Google Slams Paid Links? Good or Bad?

    October 25, 2007

Another under-the-radar-of-the-real-world blog firestorm erupted yesterday over high profile page rank drops. Google dropped visible PR of many blogs and mainstream news sites presumably as a penalty for selling links.

Google Slams Paid Links? Good or Bad?
Google Slams Paid Links? Good or Bad?

No one except Google really knows for sure why PR dropped for these sites but it certainly looks like an extension of September’s paid directory massacre. This time Google targeted some well-known sites in the search marketing world and mainstream news too.

Sites include niche blogs like Search Engine Journal, Search Engine RoundtableProBlogger and nationally prominent sites such as and (More here)

>>> Should Google penalize sites that sell links? Comment here.

The reactions around the web fall into four categories. Again… these are not my opinions, just a synopsis of what I have read from hundreds of comments in blogs, articles and forums.

1. Google Is Justified
This should come as no surprise, after all Google warned us. Paid links hit at the core of why we all love Google … its quality search results. Google is perfectly justified in taking steps to protect the integrity of its SERPS.

Lowering page rank of those who sell links levels the playing field for all of us who don’t sell them. It is Google’s search engine and they can do what they want in order to keep it great and even improve it. Your Thoughts…

2. Google is Out of Control
Google sells links and should not penalize others for selling them too. Why should Google be able to tell me how to link and whom to link to? What is wrong with linking and why should I have to put a no-follow tag on a link when I genuinely like a site? How does their algorithm know that I received payment for a link?

Google is simply out to crush competition. Don’t they remember their roots? It was the webmasters who were the first adopters of Google’s search engine. It was us who made you rich Google!  One blogger called it a Google "bitch slap!" Is Google retaliating against me for criticizing them in my blog?

Is Google the next Microsoft? All of us lowly web peasants should ask forgiveness from our beloved Internet King! Google, you are a competitive monopoly who should realize that your actions impact the livelihoods of thousands of Internet entrepreneurs. Agree?

3. Why Me? Please Give My PR Back!

I don’t sell links anymore. I have removed all the links that look like they are paid. Now please reinstate my page rank! I want to thank all of my sponsors and I hope that they will keep this PR drop in perspective and continue advertising with me. I really don’t sell links, I am simply thanking my friends and partners for their support.

I am sorry I did not take your prior statements more seriously. Google, I thought that you were talking about link farms, not quality content sites like mine that sell a link here and there. I literally spend 60 hours a week writing unique content and I have now removed the links that look suspicious.

I was just kidding when I suggested my page rank loss was because I stopped using Adsense. I have written you asking for my page rank back and I am waiting for your response. Will pleading help?

4. Denial and Deflection
This is only part of an overall page rank adjustment. When the dust settles my page rank will be back to normal. No one should pay attention to PR anyways, it has nothing to do with the value of your content.

Google is doing this for show, it is not at all reflective of their internal page rank used in the search algorithm. My pageviews have gone up, not down since my page rank was lowered. I didn’t lose any sleep over it and you shouldn’t either! Do you agree?
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Is Google justified with lowering the page rank of sites that sell links because it messes with their search results? Or, is Google out of control and simply protecting its turf as some have suggested? Should Google quickly reinstate the PR of sites that stop selling links? Does page rank really matter anymore? Will a lower page rank eventually cause a drop in traffic?

Please give us and our readers your thoughts and comments….