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Jennifer Laycock writes, "My daughter has a shirt that reads ’it seemed like a good idea at the time.’ I sort of wish they made it in larger sizes. I can’t help but think it’d be a nice Christmas gift for the team at Google. After all, I’m hard pressed to believe that phrase hasn’t popped into the conversation at least once or twice in the last year as their engineers sit around debating their algorithm and the impact of paid links.
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from emom 3666 Days ago #
Votes: 4

This issue is absolutely infuriating. When did the Google mantra "Do No Evil" turn into "You Must Live by OUR Definition of Evil"? To me it smacks of mixing Church with State.Quite frankly don’t find paid links evil. In fact, I turn down more advertisers than I sell to to ensure our content is relevant for our audience. Yet, I get to be treated like a spammer because I want to run an ad-supported online business. The hypocrisy of this move by Google, who sells premium ad spots on their own site, is just stunning. I predict that if they continue to push this issue that they will start to lose market share. And I will dance a happy dance on that day.

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from djensen 3666 Days ago #
Votes: 6

I’ve been trying to tell people around me for a while to open up their eyes and realise that Google cares NOTHING for relevant search and is only interested in generating massive revenues for their shareholders.People need to get over the idea that Google is a great search engine that cares. It was a great search engine for many years, until PageRank was launched and the company shifted its focus from search to advertising. PR probably seemed like a good idea at the time. It was such marketing genius that it cemented Google as the king. But it worked too well, and people decided to make a buck off it. That’s Google’s fault. No one else’s. Why not just terminate the visibility of Pagerank in the toolbar? Wouldn’t that stop PR chasing dead in its tracks? Simple reason. It makes Google money, and anything that makes them money they will hold onto. Using the nofollow attribute to devalue paid-links is downright despicable. The attribute was well received by webmasters and SEOs alike when it was created to help them combat spam. We all thought Google was on our side; our mate; our chum. Nofollow seemed like a great idea at the time. Now I bet many webmasters wish they had never heard the word. Google isn’t on our side at all, now they have infiltrated all our sites with adsense and nofollow and "own" many of us, they choose to show their real hand, by pulling off their friendly mask and revealing the ugly face of deceit underneath. The prime example of Google’s utter hypocrisy is the penalisation of Text Link Ads. The site doesn’t rank for it’s own name on Google... Oh but wait, there it is, above all the other links in the sponsored section. So what is Google trying to tell us? It’s not ok for Text Link Ads to buy their way to the top of Google, but it’s ok for them to pay Google and get the top result? Does Google really believe we are all that gullible? Do they really think that the sponsored link in #2 spot is any different from the #1 "organic" link one spot below it? So instead of being the 3rd link on that page, Text Link Ads is now the 2nd link on that page. Am I really supposed to swallow that foul-tasting dose of "pay us for positions" medicine? We know what you are after Google. Total domination of the advertising market by taking every single webmaster out of the equation - your misleading and deceptive conduct is an utter disgrace.

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from mpilatow 3665 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Excellent post djenson and IMO right on. My biggest issue with this nofollow nonesense is the effect it has on webmasters who don’t spend all their time following Matt Cutts or the SEO blogosphere. There are tons of webmasters out there who don’t know what the hell nofollow is and they could be penalized becvause they want to monetize their site in a way that does not include Google. Kinda like the mafia, if you wanna make money online you better pay your kickback to Google or find yourself out of business.

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from g1smd 3665 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Why the storm of protest right now?Google has warned for at least several years that paid links that manipulate their link graph will be penalised. You can find Matt Cutts talking about it in 2005 for example. As far as organic results go, Google sees paid links as spam. People have had plenty of time to get their house in order before the hammer dropped.Google doesn’t give a stuff about paid links per se.  They are going after those paid links that artificially manipulate the PageRank of the pages that they link to.Why should that be a shock to people?

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from thejenn 3665 Days ago #
Votes: 6

"They are going after those paid links that artificially manipulate the PageRank of the pages that they link to."The issue as I see it, is that they have no way of knowing the intent of the buy.I don’t sell PageRank on any of my sites. I’ve always thought buying and selling links on the basis of PageRank was short sighted, mostly because it’s so easy for Google to come in and shut down a site’s ability to pass that juice.The sites I sell links or ads on are about selling the branding and the traffic. I know, I know...some people don’t think a text link can drive enough traffic to be worth the cost. (They’d be wrong in many cases.)So why should I, selling ADS for the sake of selling ads, be lumped in with someone marketing themselves as selling PageRank? Why should I have to change the way I do business to make Google’s life easier? Why isn’t it up to Google to develop better algorithms to take this into account?It’s been pointed out that Google could easily discount paid links based on their location, the text around it and a variety of other factors. All of these would allow Google to "handle" the situation without causing site owners to have to make the fix. (Remember, Google isn’t the only site out there, nor are they only reason to buy links.) Google’s response is that people can simply change up in an attempt to get around those filters.Well DUH. What do they think is going to happen with their new crusade? Everyone’s just going to roll over and stop buying and selling links? No one really believes Google is that stupid do they? Of course not. Google knows they’re simply going to push link buying and selling underground. They’re actually creating a WORSE user situation because now their actions will push webmasters to avoid full disclosure.My other issue here is that Google could easily decide to simply discount those links. It would be the sensible thing to do. Instead, they seem to be actively focusing on PENALIZING sites for these links. It’s so much more "in your face, we’re Google and we’ll do what we want" and THAT, my friend is what has me up in arms.Remove my ability to pass link juice on those paid links all you want. Whatever, that’s fine. But when you start removing sites from the index instead of simply removing that link power, it becomes more about "we will destroy you for daring cross us" and less about "we’re just protecting our index."

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from djensen 3664 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@g1smd: The penalties are a shock, because many of the sites being penalised don’t have paid links. In some instances, where sites do have paid links, the payment is for the review on a highly trafficked website, not for PR. Why should webmasters be forced to go through and change all their paid links to "nofollow" when the tag was never designed to be used that way? Anyone that does that is being brainwashed IMO.What is really annoying people though is that whilst sites are being penalised for "selling PR", Google in their infinite wisdom are CONTINUING to advertise sites in AdWords that sell PR. If they were really serious about stamping this problem out wouldn’t they screen their advertisers more strictly? Google expect us to not only screen our advertisers for relevance but to also apply nofollow. Are they above their own rules? Why aren’t they leading by example?Not only that but penalised sites can circumvent their ban/penalty by buying the sponsored link spot for their keywords (what sort of message do you think that sends? - really have a think about that one because it’s pretty clear).Also, Google are currently being sued by half a dozen companies over allowing trademark names to be used as keyword link anchor on their site by companies that do not own those trademarks and have very little to do with the keywords being used (except that they want the click throughs from those high-traffic keywords). Is that ethical?It is why many people believe Google need to seriously clean up their own advertising profile before criticising (and/or penalising) anyone else. Their own practices are the shadiest in the business, so they are the pot calling the kettle black on this issue.No one likes a hypocrite, and in Google we have a big one.

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from Halfdeck 3663 Days ago #
Votes: 0

" In some instances, where sites do have paid links, the payment is for the review on a highly trafficked website, not for PR"You must be psychic djensen. Even I don’t claim to know the intention of paid review buyers.

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from Kimberly 3648 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I started reading from here before I signed up for an account- but I’ll just say now that I’ve really been enjoying this series. Thanks!

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