• What is a “paid link”?
    Articles,  Blog

    What is a “paid link”?

    Hi, everybody. Today I wanted to talk about paid links, and specifically, what are the Web Spam Team’s criteria for paid links? Now, this is kind of interesting, because the vast majority of the time, things are incredibly clear. People are paying money outright for links based on page rank, flowing the page rank, trying to get higher rankings. So here’s an example spam email that I got. “We are offering our high-quality, genuine PR five-to-nine sites for selling text links. We maintain these quality with our sites.” And they talk about unique content with maximum of five outbound links. They’re selling these no fake PR, no drop domains, that…

  • Does Googlebot care about valid HTML?
    Articles,  Blog

    Does Googlebot care about valid HTML?

    ADRIAN MADARAS: Today’s question comes from Bangalore. Hemanth asks, does the crawler really care about valid HTML? Validating google.com gives me 23 errors and 4 warnings. So there are plenty of reasons to write a valid HTML, and to pay attention to your HTML, and to make sure that it’s really clean and that it validates. It makes it more maintainable. It makes it easier whenever you want to upgrade. It makes it much better if you want to hand that code off to somebody else. And there’s just a lot of good reasons to do it. At the same time, Google has to work with the web we have,…

  • How can I guest blog without it appearing as if I paid for links?
    Articles,  Blog

    How can I guest blog without it appearing as if I paid for links?

    Today’s question comes from Phoenix, Arizona. Ben asks, “How can I guest blog without it looking like I pay for links?” OK, that’s a fun question. So let’s talk about– for example, whenever we get a spam report, and we dig into it in the manual webspam team, usually, there’s a pretty clear distinction between an occasional guest blog versus someone who is doing large-scale pay-for-links kinds of stuff. So what are the different criteria on that spectrum? So if you’re paying for links, it’s more likely that it’s an off-topic or an irrelevant blog post that doesn’t really match the subject of the blog itself. It’s more likely you’ll…

  • Will Webmaster Tools give examples of which links or pages caused a manual spam action?
    Articles,  Blog

    Will Webmaster Tools give examples of which links or pages caused a manual spam action?

    MATT CUTTS: Today’s question comes from Phoenix, Arizona. Ben Holland asks, “Will Webmaster Tools ever tell us what links caused a penalty?” So let’s back up and get some context here. First off, remember algorithmic things are just rankings. So they don’t generate messages in Webmaster console. However, if you log into the Webmaster Tools console and you see that there’s a message, that means that there has been some direct manual action by the web spam team that is somehow directly affecting the ranking of your website. So in those cases, right now some of those messages have example links or example URLs that are causing issues for us.…