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Does Google Reward Backlinks Buyers & Sellers?

Boost of PR based on purchased backlinks!

     
4:23 pm on Sep 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Folks

Last December Matt Cutts, Head of Google WebSpam Team, wrote a post which impressed me indeed:

Tell me about your backlinks [mattcutts.com]

Here is part of what Matt Cutts wrote at that post:

My favorite overall moment was when a totally legit company (micromatic.com) stood up and asked for advice. Overall, their site was great: good architecture and very crawlable. They had lots of really good backlinks, including industry-specific links. But I could also tell that they’d been buying some backlinks. And they were buying backlinks from the exact same place as one of the earlier sites! At the point when in a minute of typing, I can say: you guys are both trying to buy backlinks, and I can tell that you’re buying them from the same network, and here’s an example page from ketv.com where both of you are even on the same page, and it’s not doing you any good at all: that just made my day. Having a concrete demonstration is so much better than just making a claim, especially when one of the sites says beforehand that they’re not doing as well as they used to be. I told micromatic.com that they had a great site, so they should stop trying to buy backlinks and spend more money to reward their inhouse SEO who had done a great job on the crawlability and architecture of the site.

When you read that post you might get the same impression that I got; Google knows and penalize buyers and maybe also sellers of Backlinks. Not so, unfortunately.

However, it just happened that I know of a site (not mine) which purchased backlinks during the first 4 months or so of 2006. I know from which sites the backlinks were purchased. And I know approximately how much was paid for most of the purchased BLs. No rel=nofollow was applied, of course.

Then the current indications of PR update arrived. And I checked the PR of the site which purchased the said BLs.
WOW... boost in PR from PR4 to PR7!

And I checked the PR of the sites which sold the BLs.
WOW.. they retained their high PR!

Am I the only one who have noticed Google rewarding sellers and buyers of BLs?

Have you noticed the same?

Your feedback would be highly appreciated.

6:43 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Lorel

I suggested a client pay for a link on a prestigeous site in his area of focus (cost $300)--the purpose was to gain trustrank. He also paid $5.00 for a link on a directory. Both showed up in Google's recent backlink update.

Thanks for sharing, Lorel. So it seems I'm not the only one who have info about the growing Backlinks Marketplace ;-)

Wonder how our friends at Google WebSpam Team feel when reading this thread!

Talking about Google Webmaster Guidlines :-)

9:12 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Both showed up in Google's recent backlink update.

Showing up on the backlink search means nothing.

Just because something shows up in the backlink search does NOT mean it's being counted as a backlink for purposes of calculating it's PageRank, or that it's counting as a backlink.

The ONLY metric that is reliable is how well the site ranks.

Three years ago GoogleGuy had this to say about guestbook backlinks:

I think it's a good time to mention that guestbooks showing in backlinks does not mean that they contribute much/any in scoring. Maybe we should stop showing guestbooks in backlinks and people everywhere would feel better.

OVERKILL TO PROVE MY POINT THAT BACKLINK SEARCH IS NOT ACCURATE
Matt Cutts at SES London
[seroundtable.com...]

Q: What is up with the Google link: command?
A: Google says they are not reporting all your links back to your site. So think before using it.
3:16 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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> Just because something shows up in the backlink search does NOT mean it's being counted

It may not mean it's being counted, but it may not mean it's being *discounted* either. Can anyone know for sure?

The fact that some of these sites -tagged as backlinks buyers- have been consistently improving ranks on each refresh and are now on top and the fact that a study of their backlinks using different tools displays mostly 'suspected-bought-advertising-links' offers a strong correlation.

4:26 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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martinibuster

The ONLY metric that is reliable is how well the site ranks.

Just wish to be sure that I understood your posts correctly.

So you are telling us:

- Doesn't matter if a PR of a site get a boost for example from PR4 to PR7

- Doesn't matter if "backlinks-supplier" site of high PR shows up in Google among sites linking to the backlinks-buyer site.

- above two factors has no effect on how a site rank.

Am I correct?

5:52 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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- Doesn't matter if a PR of a site get a boost for example from PR4 to PR7

- Doesn't matter if "backlinks-supplier" site of high PR shows up in Google among sites linking to the backlinks-buyer site.

- above two factors has no effect on how a site rank.

Am I correct?

No. You are not correct. You still are not understanding.

I'll try to explain it again.

The above two factors are unreliable metrics for judging the efficacy of a paid link. The metric that should concern you is if the site is ranking better than it was before the paid links.

A bump in PR is meaningless if it is NOT accompanied by a bump in ranking. Your posts have so far focused on a bump in PR but have been quiet on how well the site is ranking. Your focus should be the other way around, silent on the issue of toolbar PR and focused on the ranking.

Backlink SERPs are not meant to represent PR metrics
Likewise, you got excited about links showing up in backlinks, and it's well known that the backlink SERPs are not meant to be an indicator of what is counting for PR. Google is purposefully doing that so that it won't be useful as an SEO tool or metric.

Similarly, the toolbar is not an indicator of a website's "internal PR" (the real PR score that they see in the GooglePlex).

Instead of crowing how successful a link buying campaign is because of a rise in toolbar PR, you should be focusing on the ranks of the sites that are buying links.

  • I am not saying that buying links will not help a site rank better
  • I am not saying that buying links will help a site rank better

What I am saying is that you are looking at the WRONG metrics for measuring the success of a link buying effort.

6:12 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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reseller, c'mon for heaven's sake! Poor martinibuster has tried time and again to explain it and you simply aren't listening!

If the site was ranking at number 20 BEFORE the paid links were bought and is now number 1 after buying the links ... then your point is made.

However, if it is still number 20 or lower (for the intended keywords) or just went up to 18 or 19, then no real benefit has been derived from buying the link.

Get it?

6:38 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Buying links to increase PR is a waste of time for quite a while now, it doesn’t help you rank higher. However buying “Trust”, is another story and that does seem to be fueling the market for paid links.
7:21 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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at the end of the day, buying links is advertising. the more money you have the more advertising you can buy.
most marketers know that larger advertising budget allows to place the advertised product in people's heads more effectively than smaller budget.
looks like google is a bit like a human, reseller. no need to fight with human nature ;-)
9:12 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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martinibuster

Your posts have so far focused on a bump in PR but have been quiet on how well the site is ranking.

Exactly. For this particular thread my focus has been on two main points:

- Boost of PR based on purchased backlinks!

- Google position about the same:

Google’s stance on selling links is pretty clear and we’re pretty accurate at spotting them, both algorithmically and manually. Sites that sell links can lose their trust in search engines.

Therefor the title of this thread:

Does Google Reward Backlinks Buyers & Sellers?
Boost of PR based on purchased backlinks! ;-)

1:14 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Reseller, you are missing the point entirely.

Sites that sell links can lose their trust in search engines.

Trust relates to how well a site ranks. It has ZERO to do with the toolbar. Absolutely nothing.

Boost of PR based on purchased backlinks!

Pay attention now, don't get distracted:
Everyone outside of Google has ZERO way of knowing whether the PR of a site has been boosted by a link. You have no clue, whatsoever.

Outside of seeing the EFFECTS of a PR boost, you have no way to know whether the PageRank has been boosted. Which is why if you want to know whether PageRank has been boosted, you must speak about the EFFECTS, because you cannot know whether PR has been boosted.

1:24 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I wish Google's Web Spam Team would focus on penalizing companies that launch thousands of doorway sites to boost the PR of their one mega site, or nail those who publish duplicate content on multiple sites to prop up otherwise useless sites.

It seems to me like those tactics are far worse than buying an ad on another site.

Especially when you consider that this is an easy pretexting scam... pretend that you're buying a bunch of backlinks for you competitor and then watch them get hit with a penalty.

1:51 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For this particular thread my focus has been on two main points:

- Boost of PR based on purchased backlinks!

- Google position about the same:

Why?

I think you're missing the core point going on here. Whether a link boosts your TBPR or doesn't boost your TBPR, why are you *worried* about the TBPR? I'd rather have a TBPR 3 site number one on all its keywords that a TBPR 6 site with crap ranks anyday. What difference does it make? If it were 2002, it would make a huge difference. Who cares how buying links does or doesn't affect TBPR? Its how it affects the ranks of the buying or selling site that matters. (Unless of course you're selling links bought by clueless webmasters who think TBPR is all that matters when purchasing a link - yeah, in that instance, basing your site life on TBPR would be great.)

Agree with MB - buying a link may or may not adversely affect your search engine ranking; buying a link may or may not positively affect your search engine ranking. Smart people buying links are looking at way more than TBPR.

Sites that sell links can lose their trust in search engines.

1. You *do* realize there should be a difference between a good site selling advertising that happens to come along with links and a site screaming "Buy Pagerank here; get you're hot and fresh 5 and 6 TBPR here!" like a hot dog vendor at a baseball game right?

2. MB tried to get this across, but I don't think you've listened to him - pagerank and trust are two seperate items. A site with high TBPR may not automatically have high trust and a site with low TBPR may not automatically have low trust. Two... seperate... items... [vldb.org] thus why there are two... seperate... papers [vldb.org].

3. Reread your own quote again and again. Do you see the word *WILL* or do you see the word *CAN*?

[edited by: tedster at 2:16 am (utc) on Oct. 8, 2006]

1:58 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Especially when you consider that this is an easy pretexting scam... pretend that you're buying a bunch of backlinks for you competitor and then watch them get hit with a penalty.

Exactly!

IMO, if anything Google's pathetic spam fight and "flag anything that moves as trying to manipulate our index" has led to only one thing: it is easier then ever to hurt your competitor's rank and trust rank over the serps. In fact, Google is such a mess nowadays, they are disturbingly tangled within their own motives...adsense/adwords/google base/... and "organising the world's information" while “keeping our shareholders happy”, that they have completely lost the plot...

I really hate seeing what they are doing to the web and the way they hurt so many small businesses around the globe.

<End rant>

[edited by: Web_speed at 2:03 am (utc) on Oct. 3, 2006]

4:10 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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IMO, if anything Google's pathetic spam fight and "flag anything that moves as trying to manipulate our index" has led to only one thing: it is easier then ever to hurt your competitor's rank and trust rank over the serps.

Please, think about it rationally for a moment.

If you are spamming with guestbook links and are ranking well for five or six months then lose your ranks when the links are pulled out from beneath you, you may view that as a penalty. But it's not. Your site is ranking where it should be because your guestbook links are not counting, they have become neutral, as in they don't count.

Similarly, if you point a bunch of guestbook links at a competitor, what may happen is either the site will rank better or else it will rank the same (because the links are neutral and won't count). No penalty.

No businesses are being hurt. They just need to unlearn what they learned years ago (like worsipping the toolbar PR), and go back to SEO 101 and SEM 101. It's the same old game but the rules of the game have changed.

7:43 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Folks

I wished to focus in this thread on the fact that;

- Purchased backlinks from high PR sites, do boost the PR of the buyer page or site

- Google is unable, at present, to identify and accordingly penalize pages or sites selling/buying backlinks. Which is not in accordance with what Matt Cutts claims.
Having said that, I'm aware of the fact that Google has targeted "popular" sites and a popular person because of selling backlinks. However, I consider that is done more for public relations than to mandate/police Google Guidelines in that connection. While we see Google unable to deal with the vast majority of "standard" backlinks-merchants and backlinks-buyers.

However, some kind fellow members have raised doubt about the importance or the effect of PR and purchased backlinks.

For the sake of further discussion and to illustrate my points, I'm bringing here what Matt Cutts said recently in relation to buying/selling backlinks. In addition to a post of Matt Cutts relating PR to supplementals which might illustrate the importance of PR in Google considerations.

Matt Cutts, told John Battelle in an interview (26th Spetember 2006) that a controversial page that allows webmasters to pay for listings on the W3C site now had a “noindex” meta-tag applied - blocking it from view by search engines.

Google does consider it a violation of our quality guidelines to sell links that affect search engines. If someone wanted to sell links purely for visitors, there are a myriad number of ways to do it that don't affect search engines. You could have paid links do an internal redirect, and then block that redirecting page in robots.txt. You could add the rel="nofollow" attribute to a link, which tells search engines that you can't or don't want to vouch for the destination of a link. The W3C decided to add a "INDEX, NOFOLLOW" meta tag to their sponsor page, which has the benefits that the sponsor page can show up in search engines and that users receive nice static links that they can click on, but search engines are not affected by the outlinks on that page. All of these approaches are perfectly fine ways to sell links, and are within our quality guidelines.

in a post ( 2nd October 2006) at threadwatch.org Matt Cutts wrote:

I would recommend that you think of supplemental results as pages which (most likely) have less PageRank than pages in the main web index. So www.google.com/reviews?cid=b3c12ee96ed87b2d , which is a review of "The Gold Rush," a movie from 1925, is a perfectly natural url to be a supplemental result. Although it sounds like it was a good movie. ;)

1st September 2005 on his blog, Matt Cutts wrote:

But for everyone else, let me talk about why we consider it outside our guidelines to get PageRank via buying links. Google (and pretty much every other major search engine) uses hyperlinks to help determine reputation. Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and link-based analysis has greatly improved the quality of web search. Selling links muddies the quality of link-based reputation and makes it harder for many search engines (not just Google) to return relevant results.

9th December 2005 on his blog, Matt Cutts wrote:

My favorite overall moment was when a totally legit company (micromatic.com) stood up and asked for advice. Overall, their site was great: good architecture and very crawlable. They had lots of really good backlinks, including industry-specific links. But I could also tell that they’d been buying some backlinks. And they were buying backlinks from the exact same place as one of the earlier sites! At the point when in a minute of typing, I can say: you guys are both trying to buy backlinks, and I can tell that you’re buying them from the same network, and here’s an example page from ketv.com where both of you are even on the same page, and it’s not doing you any good at all: that just made my day. Having a concrete demonstration is so much better than just making a claim, especially when one of the sites says beforehand that they’re not doing as well as they used to be. I told micromatic.com that they had a great site, so they should stop trying to buy backlinks and spend more money to reward their inhouse SEO who had done a great job on the crawlability and architecture of the site.

13th December 2005 on his blog, Matt Cutts wrote:

Google’s stance on selling links is pretty clear and we’re pretty accurate at spotting them, both algorithmically and manually. Sites that sell links can lose their trust in search engines.
8:14 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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However, some kind fellow members have raised doubt about the importance or the effect of PR and purchased backlinks.

[6]The GREEN BAR on the TOOLBAR is NOT PageRank.[/6]

8:19 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi Folks

I just saw that our kind fellow member Matt Cutts has posted this morning on his blog an interesting post which mightbe related to this thread in way or the other ;-)

More info on PageRank [mattcutts.com]

Thanks Matt. Much appreciated.

8:32 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Wow, heated discussion!

Does Google reward link buyers? In my personal experience, at the moment, yes.

I buy links for my clients' sites (including those in competitive markets such as ISP, hosting and debt).

It makes a difference to their rankings.

They just don't want to see fat wallets and deep pockets manipulating their search results.

Unless they pay for every click with that fat wallet and deep pocket. If someone other than GG is doing the manipulation, they don't like it.

A business with an advertising budget is likely to be a successful business.

As long as the site that ranks top for any term is relevant to that term (by that I mean it provides the service or information that a searcher was looking for and provides it well) then how it got there should bother Google far less than say, clicking a link looking for information and finding a page full of Google ads.

I know which bothers web users more, so I take statements about 'improving quality' with a pinch of salt.

9:25 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm TOTALLY missing your point, Reseller!

Are you upset that MC was mistaken, lied, or mislead you?

Are you upset that a so-called "non-competitor"
* ranks higher than you?
* got a higher PR?
* more trustrank?

due to a bought link (according to your analysis).

What exactly is your point?!?

My goodness, any SEO who follows more than their set keyword terms knows that MC's comments about bought/sold links were never implemented "universally" for every single site on the web.

So what?!

Let's go on the VERY big assumption that indeed, G's algo recognizes and does discount all bought links...
Is it also possible that an algo with 1000's of ranking variables still gives more weight to a "discounted" bought link from a highly trusted site than it does 20, 30, 100 links from not-so trusted sites?

It is more or less likely that even MC can NOT predict how one single variable out of 1000's will affect the final rankings of a site?!

Come now, the more you belabor this point, the more it sounds like you're pouting.
Yes, G is faulty
Yes, MC is not always, 100%, absolutely correct (or truthful) in his statements about how the newest algo will respond to a single change in a ranking variable.
Yes, you can just as easily go out and buy a link from the same site as your "non-competitor" and gain a PR boost, a rankings boost, trust rank boost, (or whatever you think they have gained) from that link.

What exactly is the issue here?!

9:57 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Let me also add that [w3.org...]
has removed their nofollow tag from their members.

My guess is they noticed a drop in membership sign-ups when they added it. ;)

Again, it is Google's problem that they have a trustrank/pr system that gives more weight to certain sites than others.

Believe it or not, many "real" companies (who pay ALOT of money for adwords) don't run their websites to please Google or "be in google's good graces."
(and have more profitable things to do than add "nofollow" tags to their external links)

And I'm sure if any major car corporation decided to buy links from the NYTimes so they could rank for the term "cars," Google would not care.
(If Joe consumer does a search their now, he might be a little disappointed at the sites currently ranking organically ...be sure to see who's paying for adwords tho. :P )

10:18 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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W3 still has the tag on [w3.org...] the supporters page, which is what I think they considered a purchased link, not the listing of the members.
10:40 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Ok, fair enough.

And the fact that G's algo doesn't "automatically" detect these as bought links means what?

And don't tell Google, but members pay alot more than supporters, so I doubt you'll see a nofollow tag added to that list, eh? :)

10:54 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The GREEN BAR on the TOOLBAR is NOT PageRank.

MB,

would you agree with me if I say

The GREEN BAR on the TOOLBAR was round(PageRank) the day it was exported?

nerd

10:54 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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PR (the Visible PR shown on the toolbar) is one of the 3 major factors that most people look at when buying links, along with traffic and topic/trust?. Visit any forum where people buy links and see how they describe the links for sale.

So the PR(the Visible PR shown on the toolbar) does shape the web to a certain extent.

11:00 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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little old me knows nothing of these things but I had to join in on this one. martinibuster you are making me laugh.

and for the right reasons. Everybody listen to him - he speaks the truth. The green tool bar PR thingy is a red herring. Mine hasnt updated my own site (which is massive and grows every day with new content) for the last 3 years in which time the site has moved up or down the rankings depending on the update/flux/tweak of the quarter month week or day.

Its only value as far as I can see is to tempt silly people to search for sites with better PR than own (tb PR not 'real' PR) so that they can either attempt to link swap or purchase one from you.

this thread should end with martinibusters last words

11:09 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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martinibuster

The GREEN BAR on the TOOLBAR is NOT PageRank.

In fact our kind fellow member Matt Cutts has posted on his blog the following this morning, which might answer your comment ;-)

At some point we take our internal PageRanks, put them on a 0-10 scale, and export them so that they’re visible to Google Toolbar users.

And.. Liane

As you can see I'm not leaving my blinders on in such wonderful Copenhagen sunshine day. Just thought that Martin and you have had the opportunity and time to read Matt's said post [mattcutts.com]

11:57 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Did a search on cars. It's that animation movie that comes up for about 15 of the top 20.

Mm...
I'll try bold fonts too!
You made me want to :-)

TBPR is a snapshot right? A snapshot of actual PR from some time ago, only published months later, and probably only for reference. PR is important, although not the TBPR which is for entertainment purposes... but the real PR in the background, for it's one of the major factors when Google re-calculates the SERPs. Probably the second most important to relevance. And PR is mostly based on inbound links, while PR distribution is based on site navigation, including deeplinks, right? And yeah i know there are lots of other factors too, but Google IS PR to me, whether it's called trustrank, pagerank or whatever right now. It was their idea to sort and rank the web based on referring-link structure... and it worked for years.

But to think that the system is designed... no make that to think that it COULD BE designed to filter out links that are "unethical"... or in other words links that are supposedly meant to pass on some points in Google's database from one site to another... That's nonsense IMHO.

I'm not saying that Google isn't doing it, but when it does, if it weeds out such links, it will filter out normal links ten times the number. They'd need manual decision making on this too. Which i don't think would happen... well at least not for anyone else but the top 20 sites and for major or reportedly over-abused keywords so...

So... an algo is the one that should be able to decide what's ethical for the rest?
Doesn't it all come down to this:
If you set up links / have yourself set up links from others which serve the sole purpose to get your page more WHATEVER ( keyword relevance, pagerank, BL increase, trustrank, honestly i don't even follow anymore )...

...then poor Google people become upset, for their algo was meant to spider and sort the web based on links ( i know, many other factors play into this but it was the LINKS that made Google Google ) and now this kind of "top 1000" ain't working because it's THIS easy to manipulate? Perhaps the fame brought too many 'smart' people to the other side. Now there are a few hundred engineers vs. EVERY opportunist on the net. Isn't this a losing battle.

And instead of coming up with something less manipulatable ( there's no such word ),per say a manual review board, IP based votes, whatever!... they try to pass out the following message:

It's unethical to beat us in our own game.
It's evil. It's... it's... bleh.
Go home! You can't play!
( site gets de-indexed )

Heheh...oops.
Mm... O.o ( can i get banned for saying this? -from WW... or G? )

Unethical... evil... no it's not, it just crosses a superb, but eight year old plan that brought Google to the top. And which still is working to some degree but...

Saying that advertising outside AdWords is cheating or putting up links that gain ( steal ) relevance is cheating is like saying that "if you lie or mislead people in your commercials we won't air it". "If you exaggerate your own importance we'll ban you from the index". Come ON!

I can see the point, and agree to it entirely... but you can't filter this with an algo! If some program jumps at words, links, whatever, you filter out more relevant sites than opportunists, this has become... a proven practice. Too many weeds in the garden? BOMB the garden! (?)

This doesn't get Google anywhere. And as far as i can tell from the forum, webmasters can safely say that if there are a few links they paid for ( directories, famous, widely-read thematic blogs or whatever ) Google will not hate them for it. For it probably doesn't even notice. How can it tell whether it's a friend's site or not? Paid for it or not? Just where is that fine line between "ethical" and "unethical"? We'd love to know, but they can't tell. For its nothing but algebra. How... how can you call an algo based filter "ethical" filter?

I have a link to our site on a friend's site... we love each other.
Will we get banned? There are lots of unrelated direct links on that page, for it's a "favourites" page.

Oh and i noticed on Yahoo that we have links on MFA sites!

What should i do? They're multiplying! Should i report them one by one? Every day? No algo seems to mind if the text vs. text-with-link or content vs AdSense ratio is below human consumability ( this word DOES exist, doesn't it? ).

---------------------

Links shouldn't be votes but suggestions, right?
It's not the way people get themselves known to Google but... rather when GoogleBot arrives from either direction, whether it finds a good site or not... or at least it should be down to that. Instead the other way around.

And whether that site is trusted or not. Not by Google but by people. And whether it's popular or not. Not amongst the algos, but again, users. Right? Perhaps Google should use something like the Alexa rank, if only for research purposes. To survey PEOPLE instead its own algos when it comes to popularity. Oh, so that alexa toolbar can be played? Oh. Google's algos can't be, right? The more HUMAN factor they'd implement the less outrageous the SERPs would be.

As if the gained relevance, PR and backlinks didn't fade away, yes they do... and they become outscored by others even if Google didn't update its algos anymore. Some sites shuffed into the last-half-inch-before-the-thresolds-for-spam? ANY algo will have this problem. Furthermore people tend to remember bad experiences on the net, and if they clicked a brand one day, and were disappointed, they won't click it on another.

------------------------

Four way battle... Google, shareholders, Big and small sites

Google desperately tries to save its original ideas on how to sort and rank the web. People with high budgets try to use the web for advertising. People with lower budgets would love to see the SERPs being less biased to this behaviour, and both low and high budget people, projects, companies dislike MFA, scam and non-related results all across the SEs. Which however bring Google some money.

You won't untie this knot in a million years.
Unless you notice the trend which is...
If Google is predictable, that's a problem.
If Google is unpredictable, that's also a problem.

If Google was to judge sites based on user experience, not some algo's opinion, which may have been made to simulate this but it fails more and more... their SERPs would be user-friendly. Um... fair. If it's not like a directory where a single person's whim decides the fate of a project... it could be fair.

...

If GoogleBot or these algos were really able to simulate user experience, relevance, importance, ethics, popularity and all this...

It was already an AI for crying out loud! :-D

Send it to Space, it'll bring us the KEY to the Universe!

...

Oh and before whitenight asks...
( btw i like your posts... )
I'm lobbying to see hybrid results on Google.

Because i want it to be usable again, for me, us, yeah, selfish as it is... and for more selfishness... i don't have the confidence in our resources and capabilities to race against all the MFA, scam, spam, and sites with CRAP on them but links from an .edu or .gov site. And we'd like to see the site be able to support itself. I'm not saying this won't happen unless hybrid results become a trend but... it sure would help. There, i said it all. :-P

2:38 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'll probably regret getting involved in this, but Reseller, try looking at it this way regarding your question on whether bought links will boost PR.

There are three kinds of information available in the world;

Good information; yes we know that indicator to be correct and we can plan accordingly. (The weatherman said 80 and sunny so I don’t need a coat, and it was in fact 80 and sunny; great day!)

No information; we do not have any indicators so we just don’t know. (The weatherman broke his thermometer and says he doesn’t know, so wear shorts BUT bring a coat so you’re covered)

Bad information; the indicator is showing information that is plain wrong. (The weatherman said 80 and sunny so I wore shorts and a T-shirt and it was actually 50 and cloudy so I froze my butt off at the concert)

So to equate to our PR argument in the above three you would have; The PR displayed is true! , or there is no PR displayed, or the PR displayed is just plain wrong, not old, but wrong!

Of the above three the last, a display of bad, or wrong information is the worst. Good information is obvious, no information is familiar territory in that you don’t make plans or actions based on it, you plan accordingly, but bad information acted upon as good will surely lead to poor results.

This is really the point about the tool bar Page Rank. It is bad information, it’s not old, it’s distorted. Just as the back link checker shows distorted information and now the “similar pages” link has been altered, the display of the green bar is distorted. It’s a little like the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system, for years the government scrambled the satellite signals so the accuracy of the readings were off a bit so foreign invaders could not use it in a pin point fashion, it was close and millions of people used it, but not as close as the technology was capable of. (Alas this didn’t work so well for boaters and hikers and eventually they removed the distortion) but you get the point. If Google wanted to display accurate PR in your tool bar they could, but they choose not to.

If your buying links with any part of the price based on PR, you’re probably being screwed. The 6 could be a 4, the 5 could be 3, and the 8 could very well in fact be 5.

So does;

Purchased back links from high PR sites, do boost the PR of the buyer page or site

The answer is, it is impossible to know because the indicator that you’re talking about is displaying bad information. If you bought a link, and the PR went up on the next update you will probably walk around as a satisfied customer thinking you got your money’s worth. Little do you know the PR may actually have gone down?

4:39 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Now that is a good analogy!
6:19 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Matt Cutts has posted on his blog the following this morning, which might answer your comment ;-)

>>>At some point we take our internal PageRanks, put them on a 0-10 scale, and export them so that they’re visible to Google Toolbar users.

reseller, that only says the obvious. We already know there's a ten point scale. That's all it says.

Three years ago Mike Grehan interviewed a Google engineer [e-marketing-news.co.uk] about this and other things. Here's what he had to say about using Toolbar PageRank for SEO purposes:

...we're not naive enough to think that we can condense every indicator about a page into a number from one to ten. We certainly can't do that.

So, if people are trying to look at what we're doing and their idea is based on that single number from one to ten, ... well, they're not going to be effective in figuring out what we're doing at all.

1: Don't be naive about the numbers 1-10
2: Don't rely on the toolbar as an SEO Metric, because you won't "be effective in figuring out what" Google is doing.

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