Google Penalises Google for Paid Links

One thing that is a hot topic at the moment is paid links. Google has said for a few years that it frowns on the idea of paid links.

This also includes paid posts that include links (I suppose essentially the same thing).

Recently Google Japan was found to be doing just that and was penalised for it, dropping 4 PR points as a result of the penalty.

Matt Cutts twittered “ PageRank is now ~5 instead of ~9. I expect that to remain for a while.” He expresses Google’s deep remorse and apologises on the company’s behalf in this video.

A few things stand out for me here:

  1. Google applies penalties across the board, BMW fell foul of Google a few years ago and was lost off the indexes for some time.
  2. If you have a PR of 4 or less, look out, if you are looking at this technique to build your ranking.
  3. Ignoring the webmaster guidelines (Which Matt says is evolving all the time) can be fatal for these grey and black hat techniques.

In another video, Matt argues against people who think Google are trying to tell webmasters what to do on their site. He points out that webmasters can do what they like, but so can Google.

With Google having over 90% share in the search market in NZ, you have to be careful to follow the guidelines or face the consequences.