Well, judging by the reaction to my sponsored links post I've struck a nerve. And I have to say, it feels like there's a lot of unanswered questions and a lot of FUD out there. I'm still trying to digest everything. But so far I've found that there are at least three sides to this issue.


Yeah. I've since heard directly from three of the advertisers. Advertiser #1 said "we're outta here!" and pulled their link. Advertiser #2 said "we're with you man!" And advertiser #3 said, "hey, give us a nofollow on our link."

Interesting, huh? I sure couldn't have predicted these results.

In fact, if I had merely asked what people thought of this practice, I probably wouldn't have received even 20% of this feedback. And speaking of feedback, it's my turn to point at and respond to a bunch of what I've read so far in no particular order. (Bear in mind, it's 1am as I start to write this…) As a bonus, you don't have to track down a bunch of this on your own.

#1 In what is otherwise a pretty good summary over on SearchEngineWatch, Danny Sullivan says that I'm caught in a link selling debate.

Caught? No, I practically *started* the debate. I'm facilitating it. And it's teaching me a lot.

He also says:

What's going to happen to Jeremy? As Greg notes, he's not going to be yanked from Google. His site is far too important for that. But Google might prevent it from passing along link juice to others. Apparently, I'm told by others (not Google itself) that Google's done the same to Search Engine Watch because of our SEW Marketplace ads that we sell.

Far too important? Ha! Wordpress.org was removed, if I recall. I think anyone would agree that WordPress is far more important than my dumb blog!

He then goes on to bash the practice of de-juicing entire sites rather than specific links:

If so, Google's just stupid. If it can't figure out that we carry the same sponsored links in the same area and filter out that part, really -- they're dumb. They're even dumber if they have to wipe out the ability of an entire site to help influence its results in a good way. We link to many excellent things -- including things Google wants people to know about. Our links don't carry weight because Google's not smart enough? And Jeremy's site might not carry weight as well? Please.

There's some commentary in the SEW Forum too.

Tim Converse (of the Yahoo! Search Engineering Team) adds to this a bit:

Anyway, selling linkage does make life harder for search engines, but maybe that's our problem not yours. (By "our", I mean people who actually work on the search engines themselves.) A perfect search engine would be able to detect which links were true endorsements and which were purely sold, and adjust accordingly. But to the extent that imperfections exist, there's money to be made.

He also asked why I wasn't using nofollow and speculated that it'd make the links worthless. Using nofollow would have ruined the experiment. I'm trying to find out "does this stuff really work? And is it sustainable?" And the early returns are mixed, as I noted above.

Part of what makes me wonder is the fact that these link brokers exist and seem to not be going out of business. What's behind it all?

#2 Jarrod at TextLinkBrokers.com (hadn't heard of them until today) says that there's lots of excitement over this.

It's too bad that he didn't say more, since he's clearly got an insider's viewpoint.

#3 In Links, Condoms, Shit and Fans we learn that I'm "essentially daring the engines to throttle his outflow of link juice."

I assure you, if that was my goal I could have come up with a much more dramatic way of doing it. (No, I'd rather not explain what that might be.)

But, hey, good attempt to make it look like I'm playing chicken with the folks in Mountain View or my co-workers. I'd give it a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10.

#4 The folks over at Best of the Web have posted their thinking on the matter which also came to me via e-mail.

A couple of weeks ago, Brian received an early afternoon email informing him of a pretty intriguing advertising offer. We were told that industry pundit, and Yahoo insider, Jeremy Zawodny would soon be accepting advertising - text link ads, to boot. Naturally, we were excited - the demographic of Jeremy’s readership is a nice fit for BOTW eyeballs. We signed up by the end of the day.

That's the first I heard of operations on the buying side. I guess that means they had expressed an interested in buying links and waited for a site that matched their profile to come along. They also thought about asking for a nofollow right off the bat, but decided no to:

Ultimately, we decided not to ask Jeremy for the tag. Primarily, we hoped that we would get the “juice” that we needed to start pulling better in Yahoo, an engine in which we have historically had difficulty making significant headway. Ironically, we were not trying to manipulate Anchor Text/PR for Google purposes, but quantity of links in an attempt to boost our Yahoo listings.

They've changed their minds since in light of the recent discussion:

we have decided to ask Jeremy to add the rel=”nofollow” tag. (I just received an email from Jeremy saying that he’d “rig up the code to do that within a day”) In hindsight, we should have requested it from the beginning, and I hope that this is not now a case of closing the barn door after the cows have run out.

Advertisers discussing the thinking behind their choices and doing so in public? Nice.

#5 Macalua.com is all about playing up the drama in Paid Links Soap Opera:

Will Jeremy fold and add nofollow? Will advertisers pull out because of that? Will Jeremy say up my arse Google? Will Matt counter with a sitewide penalty/ban? Will Matt take it to the advertisers?

Marc is really fond of this "Jeremy vs. Matt" meme. As if I was thinking "ha! Surely *this* will get under Matt's skin..." all along. I suspect Matt's job is hard enough without me actively trying to get in the way too.

#6 Over on Threadwatch we see that seobook (who I must assume is Aaron Wall) says several things, including:

Keep in mind that this is not just any old search employee selling links. Jeremy has on multiple occasions posted how much he hates spam. So long as the link is not pointing at spam Jeremy sees no problem with it.

Eh? I can't think of a single Internet user, let alone a Yahoo! employee, that I've not heard complain about spam if the topic came up. This hardly makes me special, now does it?

But like I said in my previous post, I visited each site to see if it felt like spam. If it did, I rejected 'em.

Anyway, there's some interesting questions in the comments on that post.

#7 Over at Search Engine Roundtable, Barry used a headline that bugged me: Google Fights Paid Links & Yahoo Defends Paid Links

I said the following in his comments (which have some sort of posting delay, so I ended up making the same point twice):

Your title is just plain wrong.
Making this out to be a "Yahoo vs. Google" think is barking up the wrong tree. And you know better.
What I do on *my* personal site is my business. If I experiment, I experiment. I've been pretty open about this, past experiments, traffic sources, money sources, etc. It has nothing to do with Yahoo policy.

I'm pretty surprised that he did that, but he's also going for some drama points I guess. It's odd, because he specifically points out that this is a *personal* site in his post.

His post also appears on Search Engine Journal ("fair and balanced" as it is).

#8 There's a funny Greg Boser quote in the SEW Thread:

Reminds me of a quote Greg Boser made at SES San Jose something to the effect that "Google started this whole link popularity game but now they want to take their ball and go home."

That reminds me of what I was thinking over two years ago when I wrote PageRank is Dead and said, among other things:

Google has a really hard problem to solve. It's not unlike the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. PageRank stopped working really well when people began to understand how PageRank worked. The act of Google trying to "understand" the web caused the web itself to change. Blogs are only a recent example of that. Oddly, unlike many of the previous problems with Google (see also: search engine optimization companies; link spammers; google bombing), blogs were not designed to outsmart Google. They just happen to use the web and hyperlinks the way we should have been using them all along.

#8 Over on Wolf-Howl.com I read one of the more amusing titles: Six Degrees of a Lesbian Porn Scraper

thanks to Jeremy Zawodny a large portion of the web just got one step closer to lesbian porn.

It's pretty late now, so I'll resist the temptation to make a juvenile comment about doing my part to surface more lesbian porn.

#9 In Text link follow-up, Matt Cutts (of Google) digs into what the links link to and was the one to uncover the Lesbian Gay Sex Positions site. Luckily he does this stuff for a living, so he can call it "work." :-)

He also suggests that I could offer flying lessons to my 10,000th visitor. I'd need to get my CFI certificate first, but you never know... Gimme a couple more years.

There's some amusing theories, wild speculation, and even a few insightful comments in the discussion on his post too. Give 'em a read for what both sides think.

Matt is wise not to respond to those asking him if AdSense is providing most of the motivation for folks who want higher ranks and resort to various tactics to get it. There are mines in that field!

#10 Over on the ink-stained banana, JR (a co-worker) says:

What Jeremy is doing is the same thing as a Morning DeeJay doing a spot for a mattress company or a TV show character talking about how comfy Brand X shoes are. You pony up extra, you get that extra love.

Everyone listening to the morning dude knows it's and advertisement when he says that stuff. But would a speech to text system? What if Google tried to index all radio ever broadcast using such technology?

#11 Jesus, it's almost 2am. I'm going to bed!

Posted by jzawodn at December 14, 2005 01:52 AM

Reader Comments
# Darryl Antonio said:

To say that this confuses the issue even further is putting it mildly.

Whilst, I apppreciate that this is your private post and not subject to the policies of your employers yet there seems to be a certain sense of 'insider-trading' about it.

Whoa! I hear you say that's slanderous. In reality though, your unqiue position allows you to experiment with trading links etc; as I can't see you blog being 'sand-boxed' somehow for spam

Forgive me if this view seems cynical but it seems to be a game weighted slightly unfairly in my opinion as it seems to follow the old adage of 'it's not what you know but who you know that counts'

Matt Cutts, in his blog “Tell me about your backlinks” says "that in 1-2 minutes, it was easy to tell whether a site was (over)doing reciprocal links or trying to buy links"

So where does this leave the average web site/blog trying to make money and survive - Do we or don't we buy/sell links?

Straight answers only please!

on December 14, 2005 04:52 AM
# Barry Schwartz said:

Sorry for making the title so dramatic. You got to admit, it made you click on to read more. However, you are the poster boy of Yahoo! Matt is the poster boy of Google. Doesn't matter if you like it or not, if you accept it or not, your actions do go beyond your blogs. IMO, lots of people will now think, hey, Jeremy is putting sponsored links on his blog, so can I.

Of course, I have the links on my site. I feel there is no problem with having sponsored links, especially if it is a way to monetize a site. I commend you on this.

It is just too bad that many folks will take your actions beyond a personal blog and apply it, the way my title reads.

on December 14, 2005 05:20 AM
# Jeffrey Friedl said:

You get to bed by 2am? My, how things have changed from the early days at Yahoo.... :-)

on December 14, 2005 05:46 AM
# Third Square said:

I don't believe that Barry's title was too dramatic. If you are the poster boy for a major corporation, with it comes responsibility. This responsibility should not be taken lightly. Having all of the benefits that being a main employee of Yahoo! bring along with it shouldn't make it too much of a sacrifice to restrain yourself from monetizing thru something that is being affiliated with manipulating the SERPs.

What comes next?

Mike Dammann

on December 14, 2005 06:15 AM
# A Paid Sponsor said:

I decided to have my ad pulled simply because this is getting WAY too controversial for my tastes. I bought this link thinking it would be a great way to get high profile traffic from a high profile site. Traffic has been less than 2 visitors per day even with the controversy.

Little did I know what kind of stir this would create in the search community. Sorry Jeremy... nofollow or not, my ad has got to go. 2 visits a day is not worth putting my whitehat organic results at risk.

on December 14, 2005 07:59 AM
# Third Square said:

Exactly: there is no other benefit than SERP manipulation. Plain and simple!

on December 14, 2005 08:07 AM
# phil jones said:

The problem with the attitude that paid-links are essentially Google's problem and that

"Google's just stupid. If it can't figure out that we carry the same sponsored links in the same area and filter out that part, really -- they're dumb." (Not your words, I know)

is that this is just gonna lead to an arms race.

Sure, Google learn to recognise which links to discount. And the link sellers come out with a new piece of obfustication or layout to confuse it. Round we go, and everyone wastes more time and energy on a zero-sum game rather than doing something more productive.

on December 14, 2005 08:34 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

I don't buy that "poster boy" arguement for one second.

I can cite a number of cases when I've come out squarely against my company here, either knocking products, disageeing with a policy, or in other forms.

How would you explain those instances?

on December 14, 2005 08:43 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


What do you mean "going to" lead to an arms race? Haven't we been in that situation for years already?

on December 14, 2005 08:45 AM
# phil jones said:

We've been in an arms race between spammers and search engines. Now there's a second front opening up between paid linkers and search engines.

(Note : I'm only complaining here about SEO links. If you have nofollow and essentially are just using a different broker for text-ads aimed at humans, I don't see a problem.)

on December 14, 2005 09:16 AM
# Third Square said:

Can't always have it both ways, Jeremy :)
get rid of the "ads"

on December 14, 2005 09:35 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

What's that mean? "Both" ways?

Are you saying that your perception of who I am should regulate my behavior?

You're being pretty vague. I've told my story and it's here for anyone to read. You'll even notice that I've neglected to stuff this post with links from people who are cheering me on. I could have done so, but what's the point.

So spit it out. What exactly are you trying to say?

on December 14, 2005 09:55 AM
# Matt Cutts said:

Jeremy, if it makes you feel better, I was in a big meeting when I was writing the text-link-followup post. I thought about leaning over to the other person who could see my laptop and saying "It's okay, I sometimes have to look at scraped lesbian porn for my job." Hopefully they knew that. But the fact is that because of SafeSearch, I'm one of the only people whose job requires them to look at porn from time to time. It gets old, anyway.

I still say lemur auctions are the way to go for the next experiment.


on December 14, 2005 10:03 AM
# Third Square said:

What me and many here and on the forums are saying is that you are participating in a practice that has been scrutinized by search engines and rightfully so. There is a difference between ads and ads. I see a "Best of the Web" link and that I consider targeted advertising that makes sense (the blog is advertising related and people adverrtise in directories). But why would someone like http://www.apartmentratings.com/ put their links up if it wasn't to gain rankings? That is not likely conventional advertising, that is "link buying" and IMO (and the opinion of many) grey hat at best. Do you honestly think they would pay if there was a non-follow attribute? Highly unlikely! I have absolutely nothing against advertising. It's a capitalistic society we live in and there is nothing wrong with that. But selling search engine rankings on a blog owned and operated by the employee of a search engine is just plain wrong and worth reconsidering. Sorry, don't mean to be so hard on you, but this is the day and age where bloggers are being held accountable by their employers and there words and actions are being associated with what their company stands for.

Take a look at post 10 and 12 if you like:
And then answer me this: where does Yahoo! stand on the topic of link buying to gain rankings? If they are cool with it, then no worries, but they should say it publically instead of tip toeing around the subject matter :)

This opinion given by

Mike Dammann

on December 14, 2005 10:07 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Thanks for being explicit.

As for "Yahoo Policy" on this stuff, that's a question for a Yahoo Policy person. I can hunt one of them down if you like. But my suspiciion is that they're far from "cool" with it.

on December 14, 2005 10:16 AM
# jake said:

hey Jeremy ,

it's no shame to be the "poor man's Matt Cutts" monetarily (shit who of us arent't), but stunts like this make you the "poor man's Matt Cutts" in terms of integrity.

You had it right here:

"Blogs make it easy to establish connections, a reputation, and do both with nearly infinite reach compared to the traditional approaches."

so why besmirch yours for a quick buck?

on December 14, 2005 10:52 AM
# ferret77 said:

Rock out Jeremy, don't listen to those player haters, do you and and get those extra couple bucks.

on December 14, 2005 11:13 AM
# Charles said:

My two cents.
Why invite the controversy? This is not exactly cutting edge, head turning, scene changing or Yahoo helping stuff?
Why bother, it's not like you need the extra dollar or two?
I enjoy reading your blog and like the piloting diary but why this?
btw-- I want to work for a company like Y. Seems the top guys have lots of free time. Makes a guy wonder.

on December 14, 2005 11:22 AM
# WebGuerrilla said:

"Far too important? Ha! Wordpress.org was removed, if I recall. I think anyone would agree that WordPress is far more important than my dumb blog!"

Actually, it wasn't. The "articles" were removed, and the home page that contained the hidden link went missing for a couple of days. Other than that, Wordpress got off scott free.

The author of the articles wasn't so lucky. But that's a whole different story....

As far as your importance goes, I can see your point from the surface. You probably won't find too many people that would say a personal blog is more important than an open source site that supports and distributes software used by thousands of people.

However, from an algorithmic standpoint, you are very much an equal to Wordpress. Infact, I'd argue that your site is more important simply because of the amount of outbound links embedded in all your pages. Like it or not, there are many sites on the web that would be negatively impacted if you were slapped with a "can't pass the juice" penalty.

And to me, that is the real issue. I have absolutely no problem with a search engine deciding that paid text links should be devalued. That is their right. But it is also their problem to solve. And IMO, using the threat of penalties to pressure site owners into helping them fix it isn't right.

I hope you keep the links up without nofollow. I would also like to see other large, authoritative sites do the same. There is a limit to how many secret penalties you can hand out before you start seeing a negative impact on the quality of your database. If enough people said no to nofollow, we might actually get to the point where someone will come up with something better than "the person with the most links wins."


on December 14, 2005 11:29 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Why invite controversy? Why not? It seems to me that a lot of people now know more about the search ecosystem than they did before.

Do I need the extra bucks? Nope. I'd rather have extra time. I'm surprised at how few people suggested worthwhilie charities when I asked.

A lot of free time? Yeah, that's why I spent two hours from 12am to 2am pulling a bunch of this info together.

on December 14, 2005 11:30 AM
# Jeremy M said:


Interesting discussion. In reference to your earlier comment about Yahoo's stance on buying and selling links:

"As for "Yahoo Policy" on this stuff, that's a question for a Yahoo Policy person. I can hunt one of them down if you like. But my suspiciion is that they're far from "cool" with it."

Ok, then could someone clarify if Yahoo, the company, is buying links on other sites to manipulate rankings?

Take a look here for example - http://www.htmlgoodies.com/ and check the source. Looks to me like all the ads on that page are being served by Realmedia except for the Yahoo ad for "Cheap Airline Tickets" that points to travel.yahoo.com.

I was first tipped off to it at DP - http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=32136 and was taking the stance that that may just be a "planted" link to make things look a little more "natural" for the SE's. Same principle a lot of directories follow when they manually seed their database with authority type links. After some further research it appeared, at least to me, that Yahoo is actively buying links on various sites in order to manipulate the serps.

So what gives? Does Yahoo buy links on sites while at the same time telling webmasters (indirectly) that they shouldn't?

on December 14, 2005 11:51 AM
# Jeremy M said:

This thread, http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?p=365288#post365288 , was spin off from the original thread I referenced that's a little more to the point about Yahoo buying links.

on December 14, 2005 11:59 AM
# Igford Muley said:

People are up in arms about someone allowing sponsors for their website?

Are you guys kidding me? Seriously? I mean... holy crap. Are you serious?

on December 14, 2005 01:33 PM
# IncrediBILL said:

This entire fiasco just reinforces "Rule #1 (People Are Stupid)" in your policies and I've been flamed for making similar statements on WMW but the truth hurts and people will just need to learn how to deal with it.

We all know the big companies have been selling sponsored links for many years and unless someone pays to keep that link on the web site permanently the link love leaves the minute the credit card declines.

IMO it's a lot of hoopla over nothing, but if you did this as a viral marketing move to get more FREE links and traffic to your site, you're a genius, hat's off to you and I have to laugh as all the blogs decrying your practice are at the same time fueling your fame ;)

on December 14, 2005 06:35 PM
# Jarrod Hunt said:

Hi Jeremy, I just posted this on one of your older posts. Probably should have posted here, sorry for the dupe.

Wow, it is so nice to finally read some good debate on the topic of paid linking.

Those who know what I do for a living would easily guess what my opinion of sponsored link ads is but If someone would ask me anyways I would say:

Leave it to search engines to develop algorithms to determine which links they want to count. Simply discounting links because they are paid is a path that will only lead to a major disruption of the intricate fabric of the "natural linking web". If we keep on this path that we are on, link builders will keep getting smarter and smarter and the search engines will keep getting stricter and stricter, until finally there isnt a dam link in the world that will actually help anymore.

Instead they should focus on the attributes that make a link "truly" valuable when determining what links should count.

1. Is the site that is doing the linking trusted? Trusted being a site that does what a trusted site should, builds good content, links to other quality sites, been around for a long enough time... etc etc..

2. Is the site that is being linked to Quality? If an advertiser's site is crap then it shouldnt matter what links they are getting, because the search engines should see that the site is crap and make it so all of the links in the world wont help.

3. Is the link in a place that can be seen by the public, Does it get any clicks? If so, then it shouldnt matter whether it is a paid link or not.

Links should only multiply the power of sites that already have power due to on-site factors.

If a site that is trusted for only linking to quality sites decides to sell links, it is should be considered a vote like anything else. The same kind of vote that you get from Yahoo's paid directory, which Google loves so much.

It all comes down to whether a link is human edited or not and if it is, does that human/website have quality quidelines.

Once you have determined that the statements above are true there is no need to classify links as bought or natural, just trusted or not-trusted.

on December 14, 2005 10:34 PM
# Jarrod Hunt said:

For all of those comparing "Jeremy selling links" to the Wordpress incident you are way off base.

Wordpress got caught creating and hiding 168,000 crappy spam article pages on their site.

Thats a little different then Jeremy linking out to a few sites in a very transparent way.

Wordpress was spamming the engines with crappy hidden content and deserved to get pubicly shamed for it.

Jeremy is linking to sites that he deamed acceptable enough to visually put in front of his audience. I doubt he would have linked to any site that looked like crap.

Now if one of those sites is doing something on their side that isnt kosher, then those sites should be dealt with individually.

Blaming Jeremy or any "trusted webmaster" for linking to a site that is secretly doing something stupid would be like blaming the thousands of webmasters who linked to wordpress for supporting spam.

on December 14, 2005 11:30 PM
# ScottW said:

Tim Converse (of the Yahoo! Search Engineering Team) adds to this a bit:
Anyway, selling linkage does make life harder for search engines, but maybe that's our problem not yours. (By "our", I mean people who actually work on the search engines themselves.) A perfect search engine would be able to detect which links were true endorsements and which were purely sold, and adjust accordingly. But to the extent that imperfections exist, there's money to be made.

Right on Tim!

I had made a comment on Matt's post about whose responsibility is it to improve the SERPs and I'm glad to see that others on the inside of Yahoo feel the same. Search engines are not altruistic organizations, they are highly profitable businesses and should be responsible for their own quality and performance. How would the world react if GM said that they had found a way to improve fuel economy and it involved people losing weight or pedaling?


on December 15, 2005 08:34 AM
# Tim Converse said:

Scott ---

Um, maybe you should read my whole original comment. I'm not a fan of this kind of link-selling, especially in cases where the whole point of it is to game search engines. Now, I don't think it should be _illegal_ to do it --- people should obviously be able to construct their sites however they want to. But (a) I wish people wouldn't, and (b) if they do, I think that search engines are justified in taking whatever action is necessary at ranking time to preserve relevance.

Anyway, of course search engines are responsible for their own quality and performance. And one of the important ways that they exercise that responsibility is by making best efforts to correct for gaming attempts.

on December 15, 2005 09:17 AM
# ScottW said:


Thanks for your response. Perhaps I was a little unclear in my previous comment. I completely agree that those folks who are purchasing text links with the sole purpose of ranking low quality sites and gaming the search engines should be penalized.

At the same time, there are many high-quality sites that purchase text links on relevant sites primarily for click-through value. Any SEO value is just icing on the cake and may go way at any moment. I don't believe that sites who engage in legitimate advertising should be viewed as "losing trust" in the eyes of the search engines as Matt said.

I know several site owners who purchase links from local newspapers and very targeted sites because they have a regionally defined audience. Most of these small sites have never heard of SEO and I doubt that they would be willing to add "rel=nofollow" tags to their ads. I simply believe that legitimate sites that choose to advertise in this way should not have to adjust their marketing strategies to please the search engines.

Ultimately I really sincerely appreciate everyone’s efforts to reduce the garbage on the web, I only took offense because I felt that requiring the web to change rather than changing the algorithm was asking too much.


on December 15, 2005 10:50 AM
# ry8E said:

This is no different than Yahoo's directory business:

You pay $300/mo to be in the Jeremy sponsored links directory *IF* he accepts you.

You pay $300/yr to be in the Yahoo directory *IF* they accept you.

If Google thinks some sites are making poor editorial decisions about who they link to, they should use their Applied Semantics acquisition, Toolbar data, and the rest of their intelligence and secret sauce to create algorithms that deflate the endorsement unrelated sites pass to each other, whether it's Yahoo's editors or Jeremy Zawodny.

Let us not forget, Google *created* the value of text links. To police it in an ad hoc manner (as opposed to doing it via an algorithm) suggests that Google isn't as clever or smart as they've convinced everyone.

on December 15, 2005 02:26 PM
# JadedTLC said:

Third Square: Since you've obviously got some strong feelings about Jeremy and his Yahoo affiliation, how do you feel about Adwords representatives holding their very own AdWords Accounts, making money as affiliates? That doesn't seem fair either, but it's also somewhat underplayed information. At least Jeremy openly says, hey i'm making extra money and i work for yahoo. Google employees don't call their clients and say, "you know i've got an adwords account and i'm competing with you and i'm making money."

just junk food for thought

on December 15, 2005 04:12 PM
# Amanda Watlington said:

What a tempest in a teapot! It is a messy, but interesting debate.

Jeremy, keep on experimenting and exploring the outer and inner reaches of the search ecosystem. You do us all a favor. We may all learn from the discussion.

This entire discussion has surfaced many interesting concepts and restarted a debate that will not really ever be solved until search engines develop the artificial intelligence to really figure out which link is worthy and which is not. It gives pause for thought.

on December 16, 2005 01:37 PM
# Tom Foremski said:

So, Google text ad links are paid text links yet it would penalise a site that carries paid text links.

It is penalising a site for competing with Google, n'est pas?

on December 17, 2005 04:53 PM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.