Google has made a number of changes with Panda over the last year, and seems to continue to do so. SearchEngineLand.com reports that the Panda update has not only affected small businesses but large ones as well. Legitimate content farms like About.com (which the New York Times sold for $300 million to IAC), Associated Content (bought by Yahoo for $100 million), LookSmart (bought from CNet.com in 2007) HubPages and other big-name sites were hurt with Google’s Panda algorithm. In other words, Google, the company that provided many online businesses with their source of income, is now taking that income away from many legitimate businesses. What their real “angle” or “game” is currently remains unknown.
Google’s Answer to Paid Links and Advertorials: Penalize It
Now, Google is looking to penalize paid links by “advertorials.” An Advertorial is anything that has the text of a company along with a link to that company’s website (probably paid for). For example, Google will value text that says “SEO Company Toronto” to link to a company, rather than the text, iRISEmedia.com.
From Google’s own blog:
“Please be wary if someone approaches you and wants to pay you for links or “advertorial” pages on your site that pass PageRank. Selling links (or entire advertorial pages with embedded links) that pass PageRank violates our quality guidelines, and Google does take action on such violations. The consequences for a linkselling site start with losing trust in Google’s search results, as well as reduction of the site’s visible PageRank in the Google Toolbar. The consequences can also include lower rankings for that site in Google’s search results.”
This is a very big problem when link building becomes a Catch-22. How does a small company get links by other sites “naturally” when it can’t get ranked for other sites to find them on Google? Meanwhile, Google apparently is making its own advertorials and crediting themselves for it.
I will leave it at that.
The views expressed here reflect the views of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the company.