Google Strict Penalty on Sites that Sell Links To Pass PageRank

Note: This post is recommended to all readers and must be read word by word for your own benefit.

Were you fortunate enough to achieve a PageRank 3, 4 or higher? If yes then you might be receiving several emails in your inbox from link building companies that wish to pay you up to $100-$200 for a link on your blog post. I am sure its excites you greatly when you find such a great opportunity to make some free bucksBut wait! Google's web spam Head Matt Cutts has just announced on Webmaster Central blog last Friday that a strict action will be taken against websites and blogs that sell links for the sole purpose of manipulating Search engine ranking and passing PageRank juice.

About Google's penalty on selling links

Ever since 2003, when the practise was relatively less rampant, Google has been warning against selling links in its quality guidelines. Now you have to realize, that the whole reason Google controls more than 65% of the search game is that the results returned are fairly accurate. End users want accuracy. And if they don't get it, they'll have no problem migrating to another search engine. So it is only fair that Google doesn't want you to sell links, because doing so would put Google's business in jeopardy.
Google Penalty
When you sell links to pass PageRank, you can hurt the accuracy of search results. False popularity from links that are not based on merit hurt the integrity of search results. Also, gaining an unfair advantage is uncalled for, especially when there are so many other hard workers toiling for their websites. Hence, Google reserves the right to protect its index by 'banishing', or penalizing websites that violate its terms and conditions. This, in fact, isn't a Google related problem. Every major search engine would want to get rid of this practise for the best of its interest.

Does this effect the PR process?

A very frequent question asked in this regard is, whether or not this practise effects the PR of some websites? Well, the answer is, yes it does. If you saw a website getting a low PR, even if it had good content, then more often than not, such websites are selling links, which is not easily observable to the casual observer. But search algorithms can decide within seconds when a link is paid. And hence, such sites get rewarded accordingly.

So, what should you do in such cases?

So what should you do about these paid links? There's a very simple solution. Links like these need to be pointed out via a rel="nofollow" tag. This tag tells the search engines not to follow this link. Usually, link buyers won't buy nofollow links. If they don't, then there's not much you can do about it, unless you want to give them a link, and end up getting penalized in the process.

What to do about paid links?

But what to do if you get penalized? Luckily, Google gives you some wriggle space to get yourself out of sticky situations like this. You can file a reconsideration request to Google. But first, make sure you meet all of Google's quality guidelines, and remove all paid links before applying. Check out more by following the link below, where we have discussed this topic in great length.

How about paid ads?

Google is not against paid advertisments. You can totally use this method of linking to get targeted traffic. In fact, Google itself supports the practise, and even approves of other non-Google advertising programs. All it asks for is that you disclose such links to search engines.

Now bear in mind that Google is not trying to tell people how to run their website, nor are they cracking down on forms of advertisments. Just so long as you follow their quality guidelines, you will be fine, and will stay safe in Google's index.

So do you know any site that you think might be selling or buying links? You can prevent them from getting an unfair advantage by reporting paid links here. You can also find more information on paid links by following this link to Matt Cutt's website, where he answers more frequently asked questions. And as always, you cn ask us too. Cheers :)

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Nice article Qasim !
    We work so hard to get good results for our blog !
    When some bloggers try alternative bad methods to get popularized, our hopes are banished !
    So I support this movement !

  3. Btw, Qasim.
    Tell me some tips to take care while accepting paid ads in my blog ?
    So that I don't violate Google's TOS !!
    Please Tell !

  4. @Akhil Pulotil I also agree with you. And really I also like to know the ans of your question.. waiting for Qasim reply.

  5. Q1. How would Google be able to verify that a link is "paid"?
    Q2. How would Google or the competitor know that it really isn't "paid"?
    Q3. What about sites that offer link exchanges, is that considered "paid"?
    Q4. What about sites that accept Guest Post, is it consider as a "paid"?

    I think this solution is going to cause more problems. Unless the rule was only applied to websites that obviously were selling links by having some kind of order form or what not, I could see many people finding themselves not ranking due to a mistake.

  6. Google nowadays has been more restrict about link building and pagerank. My site has survive over 2 penalty. A great lesson to be learned.

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  7. Thank you so much for this very useful and helpful post!
    UK Writer

  8. Thanks for the information brother.

  9. Do you give me a idea about how to google analytics that your site link are paid in other blog ? how they find it ... ?
    please give my solution of above question because below site is at that time page rank 2 and i hoping next update my blog are get pr 3-4 so how can i manage that ...
    Check out latest Blogger Tips and Tricks

  10. As Mohammad Has said earlier that high pr does not mean that you have high traffic and it also doesn't impact on serp ranking too hence you shouldn't involve yourself in buying and giving paid links otherwise penguin always waits for you.

  11. How to know if that kind of links are paid? for example in my other tutorials there's a demo link, is it consider as a paid? and google have a tools on how to detect the paid link?. By the way thanks for this useful tips..

    Best Regards:
    Team :

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Nice article
    i have recently start my new blog, for get more comment on my new blog i have start using commentluv plugin, i hope you know it,
    is google also punish which are using commentluv?

    1. I use comment luv too. Will I get a penalty?

  14. Great information thanks for sharing this post. i will follow your suggestion :)

    Rahul Kashyap

  15. This is good learning for new bloggers too. Now bloggers must be careful while planning their link building strategy.

  16. What about paid text ads? Would they count as link selling?

  17. Yeah Mehul asked a good question. Would paid text ads count as link selling?

  18. good article bro...i want to inform you that you can install facebook recommendation box as you have befor in your blog. because error has been removed by the facebook team. keep enjoy the recommendation bar......

  19. In light of this event Google has decided to issue yet another warning against selling links. It seems that there are always those who think they can get away, and I know there are, not to point fingers, but seeing sites that I see on daily basis going out without a penalty shows that sites with higher authority can do pretty much most things that a new website would get penalized for and also some know how to do it better then others an avoid the prying eyes of Google.

  20. Thanks for the update Qazim. That's informative.


  21. Seo game is becoming difficult and risky . Even search engine optimization experts are confused that what is wrong and what is right ?
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  22. very useful and helpful post!

  23. Is it so????? I am also getting such offers for links and I was also excited but after reading your post, I think I should not go for such offers. Thanks for sharing.

  24. @Akhil Pulotil exactly should be given where credit is due.....

  25. @Akhil Pulotil well bro, that's quite a long topic....The best way would be to read Google's guidelines....AdSense usually doesn't usually like PTC kind of stuff....But hey, you know what? We might just do a post on this topic, and discuss it in greater detail to make it clearer! Stay tu8ned

  26. @Jay Ryan Macabato Brother, the answer to all your question lies in the term 'keyword'......It's all about the keyword game........If you are givingout too man cheap links that don't have a direct relation with the content on your site, Google will know its paid.........Link exchange works in much the same way, so you can count that out too...............As far as guest posting is concerned, well, the content of the guest post has relevant keywords. So Google known when a post is a guest post, and when someone is cheap-linking.....

  27. @Kartik Shah ude just read my last'll make things clearer for you hopefully :)

  28. Thanks a lot for this great tips admin,i like this site very much admin.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Very much Right Qasim :)

    Freelance SEO & Web Developer

  31. I did this mistec and I got banned from adsense..... :(
    Clipping Path