I am suprised not a lot more comment on the forum after that posting by MATT CUTTS already over 100 comments on the post from webmasters
how to report paid links
This could have more effect than many of the other changes G has introduced and could throw the SEO industry into turmoil
And what will this do to blogging for cash? Paid directories? Will a Yahoo listing be grounds for penalties? BOTW? business.com?
G had a great idea with their original algo. As a result, the face of the Internet changed. Now, in dealing with unintended consequences, they are trying to set the rules for everyone else to play by.
Isn't this the very definition of a bully? Play by my rules or don't play at all!
>>>And what will this do to... Paid directories?
Matt didn't address paid directories. Yahoo directory & BOTW (and maybe a few others) charge for submission reviews not inclusion. Not every site is accepted. The reason those directories are regarded as quality resources is because of their strict editorial policies.
Pay-for-blogging and pay for bloglinks is the main focus of Matt's comments. Did anybody expect any other response from Google?
The other focus of Matt's post is creating a way for webmasters to report sites that sell links. Now that's interesting. Anything goes here. Any chance there are going to be false reports?
I am seriously concerned about false reporting, and the words "report will carry more weight".
So, if I report all the big Adsense web sites with links on their pages which are for-fee, will they be dropped? Or will just my site be dropped?
It starting to feel more and more like a "benevolent" dictatorship.
[edited by: martinibuster at 4:04 am (utc) on April 16, 2007]
[edit reason] TOS# 24 [/edit]
If I understand correctly - running paid links isn't going to get you dropped from the index, its not a bannable offense.
IIRC Matt has said that the page selling links will not pass link juice (once spotted). So losing the ability to pass value will negate the point of selling links, and theoretically kill the buying & selling of links.
However, in practice, you can't tell if a page has been 'spotted' as selling links - you can't tell if you are still passing juice, so a lot of people are going to hope they are flying under the radar, and continue.
What I haven't seen discussed is the effect of 'Google not trusting your page' anymore. This should lead to a rankings fall.
Where do we report Google to the antitrust regulators?
Google is using their market position to discourage the use of a competitive advertising medium. Paid links existed long before Google.
Add this to the inevitable scrutiny of the DoubleClick acquisition. Google would do well to look at the MSFT stock price chart prior to and after their run in with the DOJ.
>>>Any chance there are going to be false reports?
As good a chance as the sun rising in the morning...
>>>Yahoo directory & BOTW (and maybe a few others) charge for submission reviews not inclusion. Not every site is accepted.
>>>Pay-for-blogging and pay for bloglinks is the main focus of Matt's comments.
>>>The other focus of Matt's post is creating a way for webmasters to report sites that sell links.
I don't see a difference between the above, but I do at the same time. Some directories take high editorial discretion such as those mentioned. Others will take anything. Some bloggers paid for reviews won't do a review on a site or product they aren't pleased with, showing the same editorial discretion. Some publishers won't link to sites (aka advertisers) they don't review and approve of. Others will link to anything.
But as I stated in a blog post I did earlier on the topic - whether or not you agree with paid links or whether or not I do has no bearing on Google accepting reports and deciding to penalize *or* devalue a site based on assumption that cannot be confirmed without seeing some accounting books.
Effective and good paid links are ones that you can't detect. The only way Google can know if a link within my latest blog post or *yours* is paid is to guess. And that's a potentially insane and dangerous system.
>>>running paid links isn't going to get you dropped from the index, its not a bannable offense
I don't care if it gets me banned. If Google "assuming" that I am selling links based on a competitor of someone with a link on my site assuming the same moves me from first page to fifth in the serps (as a result of a penalty or a devaluation or loss of trust), it might as well be the same thing.
>>>effect of 'Google not trusting your page' anymore
Shows how much faith Google has in trustrank. If you trust my site, then trust me to do what is best for my site and as a result, its users.
Google has a problem with paid links messing up their algorithm. Then they need to fix the problem instead of trying to scare the hell out of publishers hoping they'll fix it for them.
|Pay-for-blogging and pay for bloglinks is the main focus of Matt's comments. |
I'm not sure it's safe to assume anything specific with Matt's comments.
|Pass the Dutchie|
Just goes to show that Google need humans to point out paid links.
Matt says that sites should offer some kind of Badge, or statement saying a post, or blog is paid.
---> The other best practice I’d advise is to provide human readable disclosure that a link/review/article is paid. You could put a badge on your site to disclose that some links, posts, or reviews are paid, but including the disclosure on a per-post level would better. Even something as simple as “This is a paid review” fulfills the human-readable aspect of disclosing a paid article. Google’s quality guidelines are more concerned with the machine-readable aspect of disclosing paid links/posts, but the Federal Trade Commission has said that human-readable disclosure is important too: <----
Unfortunately that only applies to the US...
How many companies pay for ads, articles, press releases etc...
A lot of the commenters on Matt's blog don't seem to understand that Google isn't saying 'you should not take money for a link', they are saying 'when you take money for a link, make sure you tell us that you don't really value the link. Here's some methods: ...'
But I got the idea that Matt wasn't saying 'we now want people to report paid links to us as spam', I interpretted it as 'we've been working on ways to detect paid links, and I'd like some extra samples to run our tests against - can you help us out?'.
Unfortunately, Matt doesn't seem to realise that creating an informer mentality in the community is not a healthy thing.
An old saying starts like this: 'First they came for the jews, but I did not say anything, as I was not jewish...'
If you are familiar with it, I think you should give it some thought. If you aren't, look it up.
Do we want to live in a world where we report our neighbours for things we don't approve of?
Everyone can forget about the 950 penalty thread which can be closed after reading this... I read this on Matt Cutt's blog and I just shivered all over. Text links aren't cool b/c google is in the business of selling text links. The part that kills me is with the 950 penalty it proves google knows the difference between a natural and paid link, why kill the user who pays for links why not blank the value to neutral a text link that google doesn't receive a % of revenue is bad a text link paid direct to a website which looks identical to the end user Google has a problem with.
PS Not just because I want to be the first to say it this time....
May be (finally?) the google empire has jumped the shark
"Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank."
Its been against Googles rules for a very long time so whats new?
Matt Cutts is simply repeating the mantra - if you link for money dont pass PR - and advising a couple of ways to stay within the rules including 'no follow' and suggesting that there may be a clampdown.
Their big problem is in determining exactly what is a paid link. I suspect all the brokers are sweating right now with a lot of their business models (and businesses) straight down the tubes at a stroke, not that many of us will grieve about that especially when we are regularly outgunned by the deep pockets of big business who buy in the PR8 links.
[edited by: JudgeJeffries at 8:24 am (utc) on April 16, 2007]
>>I interpretted it as 'we've been working on ways to detect paid links, and I'd like some extra samples to run our tests against - can you help us out?'.
Yes, because Google really needs the kind of help that only Cuttlets can provide.
I guess one of Google's interns could have run down the Directories, Universities & Colleges and Newspapers & Periodicals categories in the Google Directory (or did they forget where they put it?) to find some likely candidates, if Matt wanted to "expand his data set".
But then the post never was about that, was it?
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...
Google seems to be coming across more agressive than ever with that Double Click acquisition and now also the attack on the links selling industry which can destroy a lot of business for websites and link agencies.
Now Microsoft, AT&T Inc., Time Warner a.o. are reported at WSJ to be approaching antitrust regulators on the Double Click purchase.
In some ways it looks, that Google guns for a total control over the search and advertising market. So the Internet will be total a Google thing as much as PCs are controlled by Microsoft.
Where is the competition ...?
With Gs' history of warning on guideline compliance without having the means to properly police them it'll be interesting to see what if anything comes out of this...
So the largest WEB SCRAPER on the planet that makes their money selling PAID LINKS tells all of us not to participate in the same practice.
If I advertise paid links, I will get banned from the Google index. (ie - If I compete with Google, or associate with a company that competes with Google, I will get banned from their index)
When Google employees start telling you HOW you can spend your money, they're getting into anti-trust land.
Google is the new evil empire. If only they had an "S" in their name so we could change it to a "$" sign.
By the way, if you want to contact the DOJ about a perceived anti-trust case, you can do so here: [usdoj.gov ]
[edited by: rehabguy at 11:59 am (utc) on April 16, 2007]
|Matt didn't address paid directories. Yahoo directory & BOTW (and maybe a few others) charge for submission reviews not inclusion. Not every site is accepted. The reason those directories are regarded as quality resources is because of their strict editorial policies. |
|Pay-for-blogging and pay for bloglinks is the main focus of Matt's comments. |
|I'm not sure it's safe to assume anything specific with Matt's comments. |
I second that.
Matt is saying "all paid links" except those that provide no influence to results. To me it's black and white.
[edited by: Whitey at 12:03 pm (utc) on April 16, 2007]
>How about Matt Cutt$
Let's not get personal, and get back on topic.
There is a clear distinction between a directory which charges for a review, and a blog that is simply a list of paid links. Simply put, a directory becomes "trusted" as a hub or authority on the subject. It does not mean a blog cannot be an authority, however, it's been made clear that selling links is a no-no.
So is AdBrite now an evil link-seller? Should we start reporting any web site we see advertising through AdBrite?
I would like to know how Google or people that submit "paid" spam on "paid for blogging" services can actually tell the difference between someone paying for a link, or paying to write something?
I might be wrong, but these paid for blogging services are not called paid for link services. So that would tell me that there is a 50% chance that it was for a link and a 50% chance it was for writing.
If a paid link is a paid link then directories should not be exempt from this because with directories its clear that it is a paid link and nothing more.
There is way to much grey area and for Google to single out one specific thing that has a 50% chance of being inaccurate in comparison to ignoring something that is 100% accurate seems like an awfully big gamble and assumption to me.
Is it just me our does this turn each other in, remind a little of DDR (east germany) methods.
I agree that letting web site owners turn other web site owners in is a rather scary situation. That said, I want to turn someone in.
I just saw a HUGE Adsense banner for the "text-link-ads" company, promising better rankings.
So Google accepts their money for advertising on the left hand, while the right hand says, no "text link advertising".
The funny thing about all this is - I don't even buy text links (I don't think it would really pay off in my industry), but I don't like being told how to conduct my business, especially by a company that I spend lots of $$ with.
|Is it just me our does this turn each other in, remind a little of DDR (east germany) methods. |
Potentially - but the threat of self annihilation might temper the appeal of submitting these requests by many - I'd imagine.
I think this tells us a lot about Google's inability to manage/control the link monster they created. Paid, traded, natural, one way, three way, whatever... it's out of control and they are brain storming on how to get the monster back in the box.
Do they want to see a war between those who stand by them in hope for a reward ( or decimated competition ) and those who like to be independent?
They can't tell which links are paid.
Not even I can tell sometimes.
Because it's not all black and white.
"Dear competitor, in your opinion what kind of sites should we exclude for ill practices in the coming years?"
It'd be fine if ANCHOR TEXT LINK was a GOOGLE PATENT and existed for the sole purpose of feeding Google with parameters.
But it's NOT.
Let's not try redefine the Internet for the algo to work.
Just think of the mood this would set, and the collateral damage.
"Sorry but OUR naive little system thought that links are votes, and that unlike other votes on this world these can't be bought, so we're going to exclude paid links from OUR index, because that's how WE like our results. And since by the nature of things, basically there's no difference between a paid and an unpaid vote... er... link, we will sometimes mess up."
They'd be the first to develop an AI that seeks the level of community consciousness and responsibility towards people in an anchor link... A link is always up because someone feels better about it being there. It's not the intent that's questioned, the origin is the same, whether it's a monetary gain, building connections, a favor, or just vanity.
The question is whether the USERS want to see these sites on the SERPs, isn't it?
>running paid links isn't going to get you dropped from the index
No it isn't. G doesn't ban people any more. They learned their lesson on that from the SearchKing banning and most recently Kinderstart. The best and quickest way to win a suit is not to get in to them. eg: see the threads on the 950 penalty.
The difference between buying a text link ad and buying AdSense, is only in the tech used to deliver them. 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.
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