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Google Slow In Addressing Paid Link Reports

 5:06 am on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is a problem that I have observed for years. There is a lot of history to it, with lots of high profile examples, some very blatant.

Here is a current example that is happening right now...

There is pagerank 9 site with hidden links using the <no script> tag. The site with the link was registered in January and has a pagerank of 8, and is in turn linking to other sites in the body of the page, and those sites have a pagerank of 6.

I know for sure that more than one person has reported this. There is even a youtube video circulating about it. Yet, these sites still have their high pagerank.

As time passes, if this example is like most of the others, these sites are now selling the links to the highest bidder. In essence, people who are not playing by the rules are making thousands of dollars, and outranking competitors that are running a much more ethical business.

Sure, they will be caught eventually, but in the meantime they are earning money toward their next venture, and providing an example that the techniques work, and that thousands of dollars can be paid.

I've seen pagerank 8+ sites every single year for the last 5+ years get their pagerank using methods like this, andthe real problem is the sites receiving the pagerank keep it for months on end.

I don't understand the logic of receiving these reports and doing nothing the visible pagerank, allowing thousands of dollars to change hands as people buy and sell pagerank. Why does this problem keep happening every year?



 9:16 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

can you please explain again the phenomenon? Is the problem link staffing in <noscript> or do they somehow obtain pr "illegally"? From your thread it's a little bit hard to understand...


 5:40 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, so in this case there is a pagerank 9 site. Let's call it "Site A". On the homepage of Site A is a hidden link to "Site B". Site B is a pagerank 8 and was just registered in January. Site B has links to Sites C, D, E, F and G. Those sites are pagerank 6.

The link on Site A was hidden in a No Script tag. Interestingly, there is another discussion forum where the link on Site A was discovered. Then the link was removed. But not before someone shot a screencast and published it on youtube where they examined the source code showing the no script tage. Then a week later the link was right back on Site A.

This is a phenomenon that happens on all sorts of sites, and we've talked about it here on WebmasterWorld in the past. It would just be nice if high profile cases were dealt with faster. I'm sure there are unsuspecting users who are even buying links from these people thinking they must be some kind of geniuses with their high pagerank.


 7:07 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

It reminds me of a PR6 site I visited once years ago. The owner had planned on launching several blogs and had linked to them but all of them simply said Hello world and sat with a cozy PR5.

It got joked about in a forum and it took over 6 months for the sites to stop returning in search for the exact match of their domain. It was sad but I don't know how long before they were shut down someone reported them. I'd assume it wasn't the full 6 months. The main site PR was also dropped to 4 and several other established sites linked from it (the owners) also dropped so the entire link graph was probably looked at.

Fair? not online. I wish it was me who sent that picture of Matt Cutts in front of a webmaster world sign to Matt (front page of his site, not blog, actual site). That link alone (sadly not to WW) gives a solid boost.


 7:45 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

It reminds me of a PR6 site I visited once years ago. The owner had planned on launching several blogs and had linked to them but all of them simply said Hello world and sat with a cozy PR5.

At least in that case it doesn't sound like intent to manipulate. For example, here on webmaster world, there was a link to forum software that might be released at a later date for a long time.

In other cases, it is much clearer buying and selling of pagerank, and I would have thought a pagerank 9 site being involved in pagerank manipulation with a HIDDEN agenda (no script tag) linking to a completely unrelated site is pretty serious stuff where most likely thousands of dollars are changing hands for the sake of buying and selling of pagerank.


 4:20 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

But Isn't <noscript> tags are like nofollow, means they don't pass PR juice?

I actually stumbled upon a strange case yesterday.
this site is aparently something like 7 months old yet has PR8. It's clearly MFA (done properly). When I researched its links there was some weird thing going on there.

[edited by: tedster at 7:13 pm (utc) on Jun 23, 2010]


 4:31 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Funny, I just looked at some very famous site, maybe the one you were talking enough, with PR9, and sure enough, this site has a hidden script <noscript> in it...

My guess is this 'genius' hacker is using an exploit or loopholes in all kind of CMS's (in this case WP, but I seen TYPO3 too) or through google hacking finding login info to those sites and plants their link in a pixel gif or noscript, so that nobody notice.

These kind of things are annoying! Yet I can't help but somewhat appreciate the creativity...

[edited by: tedster at 7:14 pm (utc) on Jun 23, 2010]
[edit reason] no specific domains please [/edit]


 5:31 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

The site you reference also has another high pagerank link on a French site. This case is big enough where it is common knowledge among a few hundred webmasters, and I am aware a couple of different individuals reported the PR 9 link. Yet google has done nothing to address the problem, and the site you reference is probably making a lot of money selling google pagerank to other sites.

I know of another site that is PR 7 and on a webmaster forum they even advertise they are "gaming" the google pagerank.

So cases like this prove that you can make a lot of money through the buying and selling of pagerank. When months pass and thousands of dollars change hands, its too late. The damage is done.

[edited by: dvduval at 5:38 pm (utc) on Jun 23, 2010]


 5:37 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Fascinating. Maybe someone should mention it on Matt's blog ?


 8:14 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

the site is probably hacked and the link inserted by the hacker.


 8:23 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

What I find interesting is that it doesn't seem to matter how many other links are on the page. In both cases I've just looked at (thanks for the youtube lead) the PR9 site is leading to PR8 spam but on one of them there is a TON of other links leading to legit places and internal pages, 500+ of them.

If you thought that each link would get only 1/500th of the potential pagerank passed to it that myth seems to be busted. The implication is that from your index page you can link to a lot more places without suffering adverse effects than you can from internal pages.

Pr 8 spam... /cry


 8:33 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

I know things like this are going to happen, but I wish there were a way to expedite action. Sometimes I wonder if pagerank truly can be calculated on the fly, or if the reason they are not doing something is they have their little rule about never doing changes by hand. Whatever the reason, there doesn't seem to be a clear channel of communication followed by corrective action, and surely "gaming pagerank" would be something google would care about on high pagerank sites that are blatantly doing it, right?


 8:43 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

So the conclusions:

<noscript> links does pass PR juice.
G does not recognizes spam links (nothing in the algorithm find it suspicious that all the links to this site are from pixel gif or noscript).
G ignores spam report on this site.

Which means we might see others do the same thing. As long as it's working, there's a lot of money in it.

I think by now they should have just cancel the green pixels PR bar....

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