Recently Google applied the latest of it’s “search algorithm” changes which spawned a number of emails to be sent from them to people who have paid for un-natural links being built to their sites. But two questions remain. Were these really algorithm changes? And what is the impact to those that bought them?

Many people have leveraged “paid links” in the past, and Google has always known about it. They realized a long time ago that people were leveraging this as a way to “trick” their Page-Rank algorithm, and eventually Matt Cutts’ team was hell bent on shutting it down. So they have been pursuing this endeavour for some time.

Recently they put this so-called algorithm change in effect, and may people got the dreaded email in the Webmaster Tool Kits that looked something like this:

Provided by Search Engine Watch

Now luckily CarlowSEO hasn’t received any of these for ANY of our clients (because we are smart and don’t pay for crappy blog post types of links that they are focusing on) but may people have.

According to and article on SEOMoz this type of message didn’t really prove anything. Some sites were instantly de-valued or not indexed, some were not effected at all. But more importantly there are speculations that these networks are not actually “algorithmically” determined but manually reviewed and the emails sent afterwords (see the comments from Google UK’s Pierre Far at the Brighton SEO Roundup).

With all of this considered it means that both questions are actually left unanswered, but more questions arise. The first I thought of was maybe (and this is my opinion) Google has realized that they are loosing their big revenue engine (Google AdWords) to competitors like Facebook and will use this to strengthen their position?

Now why would we say that you ask? Simple lets look at the facts.

  1. Google is loosing market share in the Ad Space – Fact
  2. Google “says” they don’t search java  – Fact
  3. Google DOES index links created through Google Adword displays on other sites – FACT (Ask any one that runs a Pay Per Click Campaign where some of their incoming links are from)
So some simple math can show, if they devalue other links that are “ads” or paid for, their links (THAT YOU PAY FOR) are counted more. Seems odd to me, but what do I know!

There are still many more questions to look at. What “paid” links are the focusing on? Is a “Text Ad” on the right side of a blog bad to pay for? Why are some affected and others not? What makes paying for an ad on a random site different than paying more though Google Ads to be in multiple networks? Trust me, we are watching the world of Google turn here at CarlowSEO, and will do our best to answer as many question on the subjects as we can!

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