Google's John Mueller replied on Twitter about a story on Medium named Making Charity Donations in Exchange for Backlinks: Good SEO or Risky Strategy?. It references a list of charity sites that give dofollow links and shows how the links help build rankings and traffic.
John Mueller said, these are paid links. And according to Google's webmaster guidelines, buying links is a link scheme against Google's guidelines.
Here is John's tweet:
@brettclimbs It's just a paid link, right?— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) December 6, 2016
Honestly, I am shocked people need to be told that giving a donation in exchange for a link is also against Google's webmaster guidelines. I just don't get why SEOs convince themselves these are acceptable ways to get links?
Forum discussion at Twitter.