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    Should I charge an SEO company for placing an article on my website?


    I run a fairly large website for a popular TV show (37,000 uniques per month, 68,500 visits, 400,000 pageviews). An SEO optimisation company representing a major fashion retailer has approached me offering of write a unique article for my website on 'How to dress like your favourite character', which would obviously promote clothes sold by their client, the major fashion retailer.

    Would it be common practice for the SEO company to pay me to have this article placed on my site? I don't want to turn down content, as this is an article my readers would be interested in anyway, so don't want to scare the company away with talk of fees, but at the same time don't want to give it to them for free if the usual practice would be for them to pay for this placement.

    Thanks in advance!
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    Possibly more importantly - will accepting this article (paid or otherwise) potentially hurt my PageRank if Google thinks this is a paid link?

    I'm slightly confused as to the definition of paid links - this article would not be spammy, it would actually be relevant to my readers, but from what i've read on paid link strategies it seems like it would have the potential to negatively affect my PR.
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    EGOL
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    They want you to post this article because they are probably going to load it up with keyword text links pointing to a site that they are trying to advance in the rankings.

    That will make your site link to a site that is involved in manipulation.


    Would it be common practice for the SEO company to pay me to have this article placed on my site?

    If they think that you are a sucker they will try to get you to do it for free.... and they are always looking for suckers.

    Likely this article is either a duplicate that exists on many other sites or the content is horribly bad.

    I get these types of requests all of the time. I delete them.


    However, I get some great articles from people who simply have a "message to get out" and they are not looking for any links at all. These tend to be fantastic content because the person is publishing for passion rather than for profit.
    Last edited by EGOL; Nov 26th, 2012 at 12:19 PM.
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  7. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by Chris Jenkins
    Possibly more importantly - will accepting this article (paid or otherwise) potentially hurt my PageRank if Google thinks this is a paid link?

    I'm slightly confused as to the definition of paid links - this article would not be spammy, it would actually be relevant to my readers, but from what i've read on paid link strategies it seems like it would have the potential to negatively affect my PR.
    Matt Cutts' disclaimer on this is "DISCLOSURE, DISCLOSURE, DISCLOSURE!" .

    The article MUST BE useful for your readership. It cannot be there to purely generate link juice so you have to ask yourself "How much readership interest will there be for 'How to dress like your favourite character'?"

    There is nothing wrong with the gist of what the SEO (and the SEO customer) desires but if your readership is left out of the equation (which also factors in new readers from search engines) they lose, then you lose, then the SEO customer loses but Google loss and then the SEO Practitioner loses in the end.

    I would review your analytical data for searchers that came to you via "a question"... who, what, where, when, why, or how (search for these words in your analytical data) and see if you can find match for the fashion designer.

    After that demand quality literature for a low quarterly stipend or accept potential crap at a massively high rate (assumes risk management fees are included).

    Also setup an independently Analytics account for that page so you can show others the referral differences between low vs. high quality.
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  9. B afraid.. B very afraid!
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    Sorry, but I would not publish anybody elses articles anywhere. For good money, I might be tempted to take an odd relevant text link request placed deep in my site on a page that is not idexed that almost nobody sees... I wonder why nobody accepts this offer.
    ...Never mistake activity for achievement...

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    If they give you a unique article that you think your visitors will like and the links are agreed to be nofollowed and they pay you a fee, sure why not stick it up.

    ^ That is assuming they want to appear on your site purely as a promotion to your visitors.

    If they give you a unique article that you think your visitors will like and it contains one dofollow branded anchor link and they pay you a large amount, sure why not stick it up..

    ^ That is assuming they are a "major fashion retailer" as you said, also assuming you need or want the money.

    But it all depends on a lot of different things.
    Last edited by DarrenHaye; Nov 26th, 2012 at 02:04 PM.
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  13. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by SEO_AM
    Sorry, but I would not publish anybody elses articles anywhere. For good money, I might be tempted to take an odd relevant text link request placed deep in my site on a page that is not idexed that almost nobody sees... I wonder why nobody accepts this offer.
    Candidly, this place seriously lacks SEO insight.
    1. You desire research oriented content on your domain and you hire a multilevel PhD in Business Administration and they provide you a work-made-for-hire research project for $50,000.

    2. The same person provided you the exact same thing but instead of work-made-for-hire research project for $50,000 they provided you the project free of any financial compensation but you needed to provide citations to publisher's website.

    You sort of suggest you would prominent display #1 and bury #2????

    I appreciate what you mean (and I don't disagree) but if you are unwilling to educate... you're just acting like an SEO *******!

    Not doing SEO anything (nor supporting SEO anything) are not the best examples for SEO EVERYTHING.
    Last edited by fathom; Nov 26th, 2012 at 03:52 PM.
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    Fathom... Once again you make me smile. You agree, but cannot stand agreeing with anyone. Once again you make me smile. How was your holiday?
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  17. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by SEO_AM
    Fathom... Once again you make me smile. You agree, but cannot stand agreeing with anyone. Once again you make me smile. How was your holiday?
    It's an oxymoron.

    ...the latter... fattening!

    Comments on this post

    • SEO_AM agrees : I am pleased to see you posting again. You make me/us think.
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    I would be inclined to charge for it, and would only accept it if the content was unique, you maintain full control of it, and can limit / approve the number of links from it.
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    Thanks for all your comments. We actually ran a feature on 'How to dress like your favourite characters' a number of years back, but characters have come and gone since then, so this would actually be a good follow-up to that. So presuming it's a well written article and not keyword-stuffed crap then it's something I think would be a good fit.

    I'm going to ask them if we can retain a certain amount of creative control to limit the number of backlinks to the retailer. Presuming this is relevant, useful content, will having a number of dofollow backlinks potentially affect us, or are we in the clear?

    Unfortunately I haven't even got a ballpark idea of what to charge, as we have up until this point not been a profit-making operation (something I'm looking to change). To date we have only make a limited amount of money from Google Adsense, so I have no experience in selling advertising space or paid articles.

    The strange thing is, we're only Pagerank 2, and their site is Pagerank 6, so I'm a bit confused as to why they selected us in the first place. They can't be that desperate for link juice can they?
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    Originally Posted by Chris Jenkins
    The strange thing is, we're only Pagerank 2, and their site is Pagerank 6, so I'm a bit confused as to why they selected us in the first place. They can't be that desperate for link juice can they?
    Do not pay too much attention to PR. A more important thing is link relevance, page authority/trust and number of outgoing links on any given page. I will take a trusted relevant link above most any other link; possible exceptions are a .edu or a .gov.

    A fair price in business is any price both a willing seller and willing buyer will accept. Make them give you an offer. Then you decide if you want more.

    We have an authority site and, in the past, had charged $30/month for a text link on a relevant page with no other outgoing links. We had willing buyers at that price.

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    • tstolber agrees
    Last edited by SEO_AM; Nov 27th, 2012 at 06:40 AM.
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    Well they've come back with an offer of a one off fee of AUD $100 (USD $105). I presume I'm right in thinking that's awfully low for what is essentially advertising for life as well as the SEO benefits they receive? Considering the size of our site the articley would receive a significant number of impressions.

    I'm thinking of going back with an offer of $300 but really have no idea if I'm over or even underestimating the benefits of this article for them.

    Just to note, it would only be one keyword link in what I gather is going to be a well written article. I have found a guest post the same company wrote for another blog and that one is thankfully quite well written. I contacted that blog's author and she let me know that the SEO company paid her a flat fee, but understandably didn't specify how much.

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : If you are interested in doing this, have them send the article to see how bad it smells, then quote the price or refer them to your competitor.

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