Patrick Altoft over at BlogStorm.co.uk did a little research, found out that paid links are alive and well, even after the big page rank smack down.
Paid Links: More effective than ever
. . . (around 80% for some sites) looked like they might be paid links that appeared to pass Page Rank. . .I can’t say . . . they are paid links but neither can Google. They have to make a judgement call . . .He ends his post:
If all your competitors are getting good results from buying links, you cannot afford to wait for Google to do something about it.Okay, what is G@@GLE supposed to do now? They penalized bloggers who were transparent with sponsored links and paid reviews. It was very easy to find these bloggers. Each sponsored post was identified as such. Paid to blog programs were freely blogged about in posts and forums. Paid links were in the sidebar under the easy-to-find heading of SPONSORS. The blogs were decorated with disclosure policies and paid to blog badges.
The honest, transparent bloggers were smacked down, hard. G@@GLE would like to think they stamped out the paid to blog industry, crushed the business of paid links, and halted page rank passing with their almighty algorithm. What they have done is driven everything undercover, into the dark side. What will arise will be a different beast all together.
In the meantime, bloggers who had quality content and high-ranking blogs before they ever wrote a sponsored post or accepted a text link ad, have been stripped of page rank. If they are willing to do everything G@@GLE requires, which includes stating that that they were wrong and so sorry, and ask for reinstatement of their page rank, G@@GLE may forgive and forget. If not, the blog's page rank remains at zero, even if the blog has quality incoming links and backlinks, syndicated content and is well read.
Does anyone else have a problem with this?