How to Make Your Paid Text Links Ads Google-Friendly

There is a big debate raging that Google will penalize sites buying and selling text links. However, Matt Cutts, the Google search quality engineer speaking at SES San Jose conference has clarified some ways you can make your paid links safe for search engines like Google and lists some text advertising services they are happy with…

Paid links have often been frowned upon as a delibrate attempt to manipulate the search results. Matt Cutts was speaking at Search Engine Strategies Conference at San Jose and SEOmoz reviews the paid links debate session at the event. SEOmoz highlighted some important quotes about the correct way to keep Google happy…

He suggests that mere labeling of paid text links as “sponsored links” or “advertising links” is not enough. You also need to stress this fact to Google bots too which crawl your site. The best link practices he suggests are

*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

They also quote that Google certainly does not recommend you buy links, but are happy with link buyers who use sources like:

*Microsoft AdCenter
*Yahoo! Publisher Network
*Any site that doesn’t pass PageRank

It is great that Google has clarified which advertising text link ads services are acceptable to them. I believe most of them use javascript to display the ads rather than simple html links.

Google is very smart and can easily detect and eliminate the value of suspicious links. As the paid link debate goes on, it seems essential that to keep your site or blog Google friendly, usage of paid text link ads to manipulate page rank and search results is not advisable.

Robin Good who had his PR7 site recently penalized (and now reinstated) by Google offers a detailed discussion about should you keep or drop text links from your site.


  1. Vijay says:

    Good as far as the Text Link Ads are considered!
    In addition to this follow their webmaster guideline and you will be a safe independent online publisher!!

  2. Ron Pemberton says:

    Out of curiosity, how could you go about adding the rel=nofollow to the ad links? Is there a plugin known?

  3. LooMag says:

    Thank You for this Article.
    Some of it is quiet useful.
    Didnt know about the “Use Javascript to direct the link” yet.
    Thaks a lot.

  4. Robert says:

    Why should webmasters have to start doing extra work to help Google improve their search – that is Google’s job – not the webmasters.

    Also Google did not penalize Robin Good for selling text links – Robin Good does not know why it happened and it could be one of hundreds of reasons.

  5. Robert Irizarry says:

    What about the Text Link Ads buyers themselves? Won’t Text Link Ads frown upon the use of no-follows or other means of preventing the passing of PR?

  6. QuickOnlineTips says:

    I think that TLA might not let you add no-follows to text links.

    That is what Robin is trying to convey to Matt Cutts in an open letter.
    “when you use text links you are either cheating Google or the advertisers paying for them.”

  7. Rose says:

    One question? How do you make a javascript link that doesn’t pass pr?

  8. QuickOnlineTips says:

    If you see the source code of webpage with javascript ads like Adbrite, it shows just script code and not a html link like TLA.

  9. mlankton says:

    So can AdBrite be used without fear of Google’s wrath? I just started using TLA, and after reading this and several articles about it, they are coming off.
    TLA is the best monetization I have found for my brand spanking new site, but it’s not worth the time and effort I have taken to get the site off the ground to have them.

  10. Adam Moony says:

    I think the most important thing is to not make to many paid links per month (I think 20 to 50 at most) and make the text on each link different. Its also good to link to different pages withyou your site.

    Adam Adair
    website design and development melbourne

  11. Patrick says:

    Thanks, this is very informative. I’m using Text Ads Link in my blog, I hope this doesn’t tick off Google!

  12. Google's Pet says:

    In my opinion, Google is just trying to cover a fatal flaw in their system by bullying small sites. Paid links don’t game “the” system, it games “their” system at best. Meanwhile they sell links in javascript widgets (which they could easily index) and say that’s ok. In other words, it’s ok for Google to sell links, but not you. Sounds like an AntiTrust suit in the making.

  13. kyle says:

    This article is helpful but it still seems like using paid text link ads are risky.

  14. ISee says:

    Is it guaranteed when we place another text link except ad sense and we don’t get penalty from google? who knows?

  15. Reader says:

    This whole debate was covered more than a year ago when Google spanked sites using PPP, TLA, or Sponsored Reviews / Review Me. It’s a known fact that using any will most likely result in a loss of PR. TLA won’t let publishers use rel=”nofollow” because there business is selling PR, not ads. It’s silly to think any of these ad schemes sell advertising. It’s all about PR and SERPS.

    Thank you, this article was informative with up-to-date info. This is an old debate that will not end soon.

  16. vanaja says:

    I was searching for information on paid links on my site. No follow attribute may not fit for all paid ads because the advertiser will not allow changing the code. Now what is the question. It is not answered anywhere

  17. Chandler says:

    thanks guys for the information. I am finding building backlinks is costly and time consuming. I have been thinking about buying links but I am not so sure now.. Maybe I can figure this out soon.. What do you guys suggest?

  18. Arsie Organo Jr says:

    I wonder what Javascript code to use to implement this. Would anyone know?

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