Use The No Follow Tag If Buying, Selling Links For Traffic
All Google has to do to solve this problem of theirs, is to take away the indicator people use to buy and sell PageRank.
Someone suggested to me that Google would never do away with the PageRank indicator in their toolbar, because Google feels that it is the only thing that ensures that people will keep the Google toolbar in their browser. Personally, I will continue to use the Google toolbar for my searches, even if the PageRank indicator was not there, because I like the search results Google gives to me. But that is just my opinion, and I am only one person out of millions of Google toolbar users.
What it boils down to is this. If Google is serious about nixing schemes to buy and sell PageRank, then they would simply take their PageRank indicator away from us. But will they take it away? Only time will tell.
This article by Bill Platt is perhaps the most unique suggestion I’ve seen on the subject of buying and selling links. One thing is for sure, Google established the rules. Only Google can change them. People will continue to pay for links as long as Google allows them to.
This whole business about Google wanting to penalize paid links is all about PageRank. That’s the common misconception. Most people believe it’s about the paid link itself. It really isn’t. It IS all about selling PageRank. That’s why Bill Platt’s suggestion may have some merit. But there is the broader point that if Google did remove its PageRank feature from the Google toolbar and hid a websites PageRank then a certain number of people wouldn’t use the toolbar. Google could fix that by offering other features that were just as valuable.
If you are interested in links for traffic purposes, you might do yourself a favor – at least on the short term – insist that links you pay for have a no follow tag. Otherwise you may find yourself in hot water with Google. If you sell links for traffic then you probably want to use the no follow tag. Make sure your customers know they won’t get PR benefit. But if they are buying links for the traffic then it won’t matter.