Are paid text links good or bad?
It depends on who you ask? Ask [tag]Google[/tag] and it’s bad. Ask a “[tag]white hat[/tag]” [tag]SEO[/tag] and your answer will vary. I watched a youtube video of [tag]Shoemoney[/tag] taking [tag]Rand[/tag] of [tag]SEOMOZ[/tag] to task over his stance on text links. Basically, he “outed” a couple of sites using text links to increase their rankings, but at the same time he also advises his clients to use text links. Strange? Get the whole story here.
Bottom line for me, Google doesn’t like text links as a way to gain [tag]SERP ranking[/tag], but they are fighting a losing battle. You can always take your chances… or not.