Google Strict Penalty on Sites that Sell Links To Pass PageRank

Note: This post is recommended to all readers and must be read word by word for your own benefit.

Were you fortunate enough to achieve a PageRank 3, 4 or higher? If yes then you might be receiving several emails in your inbox from link building companies that wish to pay you up to $100-$200 for a link on your blog post. I am sure its excites you greatly when you find such a great opportunity to make some free bucksBut wait! Google's web spam Head Matt Cutts has just announced on Webmaster Central blog last Friday that a strict action will be taken against websites and blogs that sell links for the sole purpose of manipulating Search engine ranking and passing PageRank juice.

About Google's penalty on selling links

Ever since 2003, when the practise was relatively less rampant, Google has been warning against selling links in its quality guidelines. Now you have to realize, that the whole reason Google controls more than 65% of the search game is that the results returned are fairly accurate. End users want accuracy. And if they don't get it, they'll have no problem migrating to another search engine. So it is only fair that Google doesn't want you to sell links, because doing so would put Google's business in jeopardy.

Google Penalty

When you sell links to pass PageRank, you can hurt the accuracy of search results. False popularity from links that are not based on merit hurt the integrity of search results. Also, gaining an unfair advantage is uncalled for, especially when there are so many other hard workers toiling for their websites. Hence, Google reserves the right to protect its index by 'banishing', or penalizing websites that violate its terms and conditions. This, in fact, isn't a Google related problem. Every major search engine would want to get rid of this practise for the best of its interest.

Does this effect the PR process?

A very frequent question asked in this regard is, whether or not this practise effects the PR of some websites? Well, the answer is, yes it does. If you saw a website getting a low PR, even if it had good content, then more often than not, such websites are selling links, which is not easily observable to the casual observer. But search algorithms can decide within seconds when a link is paid. And hence, such sites get rewarded accordingly.

So, what should you do in such cases?

So what should you do about these paid links? There's a very simple solution. Links like these need to be pointed out via a rel="nofollow" tag. This tag tells the search engines not to follow this link. Usually, link buyers won't buy nofollow links. If they don't, then there's not much you can do about it, unless you want to give them a link, and end up getting penalized in the process.

What to do about paid links?

But what to do if you get penalized? Luckily, Google gives you some wriggle space to get yourself out of sticky situations like this. You can file a reconsideration request to Google. But first, make sure you meet all of Google's quality guidelines, and remove all paid links before applying. Check out more by following the link below, where we have discussed this topic in great length.

How about paid ads?

Google is not against paid advertisments. You can totally use this method of linking to get targeted traffic. In fact, Google itself supports the practise, and even approves of other non-Google advertising programs. All it asks for is that you disclose such links to search engines.

Now bear in mind that Google is not trying to tell people how to run their website, nor are they cracking down on forms of advertisments. Just so long as you follow their quality guidelines, you will be fine, and will stay safe in Google's index.

So do you know any site that you think might be selling or buying links? You can prevent them from getting an unfair advantage by reporting paid links here. You can also find more information on paid links by following this link to Matt Cutt's website, where he answers more frequently asked questions. And as always, you cn ask us too. Cheers :)

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