Search engine optimisation (SEO) campaigns should involve more than paid links if they are going to be successful, one expert has suggested.

In his blog for the ClickZ website, SEO specialist Mike Grehan stated that businesses that are reliant solely on paid links and do not pay some attention to natural links could be wasting their time.

He cited a recent incident in which Google recently downgraded the search rankings of a number of sites that were using paid links for SEO and said that the search engine was probably right to act on this.

"If nothing else, Google did online marketers a favour … if paid-links are a no-go it forces us to be smarter marketers to get those juicy editorially chosen links," he said.

He added that it was wrong to enhance websites with paid links only and concluded that online marketers should be doing more to generate organic traffic that is based on satisfying a web user’s query.

It is thought that sites belonging to Forbes, the Times, New Scientist and the Washington Post saw reductions in search rankings due to the use of paid links.

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