support it, so no thanks”. I then explained that if it were another belief I didn’t support – such as smoking – it would be the same story.

I got another reply!

The line that really made me think ‘whhaaat’ was:

“Placing a single link on single page doesn’t mean you’re supporting it. It’s simply a way of generating extra revenue for your site. At the end of the day, it’s still going to be user’s decision. We can’t really blame convict a gun of murder right?

Please let me know what you think Stevie. I hope you can seriously consider it. “.

Seriously, this is getting crazy. I am curious if I’ll get another email if I ignore this email, like I ignored the last one.

She even called me Stevie!

The actual emails

Please note: I have removed the actual links, as I do not wish to be penalised. The actual emails have been copied from my gmail, so the contents below is as sent, in reverse order (for sake of reading), with some removal of line breaks and additional email footer crap (you know, This email is intended for… etc). Each email is separated by a horizontal line break.

The first email was on 9th May 2012, and last on 22nd May 2012.

Hi Steven,

I work for More Digital; a UK based Digital Marketing Consultancy.

We represent clients interested in social media marketing on smaller sites with little or no existing advertising and we’re currently looking for advertising partners.

We pay a fixed upfront annual fee which we will agree on with you. Once the ad is in place, payment is made within approximately 48 hours.

Would you be interested in placing a small text-based ad on Junkpit.net?

Kind regards,

Tracy Gaye

tracyg@moredigital.com


Hi Tracy,

Thanks for email, and yes, this does sound interesting, but would like to know more details.

Are you able to provide an outline of the process, including

What kind of space (pixels/position) we are talking about? Do you advise on where it gets placed, etc?

How much the payment is/for a one off payment, does or can the implementation change over the year?

What kind of technology is used in this/technical implementation details?

Look forward to hearing back. Be great to understand the specific details.

May I also ask, how did you learn of my site?

Cheers,

Steven Wright

Sent from my iPad


Hi there Steven,

Thanks for getting back to me, I hope all is well.Basically, we wish you to create a new post or article on your blog to accommodate our client’s link. We will provide you with the URL, and you can link to it in any manner you see fit. You can write the page in review format or simply write about the usual topics on Junkpit.netThe advert will be for an Online Gaming client and the rate we can offer you is 125USD for a year’s placement. We aim to complete payment via secure payment partners Paypal or Moneybookers within 1 to 2 days of the advert going live on your site.

To give you an idea of what a text advert looks like, please view our example at the following link: http://www.discoverdisney.co.uk/family-diary where the anchor is ‘Virgin Atlantic’. Also, you may read our terms and conditions: www.moredigital.com/terms.pdf.

If you are interested, please let me know. We’ll then send over the client’s URL (subject to your approval) so you can proceed with the draft of the advert.

Let me know if you have any questions Steven. I look forward to hearing from you again soon!

Best Regards,

Tracy


Hi Tracy,

 

Thanks for the info and example.Before any commitment, may I ask the client? Depending on who they are, this may be the deciding factor, plus some other sanity checking on my own behalf.Cheers, Steve

Sent from my iPad


Hi Steve,
We now have the details you need to include the advert on your site. Please let me know if this suits you.Our client: PartyCasino.comOur price: 125USD

We simply ask that you write a new blog post on your site – it can be about anything. Choose a paragraph from the post that is most relevant to the client, find a section/word from that paragraph and then link it to http://www.partycasino.com/games/roulette/europeanroulette.html

– you will have to use a Gaming related word as your anchor text
– link should be located within your article
– we only need one hyperlink in the entire article

Finally you will need to publish the new page live on your system and ensure that it is correctly linked from the homepage of your site.

I hope you’ll find everything in order and acceptable. Once you decide to insert the advert and have made it active, please email me confirmation. You may also already include your PayPal or Moneybookers address so that I can arrange payment to you.

Do let me know if you have any suggestions or concerns. We’ll be glad to adjust accordingly.

Thanks very much and I look forward to your reply!

Best Regards,
Tracy


Hi Tracy,

 

Thanks, but I will respectively decline. When you stated ‘gaming’, i suspected ‘gambling’ may be the context, but thought it best to clarify. This is not something I would like to identify myself with, or be fitting within my personal beliefs.
Cheers, Steve


Hi Steve,
Thank you for your email.I am glad you raised these issues. It just shows that we made the right decision and picking your site because its owner actually care for its content and image, just as much as care for our client’s.I understand if you’re not very into gambling yourself. However please look at it from your readers’ standpoint. We made extensive studies on this. We have substantial data that shows that people who are into your site’s niche are more inclined to show interest in online gaming.

We are looking at quality traffic over just the sheer volume of traffic. As our studies show, a more consolidated traffic with interest relevant to our clients services will yield better conversions; compared to just blindly placing massive amount of links on massive amount of sites. We are “zoning” our adverts, so to speak.

I hope this clarifies everything Steve. Please feel free to send over other concerns.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,

Tracy


Hi Steven,

I am writing to follow up on my email dated 10/05/2012 (copy below).As I have not yet had received a reply, I wanted to check you received it.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me and I will be happy to answer them.Best regards,

Tracy


Hi Tracy,
Yes, I understand your point of view that certain readers of my site may be – and as supported by your research – more inclined to gamble online.
That, however, does not change my stance. From my point of view, if you were to say that due to a large reader base being based in Amsterdam, I should feature a promotion for marijuana because it addresses certain interests of my readers in that market where it is legalized. Or because my readers smoke cigarettes, I should support that. In each case, I do not wish to support such parties.
Hope you understand, and don’t take this the wrong way, but I am not interested.

Cheers, Steve


Hi Steve,Thank you for your email.Using marijuana and playing an online game are two entirely different things. Online gaming is widely accepted, if not embraced, especially considering that they also have free for play options. This is no different from playing tetris or chess online. Even FaceBook has its own Poker Game application.

Placing a single link on single page doesn’t mean you’re supporting it. It’s simply a way of generating extra revenue for your site. At the end of the day, it’s still going to be user’s decision. We can’t really blame convict a gun of murder right?

Please let me know what you think Stevie. I hope you can seriously consider it.

Thank you for your patience. I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards,

Tracy

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