Why Do Paid Links Violate Google’s Rules? Matt Cutts Speaks

Matt Cutts Speaks on Paid Links Violating Google’s Rules, a Defence of the Panda Updates, and SEO Tips You Should Avoid

Matt Cutts has answered a question many people have been asking: why do paid links violate Google’s guidelines while other ads don’t? Matt has posted a video response, so we’ll let him do the talking.

Pandas have had a rough run recently, but it’s time to defend Panda. One wrier reminds us that for a while Google wasn’t performing that well, and for Google to remain successful it must “ensure that when people search for things, they find exactly what they’re looking for”. Without Panda and the recent changes, would Google be losing more of their marketshare?

Some think SEO is trying to beat Google at its own game, so what are some of the “tricks” that will always result in failure? This week we’ve found a guide on SEO tips you must avoid. If your site continues to be affected by various Google algorithm updates, you might want to take a look at this.


Get the Title Right, Email Marketing questions Answered and learn about Super Social Groups

If you’re a content marketer, the title you choose for your work may have a huge impact on the success of your work. If you’re been slaving over a blog post or an ebook, why stuff it up at the end with an uninspiring title? Avoid the embarrassment by checking out this better title checklist!

You’ve got an impressive email list – awesome. But how can you use it effectively? Reader 1 might not care for the same topic reader 2 signed up for. This article answers questions about subject line length, differentiating alert emails and A/B testing.

There’s more to social marketing than tweeting a photo of some cake a colleague brought to work. Search Engine Land has explored the idea of using SEO information to help your social campaigns. This is done by creating a “social super group” and by identifying key trends in your core users. Big business are starting to see the opportunities that influential tweeters can bring. Australian airline Qantas recently held an exclusive ‘Tweet and Greet’ event at their HQ in Sydney.


Get even more out of Analytics, Bing’s issues, and 3 big enhancements coming in 2013

Not getting the most out of your Google Analytics information? Google has published an in-depth guide at some of the features you probably don’t know about. The information you can pull out of Analytics may prove to be invaluable.

Bing’s market share has been rising in major markets like the UK, US and in Asia. However, if you are purchasing ads from Bing, things aren’t too easy: it’s missing tools related to keyword status and its reports aren’t that conclusive, according to one ad buyer. Have you had similar issues with Bing?

Continuing our look ahead to 2013, Search Engine Land has explored 3 big web enhancements you should be thinking about and budgeting for in 2013. We’d love to know what changes you are considering for 2013!

  • joeyjo

    Google is do as I say, but not what I do. Hypocrites.
    Cutts comes off as trying to be a goody two shoes who wants to make the web bright, clean and shiny.
    In reality when webmasters are able to boost SEO on their own, google doesn’t get to make money off people via Google AdWords.
    So it’s purely financial of Google to whinge about paid links imho.

    • http://austincutomfinejewelry.com john

      I agree. Panda forces business to spend more on adwords.

      • Sherry

        Yet, even though people are aware of this they continue to spend thousands of dollars on AdWords.

        Advertisers need to start boycotting AdWords in favor of Bing, FaceBook and all the other choices available out there.

  • Mrbrown

    I totally agree Joey. When Google says “ensure that when people search for things, they find exactly what they’re looking for” they are really being hypocrites because they put PAID ads to the top of each search result screen! So the best and most appropriate result isn’t at the NO1 position but a paid ad is. Some search results are full off ads. 3-4 at the top of the page, ads down the right hand side and down the bottom. Who’s Cutts trying to kid?

  • http://www.pastorpositions.com/ Nenad

    I totally agre with joeyjo. Google makes money from site owners whose business depends on being on the “first page”. If they could easily reach the first page who would be paying expensive AdWord campaigns

  • http://stockphotographybusiness.com Matt Brading

    The thing that annoys me in this debate is the assumption that links are only built for Google PR benefit.

    Kind of arrogant on Google’s part really, and totally missing the point that the Web was built by people linking to random stuff they liked, swapping links, or yes, even buying links.But the fact is, people have been doing all those things since before Google was even around.

    Mr Cutts, it’s not all about you… half the fun of websurfing used to be not knowing where you’d end up!

    I link to lots of sites from lots of places, I track the traffic and generally only spend my time/money adding links where they’re going to generate visitor traffic to my websites. I don’t care if Google doesn’t value those links, but I shouldn’t have to be worried that I’m going to get penalised for them.

    If Google can’t deal with people using the Web differently to the Google Vision, then maybe they need to do a little more work before they roll out these massive changes that hurt so many businesses. Search engines can be as precise as you like, but they still call them Browsers for a reason…

  • Christopher

    I have noticed since the Panda updates that searches on google have not been as good as once before.

  • Val

    First, completely agree with every comment made in response and as a disclaimer, I am in favor of a good vetting of search results. However, it’s absurd that Google frowns on paid links, yet their entire business model is based on such bribery. The reality is that people will soon tire of ads disguised as (Controlled no less) search results and will opt for smaller search providers that present authentic results. Take note: Every great monopoly eventually becomes extinct, particularly in the world of the Web (Case in point: AOL).

  • Ava

    Bing Ads sucks.. and always end up overcharging you?

  • Avra B

    The message is clear. When a webmaster does paid links, his sites are penalised. But when the same webmaster spends on Google’s
    content network, which is nothing but massive link spamming all over the web, its perfectly ok to them because it puts money into their pockets. How convenient, Matt !!

  • http://www.millions4us.com Frank Z.

    I know of one particular website that, to this day is buying or outsourcing to get his links. I m talking about thousands every week. Still his PR is high, just seems that he wasn`t affected as much as others did.
    Getting to be confusing.

  • http://topoften.com tabi

    i agree to all. Big G(Google) want to use only ad-word for new business. if people got ranking with their own SEO methods or technique so how Google run adwords.
    and i fully agree to Val “Every great monopoly eventually becomes extinct”

  • http://www.travelviaitaly.com Julo, Travel via Italy

    Why should a website be advertised directly from another web as paid link if it can be advertised through Google Adwords? Is Google Adwords best way to sell links, isn’t it? As a blogger I am starting to hate Google and if they will continue in such manner they will be hated even more.

  • http://www.quickcashsniper.com Allan

    Even the so called Adwords is nothing but a cheat. If only other search engines can come up to speed and beat them to their own game all this will stop. I don’t thin big G is concerned about what business owners on the web go through when they roll out their dubious updates.

  • http://www.1123666999.com crabfoot

    In the past, Mr Cutts has suggested that domain owners should put up a holding page to say what their proposed site is about.
    When I tried this (pre-Panda) I found out that all the “cred” associated with the domain was wiped out, and it fell down the SERPs so far I had to pump air to it.

    Another very similar domain I was working on at the same time did not suffer similarly.
    I left it parked until I got a 30 page site on it and it flourished until bitten by the curse of the B&W creatures.

    The domain that died got a very similar 30 page site (rewritten content about 65-80% different), but it never really recovered from being discovered by GargleBots before it was ready for it.

    Whatever Matt Cutts says, people place greater weight on what he does NOT say in answer to questions. I find that very significant, which is why I don’t just ignore him.

  • http://nemgiasoc.com Nem Gia Soc

    Mr Cutts, it’s not all about you… half the fun of websurfing used to be not knowing where you’d end up!