What is a “link to pass PageRank” & Paid links ?

There is debate raging on internet over paid links and links to pass Google pageRank. Google webmaster forum also saw some action on this issue. There was a question “What constitutes a “link to pass PageRank” debate https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/webmasters/crawling-indexing–ranking/BNs_AOVr3M0

Bloggers are nowadays putting nofollow on any link that’s maybe paid for in cash or kind. This is hurting business owners who are paying for the links.  So essentially, if you have a product and you compensate a blogger for review, blogger will put up a review with a nofollow link to your product page.

So while you may get traffic and publicity from the blog post you will not get Google link juice?

The tricky part comes when a blogger approaches the business owner and ask for a free sample in lieu of a review. A business owner may want to have a dofollow link rather than a nofollow to get maximum SEO benefit.

Are blogger being paranoid or do they have a genuine reason. Are such link if dofollowed really come under Google’s radar for a being paid link?

Google’s John Mu certainly thinks so.

If those links are there because of money (or something equivalent) changing hands, then we would consider them to be paid links, and with regards to our webmaster guidelines, we’d recommend adding a rel=nofollow to the link.

He further stated that having a nofollow link can benefit in many other ways such as – your product will be talked about, people will click on the link and you will get traffic.

But are these benefits really tangible or substantial. A poster chimed in that his company sent out thousands dollars worth products as freebies but got nothing in sales. That means if you’re giving out your product to a blogger for a review and even if the blogger does  write a positive review, there maybe a very little chance of getting  any significant sales from all your efforts.

Now, what this poster says is at the total end of the spectrum While it maybe true for some products and bloggers, it is not the case with many niches and bloggers.

If you are a blogger with a good reputation then your readers may be inclined to buy a product or service that you review. Haven’t we seen it with bloggers with affiliate links for various products?

Bottom line is – give out freebies and try to get a positive review and  a link ( nofollow or dofollow). If you get dofollow links don’t overdo with obvious patterns. Have a good mix of nofollow links wont hurt. Do not use keywords as anchor texts and you will be fine.  


I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

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