Paid Links Presentation

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Are paid links evil?
That's the wrong question.
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Paid Links Presentation

  1. 1. Paid Links Matt Cutts Google Software Engineer SES San Jose, August 21, 2007
  2. 2. <ul><li>Are paid links evil? </li></ul><ul><li>That's the wrong question. </li></ul><ul><li>The right question: </li></ul><ul><li>Do paid links that pass PageRank violate search engines’ quality guidelines? </li></ul><ul><li>The answer to that question is yes. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Disclosing payments <ul><li>Washington Post, Dec. 12, 2006: </li></ul><ul><li>“ FTC Moves to Unmask Word-of-Mouth Marketing Endorser Must Disclose Link to Seller” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;We wanted to make clear . . . if you're being paid, you should disclose that.“ </li></ul><ul><li>-- Mary Engle, FTC associate director for advertising practices </li></ul>
  4. 4. Disclosure on the web <ul><li>The web is used by both people (surfers) and machines (search engines, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>What is adequate disclosure on the web? </li></ul><ul><li>Understandable by people </li></ul><ul><li>Understandable by machines </li></ul>
  5. 5. Clear disclosure to machines <ul><li>Clear disclosure: won’t pass PageRank </li></ul><ul><li>redirect through url blocked by robots.txt </li></ul><ul><li>redirect through url that does 302 </li></ul><ul><li>JavaScript </li></ul><ul><li>rel=“nofollow” on individual links </li></ul><ul><li><meta name=“robots&quot; content=“nofollow&quot; /> on entire page </li></ul>
  6. 6. Practical considerations <ul><li>You can buy links within search engine guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AdBrite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quigo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IndustryBrains </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>adCenter, YPN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>any site that doesn’t pass PageRank in links </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Buying paid links that pass PageRank violates our quality guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paid PageRank-Passing (PPP) links </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Types of paid links (These are fine) (These are against our guidelines)
  8. 8. Examples of PPP links
  9. 9. Link-buying obstacles <ul><li>It can be difficult to buy PPP links </li></ul><ul><li>Buy for a limited time? </li></ul><ul><li>Buy “run-of-site” links? </li></ul><ul><li>Buying links from “sloppy sellers”? </li></ul><ul><li>Checking if a link seller cloaks? </li></ul><ul><li>Can a competitor spot your paid links? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Google’s approach <ul><li>Both algorithmic and human detection </li></ul><ul><li>Recent Rand Fishkin post about paid links </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Detected all but one link algorithmically </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Google is willing to take strong action against PPP links </li></ul><ul><li>This is an area Google is focusing on </li></ul>
  11. 11. Further reading <ul><li>https://google.com/webmasters/tools/ paidlinks?hl =en </li></ul><ul><li>http://mattcutts.com/blog/text-links-and-pagerank / </li></ul><ul><li>http:// www.mattcutts.com/blog/how -to-report-paid-links/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/11/AR2006121101389.html </li></ul><ul><li>http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-272304A1.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/2007/FCC-07-42A4.html </li></ul>

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