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Monday, November 26, 2007

Google Goes After Paid Links

Posted by @ 10:05 pm

From the Google update in October, some websites reported a significant drop in PageRank, which was rumored to be caused by the use of paid links. An unofficial confirmation of this was made by Google’s Mike Cutts. On November 22 Google made it official, with a reiteration of what it has previously said about paid links.

“Some search engine optimizers and webmasters engage in the practice of buying and selling links that pass PageRank, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.

Not all paid links violate our guidelines. Buying and selling links is a normal part of the economy of the web when done for advertising purposes, and not for manipulation of search results. Links purchased for advertising should be designated as such. This can be done in several ways, such as,

Adding a rel=”nofollow” attribute to the tag.

Redirecting the links to an intermediate page that is blocked from search engines with a robots.txt file”

The comments from Google are open to interpretation. It looks like buying paid links from websites that are related to your own, should not result in punitive action. To avoid any potential negative actions from Google, always source your links from relevant websites. If you have any thoughts on the use of paid links, please feel free to share them below.

ineedhits Team You can click on any of the circles to get more information about the business they represent, essentially giving many more local businesses first page exposure on Google maps. It should be noted that the top 10 listings will still appear as pins on the left hand side of the map.

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Discussion (6 - comments)

Question. What if it’s a paid link that you paid for but purely to drive traffic to your site and not SEO purposes. Does this mean that people now have to add NOFOLLOW tags to all paid links so that google doesn’t think you’re doing it for the benefit of search results…?

By WizardMan - November 28, 2007

I would like that answer too

By redkcs - November 30, 2007

If the link is purely for traffic, then Yes, a NOFOLLOW tag would be recommended. At least this way you can be sure you don’t have any chance of being penalized.

By Matthew Elshaw - December 4, 2007

What about if the links are from paid directories?

By Weil - December 11, 2007

Weil, it’s really at Google’s discretion. Unfortunately they haven’t been overly consistent.

there have been instances where they’ve penalized some, but most have been okay…i haven’t heard any complaints from Yahoo! Directory listed sites for example.

By Rene LeMerle - December 11, 2007

but what if my competitor bought such links and point it to my site? I didn’t make nything for it but google will drop me down!? it’s crazy!!!!

By - December 12, 2007

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