It’s Trust that Google kills for paid links

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  • March 4, 2009
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

My presentation on Saturday at Think Visibility is about link building and the idea that there are three types of links – links for PageRank, links for TrustRank and links for keyword rankings.

People seem to worry about whether paid links and paid blog posts are passing PR or if they pass anchor text for keyword rankings but the actual issue is that paid links don’t pass Trust.

Makes sense when you think about it that way, doesn’t it?

Because Trust isn’t something that can be tested, unlike PageRank and anchor text, not many people really talk about whether a link passes Trust or not.

We’ve been focussing on building natural links for years and the thought that Google blocked Trust on paid links was one of the key factors behind that focus. Now Matt Cutts has blogged about it everybody else might catch on too.

The Forrester report discusses a recent “sponsored conversation” from Kmart, but I doubt whether mentions that even in that small test, Google found multiple bloggers that violated our quality guidelines and we took corresponding action. Those blogs are not trusted in Google’s algorithms any more.

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