If you have been wondering whether it is worth it to sell links in order to make some extra cash, you should listen up. Google’s Matt Cutts recently released a blog post that makes it pretty clear that it is not a good idea to sell links unless you want to end up with some pretty serious penalties as a result.
While in the past it may have been profitable to sell links, selling links is not a good way to make a living anymore unless you’re prepared to deal with some negative repercussions.
Cutts’ new blog post is entitled “Why did our PageRank go down?” serves as a reminder that selling links that pass PageRank is against the regulations and therefore can lead to Google penalties for those who are found in violation.
It was not until October of 2007 that Google issued an official statement indicating that the sale of paid links had a negative impact on the corresponding PageRank and not too long after that Google began to issue PageRank penalties to a plethora of sites, including websites belonging to a few major newspapers. Google has expanded their regulations and terms and now you can find information about this within the webmaster guidelines and can also watch videos designed to explain that selling links can result in penalties.
Within Cutts’ blog post, he shares an email that he sent out to a publisher to explain why they received a penalty and a decrease in their PageRank. He basically explained that if a publisher sees their PageRank drop by a rate of around 30% to 50%, this may very likely indicate that they have been flagged for “selling links that pass PageRank.” Matt also explained that if Google detects that a publisher is doing this, the links are given a label as “sponsored that passed PageRank,” and sanctions are taken. In the email, Cutts also makes reference to a report from an outside source that indicated spam related to the site. This email isn’t one that any webmaster would want to see in their inbox, that’s for sure.
Cutts’ also explains that it is not as simple as just removing paid links or making sure that paid links never pass any PageRank. Instead, once a webmater has taken corrective action, they need to submit a request for reconsideration in order to remove the penalty from the page. So if you receive this type of email from Google and a significant drop in your search rankings, take it seriously from the start!