Google Canada Caught With Paid Link For Non-Profit Contribution

Sep 13, 2018 • 7:42 am | comments (16) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Caught

Google has been caught buying or paying for links before but doesn't always take action against themselves when caught. Google's John Mueller just talked about giving charity and getting a link and then shortly after Tad showed how Google Canada donated $20,000 and got a link on OpenMedia.

Here is Tad's tweet:

Yes, there is a link without a nofollow on it, pointing to towards the footer:

Google Paid Link

Google's John Mueller just talked about paid links via charity and if you need to worry. At the 6:40 mark into that video, he answered the following question:

We sponsor a local hockey club and they put up an image link in their site thanking us. But it's dofollow and we don’t know what to do to change it. Is this going to cause us any problems?

John said in general, in this case, you probably don't need to worry. Here is his full answer:

In general, when the web spam team takes a look at these kinds of questions, they try to look at the bigger picture. And if with your website you’re sponsoring like lots of different clubs and sites where it looks like the primary intent is to get a link there, then that’s something the web spam team might take action on.

On the other hand if this is one of lots of links to your site and this is one from a local hockey club and it’s like you just know them and they can’t easily fix that or change that on their site or they don’t know how, then the web spam team is not going to worry about that.

So I’d try to take a look at the bigger picture there and think about whether or not this is really something that you’re doing systematically. Like going out and sponsoring other sites or products with the intent of getting a link or if this is something that’s essentially just a natural part of the web.

So my guess, based on the question here is that this is not something you need to worry about.

Here is the video embed:

Back in February, Google donated and got a link and Google didn't do anything. in fact, the link still does not have a nofollow on it! A couple of years ago, the Chrome team was caught buying a $350,000 link and they did something similar in 2012. They ended up penalizing the Chrome site in 2012 for those actions but not for the 2016 actions. Google does take action against themselves when they go against their own guidelines, they did with the Chrome example, they did with AdWords for cloaking, they did for other cloaking issues and even slapped Google Japan years ago.

I doubt Google will do anything about this specific link as well.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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