Much has been said about when is the delicate-line of spam linking crossed. And the answer once more is very simple: If your strategies are intended to provide value to your customers, then you have nothing to worry. For example if you have a website that provides home insurance leads, and you start linking “strangely” from lots of NASA edu links, then you should rethink your linking strategy.
Don’t waste too much time reviewing who links to you as you do when you decide who to link. Why? Because in paper, you should only have control of what happens in your website, if you are linking to bad neighborhoods then it is your responsibility.
Anyhow, for those interested, I am including a new official Google Post about the topic:
I really like Rand Fishkin’s Comments on Link Buying at Matt’s Blog:
“Matt, my guess is that over time, the principles of capitalism and a free society will actually help whether you measure paid links or not. The prices of links are (or should be) based on how much they help contribute to rankings, so if you can afford text links, it means you’re doing something right and if you can continue in the long run to pay for them, you’re making a good ROI.
Those companies and sites with the best ROI will more than likely have the best usability, promotions, value, etc. and will therefore win in the long run no matter whether paid links are measured. If the web was meant to be non-commercial, I would agree with you entirely – no one should buy links, and no one should sell them.
But that just isn’t the case, and one of the companies profiting most from the web is your own. It would seem un-gentlemanly to suggest that while Google is free to profit from paid links (AdSense), other websites do not have that luxury. We both know that very few people will pay for links with nofollow and therefore link sellers won’t adopt it. It’s always better to play into the market’s greed and human nature rather than attempt to fight it. Creative solutions abound and I have faith that your boys at the plex will come up with something. But recommending that people not but link advertising can’t produce a good result; it can only foster indignation and resentment (along with accusations of hypocrisy, and malevolence). Let’s start the search for another solution.”