Matt Cutts of Google has updated his How to report paid links post on his blog with some answers to general webmaster questions which popped up after his original posting.
Here are some excerpts where Matt addresses ‘what is a paid link’, the value of links from directories, and paid links which are not Google spam.
- On the definition of paid links : As someone working on quality and relevance at Google, my bottom-line concern is clean and relevant search results on Google. As such, I care about paid links that flow PageRank and attempt to game Google’s rankings. I’m not worried about links that are paid but don’t affect search engines. So when I say “paid links” it’s pretty safe to add in your head “paid links that flow PageRank and attempt to game Google’s rankings.”
- On link and value of web directories : When considering submitting to a directory, I’d ask questions like:
1. Does the directory reject urls? If every url passes a review, the directory gets closer to just a list of links or a free-for-all link site.
2. What is the quality of urls in the directory? Suppose a site rejects 25% of submissions, but the urls that are accepted/listed are still quite low-quality or spammy. That doesn’t speak well to the quality of the directory.
3. If there is a fee, what’s the purpose of the fee? For a high-quality directory, the fee is primarily for the time/effort for someone to do a genuine evaluation of a url or site.
- On buying links : So if you want to buy links, I’d buy them for users/traffic, not for PageRank/search engines.
Did Matt answer all of your questions on buying paid links? If not, check out the original post and its 600+ comments for more info 🙂