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    Lightbulb Paid links violation of Google Guidelines or not?


    Paid links violation of Google Guidelines or not?
    According to my knowledge it is clear violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to buy or to sell links.
    PokerStars is trying to sue me, and Judge asked PokerStars solicitor is it violation of Google’s Webmaster Guideline to buy links.
    Solicitor answered:
    My clients say no, but the Google policy changes from time to time. It
    depends on the nature, my clients say, of the site. So take a pure spam website,
    something that says “Poker, poker, poker” and was of no consumer interest.
    If one paid for that, then that would be said by Google to be in breach of their
    guidelines. If there is a genuine piece being written and my clients can encourage them
    and pay for them to mention and link to PokerStars within that piece, then they would say that is not in breach of the guidelines. That is my clients’ stance.
    When I provided Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Link Schemes explained, solicitor continue to argue that in some cases it is OK to buy links.

    What evidence to put before court to prove that buying links is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines?
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    The Poker Stars Solicitor is wrong. Googles Quality Guidelines are pretty clear but what you need to do is get them to understand WHY paid links violate the quality guidelines.

    Google's entire ranking algorithm is based on links. Page's idea in 1997 was that if search engines only used onsite data to determine where to rank a website then the webmaster in charge of the website would do everything in his power to place the content on the site needed to rank it well. This method speaks nothing of the quality of the website if I can directly and easily manipulate the search engine rankings.

    Page decided to use LINKS to rank a website because I can't manipulate OTHER people's website and place links to me on it. So (at the time) the guy with the most links won! Google thought that if I linked from my site that had a bunch of its own links to your site then that must be a pretty good site if I was willing to send my traffic there.

    So you can see why BUYING links would violate Google's quality guidelines. The algorithm fails when people link build! Skip ahead to today and we see that blog commenting, forum links and pretty much any link I can place myself where there is no quality control will get you in trouble with Google.

    Does all that make sense?
    Last edited by KernelPanic; Sep 17th, 2015 at 12:35 PM.
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    KernelPanic, Thank you for your reply. Now I am drafting the response for tomorrow's Court meeting and I will include information WHY paid links violate the quality guidelines.

    Comments on this post

    • fathom agrees : More than happy to get involved legally, if needed.
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    Originally Posted by SergePon
    KernelPanic, Thank you for your reply. Now I am drafting the response for tomorrow's Court meeting and I will include information WHY paid links violate the quality guidelines.
    Wish I could be there to help. Good luck.
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  9. rod@missionop.com
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    Not necessarily correct...

    It is the wrong question.

    Google has no problem with paid links. So asking that question implies "Google has no legal opinion"

    A paid link requires rel="NOFOLLOW" in the link element to prevent passing PageRank. Not designating a paid link as a paid link is the issue. To make a legal argument you need to be very specific. SEO happens to be a very vague topic, meaning a lawyer can argue the position and still be accurate.
    Last edited by fathom; Sep 17th, 2015 at 12:57 PM.
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    Thank you point taken.
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  13. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    The Poker Stars Solicitor is wrong. Googles Quality Guidelines are pretty clear but what you need to do is get them to understand WHY paid links violate the quality guidelines.

    Google's entire ranking algorithm is based on links. Page's idea in 1997 was that if search engines only used onsite data to determine where to rank a website then the webmaster in charge of the website would do everything in his power to place the content on the site needed to rank it well. This method speaks nothing of the quality of the website if I can directly and easily manipulate the search engine rankings.

    Page decided to use LINKS to rank a website because I can't manipulate OTHER people's website and place links to me on it. So (at the time) the guy with the most links won! Google thought that if I linked from my site that had a bunch of its own links to your site then that must be a pretty good site if I was willing to send my traffic there.

    So you can see why BUYING links would violate Google's quality guidelines. The algorithm fails when people link build! Skip ahead to today and we see that blog commenting, forum links and pretty much any link I can place myself where there is no quality control will get you in trouble with Google.

    Does all that make sense?
    The important part of that reference THAT PASS PAGERANK ... PAID LINKS THAT DON'T PASS PAGERANK do not violate anything.
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    The important part of that reference THAT PASS PAGERANK ... PAID LINKS THAT DON'T PASS PAGERANK do not violate anything.
    We are talking about do follow links, which pass PR, but they are paid.
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  17. rod@missionop.com
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    Another nuance to be mindful of.

    Yahoo.com, in theory, could be said, to be offering paid links. Unfortunately, they offer reviews and the link is a by-product of the review.

    The solicitor for PokerStars could suggest their links are by-products of reviews... But that claim can be challenged by the lack of, or mis-directed policy each website has.

    Matt Cutts on paid directories https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rKUlVq...ature=youtu.be
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  19. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by SergePon
    We are talking about do follow links, which pass PR, but they are paid.
    Don't be a dumbass. You're talking about winning or losing a legal battle.

    A paid solicitor will attempt to WIN using the law to exploit the vagueness of SEO. Google's guidelines are not a legal notice.
    Last edited by fathom; Sep 17th, 2015 at 01:42 PM.
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    Don't be a dumpass. You're talking about winning or losing a legal battle.

    A paid solicitor will attempt to WIN using the law to exploit the vagueness of SEO. Google's guidelines are not a legal notice.
    Thank you for nice comment This is SEO forum and I am trying to limit my post within SEO only area, but after your nice comment I have to expand my thoughts a bit. Breaking Google's guidelines is not a crime and could lead as maximum to be de indexed, which for online business could be quote important. But maybe you will be surprised that in Switzerland buying links for online gambling is illegal, which makes simple violation of Google guideline legal issue. Here a quote: "Organising online games of chance is illegal (Article 5 FGA). Moreover, each and every activity, which supports funds or simply facilitates online gambling, is illegal. The prohibition in Article 5 FGA typically includes online casinos, i.e. cash games of chance offered online. Depending on the specific circumstances of the individual case, the following activities have been prosecuted or are deemed illegal by the SFGB:
    • operation of a gaming server;
    • processing certain financial transactions in connection with online gambling;
    • advertising or marketing for online games (also hypertext linking); and
    • management and/or financing of online gambling.

    This means that both operators as well as suppliers may be prosecuted. However, participation in online games of chance is not illegal. Thus Swiss players do not need to fear sanctions. Furthermore, and according to prevailing legal doctrine, the mere accessibility of a foreign online service in Switzerland does not qualify as an activity on Swiss territory and the Swiss gambling prohibition does not apply. Finally, but subject to certain restrictions to be assessed in each individual case, it is legal for an international online gaming operator to set up its corporate headquarters in Switzerland to consolidate its operations and/or to organise all its group internal financial transactions to be undertaken by Swiss banks. " I could add a link to original post, but Mark asked me not to post any links.
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  23. rod@missionop.com
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    Seriously, you need to go to law school or hire a solicitor.

    You can fathom the world of BS you are getting involved in.

    Your lack of legal experience & lack of SEO experience makes you 100% incompetent to defend your position... You don't even know what your opinion is.

    A rebuttal to your claim is such DOFOLLOW links are a by-product of each website doing a review of PokerStars... Prove they aren't now!
    Last edited by fathom; Sep 17th, 2015 at 01:51 PM.
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    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    Wish I could be there to help. Good luck.
    Thanks a lot, It is looks like that many SEOers from around the globe, decided to help me today, it is not an easy battle, but I hope I will be able to win. PokerStars trying to lock me up, for publishing information about their activities.
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    Seriously, you need to go to law school or hire a solicitor.

    You can fathom the world of BS you are getting involved in.

    Your lack of legal experience & lack of SEO experience makes you 100% incompetent to defend your position... You don't even know what your opinion is.

    A rebuttal to your claim is such DOFOLLOW links are a by-product of each website doing a review of PokerStars... Prove they aren't now!
    I can agree about lack of legal experience, I have none. Regarding proof, unfortunately I cannot prove it, because I was restricted by the court order to publish any evidence of PS buying links. I do not even have to analyse was a link a by-product, because I know what links we bought. I will give brain teaser now, so maybe you will see what I see.
    Here is a donor site I just discovered from SEM Rush date base:
    onthetryline.com/2011/12/stephen-jones-to-fight-for-wales-recall.html
    It has an PokerStars andchor “Texas Hold-Em” so you can clearly see that this link is specially designed to manipulate rankings, I can clearly see it as paid link and there is no “nofollow” attribute if you would analyse PokerStars link profile you could see that are natural links from affiliate sites with reviews and promos and other links which link deeply into internal pages.
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  29. rod@missionop.com
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    My points are not meant to belittle you... But to wake you up.

    I don't want you to publish anything ... You are not addressing the courts concerns because you can't fathom the legal question being asked.

    You need to subpoena a response from Google, particularly from the Webspam Team. That would be what your solicitor would do if you had one. They would also translate into the laws of the convening authority (country).

    That said, the opposing solicitor correctly advised the courts, of Google's interpretation of Google's own guidelines.

    You need flip off your SEO hat and explain to the court what the different is.

    Their use of DOFOLLOW links in immaterial to any legal question.

    It's why solicitors can dance around all day rebutting your opinions.

    "It all depends on the motive the link was offered," not the presentation of available content... And legally that is open to intrepretation.
    Last edited by fathom; Sep 17th, 2015 at 02:39 PM.
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