inLinks Review – An Arrow to Google’s Achilles’ Heel?

December 1, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park  

Everyone knows that paid links expose a gaping hole in Google’s search algorithm. Many marketers have been able to take advantage of this weakness by buying up paid links and artificially increasing their rankings in the search engines. Google has since declared war on paid links and has been actively working to eliminate link brokers and severely devalue sites that sell links.

MediaWhiz, the company behind Text Link Ads, has launched another link product named . Unlike Text Link Ads, which places lists of paid links in sidebar widgets, inLinks automatically converts keywords held within content to links. Not only are these links harder to detect, but they also pass on more value because they are held in the actual content of the page. Location does matter.

There has been a ton of hoopla and controversy about this new product in the past week. Clearly, inLinks is against Google’s policy on buying and selling links and Google engineer Matt Cutts has gone as far as to say that use of the platform could be in violation of FTC guidelines (a scare tactic of course). Shoemoney rightfully responds by pointing out the hypocrisy of Google.

Nevertheless, there are differing views on how effective buying links through inLinks will be. The links are harder to detect because of their stealthy location and because publishers have editorial control over which sites they’d like to accept and and reject (the more relevant the better). However, there are still quite a few flaws with the system that may cause inLinks to fail as it grows bigger and bigger.

Ultimately, your decision on whether or not to use inLinks depends on your risk tolerance. How much do you have to gain vs. to lose? If you don’t currently have rankings (nothing to lose) or if you already have an authority site with a strong brand and diverse link profile (difficult to penalize), inLinks might be worth a try. A #1 ranking in Google for your targeted keywords could mean more than a 100% increase in traffic.

Below is a screen shot of how the inLinks system works. Basically, you search for a targeted keyword and it returns a list of available inventory that includes snippets, homepage and post PageRank, Alexa rank, post date, and price per month.

Tip: inLinks tries to keep their inventory a secret, but it’s actually pretty easy to see exactly where your link will be placed. Simply select all of the snippets and view your shopping cart. You should then see post titles associated with each item. From there, do a Google search for each of titles. You’ll often come across the publisher page which you can cross reference with the listed PageRank and Alexa rank.

inLinks definitely is not the safest route to take in advertising your site. However, it could potentially boost up your search rankings, at least in the short term. Do you have the stomach to try out ? Use coupon code 100free to get $100 of free links.

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Posted in Link Building, Reviews, SEO
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23 Responses to “inLinks Review – An Arrow to Google’s Achilles’ Heel?”

Jim Gaudet on December 1st, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I guess you could throw up a domain and use it on this new domain, but I don’t think I would try it on a more important site.

Who knows what Google will do.

Jacques @ SEO Tools South Africa on December 1st, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I won’t recommend basing your online marketing strategy around this offering! The method is out in the open and the clever peoples at Google will soon find a way to penalise you! Loads of lemmings will go this route though, guaranteed, and will crash and burn, as lemmings are wont to do!

Andy on December 1st, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I actually wrote a review about this product a week ago! I came to the same conclusion that you did. Check out my post if interested.


Ben Pei on December 6th, 2008

Nice one andy.. gave me some good insights on that!

Dennis Edell on December 1st, 2008

oooo Google won’t find tem because they are in between other words. LOL

Sorry, nothing to you personally of course but that cracks me up. Google will find them. Google will smack you down. Google will chuckle heartily at the fact that the same company created another of the exact same product because no one wants their first one anymore.

Gyutae Park on December 5th, 2008

Haha, thanks for the comment Dennis. For the most part, I agree with you. Google will eventually find the inLinks especially given their huge pool of data. It will probably work in the beginning (as Text Link Ads did) but will likely fall off shortly after. As an advertiser though, I still think it’s worth a try in the beginning stages.

Dennis Edell on December 5th, 2008

IS it really worth it? Once smacked, from what I understand, it ain’t all that easy to get it back. With ALL the monetization options available, I just don’t see the glee in the risk.

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Gyutae Park on December 5th, 2008

Hey Dennis,
I think I was a bit unclear. You’re absolutely right in your comments. I would never recommend inLinks to publishers. They will probably be smacked by Google and potentially lose PageRank and/or rankings.

However, for advertisers (i.e. people buying the links) I think inLinks offers something to at least test out. It’s harder for Google to penalize sites that buy links (otherwise anyone can just buy a ton of links for their competitors) so link buyers could see some good returns if they play it smart.

Of course, if there are no publishers in the system, the whole thing would collapse so it’s not really a long term solution or guarantee.

Dennis Edell on December 5th, 2008

Didn’t buyers get smacked too? I thought I heard that; maybe it is something to look at for now…

SEO Stuart on December 5th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I agree 100% with Dennis, any thing thats against Google’s guidelines I stay clear of, like Dennis said “Google WILL find them…”

A bit “grey hat” for my liking, not worth the risk when working on creating long term sustainable rankings IMHO.

Nicole Price on December 2nd, 2008

No, I do not think that it is worth taking the risk.

Ben Pei on December 6th, 2008

What risk is there?

Dennis Edell on December 7th, 2008

Ben – the same risk as with all paid links…the Google smack down.

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SEO Stuart on December 10th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Violating Google’s Guidelines… never a clever thing to do, IF your achieving long term and sustainable monetization of an onlin business IMHO. 😉

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L Weng on December 3rd, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Not so keen on this concept. There are safer and more effective ways of building ‘legit’ links.

Ann Arbor Web Design on December 3rd, 2008

inlinks does sound interesting, but like another commentator said here, who knows what Google will do next. Mighty Google may just crack the whip!

Nicole Price on December 8th, 2008

Why run away from the legitimate way of building links by sheer old fashioned hard work? Why get clobbered for just a few moments of laziness? That is the risk.

SEO test on December 10th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

I have been have problems with buying paid links and google droping my site down and then moving them up after I change the link to another site on text-link-ads I am going to test the inlinks and see if they work. It is good practice to validate all you paid links to make sure they help you and don’t hurt you that one of the things I like about text-link-ads its easy to move your link to a new site if you don’t like it.

Frostfire Gifts on December 15th, 2008 Subscribed to comments via email

Not sure i would take the risk with inLinks, Google amy hit you hard one day for using the service.

Timon Weller on December 25th, 2008

Looks like a hard hitter i reckon too from google… If the links had nofollow on it would be fine… I am surprised a company similar does not do this already with the nofollow attribute.. 🙂

Google does not mind paid links as long as they have the nofollow on them… Its the profitting from manipulating the serps that is the issue… 🙂

Scott on June 17th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Inlinks is pretty much awful. Even after cancellation they continue to bill your credit card and don’t reply to requests to stop that. Have to go to my CC company now and get a chargeback.a

geek gadgets on September 23rd, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I was thinking about trying inlinks.. but now I think i’ll hold off. Don’t want to get google-slapped.

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