Link Farms – Beware, Google is Aware

Back in October 2007 Google had shaken the Internet community by stripping reputable sites including Forbes.com, SFGate.com and WashingtonPost.com of their PageRank as they knew it – from 7 to 5. Why should the webmasters around the world be concerned with such a news? Perhaps because knowing by some estimates that Google handles approximately 68% of the entire Search market share, a dropping PR simply means lost revenue .

While some can afford to speculate about the fairness of Google’s actions we endeavored to make a research on some theories behind the drops.

So. The algorithm got changed. Why? and What’s changed?

While Google’s engineers are out of reach and never send out any “SEO Memos” to web marketing firms we reached out to blogs to find out what other search engine optimization experts think on the subject.

Someone proposed a theory that Google is punishing the websites trying to get on the action in the business of selling sponsored links. Think about this, Google collects millions of dollars every month by selling sponsored links on its Search Engine Results Pages. Through its content network and Google Adwords program, Google delivers these sponsored links to actual websites that are subscribed to such services. Why would webmasters want to install Google Adwords and earn a buck per click for “related ads” picked by the Google when they can sell space for a text link of their choice on their website for $50 bucks per month or more? Why is it against Google’s guidelines to sell links on your website while purchasing the sponsored links from Google isn’t? Although this sounds very convincing, in addition to Google’s brilliant engineers, one would expect the same effectiveness from its legal team. Punishing websites selling links directly for such a reason would certainly spike anti-trust problems which would immediately draw some unnecessary negative attention to the major SE.

What is really going on?

If you will look at Google’s history, its mission and guidelines you will quickly realize that Google is all about the value of the results. The more the result is relevant to the searched query, the better value it carries. Of course it’s not that simple. Forbes.com and WashingtonPost.com are most certainly great sources of information. Nevertheless, one of the bloggers out there, Andy Beard, reminds us of Google’s Guidelines which frown upon various “schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank”. Such schemes are used by some large networks out there to use the PR of one of their websites to increase another.

Shall this be the case, this might not be such a bad thing. After all, scams such as that mostly harm the young, developing websites and small businesses which have to put more effort to battle sites out there that sometimes should never have made it to the top in the first place.

What do you think about this?

We welcome your comments.

Article by SuperSeoMan.com