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Google Clear Up Paid Link Confusion

June 8th, 2007 · 5 Comments

Google have recently updated their webmaster guidelines as well as clarifying their position on paid links.

The new webmaster guidelines aren’t exactly earth shattering. All they’ve done, as far as I can see, is simply spell out what they’ve been saying all along – no hidden text, sneaky redirects, keyword stuffing or duplicate content. Where it gets interesting, though, is their clarification on paid links.

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.

The post at Webmaster Help goes on to suggest that all advertising links should either have the “nofollow” attribute applied or they should redirect to a page blocked in your robots.txt file. Disregarding this guideline can “negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results“.

It will be interesting to see how advertisers and brokers respond to this. My feeling is that companies like Text Link Ads will probably drop their prices and apply “nofollow” to their links. I’m not sure how the PPP guys will address the issue, though.
Tech Tags: , ,

Tags: Search Marketing

5 responses so far ↓

  • Peter // Jun 9, 2007 at 3:31 am

    This is an interesting development indeed… I’m not sure that I agree that Text Link Ads will drop rates and automatically apply “nofollow” though – TLA actively advertises the use of their services to gain authority and rank in search engines. In my eyes, to abandon that would contradict a pillar of their business model.

    With this further clarification, however, it will be difficult to rationalize out of the fact that the current system (with TLA) is in direct violation of the google webmaster guidelines.

    Whatever the case, it will be interesting to watch.

  • Mike // Jun 9, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    My reasoning is that they’ve spent a lot of time building up their business and, if Big G do go after them, they would be foolish to continue with the current model.

    On the face of it, yes the current system is in violation but I’m not convinced that companies like TLA or PayPerPost or any of those guys are necessarily on the Google hitlist right now. My feeling is that they’ll be looking to punish the sneaky link sellers first.

  • Andrei // Dec 13, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Actually TLA is doing better than ever and Google can’t do much about it..

  • Mike // Dec 15, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I’m guessing you’re talking about their new inLinks service.

    I’m keeping an eye on this one with interest. The way it was launched will have infuriated Google so I would imagine they’ll be looking at ways of detecting the links. Be interesting to see what penalties they apply…


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