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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.
Because I know - is that not possible? Try looking at the email address of the owner of the site that is listed first on the non-profit site. You'll see its the same as a poster and member of this board.
BigDave wrote: "Forgot to mention - The guy who owns those 3 or 4 links has posted on this very thread and is a full WW member! And what difference would that make?"
It makes no difference whatsoever. I just thought it was interesting that the person you are complaining about is actually reading this. If you don't find that interesting then that is your opinion.
This guy has a big piece of the market. - # 1 SERPs all over. I say congrats to him.
What I do care about, and I suspect that Google is of the same opinion, is that I do *not* want anything to adversely affect the search results.
Suppose a third rate SEO decides to *volunteer* as a webmaster for www.a-popular-charity.org's PR9 site, and starts putting links up to his various sites "for free".
If that suddenly causes a reduction in the quality of the SERPs for popular searches, I want google to fix the problem.
The thing is that PR8+ sites have a LOT of power, as they should. But having a lot of power puts you under closer scrutiny to make sure that you do not excessively abuse that power.
The trick to flying under the radar, is make sure that you do not stand out from the crowd. If none of those 10 sites have any other decent links, it looks bad. If 6 of those 10 would be at least a PR6 or PR7 even without those links, it would seem a lot more reasonable. If your site lists 3000 backlinks from a variety of sources, you will not be questioned about getting a large chunk of your PR from one site.
It is google's job to serve up the best results to their users, and they will do whatever they have to to continue doing that.
If rfgdxm1, or anyone else, feels that some site is engaged in a practice that adversely affects the quality of the results, then they should feel free to let Google know about the perceived problem. It does not matter if it is considered SPAM or not, *any* practice that affects the results is a concern to Google. But it is Google's place to decide what to to about it.
My position is that since there is no way to tell (if a non-commercial site can't get in free, they do have the option of buying there way in), all Yahoo! directory links should not be counted. Yahoo is just selling PR today.
I think I am the one that you are tattletailing on...and the one to which Pebbles is referring. No, I do not "buy" page rank... but I do support important organizations and make charitable contributions. So what if they list those who support their cause? Come on...you are crying over nothing.
Incidentally, I only have two websites, both of which were at the top of the serps long before I acquired a pr8 link. The reason is, I have a clean website with no spam and only good quality backlinks from directories and related sites.
So my competitor goes out and gets 100 reciprocal links, then I should report that to google because he has affected the search results?
Links, be it free or paid, are the foundation of the web. If links help to increase pagerank, then that is a flaw with google and their pagerank system.
Go out and send google as many spam reports as you want. The fact that most go unanswered it probably because they are overwhelmed with all the webmasters out their crying sour grapes because they are getting beat in the serps.
Now if a site is obviously spamming with hidden text and keywords repeated a hundred times at the bottom of the page, that is different. I would probably report them too. But if someone has a clean site and buys an ad link on a PR8, so what? I think people keep forgetting that there are several paid-only directories that give you a text link. Marketing takes money, and if someone has $2000 to dish out to FoxNews, and Foxnews approves their site for an ad, then that is doing just what pagerank is intended for - Fox is giving a vote to the other site. Do you think they would let a site advertise that was objectionable? I don't.
Crobb hasn't done anything wrong with paying $100 for a sponsor link on a non-profit site either, and yet someone probably already filled out a spam report on him. That is ridiculous.
My point is that a lot of people will define "adversely" depending upon if their competitors are above or below them. Quality search results is dependant upon where their placement is in the serps. The minute they are outranked by a competitor, the witch hunt begins and the accusations of spam go flying. Just look at some of the threads around here after the dance has started. The "My competitors are spamming..." threads run ramped.
Buy a link to advertise your site, and you stand to be accused of buying PR. Not right.
I think it is high time moderators remove any whining messages before the spirit of this community evaporates.
If I were Crobb, I would be completely pissed off;)
So what do you suggest, that those links should also not be counted? What a waste of time! If you have the money to spend on advertising to get PR, so be it - if you don't it's still not a problem, because with a lot of hard work and some good link-chasing you'll beat them anyway.
Google has quite simply created a new currency on the web.. they will have to live with the consequences or ditch the currency altogether.
If so, please contact me directly. If you have a clue, this should be easy. Only the buyers shouldn't get benefit.
Extending this to reciprocal links (free or barter links) should not get any benefit either ... I think the best course for Google is to treat this same as reciprocal links UNLESS they see the quality of SERPs deteriorate in which case they can take some manual intervention on case by case!. In some cases where they see a blatant/rampant PR for sale signs, they could take PR out of the site and in other cases reduce the PR from ad links!
A lot of complainers PRETEND to be concered about the integrity of GOOGLE results.
If G went away tomorrow I don't think they'd give up & close up shop. I suspect they are worried that all the work they put in e-mailing for links might be devalued.
OR are worried this is a is a shortcut to SEO.
Perspective.....GOOGLE is still the best SE.
GoogleGuy, i was wondering if we could get a straight answer, i want to do things right and not get in any trouble. Will paying for an ad on FOX news have any penalty to my site?
I don't think it is right for GG to address the above on a site by site case. However, I would like to hear from him/her though -
a) Any relevant paid text links (for example on a weather site some travel links) will derive the page rank benefit or not
b) The current value of FREE/bartered reciprocal links - will this continue to be an acceptable strategy especially if the above a) does not have value
c) If paid (perceived paid links) are treated differently than FREE links, how does Google distinguish one from another on a large scale (not site by site, case by case as seems to be done currently)