My posts about: newspaper paid links
Some newspapers have been accused of including paid links on their pages – links that other sites have paid to have included there for SEO reasons. There is nothing illegal with this – but it’s against Google’s terms of service. Websites caught buying or selling links can get penalised in Google’ search results as the search engine sees it as a way to manipulate the order of its results. These are my posts about newspapers and paid links, many of them featuring the Mirror / Trinity Mirror group, not that I think they are at it more or less than anyone else – they’re just the ones I noticed …
Google says it has "taken action" and no longer trusts links from a major UK newspaper group - apparently referring to the Daily Express website.
The Express and OK sites appeared to suffer page rank penalties in April - and Google has now confirmed it has taken action against a UK newspaper site.
There was a story yesterday that the Express has been emailing SEOs selling links. I went over to the Express home page. And was fairly shocked to see it has a toolbar pagerank of just 4, which seems incredibly low for a newspaper site (er, it puts it on a par with my homepage toolbar pagerank!).
It definitely used to be higher than this.
The Mirror has removed some of the links to MoneyExtra that I recently warned looked like paid-for links added for SEO reasons (which would put them in breach of Google's guidelines).
Of the 11 pages I pointed out: 5 contained links to the MoneyExtra credit card page - 4 have had the MoneyExtra links removed ...
However, the Mirror wants to beware how its links look. Let's take a look at a few pages - stories which share these characteristics:
* All contain exactly three links to a MoneyExtra page.
* All three links use different anchor text.
* The text happens to be competitive search terms.
* And MoneyExtra isn't mentioned in the article itself.
Trinity Mirror has stopped selling paid links without the nofollow tag. Christian Science Monitor has started.
Is Trinity Mirror selling keyword-rich links on its ic Network without using the nofollow tag? Don't tell Google ...