sundaridevi - 10:39 am on May 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
Here's a post i made in a 2005 discussion on another forum about Google's penalization of sites that sell links. I think it still applies. It also provides meaningful guidelines on what Google does in different algorithm updates as well as showing that even the original Google Concept took into account the notion of site quality:
Basically, the size and influence of google contributes to 'increasing returns to scale' on the web. What I mean by that is that without what is referred to here as 'spamming', in the natural progression of things, websites that are bigger have better search results. That's because they have had more time to gather links and gather "citations". If the site is well designed with SEO in mind they also have more internal links which boost their PR. Such sites also have the unique opportunity to create other big sites (more cheaply and more quickly) by linking to them from their first big site. So once you have one, it is *much* easier to get a second.
But the size of Google also means that new sites that enter into a crowded field will have a big task ahead of them to get noticed in google.
Google's PageRank is based on citation theory and in the original google prototype founders Page and Brin discuss this theory:
"Intuitively, pages that are well cited from many places around the web are worth looking at. Also, pages that have perhaps only one citation from something like the Yahoo! homepage are also generally worth looking at. If a page was not high quality, or was a broken link, it is quite likely that Yahoo's homepage would not link to it. PageRank handles both these cases and everything in between by recursively propagating weights through the link structure of the web."
In section "2.1.2 Intuitive Justification", the paper also describes how a damping factor can be applied to single sites or groups of sites "and can make it nearly impossible to deliberately mislead the system in order to get a higher ranking"
...easier said than done. But I guess google has a lot of people working on it and that is probably the jist of the post made by Mr. Cutts from google...
So it's no surprise that new sites try to find some shortcuts to get noticed. Those shortcuts include purchasing text links. I don't think it's so bad. The site who 'hoards their PR', as was so appropriately described above, is going to have higher PR than the site that dilutes it by selling offsite links for monetary gain. Similarly, in the physical world, huge media giants sometimes dedicate valuable print space to articles and stories that help out small companies with a positive piece of press, even when that small company isn't big enough to justify it. But nobody questions that. In fact I think it is considered ethical and of "human interest". The difference is that on the web we would like to believe that every site should have an equal chance in the eyes of google. In practice that seems optimistic. In any event, the websites who don't have a PR7+ to dole out may feel that it is unfair that the owners of the ones that do can.