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Otherwise (and sorry for being so long-winded):
I have a site: informationaboutwidgets.com
On the front page of the site, towards the bottom, there is a box containing the words:
"Information about Widgets is supported by"
and then seven one line text adverts which link through to their respective sites.
Each text advert is no more than 3-4 words in length.
Three of the adverts read "red widgets", "blue widgets" and "widget accessories".
Three of the adverts read "yellow wodgets" and "green wodgets" and "purple wodgets" where 'wodgets' may or may not be of interest to people who are interested in widgets.
One of the adverts reads "grodget and grodget accessories" where a "grodget" is almost certainly unlikely to be of interest to any people interested in widgets.
My problem is that one of my advertisers (the one who sells red widgets) has told me that, since grodgets have nothing to do with widgets, both I and he are in danger of being penalised by Google.
I suspect this is unlikely. The grodgets site, while being off-topic for informationaboutwidgets.com, is not in a 'bad neighbourhood'. In fact all the sites (grodgets, wodgets and widgets) all have a toolbar PageRank of 6 or 7 (though this may or not be because the front page of informationaboutwidgets currently has a toolbar PageRank of 7).
Certainly, from a philosophical viewpoint I see no reason why a site selling Grodgets shouldn't sponsor a site with info about widgets - after all TV Programmes are sponsored by all sorts of off-topic commercials.
So does Mr. Red Widget have a point, or does he just not want his text advert appearing next to Mr Grodget? (He claims to know other sites which had information about widgets linked to off-topic subjects and were subsequently removed from Google's index. I just can't understand that this can be right).
Any help appreciated.
in my opinion your client is very worried about the whole "buying page rank with anchor text" and rightly so.
maybe you should be worried for the rest of the advertisers aswell, as from where I am sitting, you are selling pagerank.