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Matt Cutts Comments Bring Advertising Links into Focus
Could it Change Link Building Tactics From Paid Link Advertisements?
JudgeJeffries




msg:3311891
 8:14 pm on Apr 15, 2007 (gmt 0)


System: The following 2 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/link_development/3311676.htm [webmasterworld.com] by martinibuster - 4:24 pm on April 15, 2007 (utc -8)


Not sure its such an opportune time to ask this in view of Matt Cutts comments on his blog yesterday about paid links.
Is anyone still buying?

 

night707




msg:3312376
 12:49 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Without Google traffic your website is dead unless you are a CNN.com, NFL.com or one of the big shots who do not need search traffic.

With penalizing link sales Google pulls the first trigger and many more might come. Smaller publishers can be blackmailed at any time.

AdBrite, Textlinkbrokers and other similar players might have no more chance in the future as well as advertisers and publishers will have no more real options besides adsense, double click or adwords.

Yahoo or MSN might be the Apple Mac of the Internet however their quality and abilities can not touch Google whilst Macs at least stand for quality and innovation. Not to mention the Ipod Itunes Story.

Microsofts best product ever had been W2k and NT. Google`s best time had been around the end of 2004 and early 2005.

Since then it`s core strength has become weaker in the same way that Microsoft started to miss out on the real things with XP, Vista and not being able to deliver quality products for future markets such as Videos, web 2.0 etc. and not to mention search results and most discouraging support and communication structures in which arrogancy seems o rule.

Anyway, Microsoft and Google are huge monopolies and certainly not easy to challenge.

Obviously, smart tricksters make the biggest buck with adense by capitalizing on Googles unability to put the best content on top of their search results.

Internet 2007 is becoming very tricky now ... Google pulls the trigger and competition and publishers.

night707




msg:3312388
 12:53 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

running paid links isn't going to get you dropped from the index

No it isn't. G doesn't ban people any more.

Brett, could you pls. be more specific on that statement.

stever




msg:3312394
 1:01 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>There is a clear distinction between a directory which charges for a review, and a blog that is simply a list of paid links.

Really, engine? I have never, and I mean never, had a site rejected by a directory that takes paid submissions. And I guess the "review" really needs to take place each year and covers the cost of the extensive research into my sites?

dolcevita




msg:3312398
 1:07 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

It looks to me that investing in links and buying/selling business will be in future over (Matt say we would first to test).
And i think that it will come very hard to commercial directories industry because except a couple directories that really send traffic to link buyer all
other directories are mainly attractive because of increasing PR.
If Matt announcement become truth then all directories will be forced to use nofollow tag and it will be disaster for their business.
(Matt say: "If you want to sell a link, you should at least provide machine-readable disclosure for paid links by making your link in a way that doesn’t affect search engines. There’s a ton of ways to do that. For example, you could make a paid link go through a redirect where the redirect url is robot’ed out using robots.txt. You could also use the rel=nofollow attribute. I’ve said as much many times before, but I wanted to give a heads-up because Google is going to be looking at paid links more closely in the future." )

Almost nobody is happy but google as search engine have monopoly (everybody know that at least 75-80% of all traffic coming through google) and everybody will be forced to follow their rules if want to survive.

digitalghost




msg:3312399
 1:08 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>There is a clear distinction between a directory which charges for a review, and a blog that is simply a list of paid links

So you're talking about editorial control? And how does a search engine algorithm make that determination? Better yet, how does someone reporting to Google about paid links make that distinction?

If it's simply a matter of being a 'quality resource' then slapping up nofollows shouldn't be an issue eh? After all, people are paying for a review so they can be included in a 'quality resource' right? They aren't paying for a review to get link juice...

Glad I wear boots.

300m




msg:3312410
 1:24 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

This entire thing seems more geared towards the blog services out there. I can understand that, but I really think that a time has to come when common sense will surpass technology.

Meaning that this whole thing makes me think Google often believes everyday searchers do not have the ability to make a decision on their own and technology will quickly supplement the everyday searchers lack of understanding for them.

“"If you want to sell a link, you should at least provide machine-readable disclosure for paid links by making your link in a way that doesn’t affect search engines. There’s a ton of ways to do that. For example, you could make a paid link go through a redirect where the redirect url is robot’ed out using robots.txt. You could also use the rel=nofollow attribute. I’ve said as much many times before, but I wanted to give a heads-up because Google is going to be looking at paid links more closely in the future."

This is worrying; we have always been told that we should create a web site for the users, not search engines. With that being said, why does this look more like a way for web masters to cater to a search engine? It is a double standard imho. Machine readable? Redirects, Doesn’t affect search engines, robots, please tell me what end user visitor is actually looking for that kind of stuff when reading a webpage?

willybfriendly




msg:3312418
 1:43 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>There is a clear distinction between a directory which charges for a review, and a blog that is simply a list of paid links.<<

I guess I just don't see it, just as I don't see a distinction between a paid link in a blog, a directory or an advertisement (AKA Adwords).

How many people list in Y for the natural traffic the link provides? How about the other paid diretories? How much direct traffic do they really provide (zilch according to my logs). Paid directories are a way to monetize, pure and simple. We can argue all day about editorial discretion, but that is a diversion. It is really about traffic, not links - and traffic is the common denominator between all paid links, inclduing adwords.

G is setting the stage to be the only "legit" paid link service. At this point comparisons between G and MS begin to take on some meaning.

WBF

Whitey




msg:3312422
 1:49 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

If G goes after text link advertisements, they also have to go after all other forms of text link ads like AdSense and other "contextual" ads.

I think they will, but Adsense and Google compliant ad networks don't manipulate the SERP's, so they will likely not be affected.

I hear a lot of concern, but the reality is worth confronting IMO.

To be frank [ IMO ] , if all the paid link supported sites lost their positions it wouldn't be a disaster - just a major disruption to those that have benefited from it's temporary advantages.

F_Rose




msg:3312504
 3:02 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I have a few high PR paid links, linking to our site.

We are up and down in the serps for the past few weeks.

Now what do we do, cancel the paid links?

How will Google react to it?

Will they penalize us in full, being that by cancelling the links we kind of lettting them know:
OK..We had paid links, I see you are penalizing us for the links, so we have removed it..

Please advise of how we should approach this..

Thank you..

oddsod




msg:3312526
 3:26 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Without Google traffic your website is dead

Attitudes like that are half the problem.

I like the traffic Google sends me but if Google never sends any of my sites a single visitor ever again... I'll do perfectly well, thank you.

My 2 cents: Brake out of that slavery, look for alternate traffic sources, the sooner the better.

Please advise of how we should approach this..

Ignore the FUD.

wanderingmind




msg:3312573
 3:53 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Oddsod has a point about the FUD, though it is not as easy as that for many kind of sites.

Anyway, I just came across a top site which has an extremely customised Adsense format (super premium publisher site) that approaches actually fooling readers into mistaking navigation for Adsense ads, right below a set of paid links from some of the top sites (a google competitor included).

Many top sites in my country, India, have adsense ads on the same page as pages with paid links.

To the human eye, it is blindingly obvious that these text ads are there for PR. The paid text ads have no Nofollow, obviously.

Are we to assume that Google's smart algos and smarter human reps have already discounted any PR juice from those links? If they have, the link buyers are getting fooled. If they have not, Google's employees are deliberately turning a blind eye to an obvious subversion of their terms.

pageoneresults




msg:3312598
 4:09 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I like the traffic Google sends me but if Google never sends any of my sites a single visitor ever again... I'll do perfectly well, thank you.

Ah, I wish we could all say that. I can tell you that if Google were to never send any of my sites a single visitor again, I along with my clients would have some serious reorganizing to do. I really hate to admit that, but its the truth.

Web search leader Google's market share inched up to 64 per cent of all queries among US internet searchers in March, gaining further ground against Yahoo! and Microsoft, according to a survey released by Hitwise.

Google Continues to Increase its Share of the Pie
[webmasterworld.com...]

While many of us continue to diversify our traffic as much as we can, I think we still need to admit that Google is the primary source of that traffic, whether we'd like to or not. I don't mind admitting it, some of us have been through this before with Infoseek, AltaVista, Yahoo!, etc.

Back to the topic, there will be paid networks that get detected and then there will be those that don't. The new term will be Natural Paid Links. ;)

fischermx




msg:3312653
 4:48 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

night707:


running paid links isn't going to get you dropped from the index

No it isn't. G doesn't ban people any more.

Brett, could you pls. be more specific on that statement.

Case you didn't notice this before. Brett uses a sort-of sarcasm variation a lot in WebmasterWorld posts. You can even find one encouraging clicking your own adsense ads.
They are not even funny nor entertaining, but heck, he's the boss, you know... ;)

night707




msg:3312701
 5:30 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

You can even find one encouraging clicking your own adsense ads.

fair enuff' :-)) fischermx! I had not expected any serious response to that ...

To oddsod

I am happy for every site, that does not need Google Traffic. I am happy for all black hats, that stick on Google's top ranks like glue enjoying the big $$$ that poor results of Google search engeneers drive into their pockets.

But my current feel is, that the global respect and sympathy for Google is shrinking and that many would love to see them get under fire by some "more relevant" search results,

oddsod




msg:3312705
 5:34 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Brett uses a sort-of sarcasm ... You can even find one encouraging clicking your own adsense ads.

That's not sarcasm. He genuinely believes (or believed at that time) that you should click ads on your own site as much as you want and that it's up to Google to detect and filter those clicks out. And I see his point - it's your site and you should be able to do whatever you want with it. Google even discontinued that facility of letting you register your static IP so they could discount self-clicks.

P1R, I gave up my day job to work from home because I was making a lot more money. The only fly in the ointment was the insecurity of having a six figure income reliant on the whims of one (somewhat faulty) SE. I conciously worked towards reducing that dependence on Google, it didn't come by accident. I don't have one fraction of your skills so I did it by acquiring sites rather than building them. I recommend doing whatever you can to break free.

"Natural Paid Links" ;) or "Human reviewed links".

poor results of Google

night707, the good news is that you can dump that crap SE that has all black hat listings at the top and use a good one. Try Yahoo. Or Live Search.

Liane




msg:3312724
 5:55 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

The way I see it is this:

Google is not trying to put a stop to selling links, they are simply trying to stop anyone from selling Google PR. By using the no follow tag, you are in compliance with Google's webmaster guidelines. "Theoretically", If you aren't selling links for PR purposes, you have nothing to worry about.

The problem lies with Google making mistakes when trying to identify those sites which are selling links for PR purposes. I guess this is the reason why Wikipedia suddenly started using the no follow tag.

Hmmm ... and here I thought they had finally seen the light and were legitimately trying to clean up their house! I guess they rec'd a little outside advice on this issue!

[edited by: Liane at 5:58 pm (utc) on April 16, 2007]

night707




msg:3312735
 6:06 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

you can dump that crap SE that has all black hat listings at the top and use a good one. Try Yahoo. Or Live Search.

Google is in control of around 70% of all Internet Traffic because search results at yahoo and live search are mostly not competitive.

Despite more and more dubious results Google has remained better.

So who will keep on buying and selling links now? What is the future of Adbrite, Textlinkbrokers, Linkworth and Co,?

Jane_Doe




msg:3312748
 6:13 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

What is the future of Adbrite, Textlinkbrokers, Linkworth and Co,?

I always thought it would be easy for Google to go undercover and pretend to be a link customer or link seller to find out what sites are in their networks. I never really understood why anyone would use those places. It seems like they would be so easily detectable.

night707




msg:3312753
 6:23 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I always thought it would be easy for Google to go undercover and pretend to be a link customer or link seller to find out what sites are in their networks. I never really understood why anyone would use those places. It seems like they would be so easily detectable.

Of course you should be right ... :-)) Google loves compiling data and getting into any link selling operator is a lot easier than buying some Football or concert tickets.

They just can not admit it ...

digitalghost




msg:3312759
 6:30 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>undercover... They just can not admit it .

Maybe when they were privately held. Little different with a public company.

night707




msg:3312794
 7:01 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Maybe when they were privately held. Little different with a public company

Any Google engeneer or executive can open an account at AdBrite, Linkworth, Yahoo and vice versa. That would not even be any illegal. So why shouldn't they all be doing that.

I am sure, Bill Gates has all sorts of accounts everywhere ... but just the wrong IT developers to get anything together. ;-))

Anyway, with this new "pls. report linksellers and buyers" ... Google will receive the "public note of excuse" for killing their links marketing competition by cutting sellers and buyers off from Google traffic.

... just to make search results better ...

perhaps that will even be, who knows.

Marcia




msg:3312813
 7:19 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>undercover... They just can not admit it .

Maybe when they were privately held. Little different with a public company.


Police departments are as public as it can get, and they've been known to use outside sources of "intelligence," referred to in some circles as stool pigeons. According to the TV cop shows, anyway.

Personally, since I've basically got a "community-minded" attitude, how I see it is that some evil, sinister, dastardly black hat someone turns in may actually be that friendly, kind-hearted individual who gave them an answer in a post with information that helped them to actually succeed and make a living from their site. It could well be that some folks will be biting the hands that have been feeding them, who have actually been a helpful friend to them.

That's what concerns me, not so much because of this specific issue, but because of the kind of mind-set. Another thing that concerns me is that it may turn out that the more self-righteous "white hat noise" is made by those who are still clueless, the less actual help there will be from those who could actually give them a clue.

wheel




msg:3312815
 7:33 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

This isn't about paid links. This is about bullying and intimidating the clients of link sellers. Google can't detect paid ads unless they leave a footprint, it's a simple as that.

And the suggested reporting of paid links is such a scummy self-serving business practice, I don't know where to start. And don't give me the holier than thou 'helping clean the serps' crap either. Why do you feel the need to clean up Google's serps? (Hint, because they can't clean up the paid linking themselves, not that it needs cleaning up). This is NOT about better serps - they already have spam reports if you find something not relevant. Reporting paid linking is about you ratting out your competition even if they're relevant. I can't believe Google's audacity in this, I really can't believe there's so many stoolies around that feel the need to give them 'a helping hand' by acting as snivelling rats, and I'm somewhat surprised Google's not getting their wrists slapped somehow for these type of business tactics. No, what's happening is that Google can't detect paid links so they're decided to start intimidating those that buy links.

When Google decides to release an algo that attempts to look at paid linking, the collateral damage is going to be hilarious. Brought to you by folks that can't catch anything as simple as cloaking, hidden text, or even networks (I've got competitors who've been ranking for years doing this stuff). And now you're going to buy into the idea they've got a magical soup to serve up that can distinguish paid links? Geesh people - you can't even DEFINE a paid link never mind detect them.

agerhart




msg:3312823
 7:44 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've cancelled all link purchases today and am winding down all link sales over the next week. When it's time to change it's time to change...

No, no, no, no, no.....you’re playing right into their hands.

Q: Do people buy links to increase their search engine rankings?
A: Yes.

Q: Do people buy links for the traffic alone regardless of the search engine impact?
A: Yes.

Q: Is Google highly effective at detecting the difference algorithmically?
A: No.

Q: If Google begins to penalize sites for buying links, can me competitors harm me?
A: Yes.

Q: Does Google know this?
A: Yes. They're not stupid.

Q: Will it happen?
A: Doubtful. The link just won't count.

Q: Is there anything wrong with purchasing links?
A: No.

My opinion is that everyone should continue optimizing and marketing your sites like you've been doing. Don't change your strategies or start canceling accounts. We have something like this every so often.

sugarrae




msg:3312843
 8:14 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>> This isn't about paid links. This is about bullying and intimidating the clients of link sellers. Google can't detect paid ads unless they leave a footprint, it's a simple as that.

Bingo. Again, I think what a lot of people are up in arms about isn't that they are trying to devalue paid links. They have and have been attempting to do that for years. This is about them creating fear and taking what would be guesses about whether a link in *your* next blog post is paid or unpaid. As wheel implied, the best paid links leave no footprints. So, for those not worried because they don't sell paid links you could as easily be a victim in the hunt for link sellers as the guy truly selling links if Google takes the wrong guess about your linking motivations when a competitor of a guy you link to reports you for selling him that link.

night707




msg:3312845
 8:14 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

No, what's happening is that Google can't detect paid links so they're decided to start intimidating those that buy links.

Google certainly has the names of all sites that buy and sell links. Google has stored and anylyzed the entire internet to the very max.

Any website has the right to buy and sell links at Google, Yahoo, AdBrite, Textlinkbrokers etc.

But also Google has the right to show any results they want to show. Why should they make links selling sites more popular?

Now with the new link report scheme they can officialy justify penalties or total bans more easily rather than ... dear webmaster, we found out, that you bought 1.000 links at this certain broker ... "

sugarrae




msg:3312849
 8:19 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>>Google certainly has the names of all sites that buy and sell links.

That is simply a naive and false statement (no malice intended). If they had that information, they wouldn't be begging for snitches. Do they have the names of all the big firms... it would be silly to think they didn't. But, that isn't what is messing with their algorithm. It is the backend deals no one but the buyer, seller and their accountants know about that Google is on the hunt for.

F_Rose




msg:3312855
 8:35 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most sites selling links have have a title such as "sponsored links" or something like "our freinds" where they list the paid links.

This should probably flag Google that the links are paid links.

Marcia




msg:3312878
 8:45 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most sites selling links have have a title such as "sponsored links" or something like "our freinds" where they list the paid links.

Most? Really and for sure?

How about charities or non-profits that list their contributors as sponsors and/or supporters of their cause? Are they selling links? What does that make them?

How about people who link to their friends because they really are their friends, and receive no compensation for it? What does that make them?

night707




msg:3312884
 8:47 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

That is simply a naive and false statement (no malice intended). If they had that information, they wouldn't be begging for snitches.

There is a batallion of snitches and "researchers" on the web! Frequently we receive inquiries for booking links at our sites ... "one of my clients is interested in advertising on your site ..."

Loads of researchers are smarter than this to provide Google and all others with any data they require for decision making.

Of course, they can not create such complex algos to cover that issue nor can they admit to have any such data.

But a nice Email accusing a site that Google does not like to see on top can be manualy banned or shifted downwards.

In case things go court they can produce some user complaints and Google would look again like very good boys protecting the web.

Reports from their own snitches would damage the image, better encourage user snitches, that's web 2.0 :-)

Those sites who buy links have MONEY. Kill all linkbrokers and those sites will have to shift their money into adwords.

And as long as Yahoo and MSN can not fully compete with their ad networks, most cash will go into Google ads.

Smart, isn't it.

jakegotmail




msg:3312890
 8:53 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Kill all linkbrokers and those sites will have to shift their money into adwords."

Far from true. I would say most people who buy links don't use some crappy link brokerage service to facilitate the link purchasing.

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