Even legit brands and companies who use white hat companies are probably (unknowingly) acquiring links via paid methods. But it takes 2 to tango. A legit brand using a legit white hat SEO company may have acquired a featured article on Inc. mag's website with a strong link back to their website, for the cool fee of $750 (the current rate for inc links). And we've seen this with other big sites like huffo (since diluted), Entrepreneur, Mashable, and lately, somewhat alarmingly, Reuters. My question is what are the risks here, and is anyone taking any futurerpoof precautions? I've noticed that BHW users blur the lines quite a bit b/w black and white. In the BHW community, PBN links are considered black hat, and a paid link on Entrepreneur is considered white hat! This is not true. It simply means that the link from Entrepreneur is either stronger or more futureproof than the PBN link(s). But buying these links is still black hat. And I wonder if there will be a day of reckoning in form of penalties or a 'black book' style list of all the SEO agencies or even client sites that have acquired paid links. (Publications like Entrepreneur might get dinged too but i'm not really worried about that aspect). Curious what others here think about this topic of 'safe and strong (paid) white hat links'.