Lets say I have a website that gets a steady flow of decent traffic (and I do - several in-fact) and I have people that want to pay me to advertise on my site because of that, and they feel they could benefit from it, then where the hell is the problem Google? Don't try to tell me there is no problem if I only disclose paid links by putting a big ugly sign above the paid ad that says: Look here Google - "I am a paid link". That is bull!
So Google wants to take away your right to make money by selling links, or take away your right to buy a link on an amazing site that could get you good traffic by scaring you? Personally, if I buy a link on a site like that, I do not want an ugly sign that says "Google this is a paid link"!
I agree that hiding links is a bad practice, one that I do not follow, but this is completely different and should not have even been brought up in the same context.
I would love to see the day when the Yahoo Directory has a big disclaimer at the top of it that states: "All of the people listed in this directory have paid to be here - Are we clear on that Google"? Are you really going to take away the value of a directory like that Google?
Here's something for thought? If buying and selling text links were such an evil practice, then why has Google attended almost every Search Engine Conference whose some of the main sponsors are companies that sell text links (OH - and they sell links themselves too - hypocritical .... just a little) hmm.....
For a company that is suppose to have a "do no evil" policy, they have fallen to the dark side of the force pretty quickly, and I am starting to think of them like Microsoft.
Here is another thought:
- What if I wrote a really amazing story with great link bait, and a bunch of bloggers linked to the story because it was good (Well couldn't I have just paid for a ton of bloggers to do that?)
- What if I had a story dugg and made it to the popular list ( I could have paid a bunch of people to digg that story?)
- What if this article got saved on del.icio.us a ton of times (I could have paid a ton of people to save it - right?)
DO YOU SEE THE POINT? Ok, I am done with this rant because this whole topic of Google hunting out websites that buy and sell links is ridiculous.