Quality Content vs Paid Links
I say versus because in this case this is NOT a false choice. Paid links will negate the search benefit of quality content, as described very well in the post referenced below.
That article is well thought out and the ideas put forth by Scott Masson are presented well.
My only issue with Scott’s article (if that is even the right word) is the main reason paid links will destroy the search benefit of quality content is because Google is specifically targeting spam links.
Purchased links has become an SEO trick being used to raise the search ranking of crappy content.
Google is the Ultimate Search Referee
In a family when Mom or Dad says “Because I said so” there is no way to appeal their decision. The discussion is over.
When it comes to the rules of Organic Search rankings, Google plays the role of Mom and Dad.
When Google says “paid links will hurt your search ranking“, believe they will. First Google say so, then they update their algorithm.
So how does Google know?
What Google Does and Does Not Do
Let us think a minute about what a search engine robot is capable and not capable of doing.
It does not “read”, and it does not “think”. It is in fact quite stupid, doing nothing more and nothing less than what it was programmed to do.
What the Google search engine robots do is pattern recognition and statistical analysis.
So is there a way for the Google bots to recognize the pattern of SPAM links as compared to healthy links?
Since Google has started taking action on SPAM links, the answer is clearly yes.
Although Google does change their minds on some things (Authorship for example), Google’s core business is directly dependent upon the quality of their search results. For them to sell ads, people have to use their search engine. For us to use their search engine, it has to generate better results than the others.
So when Google tells us what they’re going to do improve the quality of their search results, we should listen.
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