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February 26, 2013

UK Newspaper Web Sites Blacklisted by Google For Selling Links

Google Dishes Out PageRank Penalties To UK Newspaper Web Sites For Selling Links: Google has lowered the PageRank score of dozens of news sites and blogs in the UK for selling links.  A company in UK " Interflora" had recent links on 150 regional news sites all over the UK, all in the form of advertisements within articles

Currently the sites which were penalized show a  Google PageRank score of zero which means  that all of these sites had their Page Rank scores lowered to zero.

Normally  PageRank scores do not drop to zero for linking selling. They normally drop  1 or 2 points from  what PR the website originally had  but not to zero. So this move to drop the PageRank score to zero is somewhat a new action by Google.

Google's webmaster guidelines clearly states that Link Building is a part of organic process,  and users link back to websites which are considered authoritative , and paid links  disrupt the process of " Link back" as commercial terms dictate  whom to link back rather than an Advertorial route. Although humans and webmasters  cannot differentiate between Paid links and  Natural links, Unfortunately or Fortunately ( depending on which side you are ) Google's Algorithm is capable to determining " which links are commercial and which Links represent trust


Google’s Matt Cutts,  specifically called out the techniques believed to have resulted in the penalties leading to the PageRank drop of the UK newspapers and the ranking drop of the huge UK floral company Interflora. Cutts called out advertorials specifically in his warning.
Cutts wrote:
"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."