The Paid Link Blog Meme

Since it’s been over 48 hours since the last what are your 5 favorite toothpaste flavors meme I think I’m safe to start a new one. However this one’s going to be a bit different.

Instead of boring you with the mind numbingly inconsequential details of my everyday life I’m going to get straight to the point. I’m starting a blog meme and the five people I’m tagging have each paid me $100 to mention them

Matt Cutts
Peter Da Vanzo
Jeremy Zawodny
Andy Beal
Andy Hagans

Ok so what’s the deal did Matt really send me a check for $100 to link to him? Of course not don’t be daft … he used paypal! Ah and there’s the rub you can be reasonably sure he didn’t but if It was anyone other than Matt you wouldn’t be sure now would you. I could always employ a bit of Captain Jack Sparrow logic, lie often enough that no one believes you when you are telling the truth, and I can get away with a lot more. Did Peter send me a C-Note, nope but he totally gets the lunacy of the state of paid links nowdays. Jeremy didn’t send me Benjamin either, but if you talk about paid links you have to mention him it’s an incontrovertible law of God, man and blogging. Andy Beal I included him hoping he will run with this and give it a bit of legitimacy (wink wink nudge nudge). Andy Hagans he’s never send me anything as crass as cash an IPod shuffle is more his style.

Here’s the point though, what’s to keep me from starting a meme about something and soliciting cash from a few people to put them at the head of the list, and more importantly how is the all knowing great ad detecting wizard of OZ like Google algo ever going to know? Ok I can hear some people thinking sure you may be able to get a few links to your SEO or Marketing buddies but how can you make this work for a commercial site that’s not in SEO space? Well friends it’s time to externally contemplate on the parallelogram (leans back stretches out cracks knuckles and hunkers down)

Want to link to your new blog without people knowing it’s yours, start the 5 Best New Blogs You Aren’t Reading Meme

Egotastic! – The Entertainment Blog
Sweet Feet Boutiqueadvertising practitioner: big, rich and green
The Security Development Lifecycle – The Next Big Thing on the Internet is here. You pick it.

Ok go ahead try and figure out which one is mine, or which one belongs to one of my friends, or which one sent me a new 80GB video IPod, or which ones I put in there just to throw you off the trail. You in the back you’d like a link to a commercial site, sure get ready for the My 5 Favorite Shopping Sites Meme
CD Baby
Willaims Sonoma
Sur La Table

So how do you know which isn’t a client of mine, how do you know which one isn’t a client of one of my friends? OK Gray what if I need to get a link to a site no one is ever going believe I buy from? Well then welcome to the 5 Shopping Sites I Wish My Wife Would Buy From Meme:

Fredericks (NSFW)
Trashy (NSFW)
3 Wishes (NSFW)
Agent Provocateur (NSFW)
Pink PussyCat Boutique (Really NSFW)

Go ahead tell me which ones aren’t places I want her to shop and which one is from a guy I met at SES last week. Need some more ideas on how to obfuscate your paid linking intent in a meme how about the 5 Best Local Websites in Your Town Meme:

Brands Cycle
Causeway Deli
DaVincci Tattoo
Mr Vac & Mrs Sew
Ace Tool Online

Did the guy in the bike shop hook me up on a repair, does Dennis give me free sandwiches when no one is looking, was I able to barter a deal with Ace Tools for a new power washer in exchange for a link? So I proved I can come up with a creative way to link to anything if I wanted to, but big deal what’s one link going to do? How about instead of five links I cut it down to two or three, and on top of that I ask everyone I tag to carry the links forward. I contact some of my friends and work out a deal to tag them first. This way they can add thier clients links and lend an air of legitimacy to the project. Do you want to participate in the meme that only one person is doing no way, but you sure do want to pariticpate in the one everyone else is, don’t you?

What’s the takeaway here, never trust a meme especially one that I participate in? Hardly. The real point here is don’t buy into the FUD that search engines propogate to serve their own self intrests. Don’t beleive them when they get all spooky and CIA on you with lines like “google knows much”, because they don’t, and if they did they wouldn’t need to say things like that to scare you into aquesing to their will. Don’t let them tell you how to run your business or your website in a way that doesn’t make sense to you and help you stay profitable. Rememebr the more things they keep discounting the more try to push substitue solutions like “personalized search is better for you” down your throat. If it was so much better they wouldn’t have had to force everyone to use it opt them in now would they?

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