PageRank Paid Links Smack Down Update

Part of the Kenno's Blog series.
By Ken Brown
Editor, You Can Learn Series
December 9, 2007

I couldn't stop laughing on Tuesday after reading a post by randfish on his SEOmoz blog. He has come up with a solution to the paid links debate. Seriously, it was the dumbest idea I have read about. Why do I think it is so dumb? Because it is still paid links.

Rand's great idea is to create something called Sponsored Editorials. According to Rand, webmasters would pay money to have someone review their website. The people reviewing the website can do one of three things.
  1. Not review the website and keep the money
  2. Review the website, and if they like it they link with a nofollow tag.
  3. Review the website and if they LOVE it then they link with dofollow.
Now in Rand's defense I have a lot of respect for him. He is 10 times the business man I am. His knowledge on SEO is greater than my own. He has accomplished in two years many times more than I have accomplished in four. So, I hope he doesn't take this personally. I apologize if this offends him.

Google is Smacking Down Paid Text Link Ads

Isn't Google smacking down Paid Text Links? Isn't this a paid link? Yes, it is. Whether you call it editorial voting, sponsored editorials, paid reviews or whatever; in the end it is still a paid link. This is the same thing as USA Today website having something called a marketplace. What is the marketplace? A paid link. Does Google think that USAToday has nothing better to do than link to just some of the millions of companies out in the world wide web? Ha.

Web Directories Don't Have Nofollow

I was surfing the web today and began looking at web directories. Guess what? There are still web directories that don't have nofollow on their links. And yet they are still getting a nice green PR image on their Google toolbar.

How about a Link Exchange Program?

Do you want to skate around the paid links issue? Would you agree that if you paid a company to run a link exchange program for you that those links really are paid links? Did someone come to your website and like the content or want to link to a specific article? Then they placed your link on their website. No, it is a paid link. If you have the money you can still buy your way to high Page Rank. Because Google is very selective about how they are applying the paid links smack down. Google is not smacking link exchange programs.

I receive on average 3 requests for link exchanges everyday. Many weeks I will receive 2 or 3 from the same link exchange company for their different clients. Well, I don't exchange links any more. I am willing to link to an article of interest. An article that so excites me that I want to include it in one of my articles. All of my paid links now get the rel=nofollow. I am sorry advertisers. I bow to the masters of Google.

Page Rank Indicator = Zero

It's funny, because when the first Google Paid Links Smackdown occurred, my page rank toolbar indicator had moved from a PR 4 to a PR 3. I thought okay, I will change my advertiser's links to include the nofollow tag. Well all was well and good, or so I thought. But, then out of the blue, Google changed my Page rank indicator to ZERO. Now, that was just mean. Why did they do that?

I have this page that I created last year called an Advertiser's Detail Page. This page I created to add a little extra value to companies that advertised with me. The advertisers were giving me a 50 character text link ad and some cash (very little cash at that). And I would place their paid text link ads in the appropriate page. Then I added a little something extra by writing a large paragraph detailing the website as I saw and interpreted the website. Sometimes I would just repeat a paragraph from the website; others I gave a small review. The paragraphs represented my opinion of the website. That opinion was not paid. I volunteered to write the review.

I had ended that program in April of this year, but I had guaranteed to the advertisers that I would leave the opinion piece up for an entire year. Well I have a link for the page on my home page. And the link anchor title is Advertisers Detail Page. It is pretty obvious that the page is devoted to my advertisers. Well, since I am discontinuing the page after the requisite year is finished I really didn't even think about adding nofollow tags to the page.

Pay to Build More Websites

Now my page rank is ZERO. I am pretty sure I have identified all my other advertisers. You know those Paid Text Link Ads I have on my website that earn me 3 times more than what I get from Google AdSense ads. But, now I don't know if I should be scared of Google or just pissed off. I really don't know why my page rank went down. Did someone report me? Matt Cutts from Google wrote an article asking webmasters to report websites that engage in paid text link ads. He warned that Google was going to do something to them.

The interesting thing to me is the whole goal is to stop people who are trying to game the system. But, the problem isn't just about Paid Text Link Ads. There are still other ways to game the system. You just have to have time or money.

If you have money then just build more websites. Place content on the site that matches your primary website's content without duplication. Then just point all your link juice to your primary website. Michael Martinez details this strategy in a recent post on his blog. You can read more about Using Multiple Domains to Build Page Rank. One thing about Michael Martinez and his SEO Theory website, sometimes he uses so much sarcasm that you get drenched in it. So be careful as you read his post.

I am actually aware of companies that earn millions of dollars that engage in this behavior. The little guy cannot compete with the big companies. Google gives the little guy something that he can turn into cash like the Green Tool Bar. He can sell that perceived influence and earn more money the higher it goes. Then Google comes along and Smacks down the little guy who is trying to make enough money to run his website and keep his equipment updated.

Pay Someone to Blog for You

Let's see. If you pay a company to advertise on their site and they don't use nofollow then they are bad. But, it is okay to hire 1, 3, 5 or 100 people to blog for you. Maybe they just leave comments on other blogs. Maybe they have their own blog and write articles that reference your website. Maybe they are friends with other websites and just ask them to review your website or to comment about your latest article. Is that the kind of reference that Google is looking for to build their Page Rank Algorithm? Aren't these companies still just trying to game the system?

Now, who engages in this kind of behavior? How about White Hat SEOs. I know they do it. I have read blogs by their employees saying they do this specific behavior. Now the blog I read I know Matt Cutts from Google reads the blog. How do I know that? Because Matt Cutts commented on the blog just this week. Therefore Google must be aware this activity is occurring. When are they going to smack this behavior?

Forget Google Search Traffic - Go for Direct Traffic

I was totally amazed this week when I read two blogs and found out that both of them get most of their traffic from direct links. The majority of their traffic does NOT come from Google or the other search engines. In fact, they get more direct traffic than the visitors from all the search engines combined. Wow!

You see, most of my traffic comes from the search engines. In fact, most of my traffic comes from Google. I am at their mercy. But, I am learning. When I first started in this industry, I thought the goal was to get good old fashioned natural and organic traffic. Traffic from searches. But, now I see the errors of my ways. I am beginning to reach out like the search engine spiders and leave comments and visit forums. I am interacting with others. I am trying to get involved in the community.

That's how you do it. You become an active member of communities and then people will check on you. They will click on your name on a blog comment and see who you are and what you do and how you write. I know Caroline Middlebrook has it figured out. Check out her stats analysis for November.

I guess I am done ranting and raving for now. I think I have irritated enough people that my job is done. The truth is after this article I will probably be sent back to the infamous Google sandbox (similar to the hotbox from Steve McQueen's prison movie, Cool Hand Luke). Direct traffic is the answer. That will eliminate your reliance on the Google Cocaine.

Success is Achieved by doing the fundamentals - Are you happy with the results. Did we get the number of visitors we wished for? Did our visitors click on revenue producing links and ads? Were our page views up for the year or down? Did users visit more than one page? Did they make it to the order form and then abandon or did they continue and purchase our products?

Latest You Can Learn Series Blog Articles:

We Arrive in Santiago de Compestela Spain

We walked for Thirty Three days straight

We have arrived in Santiago. We walked for 33 straight days. Some days were 12 milers and as many as 18 miles or more in one day. We reached our destination. We decided not to rush to reach the city. Mary had accidentally banged her knee on the table at the restaurant the night before and it was a little tender.

Day 31 Palas de Rei to Ribadiso

We have walked 31 days to Santiago de Compostela

Today we started early because we had reserved a room at an albergue and we had to get there by 2pm or we lost the reservation. Mary set a blistering pace in the dark morning mist. Sunrise is at 8 am but this morning we had clouds and fog so it was darker than yesterday. The path through the city was okay but then leaving the city it became more difficult.

Three days of walking left in our Camino

We only have 66 kilometers to Santiago

We have walked for 30 days with only 3 days till we reach our destination of Santiago de Compostela. It has been an amazing journey. We are in the Galicia region of Spain known for the rain it receives. Well we are extremely lucky because the weather has been beautiful for walking. It starts out cool in the high 40s but then warms up to the low to mid 70s. With plenty of sunshine.

We arrived in Sarria

Five walking days to Santiago

Today we started late at 8 am. We were almost the last people out of Triacastela walking the Camino.

Ocebreiro to Triacastela

Only 6 days remaining on the Camino de Santiago

We are sitting in a restaurant in the little village of Triacastela on day 27 having tapas. It was a short 12 miles that were mostly down. Tomorrow we hope to go to Sarria.

Views from Astorga Spain

From Leon to Astorga on the Camino de Santiago

We visited Leon, Spain yesterday and then we walked 35Km today. Leon was wonderful. Today we walked in rain for the first time. We went 35 KM yesterday for no other reason than we could.

Walked 17 Miles Today

Today we walked 17 miles on the Camino

Today we are sitting at the albergue in Terradillos de las Templarios. We are at the halfway point in our journey. We have walked over 250 miles or 400 kilometers. I truly didn't think we would be able to do this. Mary has been a real trouper walking through bad knees and the pain of shin splints.

Finished a Third of our Camino Experience

We have walked a Third of the way to Santiago

Today finds us in Ages, Spain only 14 miles from Burgos. We are quite excited that we have managed this distance. We hoped we could but we had doubts especially those first few days where we hurt so much.

The Path to Najera Spain

Eight Days of Walking

We have been walking for 8 days now. It has been interesting, tiring, painful, fun and a real learning experience.

Walking Through the Pyrenees

Walking Through the Pyrenees

Mary and I started our journey to Santiago Spain. The first day we started in Saint Jean Pied de Port in France. The goal was to arrive in Roncevalle, Spain before nightfall.

Home| About Us | NewsLetters | Contact Us |

Copyright © 2004-2014 You Can Learn Series

You Can Learn Series Home Page You Can Learn Series
You Can Learn Series Home Page Home            About the creators of YouCanLearnSeriesAbout Us      Contact YouCanLearnSeriesContact Us      Site map of YouCanLearnSeriesSite Map      Privacy Policy of You Can Learn SeriesPrivacy Policy       Terms of Use of You Can Learn Series web siteTerms of Use       YouCanLearnSeries RSS feed for Kenno's Blog     
C# and ASP.Net Programming TipsC# and ASP.Net     SQL Tutorial, tips and tricks for DBA'sSQL      Landscaping Tips for Home GardenersLandscaping      WeightLifting Tips for the Young and OldWeightLifting      Ken Speaks OutBlog      Good health TipsGoodHealth      Learn about Great Travel DestinationsTravel      Web Business TipsWeb Business          Great Items from You Can Learn SeriesStore

You Can Learn C# and ASP.Net Series C# and ASP.Net
You Can Learn SQL Series Learn SQL
You Can Learn Landscaping and Gardening Series Landscape Tips
You Can Learn WeightLifting Series WeightLift Tips

Kenno's Blog PageBlog
  Articles 2014 Blog Articles 2014 Blog
  Articles 2012 Blog Articles 2012 Blog
  Articles 2011 Blog Articles 2011 Blog
  January 2008 Blog January 2008 Blog
  February 2008 Blog February 2008 Blog
  March 2008 Blog March 2008 Blog
  April 2008 Blog April 2008 Blog
  July 2008 Blog July 2008 Blog
  Bluff Spring Fen an Illinois Nature Preserve is a wonderful place of quiet, trees, flowers, underground springs, creek and birds. Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve
  Set your goals for 2008. Seven Steps to Reaching Your 2008 Goals
  Win 10,000 Entrecard Credits from AdToll. Save On Advertising With AdToll
  Learning the fundamentals will take you to success in Internet blogging. Success Is Achieved By Doing The Fundamentals
  Traffic numbers for the You Can Learn Series for 2007. Over 470,000 Page Views in 2007
  A Christmas poem for bloggers, SEO specialists and internet junkies. Twas The Night Before Christmas For Bloggers
  Thoughts on commenting on other blogs to drive traffic to your web site. Drive By Commenting is for Manipulators
  A commentary on banner ads, surveys and flashing gifs. There is So Much Noise I Can't Hear You
  A way for you to get additional traffic to your website. Free Advertising And More Traffic
  Some tips on gaining greater productivity with your writing. Writing Secrets For Greater Productivity
  How Often Should You Blog How Often Should You Blog
  Page Rank Paid Links Smack Down Update PageRank Paid Links Smack Down Update
  Protecting Your Copyrighted Articles Protecting Your CopyRighted Articles
  Strategies of a Great Email Newsletter Strategies of a Good Email Newsletter
  Four things that will help make your blog excellent Four Things You Must Do to Make Your Blog Excellent
  Identify Your Customer and Build a Web Page Just for Her Know Your Customer - Make a Lot of Money
  A way to maximize your Adsense RevenuesDo You Use Adsense Channel Settings Profitably?
  Interesting article on these popular pluginsFeedBurner, StumbleUpon, Surveys and Comments
  Making your email campaign generate revenueMake Your Email Campaign Profitable
  How to succeed in a business of your ownDon't Quit Your Day Job
  Converting images for your websiteConverting Images
  How to drive traffic to your website or blogDriving Traffic to Your Website or Blog
  Spanked by Google over Paid text link adsSpanked by Google
  Weapons of InfluenceInfluence

You Can Learn Good Health Series Good Health Tips
You Can Learn Series Newsletters Newsletters
Learn about Great Travel DestinationsTravel
You Can Learn Series Web Business TipsWeb Business Tips

Bill Welter - The Prepared Mind of a Leader

Americas Public Schools