Planet13 - 8:08 pm on Nov 20, 2010 (gmt 0)
when people are paying willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a link from a single page its fairly obvious that the direct traffic it generates is irrlevant.
I agree about 90% with that.
I think that most people who paid the several hundred dollars required to get listed in the Yahoo directory were doing so for direct traffic from yahoo, as opposed to amping up page rank for better google placement, but that is just a hunch.
Also, I think that there are manufactures of products who don't sell retail to the public, but may have a page which lists preferred retailers, and they MIGHT charge a fee for listing your site there with a followable link.
If Google caught it, the site could get in trouble.
To which site are you referring? The site that is selling the link, or the site that is buying the link? Or both sites?
From what I have read, the site SELLING the link would just have the amount of page rank it flows out devalued, but that is just what people say (and people say a lot of things).
The reason I think that is because you see so many people on the google webmaster forum who claims to have been hit by a penalty, and then after careful analysis, it seems more likely that the page rank incoming links to their sites were just devalued. their site still ranks for their domain name, but they just rank a lot lower for more of their keywords.
I am assuming / guessing / hoping that the caffeine update has somehow given google, through more processing power, more ability to determine purchased links.