We have an event listing website and run Doubleclick for Publishers(small business) and I would like to have a home page slide show where paid slides alternate with non-paid slides. The paid slides will be clearly marked so. This will create a very valuable inbound links, for example for New Years Events. However, there is an opinion from another forum that we will be penalized in search engines if our ad content is indexed. I am confused as to why?
I would say this is a "grey [confusing] area" and some people are interpreting "duplicated ad content not ranking well" as a "penalty", when it's really more a matter of lack of unique content on a page that's causing the issue -- If the ads are unique, then I don't see any issue with them being on the page.
Many sites have ads on their pages and don't have any ranking issues -- I can't get into specific smaller sites, but Apple, Amazon, eBay, CraigsList, and most major retailers are simple examples -- Search around a bit and I'm sure you'll find "smaller sites" that are also very "ad == content" driven.
IOW: Thinking "ad == penalty" is proved false repeatedly by the SERPs.
I would be interested in what those who think ads on a page will result in a "penalty" recommend you do instead? Short of some type of cloaking, the only way I can think of to not have the ads spidered is to not put them on the page.
The only issue - and it's an ethical one and not a technical one - I would see with my proposition is that since we have a high page rank, people googling for an event would likely get to our website and not the event website - and we are going charge them for it! However, that the business model of every single directory out there. I can't see for the life of me what problem the search engines would have with paid content being indexed. There is paid indexed content everywhere!