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Matt Cutts : No-follow advertorial links or we'll take action
Whitey




msg:4579661
 11:04 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts: I just posted a video about how the webspam team will treat native advertising that violates our quality guidelines, and mentioned that the Google News team is also willing to take action when something violates our guidelines. [youtube.com...]
[plus.google.com...]

 

atlrus




msg:4579676
 12:17 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

So now google is the law when it comes to how websites should advertise? It's Google's decision and their right to impose their own moral (read monetary) values?

Yeah, because adding nofollow really tells the readers that the article was paid for... Oh, wait, it makes no difference to anyone but google.

God, I will enjoy watching this company crash and burn in the future!

Whitey




msg:4579684
 12:47 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Interesting to note that MC said action will be taken against both the link seller and buyer. How that policy stance has changed over recent years, when it was stated that nothing someone else could do would affect your site.

Specific citing of the UK's Interflora advertorials [webmasterworld.com...] ; and the mentioning that sites paying for those advertorials could expect to have action against them. I take it not to be limited to news services, although special mention was made of that.

MC emphasised e-commerce terms appearing in the anchor text, as if to say, this is an easy method to further detect paid linking. I guess relevance, grammar and semantic mismatching are the other easy ways to detect offending material.

From Google's perspective it is fair to say that they want to improve the quality of "news" provided via their services, by removing ugly link text. But it's not consistent with how they monetize their own assets like YouTube .

The other thing is that rather than penalise sites, why not just ignore the links. Google has a clear idea of what are SPAM links now, or is there some other reason why Google feels the need to maintain these types of communications?

So for those depending on publishing for a living, no follow advertising services looks like the only way forward. And that's a big headache for many publishers to tidy up and a big consideration on how many of those sites, and some services, like articles and press release services will survive monetarily.

Since it's sometimes hard to identify an exchange of money or "benefit" a lot of false positives will likely come out of this. But I don't think Google cares, as it's looking at the bigger picture.

lucy24




msg:4579695
 1:22 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

... action will be taken against both the link seller and buyer. How that policy stance has changed over recent years, when it was stated that nothing someone else could do would affect your site.

I don't see the connection. Selling can't happen without a buyer, and vice versa. It's by definition a two-party transaction. Not like plastering your site with links that the linkee doesn't even know about.

It's a lot easier to hide evidence than to manufacture it.

Whitey




msg:4579697
 1:32 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google works hard to prevent other webmasters from being able to harm your ranking or have your site removed from our index. If you're concerned about another site linking to yours, we suggest contacting the webmaster of the site in question. Google aggregates and organizes information published on the web; we don't control the content of these pages.

updated 05/27/2013

[support.google.com...]

fyi - this just changed . The evidence doesn't count for much, when Google takes action first.

cabbie




msg:4579737
 6:05 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh, it's a wicked web they weave.
Soon there will only be 'nofollow' links.

lucy24




msg:4579741
 6:58 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

And then g### will say Naah, we changed our minds, we'd rather decide for ourselves which links matter. And then simply ignore "nofollow".

lee_sufc




msg:4579752
 8:02 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am starting to get bored of Google's dictatorship!

spunkle




msg:4579760
 8:20 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

how can google tell which is a true editorial and which is an advertorial?

driller41




msg:4579766
 8:41 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is very hypocritical to say that a paid link confuses poeople when they reduced the colours our their own adwords paid links to the point when people dont notice the colour and thus the fact they are paid links.

chrisv1963




msg:4579769
 9:01 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am starting to get bored of Google's dictatorship!


And the scary thing is that somehow they "own" the internet. Even when you don't do anything wrong and follow Google's rules, your online business is constantly at risk. We all know what Panda did.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4579772
 9:27 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

From [searchengineland.com...] :-

In summary, the Google guidelines for Advertorials are:

(1) Search Engines: If links are paid for, i.e., money changes hands, then links should not pass PageRank. You should nofollow links in Advertorials.

(2) Users & Readers: It should be clear to your readers that this is a paid story by labeling it advertisement or sponsored story.


My emphasis. Now Google are telling us how to publish. Why the hell should they advise us on how to notify OUR visitors? We have to remind ourselves that Google really are just a private company. Dictating to us as to how to publish is a step too far. It wouldn't be so bad if Google didn't have the power to kill your business (or decimate your income at least).

Either editorial process is good or it's bad. Bad editors/webmasters will accept crappy articles, good editors will accept good articles. Notice I didn't say anything about paid or not-paid. Readers don't care if an article is paid or not - they care if it's good or not. Sites that "sell out" create their own failure anyway - "selling out" means you will accept a drop in quality if the money's good enough. Readers aren't stupid, they will know something's up.

What's next from Google? No swearing on your site?

Shaddows




msg:4579777
 9:47 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ColourOfSpring
You see, this is classic Google misdirection. You're getting all flustered about them telling you how to treat your customers, when in fact all they are doing is saying

"We're not good at spotting advertorials. Please label them to make our job easier."

Of course, the punchline remains unsaid:
"Once we have a good set of self-avowed advertorials, we will be able to create a seed set and REALLY get busy. In the mean time, EVERY LINK ON YOUR ADVERTORIAL BETTER BE NF"

driller41




msg:4579807
 10:43 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

"Once we have a good set of self-avowed advertorials, we will be able to create a seed set and REALLY get busy. In the mean time, EVERY LINK ON YOUR ADVERTORIAL BETTER BE NF"

You nailed it.

Savanadry




msg:4579819
 10:55 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I mean really, who do they think they are?

Nothing but tax evading, kiddie #*$! peddlers. Well, that's what the UK media is saying - google can expect more of that the more they trash small and medium businesses.

Business owners aren't stupid, if they can't rank on google with good, spam free, independent sites then they will use any other means necessary to recover the traffic, if that means taking google down through politics and gossip - then that's what they will do.

Can't stop, off to write to my MP and the BBC about my concerns about google 'pushing' amazon (another UK tax evader) in my niche. Stealing British customers from British tax paying small businesses, outrageous! ;)

buckworks




msg:4579835
 11:41 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

It should be clear to your readers that this is a paid story by labeling it advertisement or sponsored story.


In some countries this is a legal requirement. Ignore it at your peril.

helenp




msg:4579838
 11:54 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

It should be clear to your readers that this is a paid story by labeling it advertisement or sponsored story.


In some countries this is a legal requirement. Ignore it at your peril.


Does this apply to advertising online such as on google?
Well they do tell, in small letter and with a background color surrounding the ads, that only one knowing there should be ads can see, and with many dificults.
Honestly its there but not clear!

netmeg




msg:4579845
 12:24 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hello! FTC anybody?

Geezopete.

rustybrick




msg:4579846
 12:28 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Whitey, I don't think that page was changed. Not according to my notes [seroundtable.com...]

I guess they shifted some of the design placement of the video around but the text is exactly the same as a year ago.

ColourOfSpring




msg:4579848
 12:40 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Couldn't put it better myself Savanadry. Not only are Google getting away with so many bad things, but at the same time, Google have created their own reality distortion field that has created many unthinking acolytes to praise/excuse/explain away Google's actions. Google setup "free" services that help foster that kind of brand loyalty.

Gmail offers you a free service and in exchange you give Google data that puts Google in even more control of search and therefore traffic flow. So acolytes just see Google as the nice guys that give you free stuff. Meanwhile, they wonder why it's getting harder and harder to make a living online, and why more and more money is pooling to fewer individuals online.

Same will happen with Google Fiber; people will love it because they will get faster broadband. And at the very same time, Google will get to be an ISP - allowing them to tap into your entire traffic stream right at the source. They will then have the data that will allow them have an even greater stranglehold over search, and therefore traffic flow, and therefore who and who doesn't get business. I know that's a simplification, and "you shouldn't rely on Google", but sadly a large majority of most markets use Google to find things.

There's a great article at seobook.com/blog about this (look up "GoogleMart") - nore sure if I can link out to certain sites here.

engine




msg:4579869
 1:53 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

The problem here is that over-use and over manipulation has meant it's going to affect everyone.

It's a shame it cannot be identified a little clearer because the follow is an opportunity for a business to sell its services and earn from it.

Another solution would be to remove a site from Google's index and retain the follow. The site owner needs to decide how important Google's indexing is and make the choice.

jakebohall




msg:4579872
 2:00 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

The other thing is that rather than penalise sites, why not just ignore the links.


This would make sense, except it doesn't "damage" the link market...

Shepherd




msg:4579880
 2:22 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

It should be clear to your readers that this is a paid story by labeling it advertisement or sponsored story.


In some countries this is a legal requirement. Ignore it at your peril.


First, nowhere is it "illegal" to not use a no-follow tag. (I know that's not what you were saying Buckworks, just making a point).

Second, google cares not about the "labeling it advertisement or sponsored story" so that the reader know blah blah blah... google wants adsense blocks in those advertorials, not links that pass pr juice, google wants to be the one with the biggest piece of the advertising pie. That's business, whatever.

The only way to keep this from happening is for us, all of us, to start getting our traffic before google does. At this point it's no easy task but it must be done. The news sites that have their own following, that get their visitors outside of google, couldn't care less about what google wants or google's demands of them.

There was an internet before google, many of us here remember it, we have to get back to that.

Dymero




msg:4579891
 2:34 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't quite get it. Some of the same folks here complaining that Google won't let them pass PR for paid articles and advertisements are some of the same that will complain about low-quality sites ranking high after they massively buy links.

What?

explorador




msg:4579900
 2:49 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

That's plain wrong, it's an ambitious attempt but they shouldn't make it.

Nothing else to say, there are good comments above covering what I think of this. I can just add: it's wrong.

Jez123




msg:4579911
 3:06 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think I know the answer to this. We just need to change the background colour of advertorials ever so slightly, so that if you tilt your head and squint you can just about see that it's not the same colour as the rest of the page. This clearly is how you define whether someting is an ad or not.

Shepherd




msg:4579912
 3:11 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't quite get it.


It's simply a matter of not allowing a google to be a bully. Think about what they have been saying lately, they are willing to provide sub-par results to the searcher in an effort to stifle their competition.

Penguin, link warnings, advertorial warnings, all designed to punish their competition with NO regard to quality of the search results. google don't care if the news site is quality or not, only that they are making money outside of google.

Rlilly




msg:4579913
 3:14 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Next is giveaways, human edited directories, press releases, any links with anchor text and not the domain name, and I am sure other types of links will follow this ruling.

idolw




msg:4579918
 3:15 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

+100 Jez123 :)))

idolw




msg:4579920
 3:17 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think they should start treating "dofollow" links as "nofollow" links and vice versa.
This would put the honest guy back at the top, right? ;-)

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