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Paid-for Links

Zyra's ethical approach to accepting payments for links


Yes, there are SOME paid-for links at this site! These are rare, less than 1 in a thousand, and they have to be honest. If you would like a paid-for link, here are some things you need to know:

* The standard price for a link is 100/year ($160/year). This has to be paid in advance, by cheque.

* The link will then run from the next Issue of publishing until at least a year from that date, and it might be longer.

* Links must be HONEST.

* Search engine cheating links are NOT ALLOWED.

* Links must be relevant and in keeping with the page they are on. Pages are for folk to read, and the inclusion of the links should always enhance this rather than reduce it or be a nuisance.

* Links ARE allowed to compete with our own affiliate links, for example by inclusion in a category.

Here are a few notes about paid-for links at Zyra's website:

# It is preferable to have an affiliate program. Affiliate programs are more equitable because the affiliate is only paid if they do any good. I would rather be paid a sensible percentage of the sales brought to the company, rather than rent on a link.

# Paid-for links here are considered a bit like those little adverts by customers of a corner shop, where the customer pays a price per week to have a little piece of paper taped on the inside of the shop door saying "I've lost my cat. If you find it please phone [number]", or "Secondhand three-piece suite for sale 100. Buyer collects", etc.

# Google hates paid-for links and persecutes sites that have them. This is a bit like if The Yellow Pages went trolling around with spy cameras on cars and spotted corner shops with paid-for ads and then refused to allow those shops in the phone book if they had any. This is iniquitous and one of many nastinesses gone-into at the page of The Google Problem. Also see Stupid Google Updates

# The policy here is "Folks not Bots". This applies to Reciprocal Links as well. The links are there for the benefit of visitors who would like to explore them.

# Paid-for links are indistinguishable from incidental free links. They are relevant, helpful, in-context, etc.

Here are a few fictional examples to illustrate the sort of thing here:

There's a page of lingerie. Most of the links on that category page are links to dedicated affiliate pages, or direct affiliate links, and there are also a few reciprocal links. Now supposing a new company comes along, say "Sylvia's Slinky Lingerie" and puts in a request for a paid-for link. Of course I'd recommend an affiliate link instead, but let's suppose the shop in question says "We don't have the budget to have an affiliate program. But here's 100/year for a link on that page". Then, provided the link material is honest, that seems a reasonable addition. So, the link goes on the page, probably nearer the end rather than the beginning, with something like this...

Sylvia's Slinky Lingerie
Online lingerie shop with a range of petite to extra-large knickers, bras, tights, and accessories. Explore our comprehensive tasteful website to find out more.

I don't see anything wrong with that.

Another example:

On the pictures of cats page, supposing someone wants an advert for their cat grooming parlour. They are enterprising and they have a budget of say 250/year, and they send in a picture of a very scruffy cat, and the text "You don't need your cat to look as tatty as this. Get your cat a swish makeover at Jo's Cat Grooming Parlour. Fierce cats dealt with at no extra cost!"... and then a link to the website in question.

Again, no problem. This is fair advertising. It's honestly described, entertains people with a picture that's in keeping with the page, etc.

However, some offers for links are less reputable, and they aren't allowed here. For example, let's suppose at the page about the credit-crunch, where it says "Lending money to people who couldn't afford to pay it back. This was euphemistically called "sub-prime lending" or "sub-prime mortgage" etc. Banks were, strange as it may seem, were allowed to lend more money than they had actually got. And, they were still being taken seriously even when they lent it to people who would be unlikely to be able to pay their debts", someone offered 100 for a link to be inserted into that paragraph as follows:

"Lending money to people who couldn't afford to pay it back. This was euphemistically called "sub-prime lending" or "sub-prime mortgage" etc. Banks were, strange as it may seem, were allowed to lend more money than they had actually got. If you want to borrow money and not pay it back, visit the best website in the world, and tell your creditors to naff off! And, they were still being taken seriously even when they lent it to people who would be unlikely to be able to pay their debts"...

This would be refused for various reasons:

1. The link anchor text is search-engine cheating.

2. The link is not honestly described, as the site on examination was found to be definitely not the best website in the world!

3. The proposition inciting people to borrow money with the wilful intention of not paying it back, is dishonest.

4. The inserted material is inappropriate and spoils the flow.

5. On close inspection of the questionable website, it turns out to offer various medications to gullible people, and is therefore not even anything about financial matters, so it's a misleading link.

Note that a link proposition with any of various unfair things about it is likely to be refused here. It's a matter of being fair to visitors, and to the wholesomeness of The Internet.

Well, I hope this helps to explain the paid-for links policy here. If you'd like to write in, you can.