September 30, 2006

Google addresses W3C link selling

by Brian Turner


Google has addressed recent complaints over the W3C selling links on its website.

Google engineer, Matt Cutts, told John Battelle in an interview that a controversial page that allows webmasters to pay for listings on the W3C site now had a “index, nofollow” meta-tag applied – blocking the links from search engines.

The issue arose because links to a website still count towards the ranking of a website, and high PageRank pages are especially seen by webmasters as helping towards ranking their websites.

Google is well aware of this issue, and is known to stop high PageRank websites passing on PageRank benefits to other sites where it feels that links have been purchased.

Additionally, Google has been increasingly applying “authority” scoring to its ranking algorithm, which means that rather than focus on PageRank, Google is now very much concerned with issues of “trust” and “authority” when it comes to both the websites and links they provide to third-parties.

The W3C site counts both in terms of having a high PageRank and a high authority status, leading Google to advise the W3C consortium on how to continue to provide the links without falling foul of Google’s guidelines.

The move to block search engines reading the page will no doubt be a blow to those webmasters who thought they were buying either or both PageRank or authority status for their websites.

However, in doing so, the W3C can continue to provide third-party advertising in terms of links, without incurring concerns from Google.

Overall, while Google prefers webmasters and businesses to not purchase links for ranking purposes, it remains a very strong market online.

The warning, though, is that just because a webpage may show a strong PageRank in the Google Toolbar, does not mean that there are any specific benefits to be gained from a link from such a page.

Correction: The story originally suggested that a “noindex” meta-tag had been applied, when it was actually a “index, nofollow” meta-tag.

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Story link: Google addresses W3C link selling


3 Responses to “Google addresses W3C link selling”

  1. Eight Black » Blog Archive » More On Page Rank on October 3rd, 2006 6:03 am

    [...] Another good article here, featuring the well known Matt Cutts from Google. [...]

  2. Web Design | » Google addresses W3C link selling on October 13th, 2006 3:05 am

    [...] Google takes control of W3C and explains to them how they must run their website. [...]

  3. Cordless Phones on January 14th, 2007 6:46 pm

    I’m still seeing an awful lot of advertisers on there, but I don’t think of the 171 listed, all of them were trying to “buy PageRank”.

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