Google SEO Reality: Buying or Selling Links that Pass PageRank Leads to Penalty

Beware of selling or buying links

One reason of having penalty is due to the fact that you have gain unnatural links and that can be in the form of paid links or through buying or selling links that Pass PageRank. And one of the biggest news in SEO world for this week wherein all are surprised is about Interflora (major UK flower site) and UK Newspapers being penalized by Google. And to give you a hint that it was penalized, try to research its domain, you will see that it is not ranking on first page.

See it below or search it straight on Google :

Interflora rankings in Google

You can also try checking Interflora’s PageRank, its value is equal to zero or search its major keywords like flower online. You will see that it is not ranking anymore.

You will notice that many bloggers have been posting about this issue, since we wanted to share it to you because some of us are not aware about the reason why those sites got penalized. And it is truly an interesting matter. Since 2007, Google started fighting about Paid links that pass PageRank and up until now this kind of techniques is still alive. And to prove that Google is watching over our websites, we are surprised Interflora got penalized.

The Reason for Penalty…

Through SEO Analysis, I have tried checking its backlinks, and luckily I have found out one proof why it got penalized:

Offering support (FREE flowers) to bloggers in EXCHANGE of having FREE Advertisement of its links (dofollow) or embedding its DOFOLLOW LINKS. Actually I have got it in just one blog post and in that paragraph you will see that there are about 7 links and based on my inspection flowers online and Interflora are both pointing to homepage and the rest are on its inner pages.

content from a blog with Interflora links

And for more detective version, see Anthony Shapley’s investigation about what really happened with Interflora . This post also features the newspapers in UK that were penalized where in those sites having PR 5 to 6 now it became zero, and there’s one having PR 8 now it’s PR 4, and then a PR 7, now its PR 3 (seems that PageRank matters). It is really a huge PageRank drop.

Another, interesting one to read, Martin McDonald shared its own version of Interflora SEO Penalty Analysis 2013 .

Why I have mentioned that it is the main reason why it got penalized?

Remember what was written on webmaster guidelines :

Link schemes

Under link schemes it was truly a clear violation. It is a kind of PageRank Manipulation wherein according to Google it can hurt the search results relevance. It leads to inaccurate results and at the same time inequities since it creates an unfair organic SERPs advantage to websites doing this scheme.

Although Google does not give names on websites they penalized, but as you read the situation, after Google publish another reminder seems that it is a clear implication that Interflora was caught red handed.

What will you going to do if you are penalized due to buying or selling links that pass page rank?

Based on Google Recommendations:

• Adding rel=”nofollow” attribute to the ads.

• Removing the links on the ads or advertorial pages.

In order that you will not pass PageRank, those are the things that you must do and after that if you are sure that you have no artificial links, you must submit your site for reconsideration.

Remember if you are going to be penalized because of this tactic you will face these consequences:

• Lower PageRank
• Loss of Trust
• Drop in Rankings
• Rankings Removal in Google Search Results

You will truly loss the advantage of being on top position of Google search results.
So, it is always a must to follow the webmaster guidelines .

In a SEO Consultant POV, valuable links are hard to earn. It is always safe if you are going to follow the guidelines.

Thoughts? Share it below.

online strategic solution

Al Gomez

SEO Consultant, Online Marketer & Blogger, Web Developer & DLINKERS Founder.

“Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”