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Google Penalizes Newsday.com For Selling Links

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According to Search Engine Roundtable, a popular media website Newsday.com, has been hit hard in terms of PageRank, as Google has specified that the website in question has been penalized for selling links that pass PageRank and for violating Google Webmaster Guidelines. However, as of now, as I can see, the toolbar PageRank for Newsday.com is 8/10 and not 5/10.

Recently, a Webmaster had reported this development at Google Groups, to which Google had this to say, "Thanks for your post. I’m glad you’re posting here in the Webmaster Help Group, because the discussions here help educate webmasters around the globe. I just checked over Newsday.com and compared it to the most recent version of Newsday.com that was indexed by Archive.org: http://web.archive.org/web/20070829225145/http://www.newsday.com/

Scrolling near the bottom of what your site used to look like, I see the following "Featured Links": Mesothelioma Lawyer Lung Cancer Personal Injury Law Firm Buy Mets Tickets Buy Yankees Tickets Wicked Tickets Hamptons Travel

Please remember that participating in link schemes intended to manipulate search engine rankings, including buying or selling links that pass PageRank, is a violation of our Webmaster Guidelines, and may impact your site’s standing in Google: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=66356

If you believe your site was at one point in violation of the Webmaster Guidelines, and you have since made changes to your site so that it fits within the guidelines, you can request reconsideration of your site by following the steps here: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35843"

Here’s what’s happening at the Google Groups Thread:

"This one has me stumped.

Newsday.com is the only site amongst the major Tribune newspaper sites that has a Toolbar PageRank of a 5 versus an 8. I have asked a few Google employees to help me out but they state the standard response of ‘ask your question in Google Webmaster Help Group’.

So . . . here I am.

  1. Yes, I know TB PR doesn’t matter. I’ve tried to explain this to Newsday but . . . they still want an answer.
  2. Yes, I tried #1 above several times. But they still want an answer.
  3. I did a site review and I don’t see anything materially different than what is on the other Tribune newspaper sites (certainly nothing that would warrant this much of a delta).
  4. There are no warnings in G’Webmaster Tools.
  5. We are pearly white in regards to paid links (we don’t need to buy them and we don’t sell them).
  6. The registrar information is slightly different than the other domains but I doubt that would have an impact.

What am I missing? I’d prefer a Google Employee response but will take responses from any SEO that can figure this out.

Brent D. Payne
SEO Manager
Tribune "

To this, Googler Reid commented:

"Hi Brent,

Thanks for your post. I’m glad you’re posting here in the Webmaster Help Group, because the discussions here help educate webmasters around the globe. I just checked over newsday.com and compared it to the most recent version of newsday.com that was indexed by Archive.org:
http://web.archive.org/web/20070829225145/http://www.newsday.com/

Scrolling near the bottom of what your site used to look like, I see the following "Featured Links":
Mesothelioma Lawyer Lung Cancer Personal Injury Law Firm Buy Mets Tickets Buy Yankees Tickets Wicked Tickets Hamptons Travel

Please remember that participating in link schemes intended to manipulate search engine rankings, including buying or selling links that pass PageRank, is a violation of our Webmaster Guidelines, and may impact your site’s standing in Google:
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=66356

If you believe your site was at one point in violation of the
Webmaster Guidelines, and you have since made changes to your site so
that it fits within the guidelines, you can request reconsideration of
your site by following the steps here:
http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35843

Best,
Reid"

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Google Penalizes Newsday.com For Selling Links
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About Navneet Kaushal
Nav is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, a premier search engine company known for its assured SEO service, web design and development, copywriting and full time SEO professionals.

Navneet has wide experience in natural search engine optimization, internet marketing and PPC campaigns. He is a prolific writer and his articles can be found in the "Best Articles" section of many websites and article banks. As a search engine analyst , he has over 9 years of experience and his knowledge is in application here. WebProNews Writer
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