Google's Math, Hidden Links = Paid Links = Spam

Apr 16, 2007 | 4,320 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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Is Google trying to dictate the terms to webmasters? The search engine world has faced a mini-hurricane after Matt Cutts asked webmasters to report paid links in the authenticated spam report form at Google’s webmaster console. Matt asked to mention “paidlink” in the text area and provide information as:

Something like “ is selling links; here’s a page on that demonstrates that” or “ is buying links. You can see the paid links on” is all you need to mention.  

This was hint enough that paidlinks have started to be seen as spam activity. The request by Matt Cutts was part of his hidden links trilogy 1, 2 and 3. In the first post, he starts by equating paid links with hidden links. In the second, he points out sponsored themes are of the same ilk. In a logical conclusion to the rational of the first two posts, he comes out calling for paidlinks to be reported as spam.

While many think that Google is just asking for information which might be used to make web a better place, thank God, not all would agree. The deluge of comments to Matt’s posts is a fair indicator of the confusion.

On of the comments read:

What is Google going to actually do to people who buy & sell links and forget to use nofollow? Penalties? Devaluing of all their links? Discounting of only the paid links?
I think we need to know where this is heading before people start firing off reports on who just paid $10 for a blogroll link.


Cool! I will quickly buy some links for my competitors on text link ads and then denounce him. Good idea, thanks Matt.

This one is by Andy Beal: 

What’s next? Asking us to share our Google Analytics data so you can weed out the pages that users don’t find interesting?
With all due respect, this is going too far!

This is simple and to the point:

I have submitted my site to a few paid directories am I gonna get banned coz of that
I read at google itself that directory submission was alright and it did say submit to yahoo directory which is paid aswell and I can still see that text there .

Matt Cutts has responded by saying that “there’s absolutely no problem with selling links for traffic (as opposed to PageRank).”

Does that mean that the days paid links as rank boosters are over?
Does that mean that the days of Text Link Ads, EnGadget and Google’s very own AdWords program are over?

Why? What is a better example of paid link that Google’s advertisements? Is web going to be a better place, as good a place as communist China?

More opinions: Chris Winfield, Aaron Wall, Michael Gray

4.thumbnail Googles Math, Hidden Links = Paid Links = Spam

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
4.thumbnail Googles Math, Hidden Links = Paid Links = Spam
4.thumbnail Googles Math, Hidden Links = Paid Links = Spam