• alimta

    Even if it is a tough (and maybe futile) battle, I am glad Google is trying to discount paid links. For the life of me, I don’t understand how people on SEO messageboards seem to think that paid links are good. I bet the only people defending paid links are people who sell them and SEO consultants who use them to get high rankings for their clients. Paid links do nothing for the regular user of search engines and in fact distort the rankings.

    I encourage everyone to report paid links if possible.

  • http://www.luckylester.com Lucky Lester

    When did we collectively decide that it was Google’s place to set the standards?

    You people give Google too much credit – if Google was able to detect paid links with any kind of proficiency they wouldn’t need to employ the “rat mentality” to their problem.

    If someone doesn’t have direct access to payment processing records, the report a “rat” would file would be speculation at best. For Google to devalue a website based upon some informants’ report would be irresponsible of Google and could potentially expose Google to liable, depending upon the potential revenue loss.

    Further to the whole “report link sellers” solution; seeing as these “unofficial link quality inspectors” do not work for Google per se, Google should provide the complainant information along with the transgression details to the webmaster of the website that allegedly sold the links so that they may seek damages from them should the reported link transgression prove false in a court of law.

    Take one of my sites for example; at the bottom of my pages I have a list of links to some services that my readers might also find useful. I do not receive any funding for those links and they are all 1 way links pointing to these sites. Now to anybody who doesn’t know any better or to someone who might want to bring the site down, they could report my site to Google as a “link seller”. So to avoid this I am now supposed to, at Google’s behest, add some kind of link condom – I don’t think so.

    If Google wants to de-list my site they can do so at anytime seeing as it is their property and they can do whatever they want. However, if someone wants to falsely accuse me of doing something they had better be able to prove it or they could be exposing themselves to a slander charge.

    Again, Google can do whatever they want as it is their chocolate bar to share as they see fit but, if some misguided people at Google think we should all change to suit their needs, well, that smacks of evil in my book. If Google wants to go through with this “rat mentality” then Google should also adopt the basic American judicious tenet of the accused being able to face their accuser, and provide a “Reporter’s Complaint” so that the falsely accused can have their day in court.

    The thing that we all must keep in mind here is that the link economy in whole or in part, came about because of Google’s use of links to help determine rankings. This is a Google problem and it is up to them to fix for themselves and they shouldn’t expect us to fix it for them nor should Google penalize sites who don’t want to help them fix it. All sites must link in some manner and thus, could be falsely accused of link selling. What good would Google or any search engine for that matter, be if they slowly removed all the websites from their indexes.

    Google let this Jeanie out of the bottle and they have the resources to try to put it back in. When was the last time Google ever gave you something for free so why should you have to fix their problem for free? And before any of you write and say that Google gave me traffic for free, without our websites being in their indexes they wouldn’t have the billions that they do so if they want my help to fix their problems, pay me.

  • http://seoish.com feedthebot

    What was this? chopped

  • http://www.linux-girl.com Asia

    I see no difference between the updates and the original article on Matt’s Blog. Perhaps he’s utilized, a more reader friendly approach, but I have been under clear understanding that paid links will not be accounted for, if not properly noted as paid.

    My understanding came from a previous post by Matt in regards to Hidden Links and a decision by the FTC to monitor such links. I’m guessing many have skipped past this article and went directly to hotheaded assumptions.

    Interesting enough there’s been a lot of panic driven assumptions on SEO and SEM related topics driving the industry, lately. I’m a bit concerned, as I place trust in people due to quality content and advice in this industry. Lately blogs about how “Google is my enemy…” appear throughout my Google Reader and it becomes a bit annoying. I really hope that the industry grows past all this panic, because I’m so confused and really just want the facts, and not what someone thinks Matt said or did not say.

    In Conclusion:

    Google will continue to monitor Paid Links in support of the FTC ruling.

    The FTC Ruling is being ignored by the industry.

    I have seen no attacking blog posts nor have I seen any moves to discredit or rather challenge the FTC. All posts related to this topic have been about how Matt opened his big mouth (sorry Matt) on how Google will monitor your paid links.

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    The FTC internal memo doesn’t seem to have any applicability to paid links.

    However, as I have pointed out before, Google created this problem and they can easily make it go away.

    All they have to do is strip all links of the ability to pass anchor text.

  • http://www.cumbrowski.com Carsten Cumbrowski

    Hi Danny, my name is not Loren. Oh, sorry, I mean Barry. :)

  • Red_Mud_Rookie

    While there are cases where buying links are perfectly justified, I get really annoyed at so-called SEO pros who are so evangelical about paid links.
    Paid links have their place and it is most definitely not in the SEO stable.
    If you can manipulate your natural listings by buying links then we might as well all pack up and change careers while the big budget players dominate the listings at the expensive of sites with superior content.
    Buying links to benefit SEO is dirty dirty dirty!
    I don’t mean to sound like a Google loving hippy, but they, along with the other search engines, are trying to deliver the MOST RELEVANT listings to the user, not the listings which have bought the most inbound links.
    Hells bells folks… I don’t buy links and I don’t intend to and this may spell the end of my career as an ethical SEO expert because it seems there’s no getting away with not tainting your strategy with a little help from bought links.
    I sincerely hope that all the so called SEO experts out there who do buy links get caught out and burn their fingers because it just ain’t cricket.
    Why oh why does money have to come along and ruin yet another pure, simple and much loved service?
    Users prefer natural listings because they are exactly that… NATURAL!

  • http://www.johnbeagle.com Beagle

    I am concerned about the future of search results. Google and Matt say its ‘content’ but we all know its links much more than content. In the meantime, I am busting a$$ making lots of good relevant content, yet I see sites above me that are nothing but stores, with no real relevant content about the technology used. So, its not the content, its the links that matter most.

    Just to back up my claim:
    Try searching on “Security Camera” and you get nothing but stores. If you wanted to find out info about security cameras, you would be lost. There is little ‘security camera info’ on any of these pages.