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In particular, earlier this year on [website] we saw links labeled as sponsored that passed PageRank
In fact, we received a outside spam report about your site.
[edited by: netmeg at 2:03 pm (utc) on Aug 28, 2012]
Of course the obvious point here is that google is attacking a competing revenue model
A paid link doesn't necessarily mean it's a "spammy link" an argument could be made that paid links offer better insight into the content of the linked document, it could very well be a quality signal
Google made up Pagerank, so they're free to set the standards. If Pagerank is important to you, then live by the standards or let go on Pagerank. If I invent NetmegRank (and I have, I just don't issue a badge or number, ork ork) then I get to set the standards, and if people are silly enough to put a value on that, then they gotta live up to my standards.
As far as I know, there are no restrictions on how a website can use the PR number google provides
But why should there be "consequences", if they have the right?
[edited by: netmeg at 4:53 pm (utc) on Aug 28, 2012]
...because he wants to supress the paid link market.
The spam report passed on an email from a link seller offering to sell links on multiple pages on [website] based on their PageRank. Some pages mentioned in that email continue to have unusual links to this day. For example [example url] has a section labeled “PARTNER LINKS” which links to [linkbuyer].