SEO Tip of the Week: Plausible Deniability

TAGs: 90 Digital, CIA, Google, iGaming, nick garner, Plausible Deniability, SEO, SEO Tip of the Week, Tip of the Week, Video

90 Digital CEO Nick Garner talks about what Plausible Deniability is in this edition of’s SEO Tip of the Week.

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Wikipedia: Plausible deniability is a term coined by the CIA in the early 1960’s to describe the withholding of information from senior officials in order to protect them from repercussions in the event that illegal or unpopular activities by the CIA became public knowledge.

In the context of link building, it means withholding important information to convey a particular set of circumstances.

So in link building, that means if you have got a link placement somewhere and let’s say you have paid for it i.e. directly contravening Google’s webmaster guidelines, then as long as they don’t have evidence of a payment being made, then would that link plausibly have been ‘earned’? If the answer is ‘yes’, then hopefully you will survive a manual review…

For example…take a link placement in a blog. It’s a link to a betting site and if the owner of the site wanted a £50 link placement fee, then you are directly contravening Google’s webmaster guidelines. If a manual reviewer saw this post, how could you plausibly deny any wrong doing?

Firstly the post is about football and the likelihood of team ‘A’ winning over team ‘B’. Secondly to help the user, you might have a link to a site that has a lot of football odds. You may even be really helpful and link to the specific odds page for those teams…To me, this link would have plausible deniability.

On the other side of the coin, you can have a placement on a site which has ‘advertorial’ or ‘sponsored post’ at the bottom of the page and then maybe there is a follow link in the content piece…It’s going to hard to plausibly deny any wrong doing.

You get the idea. Assume you have to talk your way out of a situation with Google; can you do that?


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