Google and John Chow: Rewarding Useful Content, Punishing Link Buying

Google is working hard to deter webmasters and bloggers who use underhanded tactics to improve their site’s rank in Google search results pages. There is an interesting discussion about this on the Pronet Advertising blog: Why We Rank #1 for ‘John Chow’ and Why You Shouldn’t Mess With Google.

Here’s the bottom line, a great quote from Amrit Hallan:

People spend so much time trying to outsmart the search engines. If they spent the same time, and energy, on actually building the quality of their websites or blogs, it’d be a lot more beneficial to them, and to their readers.

This is true because Google is doing a good job determining what “underhanded” means in the context of search engine optimization. John Chow is a successful blogger who has been paying others to create links (“paid links”) from their sites to his blog in order to improve his ranking in Google and other search engines.

Part of the debate hinges on whether Google is right to say that buying links — instead of encouraging other sites to link to a site by creating useful content, fostering relationships with other bloggers & webmasters, etc. — is underhanded or “black hat”.

Google offers a fair amount of explanation for its practices. Read more here: My site’s ranking in Google

And, in particular, check out Why should I report paid links to Google?

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