Monday, October 08, 2007

Is Google’s practice of penalizing paid links a restraint of trade?

Official: Selling Paid Links Can Hurt Your PageRank Or Rankings On Google

More and more, I've been seeing people wondering if they've lost traffic on Google because they were detected to be selling paid links. However, Google's generally never penalized sites for link selling. If spotted, in most cases all Google would do is prevent links from a site or pages in a site from passing PageRank. Now that's changing. If you sell links, Google might indeed penalize your site plus drop the PageRank score that shows for it. ...

...Last week, I noticed the Stanford Daily had dropped from when I wrote the above in April to PR7 today. That's a huge drop that has no apparent reason to happen. Some others were also reporting PageRank drops. So I pinged Google, and they confirmed that PageRank scores are being lowered for some sites that sell links.

With traditional sources of advertising drying up, it is crucial that news organizations be able to tap into online advertising revenue
. Considering that Google earns tremendous wealth by aggregating content from online news organizations, it is outrageous that they would use their power as the premiere search engine to discourage advertisers from patronizing news organizations.

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