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If a site linking to mine gets caught selling links, what happens to my site?

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If some site that is linking to my site gets penalized for purchasing links, will my site get affected by that penalty? Sergey L, NYC Have a question? Ask it in our Webmaster Help Forum: http://groups.google.com/a/googleproductforums.com/forum/#!forum/webmasters Want your question to be answered on a video like this? Follow us on Twitter and look for an announcement when we take new questions: http://twitter.com/googlewmc More videos: http://www.youtube.com/GoogleWebmasterHelp Webmaster Central Blog: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/ Webmaster Central: http://www.google.com/webmasters/
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Text Comments (52)
Radek Durski (5 years ago)
Sounds fair, lest make content.
Mayur Vyas (5 years ago)
Sound diplomatic...
Aejay Goehring (5 years ago)
Was this really necessary for this video? I understand some of his answers a bit vague, but this answer was particularly clear-cut. I ask this question, but apparently 19 people (and counting) have thought so.
Tim Woodby (5 years ago)
No Doubt!
manik khan (5 years ago)
Really nice video
Spook SEO (5 years ago)
The site being linked to won't get penalized as such, but will likely lose the linkjuice that the incoming link was passing.
Ron Coleman (6 years ago)
Where do we go to submit questions to you?
Nellie K. Adaba (6 years ago)
Tim Berry (6 years ago)
Summary: the value of the link from the bad site will drop, but shouldn't hurt you or pass the penalty effect to your site. Good, but not sure it plays out this way in every situation.
Gaps (6 years ago)
I buy links every day. Top rankings across many industries. Don't believe everything you hear on this channel.
Marviene Fulton (6 years ago)
On April 16th, 2013, at seroundtable . com on a post by Barry Schwartz, Matt Cutts is interpreted as saying that if a site is a repeat offender of selling links then the people who purchase links will also be punished. Don't buy links.
Ivo van den Dijssel (6 years ago)
I'm working for a site with thousands of outgoing links. Once every 3 months a site that we link to get penalized. We remove these links but, does this affect the overall ranking of my site?
FidYoMan (6 years ago)
Ah - nice to see that Google aren't wasting money on large expensive WHITE BOARDS! Nice and professional- just the way I would have done it!
Chris Tudor (6 years ago)
matt how are some of the spam sites which sell links have such high ranking (3-4)?
Can Aydinoglu (6 years ago)
My blog contains a lot of links with "nofollow" to my other site. Google webmasters tool displays these links. Is it any problem ? Or there is not any problem because of "rel=nofollow"
Dan C (6 years ago)
Google doesn't want you selling links that pass PageRank. Just place a rel="nofollow" in the link and you'll be fine.
Martin Garay (6 years ago)
Thank you!, This is good to know
Yasar H (6 years ago)
This is good to know. Thank you!
Greg McVey (6 years ago)
That would be enough. You could also send the link to a redirect page on your site first. That way no link juice is passed to an external site. You'll notice when you click on a Google Adword it goes to a redirect page first. That's how they avoid passing Juice.
MrTVTL905 (6 years ago)
Actually, Sam's got a bit of a point, although probably not the one he's thinking of. YP uses a third party that creates one page templated "microsites", and quite often register domains similar to that of the company name that they're marketing on behalf of without prior knowledge of the company. This actually happened to a client of mine. Can YP still be trusted?
Sam Pizzo (6 years ago)
What if you buy a link from a big company such as yellow pages, super pages, merchant circle, etc etc... your saying those are bad and those "big" sites can't be trusted??
Bruno Trevino (6 years ago)
It's all about the high end technologies with google.
Ved Tiwari (6 years ago)
Great question & very Good Answer by Matt. Well after watching video a big question in mind, if Google do not affect a website buying links from a link selling site THAN WHAT IS GOOGLE PENGUIN UPDATE FOR? Really this Video put a question mark on existence of Google Penguin update due to which websites get penalized for Buying Links, Having Links from Link Farms or Having Bad Links? If this kind of linking just reduce benefits of page rank, than Matt can you tell what Google Penguin Update For?
Sergey Lucktinov (6 years ago)
Thanks a lot Matt for answering my question. That is exactly what I suspected, thank you for clarifying.
Steven W. Giovinco (6 years ago)
Thanks for the interesting video post, and for the clarification. I ran into this with a client, whom I didn't know was engaged in buying links. I couldn't initially understand why their pages ranked so poorly (I was focusing on the online reputation management side rather than SEO), until I found the issue. Because of it, they probably must rework their entire site, domain and the complete online presence.
Pratheesh omnitec (6 years ago)
Good Topic and Good Speech..Thanks for sharing here with us.
Yasar H (6 years ago)
Thank you for the helpful reply. So if I make all ad or image links "Nofollow" links, would that be enough so as not to be considered link selling?
Nelson Christian (6 years ago)
Short and sweet answer
deneatins (6 years ago)
mark stubbles (6 years ago)
Because links improve rankings, you can sell advertising as long as it doesn't pass any link juice. Adwords isn't a link its just advertising.
Ivan Dziuba (6 years ago)
Ищу единомышленников. Тут по-русски кто-то гласит? Кроме Мэтта...
Yasar H (6 years ago)
I cannot get this! If I have a site and I want to sell advertisements on it (Just like Google does; Adwords-Adsense), and those ads I want to sell are either banner ads or "link" ads (and again, just like what Google does!) Then, please explain to me why on earth should I get penalised for "selling links", and then lose google's trust, and lose 50% of my rank! Why?! Why when it's Google's Ad program it's called: good "Adwords"! but when it's my ad program, it is called: infamous "selling links"!
Yuri Polchenko (6 years ago)
so, the question - will Google know of that 'sale link deal'
Rumdabbadoh (6 years ago)
Cute post-it!
Fede Einhorn (6 years ago)
Too many link selling/buying videos in a row... Penguin hit coming!
Jaleel Hamid, PRIVATE (6 years ago)
Big thanks :-)
hpygolkyone (6 years ago)
.......he also gets a lot of groovy polo shirts in pretty pastel colors.
Kate Toon (6 years ago)
Matt you look lovely in in blue, sigh
Nizam Khan (6 years ago)
Short, yet very informative,. Thanks :)
JoshsWorld.com (6 years ago)
Google stock is trading at over $800 per share... and Matt only gets a Post-It for his visual aids...
RemixPicture (6 years ago)
I think you got the question wrong. It says: PURCHASING, not SELLING links. So if a site that PURCHASES links gets penalized, will his site also get affected by that penalty? I know the answer is kind of the same, but that's two different questions.
Google Doodle Videos (6 years ago)
Thanks, Matt. Good to know. But next time, please, a bigger sketch :-)
Wilson Calabresi (6 years ago)
Fair enough
Scott McKirahan (6 years ago)
I imagine the same holds true for links you get from a site caught BUYING links.
nipponese (6 years ago)
Short answer: yes.
Luke Johnson (6 years ago)
I think the question was more about the sites that were buying from a link seller meaning does the seller and buyer both get penalized. But I think you have already covered that before.
Jimmy Wirsborg (6 years ago)
Links comming from spammy and shitty sites that doesn't sell links, those you want to disavow. It's not related to this scenario and that tool is pretty useless for the most part, but immensly powerful...
Michael Haley (6 years ago)
Oh... that makes sense.
Alan M Cardero (6 years ago)
Im guessing the disavow Tool comes handy if you have a high volume of selling link sites pointing to you (and you didn't know), in that case Google do take manual action on you.
Michael Haley (6 years ago)
Then why the disavow tool? (other than for you to find juicy paid link sites)
Carlos Garcia (6 years ago)
Pick your friends wisely.
Jimmy Wirsborg (6 years ago)
So basicly yes.

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