artefaqs - 12:11 am on Aug 14, 2013 (gmt 0)
If you wrote the article about his website and had links pointing to his site, then this would be considered editorial freely given.
What I don't understand is how is Google supposed to know the difference between an unpaid article like the ones that he gives me, and ones that I pay my writers and reporters for, and ones that another type of person might post on his web site to game the system.
I guess at the heart of it, I'm not so much worried about Google dinging me for the links to my friend's web site, as I am it dinging me for articles from my own staff which also occasionally have outbound links. How does G know who's an employee and who isn't? Why shouldn't the articles they write link to the people they're writing about?
Further, I don't feel like I should have to go through the thousands of articles written over the last decade and nofollow them, then go through them again in six months when Google moves on to another metadata scheme. A back-end solution to automate this isn't feasible. Again, we've been online for ten years -- longer than WordPress and most other CRMs have been in existence. Older than Facebook. Older than Twitter. There's a LOT of cobbled-together code.
The burden should be on Google, not me. I haven't done anything wrong. For a decade I've provided quality local news to a hundred thousand unique visitors each month. Now I hear warnings that doing the right thing could get me in trouble with Google. That's why I'm looking for a solution.