What Does It Mean When a Backlink is marked as Sponsored?

Backlinks are the links from other sites that link to the pages you have on your site, primarily connecting their site to yours. These backlinks from external sites usually contribute to the overall strength, relevance, and diversity of your site’s backlink profile to a greater extent. The overall backlinks can often include many links from the same referring website or multiple referring websites.

Backlinks are essential for SEO and users alike. If you look at it from the user’s perspective, backlinks provide an excellent way for people to find other sources of information on the same related topic. For example, if the user visits a page “best smartphones,” he might find links to other carriers, cell phone providers, or user-generated review pages.

What are Sponsored Links?

Sponsored links are paid links or listings that might appear on the search engine results page or refer users to another website. They are also known as partner links or paid ads. For example, when you enter a phrase or term in the search engine box, you will see specific results with the advertisements inscription at the top or middle of the list; these are called paid ads.

How Sponsored Links Work?

  • Paid Search

Sponsored links through Google AdWords are based on keyword targeting. Advertisers just select a list of keywords relevant to their business and that their customers use while searching for their product or service.

After that, they bid on the keywords based on the amount they will happily pay per click. When the users search for the keywords, their bid and quality score will decide their position on the search result.

  • Sponsored Placements

Many companies and websites reach out to the website owners and offer them to pay money for advertising on their web pages. That is why paid ad spots or sponsored articles must include sponsored link tags.

Otherwise, these domains might have to go through Google penalties, and Google is good at detecting unnatural linking patterns. These sponsored links can also be affiliate links in which the sponsor gets paid for successful conversions.

Benefits of Sponsored Links

Sponsored links have the following benefits in the marketing strategy:

  • Helps Build Brand Awareness

Every brand wants to be recognized to attract more potential customers and gain brand exposure. This motivates them to run paid ads and use sponsored posts. The sponsor can be a massive brand that can generate a lot of publicity for the sponsor.

  • Helps Drive Traffic to a Website

When a user opens the link, it immediately redirects them to another web page, increasing traffic at the receiving end.

  • Affiliate Profit

Backlinks are a great way to earn good affiliate income – be it through Amazon or any other site that sells the product/service you have backlinked to. This way, whenever someone clicks your backlink and buys that product/service, you will get a commission from them per click or purchase.

Types of Sponsored Links

There are two types of sponsored links, depending on the usage:

1. Sponsored Links On The Website

Most websites with high domain scores, credibility, and a large number of monthly visits help other companies run advertisements on their websites in exchange for money.

Usually, the companies that want more exposure and conversion contact the website owner to request a link back to their website. The publishers typically mark these links as no-follow and sponsored so that the search engines can understand their intentions.

2. Sponsored Links through Page Search Engine Marketing

The sponsored links in Google AdWords enable you to reach out to new potential customers when they search for the services or products you are offering. You select the keywords for which you want your sponsored link to appear, then you create your ads and calculate the Return on Investment (ROI).

You will only be charged per click when a user clicks on your ad and visits your website. Advertising links on Google AdWords and marketing in other search engines are appropriate for businesses of any size, sector, or budget.

Google’s Sponsored Links Auction

Google uses an auction for choosing which ads it should display in search results for a particular search query. The auction takes place millions of times each day, every time someone searches Google or visits a website that displays advertisements.

Important Factors in the Ad Auction:

  • Your Bid

The publishers need to set an amount they are willing to pay for the clicks they will get on the ads. Often the amount is less, but you can modify the bid amount anytime you want.

  • The Quality Score of Ads

The quality score of the ads summarizes the relevance of your ad to the website it links to and the person who sees it. The higher your quality score, the higher your ad positioning will be. You can constantly work on it to improve and raise your website’s quality score.

  • Ads Extension and Format

Ad extensions that include your phone number, specific URLs, and more information, in addition to your format, can considerably impact the placement and performance of your ads.

Cost of Sponsored Links

The cost of google ads varies depending on the industry, business, and various other criteria, so there is no set number. The average cost per click on the google search network, for example, is roughly $1-$2, whereas the price on the display network is less than $1.

On the other hand, the competitive keywords in industries like law and insurance will require a higher cost per click due to their high client lifetime values. The average small business that uses AdWords spend around $9,000, whereas large corporations generously spend more than $60 million in a single campaign to boost their business.

Similarities between Sponsored and “No-Follow” Links

As mentioned previously, any sponsored or paid link should be regarded as a no-follow to prevent being penalized by Google. A no-follow link tells the google search engine spider not to follow any unreliable or paid links on your site. It also helps increase the crawl budget or the number of times Google crawls your website daily.

Before this time, publishers must add no-follow to any links generated by user-generated content, spam, or sponsored advertisements. However, according to a recent change in March 2020, all the no-follow links would be classified as “Hints,” which essentially means that Google may choose to crawl or index no-follow links while still devaluing them.

Furthermore, all the sponsored links should be labeled with the “sponsored,” and “nofollow” attributes to help search engines understand that you were compensated for placing the link to your website. While you are choosing to use the “sponsored” attribute alone. It is recommended that you include a nofollow to avoid any unintended implications.

Backlinks – Effective Marketing Tools

Sponsored links are a great way of promoting your business or website, but they can cost you a huge sum of money in the long run, depending on your industry. When a backlink is marked as sponsored, they are running paid ads to increase exposure to their business. Hence, they’re a great way to gain exposure for your business and promote and expand it simultaneously.