As more and more online marketers realize the importance of links to their Web success, services selling bogus and useless linking related services proliferate....

I get at least five inquiries a day from mostly off-shore firms offering to "Turbo Boost My Link-Building Efforts!"
Some sell packages of links. Give them $2,000 and they'll put a link to your site on 200 other sites or some such nonsense. I call it "nonsense" because the sole pupose of these "link sellers" is to convince you your search rankings are so dependant on links that if you don't do what they claim you will surely go out of business....
Nothing could be more wrong. The truth is that any link you can get either by buying bulk links or even buying one at a time could very easily come back to haunt you. The engines are on the lookout of these "rouge links."
Engines want to trust links, and for the most part paid links can't be trusted (don't get me started on the Yahoo directory link that costs you $299 a year. YES, it's a paid link. YES it can be trusted. But it's one of only a handful of exceptions to the "links can't be trusted" rule. is another.)
I'm not telling you you shouldn't buy links. Sure, buy them. But don't buy them for link popularity or search engine ranking purposes. Buy them for the audience they appear in front of. That's called advertising. A banner ad and a paid link are the same thing when you do it for the audience rather than for Google's algorithm.
And if you do buy links, buy them from a reputable company. There are a handful you can trust. Send me an email and I'll share them. If I listed them here I'd get hate mail for weeks from those off-shore guys.
Eric Ward

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image of Eric Ward

Eric founded the Web's very first online publicity and linking services, NetPOST and URLwire, in 1994. Eric's expertise is in helping companies generate links, publicity and buzz for their Web content. A hands-on practitioner, Eric also offers training and seminars that teach companies how to do it in-house. His client list is a who's who of online brands, from to

Eric has written for for ClickZ and Ad Age, and he won the 1995 Tenagra Award For Internet Marketing Excellence. In 1997, he was named one of the Web's 100 most influential people by Websight magazine. A well-known speaker at the major industry trade shows, Eric will soon publish The Ward Report, a monthly "how-to" newsletter on the art of link building and publicity for Web content, with commentary on the newest trends and practices.

A native of northern New Jersey, Eric has lived in Knoxville, Tennessee since graduating from the University of TN. Eric's wife Melissa and toddler Noah say "bye daddy geek" every day when he leaves for work.

Eric can be reached at