SEO for Local Directory Site

I am building a site for a local municipality to have a local directory of businesses, etc. They'd like to monetize the site and offer an upgraded listing to business owners.

as part of that listing, they want to include their Domain URL and perhaps some additional features.  In selling that, they'd like to include that the business may get a boost in SEO with that link (the main site is going to be positioned as an authority site)

Is that something we can advertise as a benefit or is that misleading?
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Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
It's not misleading if it is true. You would need to establish the sites authority though, before the statement would be true. Putting up a site tomorrow and claiming it will benefit others would be misleading. Growing SEO authority takes time.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you wouldn't want to tout your link authority too heavily as a paid feature. Google has been known to remove the authority of sites who are involved in link schemes.

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axessJoshAuthor Commented:
Agree completely.

I know that this will not happen overnight and do have the plan in place to put the work in over time.

I'm just wondering if there are some ways to "throttle" (if that's even possible) the SEO leverage of the site for someone that might pay for a Featured Listing when the site has that ability.

Am I even in the right frame of mind there?
Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
One way to throttle would be to no-follow the customer's web-site link if they are not a Featured Listing.
axessJoshAuthor Commented:
thanks Lucas, That was one thing I was considering.

Would that still leave me vulnerable to your previous caution where Google may punish the site if it deems it to be selling links?
Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
Using no-follow on outbound links is generally considered the remedy for the risks associated with link selling. By using no-follow you are advising Google that you don't wish to pass any value (link juice) to the url.
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