Google on Selling Links: Perhaps a Wee Bit Hypocritical?

62 comments

If Google believes the marketplace will work out the inefficiencies in their own link selling program then why must they try to manipulate the perception of value associated with links outside their marketplace? How honest is that?

Comments

You buying that W3.org link

You buying that W3.org link says it all Aaron.

seobuzzbox

sometimes you come across a has a right dickhead ...

To me, a true spammer is a

To me, a true spammer is a person who derails threads and tells everyone to fuck off just because they want to be annoying and do not like to (or are too lazy to) look beyond their own nose, likeso
http://www.threadwatch.org/node/7148#comment-41417

"sometimes you come across a

"sometimes you come across a has a right dickhead" -DaveN

Once you figure out that there are no "sides" in this debate you will be good.

Aaron - Thanks for sharing.

seobuzzbox

and your Point ?

DaveN

There is no other way

If you are a new site and you have no PR nobody wants to link to you just for free. So to get links from high PR sites you have no other choice but purchase good links from good sites.

sigh........ why does it

sigh........ why does it matter to other people if you purchase links from good sites to promote your site ?

Misuse & Intent

Well as was pointed out elsewhere "no follow" was introduced to combat blog spam or user generated content linking to un-reviewed domains. While all three engines said they supported it, google seems to be the only one factoring it into the ranking algo.

Then Matt comes along usurps it's original intent saying it's for paid advertisements. In retrospect it makes sense that they were "no follows" most vocal supporters. Through a campaign who's ultimate goal was creating fear, uncertainty, and doubt in web publishers it's now gotten so bad full scale companies like business.com are using it incorrectly. Now we're in a state where links, which are the cornerstone of the world wide web from it's birth, have been forever altered. This radical shift in linking wasn't made in the best interests of the users, in fact quite the opposite. The change was put into place by a commercial company with the goal of protecting it's algorthym which was unable to handle paid links.So what we ended up with was this:

WE'VE COME OUT WITH THE NO FOLLOW TAG TO SAVE YOU FROM BLOG SPAM
and keep our old algo running for a few more years and keep us profitable

Want more hypocrisy look at the Adwords quality score change, which was made under the guise of improving the system and only showing "quality ads" to the users. However what they really said was:

WE'RE GOING TO DEACTIVE YOUR LOW QUALITY ADVERTISEMENTS TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF THE SYSTEM
unless we can screw you out of you money and get you to pay exorbitant fees, that we profit from.

>>How honest is that? Such

>>How honest is that?

Such is the way of the world: "Do as I say' not as I do." The powerful feel free to dictate the rules to the rest of us, for their own benefit, but don't feel obliged to obey those rules themselves.

It does not matter if it is AV, Inktomi, in the past or Yahoo and Google, in the present, as long as the SE's value linking in their algo's that will translate into monetary value. The SE's are fools if they thnk otherwise.

(With that said we could still use some real competition amongst the SE's.)

DaveN - You defend all that

DaveN - You defend all that is spam simply because you have chosen a side...

For Aaron to write me off as someone who starts sh*t is not fair.

Michael - If a person can not afford to buy links should his website have less value?

...and I am no saint, will try everything once.

We all crave links. Not just

We all crave links. Not just any link, but quality links form high standard sources.

It doesn't matter how much we'll try to deny that, it's in our nature. It's the basic instinct of any SEOer.

Also, no matter what we say that we don't do (like buying a link from W3C.org, or doing spam and/or cloaking etc etc.), each and every one of us has done that particular thing at least once in one form or another.

I always fight spam around the web. I condamn those who do it. I wrote spamcop.net faq's for people to report spammers. I made whole pages about search engine spam, so people can report it.

I did spam in the past, when I was to big-headed to actually think it trough a bit.

As for the fight in this thread, between the two Aaron's... I resent that. You are two hat-off guys, and I love both of you.

Try to be creative and bring some useful shit around the web (like you guys did all the time) and around me and not trow the damn shovel in each other's garden.

DaveN, I'm sorry to say this but you have a quick finger. I don't know you personally, so I can not comment more than that.

Back on topic: No matter what we will do, we can only adapt. Aaron (Wall), do you agree with me, that no matter what YOU will do in the next 2 years, you can only adapt to Google, and not change (major) aspects of the way the corporate piece moves ?

It's in vain. We try to show people this and that, but what we really do is useless, in the big picture. The road ahead will anyway be built using the exact same specifications that were initially.

I think this is the worst comment I ever made in my life on any industry website.

Other than that, I hate people with which I keep contact every day, to disagree in such a manner. We are all in the same pot dudes.

Aaron

I have no problem paying for the clicks, however paying $5 or $10 off the bat with no history is price gouging plain and simple. If google were really concerned about quality deactivate my ad until I change it and make it better, and not giving me the option to show the exact same low quality ad because I've got deep pockets.

Hey ladies can we stop

Hey ladies can we stop fighting and agree Google sucks?

its a dog eat dog world

>>Michael - If a person can not afford to buy links should his website have less value?

that's 2006 search engine life i'm afraid, google started that ball rolling in the first place and we just play the game doing whatever you have to do to stay ahead in this dog eat dog world

thats ok cristiaan

I don't know you either, and yes I have a quick finger thats true, but in fairness I have held off editing or banning seobuzzbox from Threadwatch .. so maybe not that quick hey ..

DaveN

It's up to the editors to

It's up to the editors to decide each action about users here.

I'm just saying that we have enough problems desciphering the damn Google problems, and other stuff. We don't need other useless arguments.

Aaron Wall writes and finds interesting stuff all the time. Aaron Pratt interviews the guys who find those interesting stuff. I learned from both. That's my final thought.

Because I didn't judged you for a silly swear word you pointed me once (maybe you were entitled to), in the WMR chatroom.. We are all unique and different and should be a little more patient with the guy next door.

I'm sick of these stupid comments I make ..

My final take on the present issue. No matter what filters Google will implement, arbitrage will always be with us, PR will always be sold (even if the PR will stop beeing showed in the future to the general public, eg. toolbar, we will always find tools to aproximate the value, and we'll keep on selling it).

It's a natural flow on the web.

And if you are really really really smart (like me :P), you CAN rank without investing so much resources into links. You just have to have a lot of dedication.

On a more general and widespread matter, yes :

If a person can not afford to buy links his website will have less value, unless he figures out ways to get them free.

There are a lot of linkbait and link development articles on the web. If one goes to at least a couple of them (Patrick from Textlinkads has a great collection of website in their Wiki), it's impossible NOT to see some results.

if you can't afford don't play

>>Michael - If a person can not afford to buy links should his website have less value?

In Googles eyes links are endorsements,

real life.... when Police Sunglasses signed David Beckham, there sales went through the roof, The sponsorship agreement with Police (sunglasses), is due to end soon. But I bet there is another sunglasses company that is willing to buy that endorsement ! .. just like high Pr sites endorsing small sites for a fee ..

DaveN

[OT] DOn't Ban :O

We need a resident troll; esp. such a mild one who only causes a ruckuss every two weeks :-) << mho

You talking about buzzbox ?

You talking about buzzbox ?

Schmidtt: Sell sell sell Your Goog!

http://www.secform4.com/insider/showhistory.php?cik=GOOG

I think it's fucking crazy that you can create a company that generates under 1.2 billion a year in profit, that has been making around that for nearly 3 years, where the insiders can cash out over 7 Billion dollars in little over a year.

That's just theft. Distributed theft. If it's illegal for me to take a single cent from a million people, why is it not illegal for execs to take $100s from foolish investors?

ZERO BUY_BACKS people!! How much faith must these people have in this company? Let's just fraud more and more and more so we can get another $100 billion and then we can donate it to the Illuminati; all while building the Panopticon and destroying the middle class *and* the Internet as well [/satire] (and destroy freedom movements in China [::glares at YHOO::])

We're going in the wrong

We're going in the wrong direction here. My opinion.

Expertu said: “I think

Expertu said: “I think this is the worst comment I ever made in my life on any industry website.”

Nope it is your best because you have grown a set of balls and are not afraid to agree AND disagree at the same time.

David said: “but in fairness I have held off editing or banning seobuzzbox from Threadwatch .. so maybe not that quick hey”

Thanks for not banning me but what would be my infraction?

When you said "Threadwatch doesn't out spammers" all I wanted was for you to clarify but you didn’t David.

seobuzzbox

Thanks for not banning me but what would be my infraction? ..

Do I really need a reason, the same has Google bans it's will be in the TOC's :) ..

When you said "Threadwatch doesn't out spammers" all I wanted was for you to clarify but you didn’t David.

I edited a Guy that dropped a load of Spam urls that where ranking in Google .. the tagline went something like .. well look at these .. I thought it was wrong to out a spammer .. yep you may know cry Double Standards .. you outed BMW .. my arguement was and still is if you have a "Client" like BMW you don't have to spam to rank ... in fact the people that did the seo on that site where not Blackhat spammers .. they where idiots !

DaveN

Why shouldn't Google fight link spam?

Sure, the stuff about fraud clicks being self-correcting was stupid, but how do you figure that makes Google being concerned about link spam being less than honest? Spammers buy up links to get their sites ranked in the search engines, and if Google (and the others for that matter) do nothing about it, it will hurt their business. There's no Constitutional right to your fair share of Google juice for the PR9 link you paid $1000 for last month. What's really stupid is the way link spammers go about buying links to their sites. If anyone would like to see Google be less concerned about buying links, then stop buying links based on how it helps you in Google and start buying links for the value of the traffic it will deliver directly.

Google's hypocrisy is

Google's hypocrisy is outweighed only by their arrogance and greed.

Eric Schmidt said it best when Page and Brin argued over who would get a California King bed in the new Google "Party Jet". He said, simply: "You both can have it.". That's right. It's a world of unlimited abundance for the Google founders.

Too bad the abundant attitude wasn't overflowing to the SERPs.

Peter

Just for fun, set a budget of $20,000 then buy links from really bad sites the sort you can spot are selling links a mile away.. but here is the fun part .. get the deal so you can change the url when ever you want... then link buy all your competitors out of the serps above you ..

DaveN

Signs of Cracking

Yes, this stuff about the jet sounds to me like they may be showing signs they can't handle their success. It's a crazy world at the top!

Dave

I wasn't questioning whether or not it works.

Hey Aaron, Is the virtual

Hey Aaron,

Is the virtual snack & beer franchise for Threadwatch still available? Bet there's lots of people who'd like another cold beer while they're watching this....

:)

Where is the hypocrasy?

Where is the hypocrasy?

Is there a self correcting mechanism for natural serps? Well, only if you think that the best engineer should rank top.

No matter what we will do,

No matter what we will do, we can only adapt. Aaron (Wall), do you agree with me, that no matter what YOU will do in the next 2 years, you can only adapt to Google, and not change (major) aspects of the way the corporate piece moves ?

It's in vain. We try to show people this and that, but what we really do is useless, in the big picture. The road ahead will anyway be built using the exact same specifications that were initially.

I don't agree with that at all. I think each of us can have a profound effect on the web. The web is not about submitting to arbitrary authority figures.

As I recall Google changed their link: function after they spoke with one of the moderators here.

Where is the hypocrasy?

they state that the inefficiencies in their own market are self correcting then on other markets they not only set up their algorithms (which is totally fair and reasonable and expected) but also try to heavily manipulate others into buying into their way of thinking. it is not surprising, it is just hypocritical is all.

Michael - If a person can

Michael - If a person can not afford to buy links should his website have less value?

The person who can't afford to buy links often has the advantage. When the option (resources) of buying links is available, many times it leads to lack of creativity on the marketing/linkbaiting side as those things are no longer necessary to rank.

So, it's not whether or not a person can afford to buy links (as so many people have cried before you) it's a matter of whether or not they have the resources to rank. Those resources can be as innexpensive as one person's time, or as expensive as hiring a team of rocket surgeons or brain scientists ;-) to come up with linkbait like you've never seen.

RE: Afford to buy links

That same person would also have the resources to buy Adwords, and Google wants that money instead of other sites.

nuevojefe said: "The person

nuevojefe said: "The person who can't afford to buy links often has the advantage. When the option (resources) of buying links is available, many times it leads to lack of creativity on the marketing/linkbaiting side as those things are no longer necessary to rank."

So why did Aaron Wall buy the PR9? Is he lacking creativity, SEO skills or is it more of a political statement? Is the belief that paid link cocitations not passing reputation a myth? I seriously want to know the answer to many of these things because it is getting frustrating and tedious out here.

Why buy a link?

First off I don't blindly subscribe to what google says publically, its well documented that often what they say and what they do are not the same. So while it may be generally true bought/exchanged links may have been devalued during BugDaddy the inherint value of the link still exists. Aaron is selling a SEO book, a link from a PR9 site that deals primarily with writing websites is a great link whether or not google gives it the usual PR credit or not. Any good link like that can only drive traffic and may even work with other search engines which in turn drive traffic, and some of that traffic may be webmasters who in turn do provide a valuable one-way, free, natural link to the site.

With all that in mind, I still say any and all links are good. Let the google ranking do what it does but if you look for links based on traffic, the SE ranking will follow.

Is he lacking creativity,

Is he lacking creativity, SEO skills or is it more of a political statement?

Buying links and the things you (and I) mention are not mutually exclusive.

I seriously want to know the answer to many of these things because it is getting frustrating and tedious out here.

I'm sure you do. I'm sure a hundred thousand other webmaster/SEOs do too. Take a breather and don't post out of frustration, etc. It generally doesn't result in what you're hoping to achieve.

So why did Aaron Wall buy the PR9

and I get the feeling, that you real don't know !

DaveN

Handbags

Handbags at dawn ladies.

I bought a few PR9s once.

I bought a few PR9s once. Reckon you wasted your money aaron. It never passed a bean of pagerank to my other sites.

It is always amusing how

It is always amusing how others answer for those who are being asked the question. You know what they say about silence.

Silence

I don't have a dog in this hunt, but I'd ignore a classless move like that, too, Aaron Lite. Remember, all those links to seobuzzbox were "votes" of reputation to you. The more you keep talking, methinks the more links you are losing. Just a thought. Might want to play the Silent Game yourself.

You know what they say about

You know what they say about silence.

No, What do they say about silence ?

According to Wikipedia

Silence is Sexy, who knew?

Silence...

If you intend to ask a question, to which any other answer besides that of the person you addressed it to is not wanted, you have better options. Try PM or e-mail.

Silence starts by you not posing a question at all if you really want to be "golden".

scoreboard - Here are a few

scoreboard - Here are a few responses I got.

1.) I didn't know w3.org sold links.... Is there a sign up page? Anyhow, I enjoy your posts.

2.) seobuzzbox, just wanted to say I'm with you in about everything you're saying. Not many people want to hear it on the forums though. I think most all of the SEO "personalities", from (names left out to not piss people off any further) are spammers so it's tough to have a real discussion about the issue.

3.) I just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that I appreciate your thoughtful and respectful posts here on TW.

Scoreboard said: "Remember, all those links to seobuzzbox were "votes" of reputation to you. The more you keep talking, methinks the more links you are losing."

No, I am actually gaining links and meeting all kinds of smart webmasters who have learned to roll with the punches and adapt.

I still would love to learn what the real value of a paid link is today. It really was a harmless question and was common knowledge but yeah, guess you might see it as an "outing", sorry.

Nice when you can penalize competition for competing

Google draws traffic by endorsing websites (serps) and earns money selling links (adwords et al). Google is defending that turf by penalizing websites for endorsing other websites and for selling/buying links.

Google is acutely aware that its greatest competition is not Yahoo or Microsoft or Ask. If each webmaster would accept the responsibility to judiciously endorse other websites and participate in a traffic market priced upon the merit of actual visitors, Google's position of endorsing websites and selling paid links would erode in direct proportion with the number of such webmasters. They would lose the click fraud kicker too.

At this point, Google is more aware of that than the world of webmasters seem to be.

They can introject controls like BD slowing the crawl of websites that buy sell and exchange links and they can obfuscate their motive for such control in the name of better serps and anti-spam or any serendipitous distraction of logical currency. They are augmenting this ploy by hiring humans to root out strongly competing websites that the algorithm fails to discover. I'll say it for them: hand edits are made to improve the serps.

Instead of competing with a world of webmasters, manipulating their behavior is an easier option. It also has the value of staving off the erosion of that market position so vital to their enterprise. So long as they hold a big traffic lever, they can slow the crawl or hand edit a penalty against seriously competing sites. They can encourage those sites to use adwords and accept the click fraud tax. At very least, refrain from endorsing other websites and buying selling links unless that buying selling is done via adwords adsense.

This surreptitious ploy of control could protect their position and their bottom line for years to come.

Unless a few million webmasters decide otherwise.

So why continue ?

>>It really was a harmless question and was common knowledge but yeah, guess you might see it as an "outing"

so why did you continue then, See post 3 above

As I recall Google changed

As I recall Google changed their link: function after they spoke with one of the moderators here.

This was a milestone (and a pretty useless change, compared to all the other things that need/should be improved/fixed). As are some other WMW moderators (or other key players) who continuosly discuss issues and workarounds with Google representatives at SES or Pubcon alike conferences and not only.

You (and others) already have an established value and brand (reputation, recognition, whatever) on the Web and in the search engine industry. That makes you have a premium spot in G, Y, M's eyes.

And we all know that some of the members here went pubs, drank beer etc with Matt Cutts or other key industry players. Some are friends, some just discussion pons.

What about the rest of 2 billion web users ? What can they influence ?

Expertu ..

What about the rest of 2 billion web users ? What can they influence ? - I think that the Search engines have made massive leaps in webmaster communications .. really don't you

DaveN

drank beer etc with Matt Cutts, - you forgot, chatted with sergey and larry for over an hour BTW ;)

>> chatted with sergey and

>> chatted with sergey and larry for over an hour BTW ;)

DAMN ... :P

No, Dave, they haven't

"I think that the Search engines have made massive leaps in webmaster communications .. really don't you"

How so? I hope you don't equate Matt making friends with a bunch of SEOs as the same as reaching out to webmasters. The official blogs are the best thing I've seen in this regard, but overall I wouldn't consider the search engines as making much effort to improve webmaster communications.

As I've told Matt before, I think he'd see far better returns on his efforts to combat the spam if he spent less time being chummy with the spammers and more time working with the quality webmasters to help them bring the good content up in the results. I think he's just following the path of least resistance.

I think most all of the SEO

I think most all of the SEO "personalities", from (names left out to not piss people off any further) are spammers so it's tough to have a real discussion about the issue.

Actually this is what gives the discussion value. It seems most of the Cuttletts denote spamming as a no talent endeavour, when in fact those who know how to beat the system do so because they know the system best.

Googles system is flawed and

Googles system is flawed and taking advantage of that is not spamming, its knowing the system. Does a paid for link from a PR9 w3 site actually denote a site is better more than an actual review on a persons blog where they actually found the site useful? hell no, but it does hold a lot more value in googles eyes. That's not the webmasters fault, its googles, and publishing a site, and getting visitors is not spam, it is what it is, publishing. Sending 5M unsolicited emails is spam, writing content either by hand or with a script is just publishing.

Someone that generates a directory site on a 1000 keywords doesn't offend me. Maybe they didnt write it, but they did organize it so that it gained some value. I'm really sick of these SEO blogs that just throw up an anchor sentence, "See what danny sullivan is saying about blah blah over here" or "WMW is really talking about this blah blah"

Bottom line, a link paid for shouldn't carry less value and a link from the-little-ole-lady-in-pasedena who bought an ebook and wanted to tell others about it should have some value. The fact that a paid link needs to be "outed" before google can do anything about it, shows how flawed the system really is, which is just good news for those who know the system.

Well said Kirby.

Well said Kirby.

petertdavis ..

one word ... GOOGLE SITEMAPS .. opened so many doors to webmasters..

I bet I get more from sitemaps than Matt ..

I guess the 6 million dollar question is ..... WHAT INFORMATION WOULD YOU GIVE GOOGLE !! or Want from Google ?

DaveN

johnweb

well said !

a link is a link once you see that it makes no difference .. it's down to google to workout what to trust and what not to trust .. not the BH's and not the WH's..

the system today works on linkage, well a certain type of link, google will have you believe that paid links are evil, cross links are evil, link exchange programs are evil, blogs and guestbook links are evil.. in fact any link is evil in the wrong hands..

the best links are those which you get for free for sure... what is the next best thing thats the question ;)

DaveN
ps I have you read my seo blog .., lol JK

DaveN Blog

I have read your blog, often. Many of the contributers here are daily reading for me.

good point Dave

Good point about sitemaps. I do get asked about that several times a week. But, since I don't consider it my job to inform people about Google's sitemaps I've been fairly brief in my responses. So, I guess a great 6 million dollar question would be to ask Google to do more in getting the word out about Sitemaps and helping more webmasters and not just SEOs, to use it.

Hey, for some reason I can't

Hey, for some reason I can't reply to comments in here, wanted to try again and ask if I can have the nofollow in my signature removed, a joke, gheesh calm down.

I love sitemaps, sometimes I just sit there staring at my stats and dreaming of a better day...hehe

It's nice to have DaveN loosening up in here, he really does have a lot to contribute if we could just get him to slow down his posts. I can just see it in my mind, he has 16 monitors and 100 projects going on, "Oh he says, there is the d*ck seobuzzbox again" and he comes in and screams out a post and trips over a few keys, then gets back to his projects. I say to myself "What did he say"??? and ask him to clarify not realizing it is much like link baiting even though it is not the case.

I am a bit autistic, bare with me as I try to become more human.

seobuzzbox, let it go. It's

seobuzzbox, let it go. It's tired.

one word ... GOOGLE SITEMAPS ..

:-)

The more google bashes something the more you should look into it most of the time. Then, look at what mutations of that don't (possibly) have footprints.

and...

Yet another thread is turned around to discuss sitemaps in a positive light.

Sitemaps is one of the only ways Google has to tie an individual to a site. Until there is more transparency at Google (transparency that can be trusted), I don't understand the willingness to hand over more data Google will use to make assumptions that take profits away from you, and which it will not acknowledge.

The SEOs are not spammers. They are competitive webmasters, and sometimes greed corrupts. Those of you calling TW regulars spammers need to take another look at Google's insider trading and their corporate balance sheet. You are either a pawn or you are competing. For the elite athlete, second place is the first loser. It doesn't mean that every athlete views himself as a loser, does it?

Leaders lead. Whiners whine. Sheep follow. Google takes from them all. Nothing new here.

John, Some valid points. It

John,

Some valid points. It really boils down to what the value of seeing those stats is to each individual and for each individual site.

Quid pro quo.

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