Jeremy Z is OFF the Links...


Jeremy Zawodny kicked the link selling habit. Kudos to him for trying it in the first place.

I am still wondering if Yahoo! ever gave their official position on link buying and selling that Tim promised?



That is a good question. He was pretty care free initially. I am anxious to know why he changed his mind.

Love the title

Sounds like he entered a 12 step program

On Tim an Jeremy's Radio Show

Tim said that Jeremy was free to put whatever ads he wanted on his personal site, but Yahoo wouldn't provide him any special treatment when it comes to selling links.


I believe that Tim's statement on the radio show was the official word.


Might have had some thing to do with Matt giving it a mention and the hint of how ineffective it might be for him...a while back

Or not...

Given that advertisers seemed more than willing to pay, I suspect that Matt's comments haven't affected the demand enough to have people simply give up.

But that's just my gut talking...

To avoid it being another

To avoid it being another thread, here's what I said about it:

That post has a link to what Tim Converse (who does my job over at Yahoo) said about the link selling, e.g. "I agree completely with Matt Cutts that link-selling (without nofollow) is a spammy practice, in that it's mainly about trying to game search-engine relevance algorithms that are based on the link graph. Most people who work on relevance wish people would just cut out that kind of gaming, so that they could get back to less adversarial relevance improvements; as it is, though, they have to design countermeasures to make sure that relevance doesn't get screwed up for users."

Made sense to me. We can call this subject closed, I guess.


Matt, you big link-dropper, you! You forgot the anchor text of "text link ads". I bet the link brokers would looooooove your site coming up in the SERPs right next to theirs. I'm sure that'd have a little more economic impact than they'd care for...

Silly Dreamers

Most people who work on relevance wish people would just cut out that kind of gaming, so that they could get back to less adversarial relevance improvements

Most people who publish websites wish search engines would rank on quality of content and not age of domains and links, but hey we all can dream can't we ;-)

was it spammy in 1995 Matt

was it spammy in 1995 Matt ?

Its your problem not ours stop trying to make it seem like everyone is out to screw google and rewriting W3C standards via strongarm tactics to meet the search engines needs. Everyone is trying to make money and get traffic and we would do that by getting links whether or not there was a search engine.

Spammy My Ass

link-selling (without nofollow) is a spammy practice

Don't tell me how to make my damn links because you can't figure out how to build a search engine that people can't shamelessly manipulate.

Nofollow is a relatively new bunch of hoopla and I really don't need some judgemental jackoff calling the practice of what I've been doing since 1996 as "spammy" because sold links don't have nofollow.

  • There was no Google
  • There was no Page Rank
  • There was no NOFOLLOW

I only sell ads that are on topic, to sites that I might even link to in the first place, so there's nothing being given away except preferential placement in front of my visitors.

So now who gives someone the right to crawl up on a pedestal and dispense their god complex philosphy on a decades old practice?

Funny, I always thought selling links was about ADVERTISING, kind of like all that AdSense and YPN mumbo jumbo, but suddenly all of us little guys selling links are SPAMMY if we don't do it in certain ways thanks to the SEO crowd gaming the search engines.

Besides, doesn't the PR link love go away as fast as the CC love ends when the paid link is terminated?

I would say something terribly rude about now <cough> but I'll just consider the pompous source and move on.

No offense Matt & Tim ;)

To clarify matters:

Link-Selling is not spammy. It is just a method of advertising (which, arguably encroaches upon Google's multi-billion money earner). Link-Buying may be spammy, in certain eyes.

IMO, it tends to be the more

IMO, it tends to be the more serious websites who tend to buy spiderable links - lower quality sites are often not worth the investment.

So even where the links may have some SEO benefit (and certainly Google has been busy trying to algorthmically devalue common text link ad factors), I would respectfully suggest that many such sites - as a general rule of thumb - do not detract from the relevancy of search results, nor mislead searchers.

Verticals where this may not ring so true - ie, pharmaceuticals - are going to be very aggressive with multiple strategies anyway, so involve wider issues of link building, rather than SEO-friendly advertising.



which, arguably encroaches upon Google's multi-billion money earner

That's the real issue, isn't it?

Google does a lot of shitty practices with their link selling, so it is hard to take them credibly about linking on any level.

How cool is it to buy ad inventory on sites that scrape your site and potentially outrank you for some of your own posts? Even after Google has flagged them for spam?

How cool is it to see ad links that have both your product name and your name in them that don't have ads for you listed?

How cool is it to buy Google contextual ads next to the Warez crack codes for stealing your software?


Google and Yahoo and any of the others can believe what they like, they can penalise sites which buy links, sell links, discuss links, or use the phrase "link love" more than once a month for all I care. Thats up to them. If I don't think its fair then that's my problem because they can run their business how they like (but I might still criticise them occasionally just for fun).

What I care about is them saying things like

link-selling (without nofollow) is a spammy practice

in public.

What happens next is that the pointy WH brigade get on their high horse and start 'outing' a load of sites which don't use nofollow (with reference to all good points above and bearing in mind that 99% of webmasters probably don't give a rats arse about any of this stuff we all talk about constantly and have no idea they became overnight spammers) and then vigilanti spam busters (and we all know a few of them) feel validated in reporting sites to, oh, Miss AntiSpam, GoDaddy, Matts comments, anti splogger sites etc.

Next thing you know some bored Journalist is going to be outing a charity somewhere for linking to a company which gave them a raffle prize without a nofollow. And the general public understands 'spam' is bad. In their minds if someone is spamming then its like sending 4 million viagra e-mails with pictures to small orphans.

I really don't think Matt et-al understand how literally some people take their words, and how likely it is that people will act off their own back to 'police' the serps. Perhaps forums where the SE reps hang out have a generally more experienced level of member but really, some people believe they have a right to have websites closed down by the ISP for using hidden text.

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