New Link Networks can seem legitimate to an untrained eye. The problem I see is if they are listing inventory sites on their website…that is obviously bad. The other problem I can see with some Link Networks, is that that they are also allowing their clients to login and view the inventory on-line. This is also bad because eventually someone from Google will breach their security or simply create a login which will allow them to view their entire inventory.
So, even if they are only showing the inventory behind the login, it’s probably okay for a while, until they attract enough attention to get Google to log in and devalue or even ban their sites. This would be pretty easy to do as Google has hundreds of people prowling around looking for paid links, so a place like this is to them like a flower is to a bee – sooner or later one of them will find this site, log in, and flag all of the sites as those selling links. Additionally, Google is working on detecting paid links algorithmically.
I have seen this happen with other link building firms, that’s why I don’t use any firms that allow viewing of their site inventory. Site confidentiality should be taken very seriously (even if that means more work and longer placement time) so that we can rest easy that sites continue to pass PageRank and SEO value from Links.
A few additional thoughts/concerns:
1) Some Link Networks brag that they have big well know sites in their inventory. The bigger sites which they have as publishers are well known, and more likely on the Google radar.
2) If the Link Network uses an automated script to manage their links. Google is working feverishly to detect these scripts.
3) Perhaps their pricing isn’t out of line, but for the same money, less known sites could have a bigger SEO value, and provide a bigger bang for the buck.
4) It might be that just adding additional copy on your webpages will provide a boost, without the need to spend more money. Spend the time and/or money on SEO Copywriting.
5) Publicly viewable inventory is of great concern.