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
*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:
*Yahoo! Publisher Network
*Any site that doesn’t pass PageRank
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.