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Buying PR?
Not quite understanding what I'm reading...
RandyM




msg:64353
 10:28 am on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've read through a bunch of posts that discuss buying PageRank through paid links. I've also heard it here and there that Google will penalize a site for such actions. My question is - how does Google know that this has happened? The internet is just a giant collection of links...how can a search engine tell whether or not you paid for a link - or whether you paid for the "link" or for the "PageRank" that link will bring? Does this extend into the purchasing of ad-space - and wouldn't that cause a LOT of problems?

Maybe I'm just missing some invaluable posts on this, but if someone could spell it out for me I'd greatly appreciate it.

 

Shak




msg:64354
 10:37 am on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

[webmasterworld.com...]

the best I could find at short notice :)

should give you a clue.

Shak

vincevincevince




msg:64355
 10:38 am on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good point, well made.

"Widget's Homepage
We have PR8, buy a link from us for only $100pa"

That would probably do the trick, but as we are all aware, Google doesn't have access to webmaster's bank transactions.

RandyM




msg:64356
 12:37 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

OK, So - Google won't penalize the sites in question by resetting their PR to 0 or knocking them out of the search engine completely, but it also won't allow them to share PR through the link. You won't lose anything with the purchased link, you just won't gain any PR. Did I get that right?

tigger




msg:64357
 12:52 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't know but if google got a bee in their bonnet and they knew for sure a sites been selling PR and you purchased it they could hit you with a penalty as well.

As clint said "Do you want to risk it punk" :) I wouldn't far to much to risk losing rankings

kwngian




msg:64358
 1:46 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I don't know but if google got a bee in their bonnet and
> they knew for sure a sites been selling PR and you
>purchased it they could hit you with a penalty as well.

Something like what happen to search king isn't it?

ronin




msg:64359
 2:49 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure that Google can realistically penalise anyone.

They would have to prove that a website is selling PR, not selling links - which might prove well nigh impossible.

Any link passes on a given amount of PR, so it follows that any advert, whether it's a banner, button, graphic or text link passes on PR.

To knowingly sell or buy PR, you have to know about it in the first place - most people don't.

Many people who don't know about PR, however, are still quite happy to buy adverts on other websites or sell advertising space.

It's not clear to me how Google could ever differentiate between those who know about PR and are selling it, those who know about it but are selling advertising space, and those who don't know about it and are selling advertising space.

redzone




msg:64360
 2:57 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm lost why people continue mentioning that Search King was selling PR links!

Search King merely became Google's target, because they could not target the inventory of PRAdNetwork, which is owned by the same individuals as Search King.

Search King "never" sold PR text links.

I'm always in agreement that a search engine has the right to index/de-index what it wants, afterall, it owns the system.

kwngian




msg:64361
 3:23 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


>I'm lost why people continue mentioning that Search King
>was selling PR links!

Really? Why sue then just because of drop in PR?

At the end of the day whether admitting to it or not, PR is the issue some would buy that link in the first place.

europeforvisitors




msg:64362
 3:36 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

You won't lose anything with the purchased link, you just won't gain any PR. Did I get that right?

Well, you'll lose the money that you wasted on the purchased link--an amount that could be substantial if you purchased the link from a site like F--.com or Wunder------.com.

Pebbles




msg:64363
 8:19 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I recently bought a PR9 link from pradnetwork for $1,000/mo. I wanted two, but they only have access to one at that price. They said a second PR9 site offers text links for $5,000/mo. - I suspect it is that weather-related site thats been discussed here before.

Good thing they have a 48 hour cancellation policy, because the PR9 site they wanted to put us on is one Google obviously knows about, because none of the 30 links on their home page are having the PR passed on. All of them are PR6 or less. The PR9 site they sell ads for has been discussed here since February. Its the one about website stats & counters.

Advice - stay away from pradnetwork. This isn't exactly new advice, but I had to find out for myself.

Shak




msg:64364
 8:24 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

PR9s for $300 a month out there :)

still NOT passing rank though.

Shak

BigDave




msg:64365
 8:28 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Try thinking of this as Google being concerned about the quality of the SERPs. They do not care about your *reason* for buying that link. They care that the link is adversly affecting their results.

Even if you do not know anything about PR and you are buying the link expecting a lot of traffic, Google would be justified in blocking the PR from passing to you. They do not *need* to know the reason that caused you to buy the link.

shurlee




msg:64366
 9:48 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>PR9s for $300 a month out there :)
still NOT passing rank though.>

Is it just me or are we all watching this whole thing starting to crumble?

If a PR 9 isn't passing PR, does that mean a PR8 is better? How low does it go? So how are the SERPS going to look when the good sites linking to you don't matter? Only a lot of 2's and 3's get on top? That doesn't seem right somehow.

If links from a 10 or a 9 don't count, then how are their results better. Is there a connection beteween this discussion and all the other ones we're seeing about spam in the results?

something is happening, but I just can't believe that PR9's don't pass PR. Think about how many sites that would affect. It seems we need to either be figuring out the percentages of incoming compared to outgoing links to reduce the passed value,or catch a human viewing our sites and deteriming visually which links got there and how or start thinking about what is going to replace PR.

I'm the first to admit I'm not the world's best programmer, but I just don't see any way that a link, as a link by itself, could be identified as good or bad. I can see ways of checking for related text within so many characters of a link, (slowing down the process significantly), which only forces people to start embedding links which we are already seeing a lot of, (would you throw in a few dozens words on your pages for $1,000 a month?).

I can see how you culd figure a decreased value for a link if you added say 20 outgoing links in a given time frame,(like a month), with only adding one or two incoming in the same time. That would just mean you need to only sell 19 a month or buy two for every 20 you sell. But I still don't see how that would help your relevancy. In fact, it seems like it would had to have hurt it, maybe beyond repair.

Take the wunder site. It has a lot of links. If the link is now devalued, doesn't that screw up the results for sites that had the link from there long before the whole PR sales thing broke by eliminating what they consider good stuff right along with what they consider bad? I believe I first became familiar with the term collateral damage as it applies to Google in this forum. Is relevancy acceptable collateral damage?

I bet everybody that had links from 8's and 9's that never paid a dime and have set at the top forever aren't very tickled now. It just seems to me, the harder they try to stop it, the goofier it gets and the more value it puts on PR. If it doesn't matter that much, why try so desparately to control it?

I do agree though to at least some degree, that PR9's are not worth what they once were before all the pro webmasters started talking about it here.

NeedScripts




msg:64367
 10:09 pm on Apr 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't think it would be easy job for google.

How in the world would google distigush if the Links being Advertised or the person is just a fan of the web site. I mean, if I recall correctly any webmaster is free to link whereever (I mean almost anywhere) they want, and/or if they wish they can deny linking to any website even for million dollars a day.

So why would google wanna panalize or not count PR for the links from a site where so called webmaster is having a list of "Top Links" or "Links of the Month" or just "Partner Links".

If Google does not count these "Top Links" or static links from other web sites, then the whole concept of PageRank would cease to exist.

So I personally believe, as long as the person does not advertise on the web site about static text link being sold (this is not same as text advertisement), then that person should be safe.

roundabout




msg:64368
 12:36 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Is it just me or are we all watching this whole thing starting to crumble?

Buying of PR is going to be a huge problem for Google. It screws up their SERPs and they have no way to detect it.

Write it up to the law of unintended consequences: because Google considers incoming links as the most important factor to a site's ranking, webmasters have logically responded by swapping & buying links ... thereby reducing the value of incoming links as an indicator of the quality of a website. Who knows what this will lead to...

BigDave




msg:64369
 12:44 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google *does not* need to detect PR for sale to be able to deal with it. They only need to be able to identify links that excessively skew the results.

1milehgh80210




msg:64370
 1:11 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

They only need to be able to identify links that excessively skew the results. <<<<
Isnt that VERY hard to identify? Who determines excessive? Plus arent some results skewed by trad. spam?

heini




msg:64371
 1:14 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>they only need to be able to identify links that excessively skew the results.

Like a new site making it into the Google index per buying a Yahoo link?
Or like a new site set up by a huge company, with a link from their site?
Or a personal geocities site linked to from a high PR edu site because of unique content?

Lets face it, the concept of PR is bound to bring Google into deep trouble.
Punishments are not the answer. Fiddling with the concept of PR is not the answer.
Profound changes in the ranking mechanism are needed.

rfgdxm1




msg:64372
 1:56 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Like a new site making it into the Google index per buying a Yahoo link?
Or like a new site set up by a huge company, with a link from their site?
Or a personal geocities site linked to from a high PR edu site because of unique content?

Or, I have a cousin Kim with a PR8 home page and she links to my site because I'm family? How can an algo read the mind of a webmaster and know what the reason is for links on her site?

>Profound changes in the ranking mechanism are needed.

The question is whether buying of PR, and webmasters manipulating PR by various techniques, is enough of a problem that Google cares? I don't see the PR part of the algo skewing very many informational SERPs, and that is mostly what people on the Net do.

BigDave




msg:64373
 2:31 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

PR!= results.
"doing something"!= penalty.

Given heini's examples, I would have to say that those sites do not necessarily deserve top billing in the serps just because they could get those links, if they could get no others.

They do not have to apply a filter to evey high PR site whose links supply the majority of the PR of a single lesser site. There are many additional features that they can look for on a page to help them determine if something seems not quite right.

Brad




msg:64374
 2:47 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>Profound changes in the ranking mechanism are needed.

Yes. Already PR, as it exists today, is fraying around the edges. It is both Google's strength and their Achilles heel.

The other way to stop it is to remove all PR indicators from the Google directory and the Google toolbar and any other place. Then we can stop all this nonsense and focus on building sites for our visitors and ourselves and not for /one/ SE.

roundabout




msg:64375
 3:30 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> The other way to stop it is to remove all PR indicators from the Google directory and the Google toolbar and any other place

Totally agree. Removing the toolbar would be the most effective way to curtail the buying of PR. Never could figure out why Google wants to let anyone to see PR anyway.

Bio4ce




msg:64376
 4:33 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anyone ever see the movie "Groundhog's Day"? Seem's like we've been down this road before.

rfgdxm1




msg:64377
 4:46 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Totally agree. Removing the toolbar would be the most effective way to curtail the buying of PR. Never could figure out why Google wants to let anyone to see PR anyway.

2 reasons for Google to leave the toolbar PR display, one which is a very good reason.

#1)The Very Good Reason: One of the possible reasons for sites to get booted from Google is for linking into "bad neighborhoods". "Bad neighborhoods" are things like link farms, etc. where Google has banned these sites. The Google toolbar is the only tool that a webmaster can use to try and determine if a sites are in a bad neighborhood or not. These will be PR0 or gray toolbar. If a site has any green in the toolbar, then you can rest assured that you are not linking into a bad neighborhood. [rfgdxm1 note to newbie readers here. Just because a site is gray toolbar or PR0 does NOT necessarily mean that it has been banned from Google. This can also mean that the site is new, or that the site has minimal links if PR0. Thus, just because a site is gray toolbar or PR0 doesn't mean that you should automatically refuse to link to them.] If Google is going to penalize sites for linking to bad neighborhoods, then I say they have an obligation to help them determine this. Otherwise, webmasters could become paranoid about linking to any site, thinking it might get them banned.

#2)Some users may use a high PR as being an indicator a site is a credible authority on the topic. Not conclusive, but one possible sign. A very minor subreason is that this may encourage people to use the toolbar. In all seriousness, it does with me. With that toolbar on every IE open browser window, it makes it easier to do a search by typing something in that rather than go to Alltheweb, etc. And saves me the effort of clicking "home", which on this box happens to be google.ca. ;)

JudgeJeffries




msg:64378
 11:11 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Removing the toolbar wouldnt necessarily change things as a lot of the people here are savvy enough to make a decent stab at PR in any event, and lets face it the only people who worry about PR are here already.

Brad




msg:64379
 11:56 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>If Google is going to penalize sites for linking to bad neighborhoods,

Well that is the rub. Nobody is forcing Google to do that either. Ever notice that *all* of this stuff is totally under Google's control? They can quit that at any time.

They can stop showing the PR display AND they can stop penalizing for linking to a PR0.

>>With that toolbar on every IE open browser window, it makes it easier to do a search by typing something in that rather than go to Alltheweb, etc.

Getting rid of the PR indicator will not affect this at all. :)

>>PR as being an indicator a site is a credible authority

I must respectfully disagree. Since I know of a couple of highly credible sites that are not in Google I know that high PR is NOT an indicator of credibility. Also since PR seems to be bought and sold frequently just below the surface (hence this thread) it casts doubt on PR as an indicator of nothing more then a bank account.

All the solutions and causes are totally within Google's control.

mfishy




msg:64380
 11:57 am on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Obviously, the buying of PR or links for that matter is an issure for Google. It is, however not much different than link exchange schemes that google cannot, or does not detect. Both swapping links and buying links are ways of artificially boosting a pages ranking.

The sad part is that what made Google's algo the best in the biz is that they use off page factors predominantly. Anyone can put the appropriate content on pages for bots, but off page factors were much harder to create.

I think Google has really been affected by the link barter/sale industry as they seem to have already reduced the value of PR and anchor text in their ranking algo. IMO, the changes have been for the worse

europeforvisitors




msg:64381
 5:13 pm on Apr 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think Google has really been affected by the link barter/sale industry as they seem to have already reduced the value of PR and anchor text in their ranking algo. IMO, the changes have been for the worse.

I disagree. On the whole, SERPS seem to be getting better, not worse. There's still a spam problem in highly competitive categories (travel and popular pharmaceuticals, for example), but if you search on a term like the Hotel Whatsit or a certain male sex drug, there's at least a fighting chance that the Hotel Whatsit or Pfizer's official site for the "V" drug will be listed at or near the top of the SERP.

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