Paid inclusion is a service that some search engine companies offer companies seeking to see better SEO results. A search engine company will charge fees to include your website in their search index. Although this may seem like an easy and appealing way to raise your SEO rankings, some in the industry frown upon such tactics.
The fees that the company charge will guarantee that a link to your website appears on at least one high traffic site and on some other popular sites. Some companies are developing a more permanent option for businesses to consider, instead of guaranteeing your site’s visibility for one year, you may have the option to pay a fee and have your link permanently attached to an established website.
Some search engines are steering away from paid inclusion fearing that the public may feel that their searches are not relevant if they are only directed to those companies who have paid a fee. If a listing for a company is visible on the larger search engine sites, they are listed as advertisements and not search results. This step has helped put the public at ease knowing that they are not simply being directed to the sites that have paid to be listed in the search results.
Although paid inclusion is often used as a tool to help build your websites traffic and raise your SEO rankings, many companies see it as a viable way in which to improve and monitor the traffic their site sees during an average month. The method of paid inclusion will allow you to discover what is working with your site and what you may need to work on. If you use paid inclusion just to get your company noticed and allow customers to discover what you have to offer, then decide to stop using paid inclusion and depend solely on the customer base you have developed to spread the word about what your company has to offer, you will be able to decide which method is right for your company.
The ethics of paid inclusion is something that you will have to decide on your own. Many feel that it is the only way their company will attract traffic to their site while others feel that it is somewhat akin to stacking the deck, in that only the companies who pay will be seen. This may be a useful tool to some but it may not be right for everyone, it is up to you to determine what is best for your company.
Do you agree or disagree? Perhaps, I missed something? Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!