I'm losing some respect for Google on this links issue, if they didn't want a market to pop up for a commodity they've created then they shouldn't have made links valuable with their algorythm to begin with.
It's also getting old to receive messages that say I should increase the amount of google adsense units on my site while at the same time being told I cannot use my own good judgment and sell a link to a relevant site instead.
I'm liking Yahoo's algo more and more recently as a result. I'm just not buying the "put rel-nofollow on all paid links" approach because I don't trust google to be 100% right on deciding if a link is paid or not.
|Again, it's your choice. You're free to make your own linking decisions, and Google is free to make its own linking decisions. |
Yep, including proprietary uses of proprietary attributes, the repurposing of those attributes, and the enlistment of an army of unpaid snitches all working together to protect the Google advertising behemoth.
|Why cant we sell links, its just another form of advertising. |
You can. And there are many who will continue to do it and not fall prey to whatever Google is up to.
|Will google really ban a site or filter if one sell links. |
I think filter is the key word here. Although I would tend to believe that if the abuse is on a "grand scale" then something more than a filter comes into play. ;)
I would think that if you are "selling links" you would want to do it "under the cuff" and stay out of the "heat zones". When I say "heat zones" I mean those areas that are "common place" in the link buying/selling arena. Primary "heat zones" would include areas like "Sponsored Links" or "Sponsored Listings" or "Advertisers" or...
I would think those "heat zones" fall in the "bad neighborhood" classification when discussing links. Similar to the "banner zones".
Link inventories? lol, you can be assured that most, if not all of the publicly advertised ones have been infiltrated and identified. Heck, if you don't think Google can easily identify those links, there might be some potential issues in your link campaign. ;)
Remember, we're talking about The Gorg here. Everything in their path is assimilated. Why do you think Google is under constant attack from governments to obtain information? Because they have more than the government? If that is the case, that would lead me to believe that detecting the buying and selling of links for manipulation would be a task relegated to one of the Junior Programmers. ;)
|I'm losing some respect for Google on this links issue, if they didn't want a market to pop up for a commodity they've created then they shouldn't have made links valuable with their algorythm to begin with. |
You might as well say that you've lost respect for search engines because their very existence leads to a market for blackhat SEOs.
Google's PageRank formula existed before Google was a company: It was the core of Larry Page's and Sergey Brin's academic thesis. Should they have skipped grad school to keep a market from popping up for a commodity they'd created?
|why cant we sell links to other sites? |
Because this is the most profitable business on the Web! Only Google can sell links (thru AdWords).
You're not allowed.
Could it be that Google is a Coercive Monopoly [en.wikipedia.org], and that they are scaring publishers into not buying text links in order to secure their dominance in the space?
We have always been able to do whatever we like with our sites. But the trade-off is... if we want something from G (traffic) we must give something in return... (follow some rules).
It is the rules of the game in an imperfect internet.
If you argue the link is worth less... then maybe you are not selling the link for the right reason?
Do a search on google for buy links [google.com]
Look at the top 3 results (Not Adwords, just organic) - 7/10 of the results are the the link sellers themselves. Are they banned? No -
|Because this is the most profitable business on the Web! Only Google can sell links (thru AdWords). |
You're not allowed.
AdWords aren't text links that pass PageRank. But I'll bet you already knew that. :-)
I'd love to build a site that sells links using Google Checkout.
Would that just be asking for it? ;)
|Look at the top 3 results (Not Adwords, just organic) - 7/10 of the results are the the link sellers themselves. Are they banned? No |
It sure doesn't "look that way" does it? ;)
Remember, there most likely aren't any "bans" going on. I think we can surmise that "filtration" occurs. Now, how targeted is that filtration and how do you determine whether that link is passing value? I say look at your stats and if there referrers coming from that link, it is most like passing some form of value. :)
What better way to keep an eye on the most publicised link brokers? Keep them in the top results, track the visitor behavior, see who does what, yada, yada, yada. Its one big automated snitching mechanism. ;)
The answer to the original question is simple and straightforward.
You can sell links - as many as you want for as much as you want. You just can't sell pagerank. Why is that so difficult to grasp?
Matt Probert - thats what I mean, they dont like that we sell links, even if it could be a good way to get a extra income and specialy google must know that text links are a good advertising, but we may not do it.
edd1 - well if you link out you also pass PR, its that simple.
>>well if you link out you also pass PR, its that simple
Not if you use the "nofollow" attribute.
|Not if you use the "nofollow" attribute. |
The Wiki is a prime example of that. Remember Wikis' rise to the top of the SERPs? They secured those top positions shortly after implementing the nofollow attribute. I mean, within weeks they jumped from 8, 9 and 10 to 1 and 2 like overnight. Is that what happens when a "massive" nofollow campaign is initiated?
They took all that outbound PR and just put a complete "cap on it". In turn, it caused their rankings to skyrocket to the top. Or at least that is what I perceived to happen. ;)
|well if you link out you also pass PR, its that simple |
Not if Google doesn't want you to. And say what you will but they can do whatever they feel like with their own algo. No use whining about it.
If you have a bunch of land and you sell fireworks on that land you can pretty much tell anyone you want that they can't sell fireworks on your land. We should feel grateful that they just filter out the PR and don't de-index the guilty site completely.
And for those out there that don't think that the algorithm can distinguish exactly between a paid link and a normal link, you're probably right. But you can sure bet that sites with certain patterns are flagged and then hand audited.
Yeah, Google can do and say what they like, if you do not co-operate then you might find your Google traffic suffering. If that is not a big deal to you then by all means do as you wish.
EVIDENCE OF PENALTIES SELLING LINKS:
Back a couple of years ago I used to sell links from my sites, and I did get a penalty. It was not a PR penalty, but instead no external links coming from my site/s would pass on Pagerank to any other domain.
I quickly stopped, but I am not sure if the damage is undone.
I have seen the same happen to other sites that I used to purchase links from.
All my sites were banned too, but at that stage it was just casino affiliate sites. So too many variables to say if the links got the site penalized, or merely brought it to G's attention.
I sell links, they're called advertising.
However, I don't sell or pass PR so the only purpose of purchasing a link on my site is to get the cost effective traffic, not for SEO and I won't bend that rule for anyone.
|Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging ("Link to me and I'll link to you.") |
This one kind of ruffles my feathers because link exchanging is what created the hubs of links that Google used to determine authority sites in the first place.
IMO this is a first step in an anti-competitive move and directories will probably be the first casualties in the war on links. Why? Because for directories to work, people need to know they exist. To help promote an industry directory the members tend to link to them which will result in excessive link exchanging and the directory is penalized.
Say for instance all SE's were offline tomorrow and all we're left with is directories, like we were back in 1996, it's only those links that will let us navigate the web and find anything.
Funny how Google is now trying to tell us to shed our heritage of how the web was built just so that the search engines are the only way people can navigate the web.
[edited by: incrediBILL at 11:15 pm (utc) on Aug. 29, 2007]
- nofollow why should I do that, thats not how the internet works and is not natural, means only a SEo would do that.
Murdoch - "whining" I would never do that if google did not own the internet, but google does rule the net, so i will be a little load.
Google instruct you to add no follows.
Doesn't mean you have to do it but you're still answering your own question.
Play the Google game or don't - it's your choice. They are saying yes you can sell links but you have to add nofollow tags. If you don't do that they will penalise. They're very clear about it, no ambiguity.
The answer to the original question is still the same - you can sell links no problem
I have to add in my experience if it is of use.
I have sold links on over a thousand sites with no problem, I have created thousands of sites and linked to other sites from them. I have never had a site banned from google.
I have never had a problem - and you guys really have to get over the fact that google does not know what you are doing, there is no big brother.
There are clearly rules, because every other weekly post is about these issues - the harsh reality will always be that the people aware of this will always do better than the guy that doesnt know what to do.
I break the rules, but everyone complains about the rules - and then some. So am I really breaking the rules, or am I just utilising an opportunity?
Google is not god, don't think that technology is important - sell links on your site for the value of the buyer, just don't be an idiot and say "it is buying pagerank" on your site as then a human may report you and then you get banned.
I forgot to say that using common sense is an important way of keeping things fine - avoid mentioning benefits for rankings in google and pagerank etc.
I guess I'm getting confused as to what the question is that is being asked in this thread. I thought it was "are we allowed to sell links" and the answer is clearly yes.
Shall we start a new thread which is "are we allowed to sell links and not tag them nofollow" in which the answer will be very clearly no.
(Not according to me of course, according to Google and their rules. As I said earlier it's one of the things they do actually say very specifically. Matt Cutts says very clearly sell links thats fine but add the right tag)
OK, then why did Google become an ICANN-accredited registrar of domain names?
Maybe it has something to do with their domain park program and maybe it has something to do with having access to the registrar database so they can see exactly who owns what and can easily see if you're buying domains and cross linking them all together.
Don't delude yourself as Big Brother DOES exist, to what extent is the question.
If you want to worry about Big Brother, worry about the collusion between the National Security Agency and the phone companies [washingtonpost.com].
Now can we return to our regularly scheduled topic? :-)
EFV, good point. That IS big brother. However, what irks me about Google and this "no follow" tag is wondering what they'll come up with next to dissuade us from earning a living.
Many people around here simply don't understand that without OUR SITES, Google could not exist, so I think it is not only the height of hypocrisy, but also bordering on restraint of trade, to tell us how to set up our links. If I want to sell links on my site, I should be able to do them in any way which works for me. I may want the links to open in new browser windows, or I may want the links to be bold and I may want to put them in strange page positions.
When will Google come along and tell us how links should be displayed, where, when, in what colors, etc.?
The answer to that is simple. WHEN WEBMASTERS ALLOW THEM TO DO SO WITHOUT COMPLAINT. And snitching on others is seriously bad manners by the way. Why would a webamster snitch on another webmaster to a multi-billion $$ nanny? It makes no sense, unless you want to have that feelow webmaster harmed for some reason.
GOOGLE NEEDS OUR WEBSITES IN ORDER TO EXIST. And there's certainly no shortage of advertising on those pages upon which our sites come up in the search results, is there? There's a point at which Google cannot condescend to the VERY PEOPLE UPON WHOM THEIR VERY EXISTENCE DEPENDS, and they are rapidly approaching that point.
Google charges premium rates for advertising on the SERPs, and by contrast, a piddling amount on the content network (our sites). They actually have reversed the formula to enrich themselves. Essentially, people are paying a premium to advertise on what could easily be called a link farm (the SERPs), while at the same time Goog has arbitrarily lowered the perceived standards for our sites by creating an artificially low advertising rate card.
I have adsense on my site and I don't see why I shouldn't be getting premium rates for advertising alongside my relevant content. I sell ads on my sites and the more I sell the more I find that intelligent, unafraid webmasters could give a hoot about Google's rules.
Google's made billions while serving us scraps and then threatening us if we try to improve our lot. I say to he! with them. PageRank is so horibly manipulated and the internet polluted as an unintended consequence of Google's actions, that it doesn't matter any more. Build your own traffic and let Google figure it out for themselves.
Power to the people and all that...
To state that Google is against Paid Links is, in my opinion, an incorrect statement as they are not against paid/advertising links because if you stick a nofollow on the link Google does not have a problem with it.
They are not demanding that you do not sell "links", they are demanding that you do not sell anchor text/pagerank.
The debate should really be, who "owns" the anchor text/pagerank of a person's site to be able to sell it?
|GOOGLE NEEDS OUR WEBSITES IN ORDER TO EXIST. |
No, it needs websites, it probably doesn't need yours, or mine, or half the people's who have posted in this thread. It could even exist without webmasterworld website listings, that is how unimportant each of us is to Google.
Google is far more important to each of us individually than we are individually to Google. Unless you can get at least 30%-40% of the world's webmasters to go on strike over any issue I don't think you'll put a dent in Google.
You should be mad at MSN and Yahoo for not giving them decent enough competition. Google would need us then because a good chunk of their revenue and referrals come from webmasters and a mass exodus would be the only thing to make Google change their stand about anything.
|The debate should really be, who "owns" the anchor text/pagerank of a person's site to be able to sell it? |
Look up "SearchKing v. Google."
|The debate should really be, who "owns" the anchor text/pagerank of a person's site to be able to sell it? |
That's not even a debate, you own it.
Whether Google allows you to continue participating in Google's service if you sell it is another story.
Well I spent a while researching this one web site on how they got so high in the rankings ( doing some SEO work for a client ) and 80% of their links were from paid link sources.
so I said to myself, what are the other 20%, mostly blog type and other FFA style sites.
so, I pay very careful attention to them ( and a few other sites ) so that when the Google axe comes, I can confirm it.
Now, I also spent a bit of my own time looking at top 10 sites in a specific group. sure enough, a lot of those people have over 50% paid links.
Now all I have to do is build a book of clients in these groups. get them to rank from 8 to 13, then bang, rat those others out with well document information.
anyway, point is that anyone can get paid links of good quality to manipulate the Serp's. it's up to the white hat's to clean them out.
Oh and to reply to " why would you rat another site out " simple. It's possible to run an ethical SEO business, and the higher I can get my clients ranking, the more business I can get from them, the more referrals I can get from them, and the more food I can place on my table.
There is a potential here to use mis-information in the past to form opinions on how google does things now.
Lets be honest the web is not getting smaller, google indexes billions of pages and websites.
To really think that google gives a crap about selling a few links on your website and whether they could or could not be violating some sort of rule is paranoid.
Google uses complex algorithms to try to "clean" it's index - it really does not have a "google police" that checks the 50 billion odd pages in its index.
Think of google as you would the police (in the uk) - it is more interested in the big guys that create the majority of the offences. The little guys are unimportant, and efforts to stop them are futile - as there are declining rewards vs effort.
Now the way it works here is that there are 2 points of view -
1. "sell links its ok, just advertising"
2. "dont sell links, google doesnt like it and you can get banned"
Here is the reality - I have sold links for years and have been fine, I have sold links on spam pages - I have created pure crap websites and got pagerank 7 on those domains. I have never been banned for that. I have been banned for other things and I have been re-included. I have spoken to people at google and you know what there are real people there that understand about the way the world works.
So to finalise, anyone who says "there is a big brother" is a born victim who had never gone outside the comfort of their own website, has never even tried to push the envelope (yes that does mean not playing by all the rules) - and the sad thing is that they project to everyone else that is how it works.
Well it doesnt. Look at Geosign Technologies, they got an investment of $160 million - they are ppc arbitragers (now that isn't playing by the rules). Look at Mezimedia, they got bought for a potential $360 million - they are ppc arbitragers (again where are the rules).
You see, the way it works is that the more people that give you advice on what they think google does or does not want - the more you should just do it.
Do you really think that google wanted to stop you making money out of your own website by selling advertising space? What the flipping heck is adsense?
I repeat, the whole concept of adsense is the title of this thread.
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