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Should we be scared?

elgoog asked 1 year ago
Matt Cutts about link buying – quoting –

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. When the Berkeley college newspaper has six online gambling links (three casinos, two for poker, and one bingo) on its front page, it’s harder for search engines to know which links can be trusted.

At this point, someone usually asks me: “But can’t you just not count the bad links? On the, I see the words ‘Sponsored Resources’. Can’t search engines detect paid links?” Yes, Google has a variety of algorithmic methods of detecting such links, and they work pretty well. But these links make it harder for Google (and other search engines) to determine how much to trust each link.


A natural question is: what is Google’s current approach to link buying? Of course our link-weighting algorithms are the first line of defense, but it’s difficult to catch every problem case in adversarial information retrieval, so we also look for problems and leaks in different semi-automatic ways. Reputable sites that sell links won’t have their search engine rankings or PageRank penalized–a search for [daily cal] would still return However, link-selling sites can lose their ability to give reputation (e.g. PageRank and anchortext).

What if a site wants to buy links purely for visitor click traffic, to build buzz, or to support another site? In that situation, I would use the rel=”nofollow” attribute. The nofollow tag allows a site to add a link that abstains from being an editorial vote. Using nofollow is a safe way to buy links, because it’s a machine-readable way to specify that a link doesn’t have to be counted as a vote by a search engine.

5 Answers
TheGooner answered 1 year ago
I can’t read that link – I get some sort of sign-up page instead …

However – based on what has been said underneath it sound the right way to go to me … purchased links should transfer ZERO PR.

Although I have no idea how the hell they tell.

elgoog answered 1 year ago
than you should sign up, sorry about that,

anyway, a Google guy states there they can,(most of the time?) differ between payed links and free,
if that’s what you mean

Anonymous answered 1 year ago
Hi all,

I’m certainly no SEO expert but I fail to see how google or anybody else can tell if I paid to have the link placed on somebody’s site.

if somebody liked what I had to say and didn’t get paid to link to me … the link is still going to read

No way getting around that! If they did try to distinguish between the two it opens a huge can of worms that there’s no way anybody’d ever convince me some damn computer program is going to be able to tell the difference when an educated SEO expert couldn’t tell the difference though I admit they’d have a much, much better chance of spotting that it was a paid link vs non-paid.

the closest I can think of that some program would be using would be if they were looking for links which weren’t in some kind of text like for instance if I said here that you should visit because I think its a great place to be …. as opposed to just having that link show up somewhere on the page without any kind of text eluding to it.

but that said … it still leaves such a huge hole for mistakes its not funny.

my (unpaid) 2 cents.

villa10 answered 1 year ago
Once again is a matter of aging and growing naturally.

A two months old site listed in 10 PR5 index pages is no doubt buying links.

For 3 y.o. website listed in 20 PR5 index pages , There’s no way to know whether the links are paid or not.

elgoog answered 1 year ago
This is what Adam Lasnik, google employee says:

“How does google distinguish between links that have been bought for advertising and links that have been bought for page rank manipulation? Or does google distinguish between the two?

Yes, we do have a pretty strong ability to discern intent in this area. A site that’s buying links on high-PR sites with *clearly* no interest in or reasonable expectation of actual traffic… it does set off alarm bells. And sometimes it’s rather amusingly blatant (“But Adam… I really do expect thousands of eager targeted visitors to my site from that tiny white-on-white text link buried 3 levels deep on PR7!”)

No system is perfect, and we’re always refining how we interpret intent and how we use this and related information to improve our search results. And not just in the aggregate sense: many of us Googlers are regularly using individuals’ sites mentioned around the Web (including on our own Webmaster Help Google Group) as valuable data points. <span title=” title=”” class=”bbcode_smiley” /> “