If you’re an SEO like me then you’re concerned with links. You’ve figured out that if the right links point at your site in the right way your rankings will improve. You’ve read a thousand blogs and gotten to know some our beloved linking celebrities and every one of them is yammering on about paid links. Paid links are good. They’re evil. They work. They don’t work. If you ever need fodder for another post you can always reach into the paid link grab bag of tricks. We all know who they are and we savor every word as if THIS TIME they are finally going to reveal the secret sauce. If we just keep reading, the truth will reveal itself almost like magic, not so much between the lines but amidst the controlled keyword density, along the edges of a well optimized H1 tag incredibly nestled between a set of words that has turned a commonly searched phrase into a literal metaphor for the hopes and dreams of the embroiled SEO himself! In my best Iggy Pop voice, “Just Gimme LINK JUICE!!!” I digress. I was going to reveal the key to paid linking. I hate blogging. I’m busy. Others have made blogging a part of their business strategy and I’ve recommended the same to many clients. If I planned to be an avid blogger I probably wouldn’t want to reveal the key to paid linking because well, what the hell would I write about tomorrow? If you knew the key to paid linking you probably wouldn’t even waste your time reading my blog! You’ve read the brouhaha from Matt Cutts , traversed the flip flopping hullabaloo  of Rand Fishkin, basked in the empowering glow of Aaron Wall , and trembled at the icy chill of ex-Googler Vanessa Fox. What’s a budding SEO to do? Remember the public speaking trick where you imagine everyone in the crowd in their skivvies? Just think of Matt Cutts as Santa Claus checking his list, Rand Fishkin as a yellow shoe, stove-top hat wearing carny, Aaron Wall in a teddy bear suit and Vanessa Fox, halo and all, preaching from a pulpit with the Google Logo descending like a dove into our very midst. What do any of those people have on you? Experience. Yes, that’s the key! Experience is the key to paid linking. Can you get that experience by reading their blogs? NO. You get experience through trial and error, through testing. Read the blogs, get the basics but then get out there and go for it. It’s the only way. When all is said and done, link expertise comes from in-the-trenches-getting-your-hands-dirty experience, not from fear mongering, self-interested bloggers. Can paid linking get you burned? Yes! Can paid linking help make you competitive? Yes! Will experience teach you to walk the rough and rugged road? YES! I’m going to get back to work now. Thanks for reading!