Google To Penalize Sites That Pay For Links

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization' started by dotcomdesigns, May 16, 2007.

  1. dotcomdesigns

    dotcomdesigns Paid Customer

    Many of you might have seen some debate about Google asking webmasters to report sites that pay for links to increase their page rank. Debate has been raging since Matt Cutts from Google posted on his blog for people to rat on sites buying links!!

    It concerns me as we directory owners are looking to earn an income from selling sponsored or featured listings. I don't expect it to affect our directories and their rankings but this sort of news could put off webmasters upgrading their links in our directories for fear of being labelled as buyers of links!

    It seems to be a very grey area and Matt Cutts has had a lot of dirt thrown his way with this announcement. It;s interesting how Google make billions from raising revenue through sellings ads on the site but if we do it we get penalized for it. Anyway things don't look so bad as Google have responded about directories:

    In answer to reporting paid links:
    Are you interested in hearing about directories in this report?
    A: Nope, I’d be most interested in feedback like the examples that I mentioned above, or things like paid posts that might affect search engines. If you’re still unsure what sort of reports we’d like to get, that’s okay. Fortunately, the vast majority of people sending in reports are on the same wavelength and are sending in solid feedback like the examples above.

    A: I’ll try to give a few rules of thumb to think about when looking at a directory. When considering submitting to a directory, I’d ask questions like:
    - Does the directory reject urls? If every url passes a review, the directory gets closer to just a list of links or a free-for-all link site.
    - What is the quality of urls in the directory? Suppose a site rejects 25% of submissions, but the urls that are accepted/listed are still quite low-quality or spammy. That doesn’t speak well to the quality of the directory.
    - If there is a fee, what’s the purpose of the fee? For a high-quality directory, the fee is primarily for the time/effort for someone to do a genuine evaluation of a url or site.

    So clearly paid submissions in directories are acceptable but you need to make sure that sites are of decent quality. Tons of links to poor quality sites will look like a FFA spammy directory and could damage your rank on Google.
  2. robin2

    robin2 Paid Customer

    This is indeed good news and as you say 'Google make billions from raising revenue through sellings ads' so it the only fair conclution to come too.

    Can I add:
    As well as driving away the valued customers that dont want to be associated to a 'FFA spammy directory'
  3. Shunny

    Shunny Paid Customer

    What's a spammy directory again ? And what's its definition ? And who sets the rules for the definition ? Sounds to me like some sort of social closure to people setting up directories. " Tons of links to spammy sites" ? Sounds unfair to some sites trying to get their foot in the door. What to do ? I don't know.
  4. dotcomdesigns

    dotcomdesigns Paid Customer

    Yeah I've been wondering how Matt Cutts comes out with a statement like

    'Does the directory reject urls? If every url passes a review, the directory gets closer to just a list of links or a free-for-all link site.
    - What is the quality of urls in the directory? Suppose a site rejects 25% of submissions, but the urls that are accepted/listed are still quite low-quality or spammy. That doesn’t speak well to the quality of the directory.'

    How does Google know if I reject websites or not let alone what %. How can they tell if a site reviews every link submission and rejects some.

    But I'm now going to be a little stricter and only allow better quality sites to be listed in my directory. It's a concern that's for sure and still nobody knows what the hell Google are saying or implying.
  5. SkGold

    SkGold SEO Specialist

    Obviously Google cannot do it algorithmically (and never will) :wallbash:
    So Matt Cutts asked people to report it.
    It is:] when Google asking for help and the way they are doing it.
  6. Sai_dallas

    Sai_dallas Paid Customer

    Is he the chicken ass of google?

    Hate that f**

    I spent lot of money buying links for my sites and when I get to see some money this moron came with this idea and now no one is buying links.

    I am just F888ed.

    Thanks to my son Matt
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
  7. bfarrell

    bfarrell Paid Customer

    All of this is old news. Google has long stated that buying links for PR is against their policy and is viewed as blackhat manipulations to scam their algorithm. They, Google, have the wish to deliver search results based upon natural/organic results. PR was one of the factors that helped determine that. I say "was" as it has been evident over the last several years now that PR has less and less to do with rankings. They only people I see anymore who care about PR are those selling links based upon PR.

    My first site I spent a lot of time to build backlinks for PR. The most recent I built no backlinks. One ranks #1 for its niche, the other, right underneath it about two listings down. Content and relevancy are the keys.

    Google does not have a problem with charging for reviews, banners, featured listings and such. That is normal business activities that one would expect. It is the selling of high PR links to falsely tweak their serp's that is the problem. The goal is natural linking because other web sites respect your content and provide back links as a service to their visitors.

    Here is their latest campaign to clean up the serps-

    This is particularly good news for many reasons. The MFA's waste time and are misleading. Not to mention it pisses me off to find my own content being scraped for someone else's benefit as if it was their own.

    I delete every site I can for doorways, adsense, rss only content, Google search toolbars dressed up to look as their own search engine, free hosted, single page, free articles for content, etc. Some "industries" are fraught with bs sites. Finance, pharmaceuticals, real estate, gambling, etc. If the site cannot stand on its own merits and redirects away, I just delete it out. I know some have slipped by me, lots of creative scammers out there. But I learn more daily and will go back in and delete in mass in the near future.

    If gets frustrating when one thinks of the work and effort to create a clean site with real content and you have to compete against manipulated sites. There are lots of ways to legitimately increase your serp's. The only problem is it all takes time and effort. Some niches require a lot of time and effort. I think directories are one of the harder ones. Lots of directories out there.

    If you are in this for the long term and build your listings steadily, it will pay off. But it is a known fact that most free directories fizzle out due to the amount of work and time it takes to reach the point to be able to monetize the directory. You see it all the time in the forums for directory owners, no longer free, no linger processing submissions, broken links, etc.
  8. Shunny

    Shunny Paid Customer

    Should we be using the rel="nofollow" attribute for paid links ?
  9. SkGold

    SkGold SEO Specialist

    Who is going to pay for such links? :wink:
  10. Shunny

    Shunny Paid Customer

    People who just want to advertise their site for the purpose of receiving some traffic and exposure.
  11. bfarrell

    bfarrell Paid Customer

    I tend to think that the rel="nofollow" was a reaction to PR being manipulated and has never been a serious issue with Google as long as it is not being used against their policies. Really have not heard much about it for a long time now. I know the very large commercial directories do not adhere to it. One would think they would stay on top of such.

    Directories such as dmoz, about, ruby glenn, etc, do not use the no follow. What would be the purpose of a directory with out valid back links? It would be impractical to expect people to copy and paste links from a directory to visit the listing.

    For sure though, no one would pay to be listed in a directory that does not actively link back. The very nature of a directory is to link to sites of interest. Google's own directory (dmoz copy) does not use the no follow.

    It would be a dream come true to have your directory penalized by them for emulating their own practices. I tend to think Google is not going to set themselves up for such a legal nightmare. Courts frown upon large companies using unfair practices against the small business person.

    Though it is of interest that while reports of copying dmoz is a bad thing to do, Google does it themselves. Wonder how well their own directory ranks in the serps? I do not run across it that often in top search results. Think they penalize themselves?:)
  12. SkGold

    SkGold SEO Specialist

    Did you ever receive any traffic and exposure from any directory?
    I did not, <_< even from most popular directories like Yahoo or Business.
    One or two visitors per day from directory are not traffic and exposure.

    The most people are using directories for only one purpose - getting valid SEO friendly back links. By using rel="nofollow" you are going to make the directory absolutely useless for majority of sites owners.
  13. Shunny

    Shunny Paid Customer

    You are absolutely right SK Gold. Traffic and exposure from directories are minimal. If the links manage to surface while someone is googling then thats a bonus.

    I saw the other day released a statement saying they will use the rel=no follow attribute in some circumstances.

    Getting valid SEO backlinks certainly does helps your site popularity and all the more better for esc directories.

    In relation to Google and rel=no follow are not Google being somewhat hypocritical and trying to further their monopoly ? Even going to the point of getting users to tell them if sites are selling links?
  14. Sai_dallas

    Sai_dallas Paid Customer

    They make money and keep it for them.

    Want people to help them for free.

    Big Brother got lot of cheap ideas.
  15. pipc01

    pipc01 Paid Customer

    This is a most interesting topic, having just bought some great directories names and some great advertising spots from at least one directory within this discusion, I was almost sick, to read that my directory would be penalised for the literaly hundreds of £ not $ spent in this last week. Some of the advertising has paid off, within less than 1 week I have 10 or so pages listed in google, and have already had 4 clicks from google, 1 from aol and already am recieving these stats
    23 Jun 2007 20 261 1147 3.38 MB
    24 Jun 2007 27 628 1133 8.61 MB
    25 Jun 2007 25 90 1759 3.76 MB
    26 Jun 2007 23 163 1957 4.57 MB
    27 Jun 2007 30 203 1747 5.17 MB
    which for a site opened for 1 week is not too bad, I think.

    I will just ask though, why is no one signing up, even though I am free? If you want to add your thoughts, click the directoryof directories link, I wont add it as a live link for fear of spamming.

    Your thoughts will be taken into account, thank you.
  16. Shunny

    Shunny Paid Customer

    You make a valid point...I have just submitted a PR2 site to your DOD. At present your site has no PR which most people look for. There are thousands upon thousands of free directories. Somehow we have to make ours stand out in some way. When your a new directory...and we have all gone through one wants to submit to your site...especially if it appears empty...So maybe add some of your own quality links.

    Further why make your site free. If you have paid and free you may find that most people go for the free option. IMO don't have a free option...if people like your site...and see that you are promoting it they will pay to have their site review for inclusion.

    Have a look at some of the other directories around...and see what they are doing and how their plans are structured and the guidelines they use. Take the best from the best and incorporate them into your own directories.

    The next Google PR update will reveal how heavily you have been promoting your site. Then others will start to take notice of your directories and you might even make some money. Hope some of this helps.
  17. pipc01

    pipc01 Paid Customer

    Shunny, you make a valid point, I started of reciprical and paid, having had not 1 sign up until now, (thank you) I went free, just to relieve the ghost feel. However having just read this thread, I will go and put it into practise, and try to recover some of the heavy loss I have just had.
  18. pipc01

    pipc01 Paid Customer

    Shunny, Having just approved your link, it is just what I am looking for, a detailed description, with a good use of keywords ie, not spammed but in the relevant context. I have links back from pr2/3/4/5/6 directories, so the google update if the sites are indexed in time will put a show of pr on my site. I have stopped for this month, as I dont want to over do it, however roll on next month when I can start again lol
  19. ellan

    ellan Paid Customer

    Guys, I am too lazy to read all the replies, but I would say so:

    For example, if everithing is as it was told in the first post, if I want to send down my opponent on the Internet...everithing I have to do is to add his links in my directory and claim that he bought you thing Goole are fools? I don't think so...=)
  20. SkGold

    SkGold SEO Specialist

    Buddy, I believe that you misunderstood the point. G is penalizing sellers not buyers. And they already did this manually with many popular sites and directories.

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