Small Fish Big Ocean

Helping specialist tour operators and activity providers with travel ecommerce

If you have a question about search engines or other forms of internet marketing then ask your question here and I will try and help you (or another member will jump in and help!)

Don't be shy! :)

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I feel I can confidently answer your question about paid links.

As someone who has sold text links, but when Google brought out the functionality to report people who sell links I took the decision to over time remove the paid links at the footer of the blog. Not that Google Page Rank is important for ranking, but it dropped from PR6 to PR3 in a matter of days, so someone obviously reported me.

You can add a tag on the links called 'no follow' which means the search engines don't follow the links and in return it means that the links aren't manipulating the Google search results. Hopefully, in time I will get the PR back, but whilst traffic is increasing it's not something I am loosing sleep over.

So, in response to your question, I would not recommend getting involved in paid links to increase your rankings in the search engines. Over 80% of my traffic is from Google, and I suspect that's the case for most online companies, so you have to adhere to their whims and changes - unfortunately.
For SEO, I really recommend the e-book by Steve Johnson. You can buy it at the following link or just type in 'google consultant' into Google. Spend the money, you won't regret it.

And if you get stuck with anything you can call him on his premium rate number! We had an issue with our website and Google not listing us when we started the company. I'm fairly tech savvy but could not work it out. We asked our 'SEO consultant' (I remember his response, it's laughable in hindsight), we asked our techie guys and I spent hours on SEO forums about it. In the end, I called Steve and he worked out the reason within 10 minutes...! I do vaguely know Steve from years back so he did ask me if I realised I was calling the premium rate number, but I don't mind, it was well worth it!

It is only about Google though and only about SEO. As pointed out, one shouldn't neglect the others, I think that particularly about MSN.

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