Google’s Matt Cutts on Paid Link Criteria
Google’s web spam team head recently posted a new 8minutes video on YouTube. The video highlights the key aspects to know whether a link is a paid one or not? He says that Google team can easily detect 99% of the paid links and for others certain questions are looked upon. It is pretty obvious that any link is paid for an exchange of certain dollars. This is the basis criteria which evident and followed maximum times. Apart from it the other things put in considerations are:
Value of Exchanged Goods Influencing the Behavior
Google see whether the exchanged value will be enough to change the behavior of the person. He explains this fact with an example that if any company is giving low quality free t-shirts then it will not influence that much to write for them. While on the on the other hand, if a company pays you $600, it will be significant exchange of value for a paid link.
Finding Closeness with Money:
Apart from exchange of actual money, there are instances where a company offers other things too. A gift card will probably be of much value then a free pen or so. Hence, the focus is on how close is the value of a thing exchanged in comparison with money. For example giving free trials to any software or providing free bear trials does not come under paid link concept.
See It Is A Gift Or Loan:
A paid link will be something more closely related to buying a car rather than taking a car on loan basis. There is a huge difference between the two concepts. Matt gave the example that a company will loan a car, device or something for reviewing purposes. But if an item is given permanently then it is associated with what we call a paid link.
What Is the Intent Of Audience?
This point says that finding the aim of audience is important. At times companies wanted to give away something for no reasons. He told the example that Google give free Nexus 7, but the intent is nowhere related with the links. Instead it is about developers working on such apps. He also underlines giving laptops at events and expecting bloggers to give you a link, is surely a bad intent.
Is It A Surprise or Not:
The last criteria would be whether the blogger or the reporter will be surprised? Matt explains that in case you are a movie blogger and given free access to a review a movie, it is not a surprise. But if someone gets a car that too free in exchange of writing, it is a huge surprise.
At the end, Matt says that Google have the rights to execute changes to the guidelines. He says FTC and other government agencies have material connection guidelines and Google is aligned with these.
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