30 August 2007

Are Paid Links Evil?

Quite a lively panel on paid links at SES San Jose this year. Matt Cutts declared paid links should be identified for the machine (Google bot) as well as human readers. This means that disclosing in the text that it is a sponsored post, putting advertisers under the heading of Sponsor, having a disclosure policy and blogging ethics posted means NOTHING.

SEOmoz | The Paid Links Debate Rages On - SES San Jose 2007 - read article.

From the article:
"Do paid links that pass PageRank violate search engines' quality guidelines?" And the answer, according to Matt, is that since 2005, Google has been explicitly clear that the answer is "Yes."
The following suggestions were made by Matt Cutts on how to say, in machine language, BOT, THIS IS A PAID LINK!!!:
  • Use a redirect through URL blocked by robots.txt
  • Redirect through a URL using a 302
  • Use Javascript to direct the link
  • Apply the rel=”nofollow” attribute to the link
  • Add the Meta Robots = "nofollow" to the page header

God help me. I wanted to be a do-follow blogger. After research and trial and error, I finally took the "no follow" attribute off comments on my blogs. Now I am supposed to put the "no follow" attribute on any link in a sponsored post on my blogs?

Does Google put "no follow" on their AdWords links? Does any major search engine tag their paid listings with "no follow"? I do not think so.

Hey Bot! FOLLOW THIS ...


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