I have lost count of the number of articles I have read on the subject. While Google says little ‘on the record’ the unofficial spokesman Matt Cutts seems to be the conduit used by the company to explain their position. They want to remain a neutral entity, ensuring that all of the results returned to the user are of the highest quality.

Of course there are some that might disagree. Google hardly makes its money by offering products for free. The key is in the advertising revenue. I have no beef with this. The bigger issue is a lot more complex. Google wants to produce high quality results, but also needs to make a few $’s along the way.

In order to keep the peace they live in a world that crosses both sides of the coin. They make money from ‘spammy sites’ that feature the adverts, and they make money from advertisers who pay to have their ads appear.

Google actually has done a pretty decent job of filtering out most of the really bad web sites from its list. They have made it very clear that ‘paid links’ are not a good thing. They also have declared a war on sites with worthless content, and sites known as ‘Content Farms’
These are worthy goals. Actually about the only change I would make is the option to turn off the sites selling the product! I am sure that I am not alone in this. I’d rather see the information and reviews before I see the stores where I can buy it!

As I said, Google is committed to clean up its act. They are an 800lb gorilla, and so what they say generally goes!
There are still some SEO companies that have not quite got the message. I received this email overnight, a quick adventure:

PR5, PR6 Homepage text links for sale ,

www.coas.siu.edu  PR6  Homepage footer link
www.uvt.edu.mx  PR5  Homepage footer link
www.longmannigeria.com PR5  Homepage footer link
www.quest.edu.pk PR5 Homepage footer link

I ignored all but the first link. I was skeptical that a site obviously belonging in the .edu domain would stoop to selling links.

I went to the site to investigate. Not a link in sight!


But… Yes there were.

Right down at the bottom of the front page I found this.


I find it hard that an agriculture oriented University would be interested in Viagra or serious advice on playing with Forex.
But the good news is that according to the person that sent me the wonderful email offer, for:

PR4 , $30/3 months, PR5 , $40/3 months , PR6 , $50/3 months I could get a piece of this action!

Hey for $50 I could be selling Blow Up Dolls on a university site! I have not asked them going rate for Whitehouse.gov, FBI.gov, etc, but this might be the next big breakthrough in Spamvertising!

Simon Barrett

Simon Barrett

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