Anyone who is into link building knows that Google has declared a war of sorts on paid links, looking to punish both those who buy and sell them. Vanessa Fox has put together an excellent review of the “paid links war” as it unfolded in 2007.
With that review, she wanted to learn how the other three major search engines felt about paid links. At the writing of her post, Yahoo and MSN failed to comment. Ask did and their response was quite refreshing.
Here is what they had to say…
Trading links is a common practice on the Internet. Our primary focus is to distinguish high quality links from low quality ones regardless of whether they are paid or organic. We are not interested in penalizing sites that buy or sell links as long as the links are relevant and useful for searchers. And, we believe the ExpertRank algorithm is optimized to help identify quality links from those that would not contribute to the end-user experience.
If only Google be more like Ask. It is obvious that Google’s algorithm is not “smart enough” to find all the paid links where Ask feels that theirs is.
So instead of trying to make their algorithm better, they use their market share to bully webmasters into helping them to fix what they feel is a problem. Oh how I wish Ask could increase their market share from the 5% or so they currently hold compared to Google’s more than 50%.
I agree with that completely. I actually like using Ask over Google when searching. Unfortunately, searching Google is a requirement as no clients are interested in being on the first page of Ask, at this time.
I am actually agree with Google position about paid links.
WIth link maket it looks more like “rich getting richer”.
Completely agree! I don’t understand why google always changes all of the rules
Has anyone ever used Nemeas to help create profitable websites?
I am not sure about their solution because will mean the richer guys will get the top spots on their searches.
Google started the game then decided to start changing the rules… moving the goal posts. Hey, when you have a slice of the market that large you can do what ever you want.
Ask knowing that they aren’t going to be able to get the webmasters to jump and dance with their 5% of the market simply made a better engine.
Clients only know Google. When they want a “first page ranking” they really want a top 10 Google Ranking. Good to Google for coming up with a business model and product that is so well marketed. But they have sold a lemon.
That leaves us with 2 options: 1. make lemonade or 2. ask for the tequila and the salt.
By punishing those who buy or sell links to get a higher ranking, Google is attacking one of the fundamental elements of the free market. However, that element in many cases is one of the fundamental problems with the free market — especially in this case, where the saturation of big-budget businesses in the SERPs is not necessarily (and usually not) beneficial to the end user.
Maybe the solution is not just punishing the link buyers and sellers, but re-evaluating how much weight is put on the number of links.