Skip to main content

How Dare You Tell Me To NoFollow My Sponsored Links(REPOST)

Collect from Barry Schwartz Post, Executive Editor Search Engine Roundtable
 

I am getting upset, I rarely write stories when I am upset but hey - when you are in the heat of the moment, the writing should come out passionate, shouldn't it?
The other day, I broke the story that Forbes got caught selling links and didn't even know they were selling it. It turns out, it was a technical error and they apologized, removed the links and likely submitted their reconsideration request.
But if you read the comments in my post and even some comments in the Google Webmaster Help thread you will see people laughing at me because we sell links on the side bar here. Yes, scroll down, look on the right, there are "sponsored links." We have sponsors pay about $350 per month for those links and most have been there for years. You don't think I know I sell links on this site? Do you think I am that dumb?
Let me give you some history, so you have some perspective. In November 2007 Google started slapping sites who sold links that passed PageRank. It specifically was targeting paid links and this came with no surprise to SEOs, Google warned us, if you sell links, make sure they don't pass PageRank or Google can penalize you.
So sites, like this one, that did not listen began to see their PageRank drop significantly - yes, including this one. We saw our PageRank in the Toolbar drop from a six or seven to a four. It was upsetting, but I was stubborn and hey our traffic didn't drop at that time. Most sites hit with the penalty quickly removed the paid links from passing PageRank and asked Google for forgiveness. Some brave webmasters did not, and decided to live with the penalty.
As I said back in 2007, I think this is the smartest move Google could have made. They have to target link sellers, because link buyers target their search quality. I think Google is doing the right thing for penalizing sites for selling links. I have no ill will against Google for penalizing this site. Again, they have to do it and they are 100% right in doing so.
But at the same time, I have 100% right to build my site the way I want. I know, without a doubt, that the penalty this site (and other sites) have for selling links affects more than just the visible Toolbar PageRank. Back in 2007, I didn't see a ranking or traffic drop. But soon later I noticed the traffic and ranking in Google for this site dropped. There is no doubt that if I removed the links, my traffic would likely increase by 25% to 100%.
As you can see, I am making a conscious decision to leave the paid links here despite the PageRank and ranking penalty. Why?

  • I had those links there prior to Google's paid links guideline
  • I always clearly labeled them as paid links for humans to see
  • Google reads this blog, they know about the paid links and I know they discredit them
  • I am stupid
  • I am incredibly stubborn, ask my wife
You see, I just don't want to change. This is how I had it, this is how I want it to be. I know the links do little value to those buying them. I believe, I really do, that the sponsors of this site do it because they want to support the site and the industry. Proof? I am posting this, they can read it and pull their links at any time.
So why won't I nofollow them then? Because I am stubborn and I am one of the few SEO blogs that decided to not change when Google unleashed their penalty (again, Google has to do it and I commend them for it).
Does this mean I will never remove the links? No. But for now, and for the past three-plus years, the links are staying as is.
Feel free to trash (or support) me in the comments.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Best Online SEO Tools for Links, Keywords and Rank Tracking

We’re always on the lookout for great tools and with a $5 billion industry, SEO is one market that has a ton of tools to help you. Whether you’re researching you or your competitors’ backlinks, trying to identify keywords and cocurrence terms, or simply trying to monitor how your site is ranking, here are the most popular SEO tools and platforms on the market.
Some key features of search engine optimization platformsMonitoring Keyword Rankings – the ability to enter keywords and then monitor their ranking over time is a core feature of most of the platforms. Given that search results are mostly personalized, this ability is largely used for overall trending analysis to see whether the efforts you’re making are improving your ranking on keywords or not.Local Keyword Rank Monitoring – since the location of the search user and your business can play a huge role, many of the keyword monitoring platforms provide a means to track your ranking by geographic location.Keyword Discovery – whil…

How to use Keywords in Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A keyword is a term that is used to match with the query a person enters into a search engine to find specific information. Most people enter search phrases that consist of two to five words. Such phrases may be called search phrases, keyword phrases, query phrases, or just keywords.

SEO Keywords are the phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your Website via Search Engines. A website that is well optimized and offer relevant content might get higher search engine organic ranking.

These days, keyword optimization, due to keyword Spamming in the past, has been reduced in importance by search engine like Google. It’s purpose is only to tell search engine that, for example, this page is about XX, and you want them to include it in their search results when people search for XX and variations of XX. Lessening the importance of keywords is very different from disregarding them altogether though.

These are the issues you should consider during your Website SEO P…

SEO Tips for Affiliate Website

Nowadays, search engine's organic ranking is much harder, especially for an affiliate marketing website. So how do you get higher organic ranking? The SEO Strategy can be different from site to site, but some of the standards remain the same regardless of the topic or niche.Here’s How To Do SEO For An Affiliate Website That Gets Higher Search Ranking:Branded Domain Names
Choosing a strategic domain name that represent your affiliate business is not just a task for those starting up their own businesses. For many, the decision to launch your own affiliate website comes many years after you’ve already built a profitable affiliate business. Use a keyword rich domain name, but avoid looking spammy.Shopify Have a list of 10 free tools can help you choose a great domain name.Keyword Strategy
Keyword Strategies are essential to develop a search engine optimized website. The best keyword strategies rely on highly relevant keywords & placement on important parts thought your affiliate …