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Why does google still value "bought links"
Website is up on place 2 after buying lots of links
baron13




msg:93241
 3:47 pm on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have found a new website in the serps in my business. This site was nowhere 1 month ago and now this site is on rank 2 in google. And if I take a look at the backlinks I can see more than 9000 backlinks from only 4 different domains. Why does google still count bought links?

 

nuevojefe




msg:93271
 8:08 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

And when you file your taxes at the end of the year - how do you claim this expense? Other than advertising - I'm not sure how you could justify calling it anything else.

Patrick Taylor -If you fax me just that part of the tax return with bribery listed as opposed to advertising i'll frame it in our office. ;-)

It really is semantics...

phantombookman




msg:93272
 8:17 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

The only way Google can really move towards results that reflect site quality and the searchers wishes is to lower the importance of links.
There are 2 main obstacles to this

1: They would need an alogo that could somehow determine content etc
(don't ask me how - they have enough money and brains let them figure it out!)

2:Many of these click through sites that are designed solely to get the searcher to click on an ad' make a great deal of money for Google - vested interest.

Google has to decide where its priorities lie
accurate search results or PPC, adwords or whatver

glengara




msg:93273
 8:40 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Whether bought, reciprocal or as part of a network, the effect would have been similar, more pertinent question to the OP's problem might have been why does G count/value RoS links.

These work well when dealing with pages individually, less so when a site's overall linkage pattern is examined.

Certain recent observations on the effects of RoS links on both the linker and linkee make me suspect G is taking a greater interest in the overall site linkage pattern, and that the golden days of RoS may already be over.

Patrick Taylor




msg:93274
 9:19 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

nuevojefe, think of it as semantics if you want (even though it isn't). Semantics is about the meaning or the interpretation of a word, which is not what we're looking at here. This is not about the meaning of "advert" but about the difference between an advert and a bought link. The fact that the effect might be the same doesn't mean the thing itself is the same.

The fact is, there is a big difference between an advert that is perceived for what it is on a web page, and a paid-for link that is perceived as a natural one but is in fact a deception, and a deception that distorts search results. That's why Google doesn't approve of link exchanges or bought links whose purpose is to increase PR, but does approve of adverts. The tax thing is so completely irrelevant it's hardly worth explaining why.

I will say again, I am not complaining about the fact that buying links goes on (even though I don't agree with it when its purpose is purely to trade PR). What I think is much more cynical is the pretence that an honest and open advert is the same as a bought link and that the latter is therefore acceptable.

matt21811




msg:93275
 10:19 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Advertising doesnt have to be labled as such to still be advertising.

Many celebrities in Australia are paid to drive a certian brand of car. This is definiately advertising for the car company but many people dont know that they are paid to drive that car. Its still advertising.

The Contractor




msg:93276
 10:44 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I believe I finally understand the difference between paid links and advertising. I have known it all along, but this thread confirms it.

Paid Link = The site above you in the serps has spent time and money getting links.

Advertising = The site below you in the serps has not spent time and money getting advertising.

It's as simple as that. People only complain about paid "links" if they believe that is the reason they are getting beat for their term. They believe that paid links/advertising should be banned. These same people believe that link exchanges are good and they should be praised for all the hard work they have done with their spam mail to obtain them.

You can call it what you want but I'll lay money if those against paid links could get on Adobe.com's homepage for $10 a month it would suddenly become an advertisement – not a paid link!

beren




msg:93277
 2:14 pm on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

What's interesting about this thread is that so many approach the question of SERPS from an SEO perspective only.

As if all any webpage on a given topic were equally good and if the number 200 listing suddenly went to number 2 the search engine users shouldn't care. And as if the rankings should be determined by the time, effort, skill, and money put into the SEO.

But that's wrong. Users care about quality, and search engines should be trying to return the best site for the query. Links are one way the engines can use to determine which sites are better than others. But to the extent that they are capable, the engines should try to take into account link farms, etc. that attempt to game their systems.

isitreal




msg:93278
 4:50 pm on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

<<<< So they own domains...so...build 4 domains yourself.

Translation: pay to play. Despite google's recent attempts to filter out spam directories etc, the SEOs are having no trouble keeping up, obviously. Since there's money in being top 5, people are going to spend money getting there, or time if that's what they have more of.

As long as money keyword high SERPs continue to generate money for the sites, people are going to pay to get to the top, there's pretty much nothing you can do about it.

But the ironic thing is that as far as I can tell, what Google's recent antispam efforts have done is simply raise the bar, blocking out amateur SEOs, and actually increasing the ability of professional SEOs to game the system, since to do so now requires more resources. This has resulted in a significant decline in the quality of various precise searches I've been doing, quite noticeable in many cases.

I've started seeing this more and more, I've been doing a lot of programming, technical web stuff, and I'm seeing a type of site come up increasingly, directories of technical terms, they all look like they were built by the same group, I suspect that they were. And those are getting to the top of the SERPs using the type of link systems being discussed here, since the sites on their own, while not being purely spam, have no real content, but also don't look like pure spam sites, not as far as googlebot is concerned anyway. And of course always those lovely adsense boxes...

bumpski




msg:93279
 11:52 am on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

And if I take a look at the backlinks I can see more than 9000 backlinks from only 4 different domains.

For me the links aren't that big an issue, but say at 3 links per page, 3000 pages in a month?

Even Stephen King can't crank out that many relevant pages. I know there are all sorts of reference sites that can claim this volume, but if they truly had value they'd sell their content.

And why would these new huge free reference sites be heavily interlinked. Are the linkages relevant or simply alphabetical? In other words yet another "directory" created by scripts; content, titles, and URL paths, all loaded with keyword combinations and search engine results, and all linked alphabetically.

These directories keep popping up, getting the Google "new page boost" for a month, sending them to the top of the SERP's, and as a result we have the "sandbox".

whiterabbit




msg:93280
 2:51 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google now runs on/for money, adapt or die, if you don't want to buy links, fine, see you on your way down the SERPS

Why does google still count bought links?

Because Google is the biggest paid for placement (not position) site on the internet, and hypocrisy isn't part of its founding principles.

andsieg888




msg:93281
 6:16 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Ok I gotta put my two cents in here:

I am a little surprised that people have so vigorously defended the notion that bought links are a valid way for google to measure the usefulness of a site.

Bought links, no matter how you cut it and I believe no one will dispute this are a form of advertising.

This being the case I find it hard to believe that google is trying to base their serps on what site has the biggest or best advertising for a particular keyword. And to take it a step further I don’t see any reason why a sites advertising budget would have any value in determining the relevance of a site for a particular keyword.

Think about when Consumer Reports reviews a product do they factor in the size of the products advertising budget? Or if you go to the library and search for books on a particular topic are those results effected by a books advertising budget? Of course not, because advertising has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of a product and for that matter a site.

If G doesn’t realize this well that’s bad news because when people perform a search they are looking for the most relevant site not the site with a big ad budget, so eventually people will go elsewhere for their searches.

The original question of this thread was "why does google still count bought links", I hope and believe the answer is that they don’t have the technology yet to filter out ‘bought links’.

What I find most interesting though is that those who 'game' the serps by buying advertising or employing large link excahnges are the ones who will make a quick buck but who in the end ultimately will destroy the system.

hugo_guzman




msg:93282
 7:07 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

If the "bought" link is on a relevant site with a relevant content than it is definitely a legitimate reason to improve SERPs.

The problem is that this industry (Text Ads) does not regulate itself properly. If webmasters that were serving these ads would make sure not to offer advertising to "non-relevant" or "spammy" sites then there would be no problem, because in essence a text ad is similar to a reciprocal link.

The reciprocal link is a form of "advertising" that intended to improve SERPs (although some reciprocals do drive traffic that is rarely the focus of such links). You are "paying" for the link with another link (a barter transaction if I'm not mistaken). In the case of text ads you are "paying" for the link with money. Both are webmaster to webmaster transactions intended (in part) to improve SERPs.

Just as with reciprocal linking, some webmasters are willing to accept links for any site regardless of relevancy or spam issues. This is why you will occassionally come across a site that has 40 "text ads" on the footer of a page pointing to sites that are absolutely unrelated to the theme/topic of the site selling the ads.

Not everyone engages in this "spammy" type of "text advertising" (most of these individuals reside in the results pages of Ebay).

Many responsible webmasters offer static text ads only to sites that have legitimate content and are related to the site selling the ads. If text advertising is conducted in this manner than it actually helps to improve google serps, because sites with higher PR will be linking to relevant sites with legitimate content.

So to make a long story short I completely disagree with the last post.

androidtech




msg:93283
 7:12 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am neither for or against paid links, everyone buys ads; this is pre-Internet stuff. But there's a reason that magazines put "Special Advertising Section" over advertisement pages that look too much like regular magazine content. There may even be laws to that effect, but I'm not sure about that.

Thanks.

steve128




msg:93284
 7:26 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I buy links, I swap links, I link out without expecting a link in return. Even some link to me for nothing.

So google has got to be one clever bunny to know who is paying who.
So what's the difference, paying is quicker less work load.

But then us evil link buyers are just lazy.
As soon as the workaholic link exchange spammers get successful, guess what they save time and effort and just buy.
The point of link buying is not unethical, but link buyers are not stupid, buy from the wrong guys well you may as well throw the money down the pan, or guest book spam or send out link exchange requests all day -;

cabbie




msg:93285
 8:05 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Most webmasters try to disguise what links have been bought just like google does.

andsieg888




msg:93286
 8:14 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Please don't misunderstand I'm not saying that buying or swaping links is wrong or immoral. Everyone has the right to promote their site and make a buck whether it is in the short term or long term.

What I was trying to say is that these links should not figure highly in G's calculation of serps, if at all.

jose_guzman, if all webmasters didn't engage in spammy advertising obviously the issue of 'bought links' might not be such a concern. But even in that kind of world I see no reason why a site with so so content should be able to buy a link on a relevant page and as a result rank higher in the serps than a site with excellent content on the same topic. It just doesn't fit into what i believe to be google's goal of porviding the most relevant site(s) for each search.

hugo_guzman




msg:93287
 8:17 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

First off, my name is Hugo (not Jose).

Secondly, I just finished explaining that responsible webmasters who offer text ads do not sell these ads to sites that have "questionable" content. Just like responsible reciprocal linkers do not link to sites with questionable content.

andsieg888




msg:93288
 8:20 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

sorry about that hugo

[edited by: andsieg888 at 8:28 pm (utc) on Oct. 21, 2004]

cabbie




msg:93289
 8:20 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi Hugo .:)
I'm alan
I'm sure annie777 didn't mean it.;)

[edited by: cabbie at 8:24 pm (utc) on Oct. 21, 2004]

glengara




msg:93290
 8:21 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

It all goes back to the naivety of the original premise that a link equals a vote, and reflects the ideal world of Academia, where linking would naturally be on-topic.

I doubt if bought, or even reciprocal linking, was ever considered as part of the original equation.

andsieg888




msg:93291
 8:27 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

hugo, there are varying degrees of relevant content

site A may be a site about widgets and provide general descriptions of widgets and there use

whereas site B may also be about widgets but provide a much more comprehensive description and background to widgets

in this scenario i think it would be unfortuante if site A ranked higher in the serps because they bought a bunch of text links on relevant widget sites even though site B has much more useful info about widgets

skipfactor




msg:93292
 8:49 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>directories of technical terms, they all look like they were built by the same group, I suspect that they were. And those are getting to the top of the SERPs using the type of link systems being discussed here, since the sites on their own, while not being purely spam, have no real content, but also don't look like pure spam sites, not as far as googlebot is concerned anyway. And of course always those lovely adsense boxes...

Yea, and you can't even find a place to buy a link from them these days. ;)

The Contractor




msg:93293
 9:23 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Bought links, no matter how you cut it and I believe no one will dispute this are a form of advertising.

And the point would be? There is no truer form of advertising than AdWords etc. The only reason anyone uses PPC is to increase traffic and of course sales and branding if relevant. So someone buys advertising at another site instead of Google for example and that is considered wrong? The more they pay for the keyword term in AdWords, the higher up their placement will be - how is this different than anywhere else? Is AdWords and Overture the only ones allowed to sell advertising...?

What I was trying to say is that these links should not figure highly in G's calculation of serps, if at all.

hmm...so should they wipe out reciprocal links? If not, why not? They are both being paid for... So if they discount reciprocal and paid links they wipe out Yahoo directory and every other site and/or directory that sells advertising or links? Seems to me people would scream "monopoly" for advertising revenue, don't you think?

Why do so many people think a well email spammed for reciprocal link should be treated better than someone who decides to not spam the heck out of 1000's of sites begging for links and instead gets off their wallet and treats their business like a "real" business.

Yea, and you can't even find a place to buy a link from them these days.

Yeah, lets not compare serp scraper directories to real ones ;)

hugo_guzman




msg:93294
 10:16 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Good points.

Here's my perspective: People fail to understand that all seo efforts are technically designed to "artificially enhance search engine results" (even manipulating your title tag) and they all cost something (whether it be in terms of money, time, or resources).

Why single out text advertising as somehow worse than all other forms of seo? Should google discount title tags that include target keywords?

I feel like portions of the seo forum community have unfairly "condemned" the text ad industry because they don't understand the capitalistic nature of SEO. Of course sites that spend money "buying" good rankings should rank higher. That's the american way. I work for a mega sports site backed by a major us television network. They pay me to make sure that they rank well, and they pay writers to create pages upon pages of content that is relevant and help their site rank well for target search terms.

I also operate a dozen or so of my own "niche" sites and they rank well too. I've had to "pay" for my niche sites to rank well through ads, software, content, etc...(things that make a site rank well in SERPs). My sites are very relevant and spam free and I have competitors whose sites are also extremely relevant and spam free. The reason that I outrank them is that I have "acquired" better backlinks then they have. Regardless of the means, I feel that I deserve to rank better than they do, just as the folks ranked ahead of me (with a higher amount and/or more potent backlinks) deserve to be ahead of me. None of us are spamming, were just competing for the same market. I don't feel bad for the guy in my niche market who doesn't have a budget for text ads, etc... (either because he has no funding or because he is trying to find a way to build his site on the cheap) and complains about being "stuck in the sandbox" and wonders why his site isn't in the top 100. Like the old adage says..."you have to spend money to make money"

beren




msg:93295
 10:37 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I can't believe this thread. Nobody is "condemning" the text link industry or misunderstanding the business world.

Nobody is saying selling text links should be prohibited.

All anyone is saying is that Google and the other engines could do a better job.

Search engines adapt and change as the web changes.

Once, they considered the keywords meta tag information. The keywords meta tag was created for a reason. It was to tell users and engines what webpages were about. Engines used that information in determining which pages were relevant to user queries.

Now, the engines don't value keywords so much. They have changed. We're just saying the engines should also change now and, to the extent possible, adjust to account for paid links.

Nobody is saying paid text links shouldn't be allowed or are somehow evil.

The Contractor




msg:93296
 11:11 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Now, the engines don't value keywords so much. They have changed. We're just saying the engines should also change now and, to the extent possible, adjust to account for paid links.

Ok, but this should include links in general right - including link exchanges, right?

Nobody is saying paid text links shouldn't be allowed or are somehow evil.

Please read msg #:1, msg #:5, msg #:7, msg #:14, msg #:21 again.. if these messages are not saying purchased links should be treated differently, condemned, not counted etc... please explain to me why this thread was started and what exactly these messages are stating, because I certainly read them that way.

What's surprising to me is all the complainers about purchasing links keep quiet and think nothing of their spamming every email address/site they come upon with their groveling for link exchanges...

creepychris




msg:93297
 12:59 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Contractor, I absolutely agree with you. Link exchanges, link schemes, and bought links are all the same spamming evil (and Google should discount them if Google could actually differentiate between them). If bought votes shouldn't count, neither should bartered votes. Only those votes that are 'freely' given with no strings attached should count for link pop. BUT Google can't possibly know what votes were freely given. So until then . . .

Patrick Taylor




msg:93298
 1:12 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

creepychris, I'm not sure if The Contractor is saying what you think he is.

My own view is that when people use a major search engine like Google they assume the page listings are natural. Google wants them to believe this at any rate. I don't say there's anything wrong with advertising or buying links (or link exchanges, which are fundamentally the same thing) as long as the user can see them for what they are - not natural but the result of a commercial or "trade" agreement between the parties.

I presume the reason why Google doesn't yet seem to fully distinguish between natural links and commercial ones is that it is difficult to do without risking collateral damage and the ensuing bad publicity.

nuevojefe




msg:93299
 1:22 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

As for reciprocal links vs. bought links being about equal in terms of being means of gaming, sure, that's pretty accurate. But they also can be ways of obtaining measurable traffic if done correctly and that in itself should make them both ok.

There are however the areas of those two practices that make them not so ok. Buying links on sites that clearly do not share a similar demographics is pretty blatent, as is recip linking under the same circumstances. Also, reciprocal linking requests accounts for a huge deal of the spam that I get each day.

Like I stated before, it all boils down to time and money and if bought links were easily spotted and not counted, and if recip's were also easily spotted and not counted, then people with the time and money would find other ways to spend it (like building content i'm sure the SE's hope). If they have more time and money they will probably still win over those less fortunate.

We write awesome content and develop great sites that get many one-way links without us asking. Sites with thousands of hand written, well researched pages tend to do that. Problem: if you can't get SE exposure it's very difficult to pick up that momentum.

So, until things change, we exchange links, we get one ways, and we buy "advertising" on relevant sites until we get to the top and can get recognized. All of which bring decent traffic and considerable search engine presence.

bobothecat




msg:93300
 1:49 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

I presume the reason why Google doesn't yet seem to fully distinguish between natural links and commercial ones is that it is difficult to do without risking collateral damage and the ensuing bad publicity.

And not to mention that Google is an advertising stream itself - adwords, adsense - don't think we need too many more 'ad' words to know what they're 'ad'fter. :)

Shame on Google for not giving the same credit to freebies links as they may do for paid links. Guess Google knows the value of paid links better than some on here are willing to admit.

Patrick Taylor




msg:93301
 2:13 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

... not to mention that Google is an advertising stream itself

True, but presumably Google relies on the fact that people go there primarily for natural search results before they see the advert.

Incidentally I recently did a Google search for "printing firms mytown" and the only bona fide printing firms I could actually find were those who were paying to advertise - the right hand column. The 'natural' SERPS consisted mostly of irrelevant spam-ridden junk - presumably sites who spend money on completely off-topic paid links. Yahoo wasn't much better, and interestingly on page 2 of SERPS I found an April 04 Webmaster World thread about Google indexing Flash where I had posted a comment about the poor results for printing firm searches!

This 107 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 107 ( 1 [2] 3 4 > >
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