As many of you know, I was one of the last major search "blogs" to hold out on Google's guidelines when it comes to paid links. I sold links without the nofollow for years, heck, even before there was a nofollow attribute.
I've been hated and loved for it over the years but I didn't do it for the hate or love, I did it out of being stubborn. I didn't want to change because Google told me to.
Well that changed a week ago. I decided to nofollow the remainder of the paid links on have on the sidebar under where it says "Sponsored Links."
The main reason was all but one advertiser wanted them nofollowed. Yes, they all wanted to support the site without getting any link benefit. These sponsors actually didn't want anything else in return except to see this site continue on and be able to financially be able to write content here. So they fork over hundreds of dollars each month as a thank you. And I deeply appreciate it - I do.
The other reasons include:
(1) Over time, new SEOs in the business simply don't get it. They think I am Google, since I write about Google, and thus, since I sell links and don't nofollow them, then it is safe. It is not safe. It can hurt your rankings, PageRank and ability to truly monetize the web site. Truth is, the site suffered in Google and thus with traffic because I sold links. It was fine with me, but to see so many new SEOs being confused by it and then suffering themselves - it wasn't fair.
(2) I am tired of explaining why I didn't nofollow the links. Yes, I made a quick link to my post at seroundtable.com/links so I can respond faster to those questions. Again, see #1, they didn't get it.
(3) As you grow older, you learn to be less stubborn. More wise? Not sure about that. But less stubborn.
So now what?
I did submit a reconsideration request and received a response. The response is very interesting and I plan on sharing that with you next week. You can actually learn a lot from it.
But for now, I wanted to inform you all, this site no longer sells links that pass PageRank. The sponsors here are truly doing it because they like the content. Go figure. :)
For some historical perspective, read why I originally did not nofollow the links over here and feel free to come back here and trash or support me for nofollowing them now.
Forum discussion at Google+.