Buying Text Links and Buying Text Links

36 comments

so the question is when is buying a text link BAD ..

If I buy from Google (Adwords) or Yahoo (YSM) that’s ok. my site will not pick up any penalties .. but what if I buy from Adbrite or Text Link Ads … is that ok ??

Now I have seen site fall from Google just because they where buying links, SO if Google sell s links and they ban you if you buy links (not from them of course) isn’t that a Major conflict of interest, I mean I can go to a site running adsense and click on the advertise here link .. But I can’t email the guy and say I will give $500 for a link ?? isn’t that Anti-Competitive and surely there are laws about it

Ok from http://www.google.com/webmasters/2.html

If we haven't picked up your site after several months, it's possible that our spiders aren't able to find your pages. If you increase the links pointing to these pages, it'll improve the chance that we'll find your site.

Sorry Matt : http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/text-link-follow-up/

Google’s stance on selling links is pretty clear and we’re pretty accurate at spotting them, both algorithmically and manually. Sites that sell links can lose their trust in search engines.

DaveN

Comments

It is obvious

If you buy them from google it is good, but anywhere else and you will burn in hell fire.

Or to put it in another way I'm sure you remember from your mother: Don't do as I do, do as I say.

Adbrite?

I thought Adbrite ads were served up by JS and therefore were not counted as being the same as selling links. Is there any evidence to the contrary?

It is all rather ridiculous.

It is all rather ridiculous. People buy links all the time but now it's gone back under the radar again. As we all know there is no way to determine if money has changed hands in the case of one-to-one deals. Networks, yes they can probably spot these but then again, it was only last year that Wordpress got caught with the cutting edge technique, position: -9999px! Lots of FUD in my opinion.

Still the ethical question is interesting. Google are obviously interested in killing off large scale link selling networks. As you say Dave, I'm sure it's no coincidence that they run one of the largest.

Google have always been particularly good at covering themselves on the anti-competitive charges. They decide who they index or not in their engine - you want to be there, you play by their rules.

With increasing market share though (75% coverage in the UK now) this argument starts to look a little weak. As this grows so should their responsibility to play fair.

In related news

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Now I have seen site fall from Google just because they where buying links

In other news, DaveN confirms Google Bowling works! :)

huh?

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Sites that sell links can lose their trust in search engines.

Wow. I lost my trust in search engines years ago.

"If I buy from Google

"If I buy from Google (Adwords) or Yahoo (YSM) that’s ok. my site will not pick up any penalties .. but what if I buy from Adbrite or Text Link Ads … is that ok ??"

These links do not pass page rank, so you cannot compare really Dave. I think your mate Mr cutts said add a no follow if you are out on a buying spree.

Google Contradictions

Google constantly contradicts itself for example look at the following two sentences that are on the exact same page for SEO information for wabmasters

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google ...

For your own safety, you should insist on a full and unconditional money-back guarantee.

I would love to see just 1

I would love to see just 1 mainstream media article about SEO more from the perspective of an SEO than the engines.

are the search engines

are the search engines watching the link markets with and hand reviewing pages selling links with editors?

Contradictions?

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Sites that sell links can lose their trust in search engines.

But still trusted enough to participate in Adsense.

I posted on this recently on

I posted on this recently on another thread or two, but...

Google's AdSense for search links the Google logo to Google.com. They do not put nofollow in the search code.

Does a link get any more paid than one tied directly to an onging financial relationship?

more than ethics

It's more than a question of ethics, if Google isn't mindful of Sherman, it could cross the line into felony. If the DOJ finds that Google has used it's position as the leading search enigne (is it a monopoly?) to eliminate competition in advertising (text links), it might get interesting. More info: http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/public/div_stats/211491.htm

doj .. conspiarcy

You don't need monopoly, just conspiracy among market leaders, thats why its a bit spooky when Matt says things like:

Sites that sell links can lose their trust in search engines.

Is Matt encouraging others to foil advertising commerce or is it just FUD? If the engines agree to put link sellers out of business, there is a legitimate case.

Quote:
Sherman Act violations involving agreements between competitors usually are punished as criminal felonies.

Matt and company are just

Matt and company are just trying to grow a new crop of mushroom webmasters by feeding them shit and keeping them in the dark. I am so exasperated that I can't even muster the strength to be outraged anymore.

Au contraire

If you've got a busy site and are selling ad space on it, nothing the SE's have done have interfered remotely with that process.

If you've got an ad network and are selling ad space, nothing the SE's have done have interfered remotely with that process.

If you're a link broker selling links for SE positioning but calling yourself an 'ad broker' then yeah, the SE's are going to try and stop you from gaming their system. That's not anti-competitive, that's the SE's fighting back.

Nobody can make the SE's rank your site. By the same token, nobody's forcing you to obey Google's TOS on your site either. Free market baby :).

Seriously People...

Would you really like to see SERPs that are dominated by those who simply have enough money to buy the most PR8 links? Google is NOT killing off their competition - they are killing off an industry of buying and selling PR. If Google WAS killing off its competition, they wouldn't be allowing people to buy text links at all (rather than encouraging those who do to use the 'nofollow' attribute).

Mark, as has been said

Mark, as has been said before, that simply means their ranking system needs tweaked. For crying out loud they have a toolbar in every dell now. They know where the traffic is going, they really don't need to look at links as much.

Their Ranking Has Been Changed

Mark, as has been said before, that simply means their ranking system needs tweaked. For crying out loud they have a toolbar in every dell now. They know where the traffic is going, they really don't need to look at links as much.

But they have 'tweaked' how they rank sites - they don't count links that are obviously sold (and they may even penalize them). It just seems like people don't like the tweak.

I am having trouble seeing what is wrong with Google sticking with the inbound linking strategy to measure page importance while filtering out those who abuse it.

What if

I care more about the anchor text than the page rank?

I see 'experts' constantly talk about the decreased value of page rank, so what is Matt worried about?

lol, webprofessor. Wonder if google grows those shrooms for their own consumption.

they are killing off an

they are killing off an industry of buying and selling PR.

doubtful.

When I legally sell links

When I legally sell links and you legally sell links BUT I have the resources to cause you harm and I take actions with the sole intent of causing you harm to my benefit without due process, that is restraint of trade.

It doesn't have to be this way. In my opinion, the best solution for everyone concerned is to realize that if there is a legal business opportunity, people should be free to try to capitalize on it and they will. That is just what people do and I believe everyone should embrace this as simply the essence of relevancy. People doing what people do IS relevancy and instead of trying to manipulate public perception to attempt to alter human behavior, why not just accept it, learn from it and make your offering better?

>they are killing off an

>they are killing off an industry of buying and selling PR.<

No they are not. They are only putting people into a position of having to hide, lie and mislead to try to protect themselves from the fear of retribution. The EXACT thing they claim to be trying to stop.

If there is a legal buck to be made, someone is going to try to make it. We got kids to feed, school loans to pay off, mortgages to pay. That is not a bad thing, that is as it should be.

I am not worried...

Google has 75% of the search market in the UK, way more than is required to trigger an ivestigation by the monolpolies board in the UK. At the moment Google are sexy, but when they stop being and it is time to break them up then their practices will be cited of clear evidence of anti-competitive practices: aka you may not do with out competitors what we require you to do with us.

So are we starting to see market failure in the UK, for sure. We all know information markets are characterised by "winner takes all" dynamics which is competition management is so important and transparency must be enforced on the market dominator... Anybody listening?

Problems are brewing

I see this being the year of the search engine headache.... They are fighting Analytic companies with their own tracking programs, SEM agencies - Google is trying to get the AdWords Professionals to work as their subcontractors, Link sellers - they flush them out of the organic results but ignored the rapidly growing search arbitragers both paid and organic...
add to this they laugh at Click Fraud and you have a hell of a storm brewing.

Matt and company are just

Quote:
Matt and company are just trying to grow a new crop of mushroom webmasters by feeding them shit and keeping them in the dark. I am so exasperated that I can't even muster the strength to be outraged anymore.

Can we please please please coin a new term?

How about Mushroomheads

I like it better than white hat anyway!

Devils advocate?

To play devil's advocate for the moment:

(1) Does Google actually specifically state their stance on such paid links anywhere?
(2) If not, is there really hard proof that they "penalize" paid links?
(3) Isn't it more likely that they would "penalize" XML/affiliate/tracking links?

A far as I know, the answers are no, no, and yes.

do no evil ...

but promoting it is okay.

Don't forget, at the time of the DOJ hearings, Microsoft was not a monopoly. The choices included Solaris, BSD and Linux, et al. The were, however a *dominant* player in their market. The EU hearings, I suspect, are based on the same dominance.

It's not much of a stretch to argue that Google is a dominant player in it's market.

edit for intervening post while composing:

Microsoft did not publicly confirm many things. Subpeona's and court orders unearthed stuff that they would rather have stayed private. So, Google does not have to state anything publicly. It only has to be found during the course of a proceeding. Wonder if they are mandated to use Gmail internally.

I am having trouble seeing

I am having trouble seeing what is wrong with Google sticking with the inbound linking strategy to measure page importance while filtering out those who abuse it.

I have a hard time seeing where they get off telling me I shouldn't sell links when its their core business. If selling links is so bad then why do they have adsense ? If they are so concerned about "quality" on the web.. Why do they encourage people to trick users into clicking adsense links ? What do they think adsense blending is, some user enhancement ?

Google is like a schizophrenic mad man, one minute its pious and moral ( In the name of The Schmidt, The Page, and The Holy Sergy we do no evil ... amen ... ) and the next its greedy and a trickster ( Adsense is best placed and blended so a user will think its content).

But they have 'tweaked' how they rank sites - they don't count links that are obviously sold (and they may even penalize them). It just seems like people don't like the tweak.

Why should I care the quality of the serps is not my problem. Does Google help me sell more stuff when the SERPS are better ? Did little Timmy fall in the well and the only way Lassie can get him out is if the towns people clean up the SERPS ? Will me helping google clean up the SERPS stop aids in africa ?

And lastly, the longer I am involved in this business, the more I like it when they do these silly announcements. Confusion & Fear make for good business.

always has been true

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Confusion & Fear make for good business.

Yup. Always has been that way.

Easy for G to deal with

Paid links should be easy for Google to deal with.
All they need to do is give no credit or serp advantage to links they believe have been bought!

From their point of view, it stops sites buying their serps whilst allowing sites to buy links for traffic, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. They need not penalize anyone for it.

The only thing I wonder is, if someone has a fairly aggressive seo policy and is buying links amongst other things, it could always be something else they've done

The funny thing is, is that

The funny thing is, is that if your making them a squillion with adsense, then you can do what ever the hell you like... (certain networks around the web...)

Google have had double, triple and quadrupal standards since they became important... and I don't see it changing anytime soon. Just look at all the bullshit gone on with larger corporate sites being removed... and then suddenly back again. WTF? If your big business, do what you like, but for the other 99% fo the web, do as your told or else, so says Google! The problem is, is that if we want to play in their world, we must play by their rules... sorta!

DaveN How do you know they

DaveN

How do you know they fell in rank because you bought links? How does google tell if it is a paid link or not?

I feel like I missed something.

grnidone :

Lets just say, you will have to trust me on how i know ..

Hoe does google know if they are paid or not ... let me put it this way can you tell.. when you see links on a page if they where paid or not ??

lets look at
http://www.wunderground.com/ can you see any ?
http://securitypronews.com/ ??
http://www.oakridger.com/ ??
http://www.bravenet.com/ ??
http://www.poolgo.com/
http://funkycoconut.com/ ??

you can see where i'm going ..

DaveN

Lets just say, you will have

Lets just say, you will have to trust me on how i know ..

Hoe does google know if they are paid or not ... let me put it this way can you tell.. when you see links on a page if they where paid or not ??

lets look at
http://www.wunderground.com/ can you see any ?
http://securitypronews.com/ ??
http://www.oakridger.com/ ??
http://www.bravenet.com/ ??
http://www.poolgo.com/
http://funkycoconut.com/ ??

you can see where i'm going ..

Look for tables with sponsor or marketplace or advertiser????

Or could it be that Google has started to downplay links that are grouped and go to varied themed sites - the extension of reciprocal linking downplay????

The light goes on..

I understand. I see the ludicrousness of it. How is me buying a link any different than me buying an ad in a magazine? It isn't.

I get it now.

Hear hear!

I can go to a site running adsense and click on the advertise here link .. But I can’t email the guy and say I will give $500 for a link ?? isn’t that Anti-Competitive and surely there are laws about it

I didn't see this thread before. That's wise words DaveN, I agree 100 percent.

Google is "protecting" their own link selling business by spreading FUD and miscrediting competitors. It's the only business Google has, so one can see why - but that does not make it any better.

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