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Many of these are direct links to business sites.
One can look at them two ways. Fox is selling Page Rank or they are, in fact, just selling small text link ads.
My gut tells me more is going on here than just selling text ads. For one thing, there's one link there that says - "Buy This Link"
The wording on that raises eyebrows.
Also notice that the second link in the left column has a PR7 thanks to Fox's PR8. However, only 14 backlinks show up for that site. There are more examples of this among those links.
According to the company that is selling these links, and it is listed among them as 2 different but similar urls, links are being sold for $500 to $5,000. However, that company has a Gray Bar on both of its sites.
Maybe Fox is not intentionally selling PageRank, but this company which is contracting the sales of these links know what they are doing when they are selling these links.
So do you think that Google should ban the Yahoo! directory? That sells links for money. Y! is a big company blantantly selling links. Why should Y! get away with it and not FoxNews? Heck, I'd think the Y! directory is far more suspicious. Considering my amateur site gets negligible hits from its Y! directory listing, compared to a large amount from search engines, I'd think the clich-through value of a link in the Y! directory is low. However, in terms if getting click-through business I'd figure you could get a lot on the front page of FoxNews.
I must confess that I have been optimizing for Google for close to 3 years with fantastic results.
I only learned what PR is 6 months ago when I found this site.
I was able to place in the top 3 on very competitive terms without knowing what PR is and not even having a Google toolbar on my computer.
PR is over rated and I regularly rank higher in the SERPs over higher PR sites. I do it through clean optimizaiton, etc.
PR is nice, but it is not everything.
On the other hand, there are quite a few pr8's selling links. $500 would be a steal. Most pr8's are going for $2000 to $6000 a month. PR9's unknown. I've not be able to confirm any 10's selling links yet.
You mean the webmaster's/companies know what the 'value' of their site having a high PR is and they sell that aspect of their site to sell the link?
Meaning- they more or less say "We are a PR8, therefore we can charge you X amount for a link."?
Kinda silly. One would usually buy a link/advertise if the site they advertise on gets traffic that can be directed to your own site and convert to sales.
I'd rather see a logfile than know what PR they have.
I say- if you can sell it and people want to buy little green pixels- let them be happy.
Bless Free Market.
I've spoken to the company selling these ad campaigns on a couple of occassions, not only are they selling campaigns on Fox, they sell on Yahoo, MSNBC and several others. Page Rank does not enter into the equation at all. Pricing is based strictly on page views per month and Alexa data, in fact many of their campaigns are selling text ads in the same price range as on the Fox page are on pages that are not even indexed by Google.
MSNBC has the same PR as Fox news but the cost for an ad on MSNBC's front page is not as high as Fox news, as it receives less visitors.. The price for Yahoo ads are even higher than Fox and they are on pages with NO page rank.
There's a Canadian online tabloid that most of us know that has had short links for sale for years (it's a PR6). They used to be $100/mo. He must have figured out why such popularity for the link program, cause last month he jumped the price up to $250/mo for the same 50-character link....
>>I dissagree, just my opinion.
But why are their most expensive prices on pages on Yahoo with no page rank at all?
If this was about PR, then why are pages of = PR on differnet sites that have very different traffic numbers priced so differently?
That says it all right there.
A great ethical debate here. I don't see any reason for Google to penalize Fox. I believe this so strongly that I felt I could give their name when starting this thread. That, and the fact it isn't a commercial company.
I can't remember who it was that said Fox probably sold that space to the contract company which is reselling it but I agree. I have no idea why they (the contract company) still have a gray bar tho. I find that curious.
I can admire Hollywood taking the high road but who else could refuse an advertising offer of say $5,000 a month from your PR8 site to link to "Crazy Joe's Discount Widgets"
But the question is what part of that price was for PR, and what part for the click through traffic? PR6 isn't anything that great. One of my amateur site's home page is PR6. I'd be dreaming to think anyone would pay me $100 bucks a month for a link. Now if I could get up to PR7, I can imagine the possibility someone would pay more than chicken feed for a link just for the PR value.
My two cents worth is that keyword density SEO is *one* of the things that killed AltaVista.. people understood the algo and optimised for it. What's happened over the past 12 months or more is that site owners are getting increasing savvy about PageRank.
No, this isn't the death of PageRank though. Google constantly tweak SERPs to stay one step ahead. Who knows what those clever folks have up their sleeves next?
Forgetting PR for a moment, that money may be better spend on Adwords generating traffic targeted to your keywords.
Wouldn't it make more sense to buy targeted traffic instead of foggy possible PR rising?
Maybe I am wrong, but for my website I am interested in targeted traffic NOT in PR. My site is doing very well in Google serps but some 25% of traffic from Google is not realy relevant to my site (amazing search queries that bring visitors).
Paying $5,000 each month to keep that link from a PR8 page (each month, otherwise you will loose the passed PR as fast as you got it) may not be a good business decision if you compare it to PPC advertising.
Then, depending on your widgets, placing a text ad on fox news might just turn into a bonanza because of traffic from fox news NOT because of maybe passed PR.
BTW: Google is doing a terrifc job from the searchers point of view BUT Google is not perfect and is not the center of the Universe! Otherwise, my site would not survive :-)
Actually, this statement could not be further from the truth. The harder Google tries to prove how infallible PR is, the more valuable it becomes, IF you understand it and spend at least some time reverse engineering your keywords. Page Rank IS the magic bullet if you read between the lines of all the hype.
When we were told that PR was not being passed from expired domains, what were we being told?
In the patent application for the all that themed interconnectivity crap about searching on the fly within the same set of results, what were we being told? When that patent application made one very small off-handed reference to penalizing affiliated sites, what were we being told?
I'm cetainly not going to tell you anything. My clients are demanding enough without creating more competiton for myself, but you don't really need me to, it's all right there already.
All I will say is that for all you people with mutiple domains with seven hyphens in the name and with 1200 links coming in, do you really think you're fooling anyone? Do you really think you've outsmarted G and they have no idea of how you got your page rank?
You don't need a PR9 unless that is what you need. The right PR 5 will get you a better placement than the wrong PR9. You will get a better placement and higher PR with a few 5's from non-affiliated sites with the proper keyword density than from a 9 without your target keywords in their title.
Now for the topic closer. Do a search for weight loss, (just an example really. you can search for just about any keyword or phrase you want. that is reverse engineering). Check the top 10 for keywords in what the pros call the basics. Now check the backlinks and see for yourself where you find which keywords on which site.
Now check whois to see if you can see what sites are "affiliated". If you can find it don't you think Google can too? For all those "affiliated" sites paying for a PR 8 or 9 and they have not taken steps to
A. link properly instead of just linking everything you control to everything else you control, (do you really think just because you own all the sites that you are not a link farm?)
B. taken steps to make sure your sites aren't appearing to be affiliated
it's just a matter of time. You may find yourself being next asking why your highest PR domains have a grey bar but your other low PR sites are still indexed but coming up on the 15th page for your keywords. How in the world could that have happened?
But of course we all know the best way to really make money is turn in everyone we can to the Google spam police.
THIS is a good point. The alternative to buying high PR links is buying Adwords on Google. And, Adwords can predictably deliver page 1 results. Thus, this sets the upper limit on the price of links.
I agree with Zaptista and Hollywood here. Fox is using PR as a selling point for advertising. According to Google's decisions in the past this is misuse and was wrong. This opens the door for PR manipulation (and gives SK a lil' evidence of favortism). This may be a tough dilemma for the G. They have always looked out for the little guys, but will they take on the big guys?
Good question. Looks like if you are someone like FoxNews you can get away with selling PR. Be interesting to see if Google has the guts to do the right think and give FoxNews the Google Death Penalty. Would set a good example.
Censorship stemming from paranoia, greed and self preservation? Reminds me of this one regime I know.
Not talking about this subject is like not talking about the purple elephant in the dining room.
I am curious as to why GG hasn't jumped in.
Slightly off topic but in reference to shurlee's post where it sounds like competitive and client pressure is out of hand:
SEO consultants, IMO, should build and lease sites out similar to commercial property instead of building sites for a client who owns the domain and then maintaining/promoting the site monthly. Illogical demands and pressure from the client force SEO consults into some ugly positions.
I lease my sites out. I own them. I do not succumb to the misguided and idiotic pressure of my clients who do not know better. These sites have top 5 ranking whether it is for the current client or the next. I know the precise KW weight and other basic SEO principles and can apply all these to one client or the next should I decide to switch. I hold all the cards. I have one misguided client whom I told the other day, "..lease it, don't lease it. I don't care. If you're not, somebody else will."
SEO experts can implement this lease option a number of ways but my basic point is to look at it like a piece of commercial property you own and control. I've thought of starting a new thread on this as I seem to be the only one doing this that I know of.
But of course we all know the best way to really make money is turn in everyone we can to the Google spam police.
Has Google started paying bounties? If I turn in a link farm, do I get a bounty for each domain? :-)
Wow this is the exact reason why I think such threads are unfair witch hunts (see my post on 1st page for more detail). These are text ads filled due to a demand for exposure- that's the definition of an advertisement. So now we're all jumping in purporting to know the exact motive behind them?
That's the scary thing about witch hunts, especially when you post the accused site's URL (ie: Foxnews) and make unchallenged assumptions. It'll come back and bite you in due course. The next time when you email a good PR site and ask for a link to your site, that guy just might post here as well saying you're trying to boast your PR by contacting him. After all that's what you're doing right? I wonder how we'd all feel then about the issue.
Look, bottom line, this is an algorithm issue with Google, not a site that may or may not be selling PR links. To try and post here and get GG to perhaps penalize FoxNews is beyond absurd, and a very low tactic indeed. If Foxnews does get penalized, you can bet Webmasterworld has just become disgruntled SEOers new low weapon against competitors.
Just my two cents.
The point of starting this thread was never to get FoxNews penalized. Google is not going to penalize them so please take your finger of the panic button.
The fact that you think this is witch hunt I just totally disagree with and was not my point when starting this thread.
What we are seeing here on the Fox site could be a new trend as a selling factor for online advertising. And the ethical debate, with both sides represented, is educational to engage in.
This thread has nothing to do about a witch hunt. As Brett logically stated FoxNews has no idea what PageRank is nor do they care. The contract company does know but IMO FoxNews is not liable.
Some posters here think Fox knows about PageRank, but I disagree for many reasons.
I don't see a witch hunt here and Google is never, ever, never going to penalize FoxNews. It will not happen.
People here at WebmasterWorld are so quick to assume their site is being penalized. I wish I had a dollar for every thread that started "Am I being Penalized?" or "Why is Google Penalizing Me?
History has shown that Google hardly ever issues a human backed penality. The fact that most members here think the spam report is useless backs up my claim.