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  • Google pushing US legislation in paid links fiasco

    The paid links debate has escalated this week after Google apparently took action against a number of popular web directories.

    As many as 60 directories, according to this report, suddenly dropped in rank, leading to suspicion that Google has begun aggressively (and likely, manually) targeting paid link directories deemed to be in violation of the search engine’s quality guidelines. Some have suggested competitor sabotage via the recently initiated paid link reporting form.

    Some of affected directories included Aviva, Alive, Big Web Links, ewebpages, Directory Dump, Elegant Directory, and Biz-Dir. David Eaves, the owner and operator of Biz-Dir told WebProNews that about 550 of his directory pages have been dropped from Google’s index altogether.

    Google has been quite public in the past about paid links that pass PageRank being against their quality guidelines. The confusing message from Google is that you should “Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites.” Clearly they are not against the concept of a quality directory but seem to be against those that appear to be charging for link inclusion rather than charging an editorial review fee.

    Matt Cutts recently discussed the matter during a SES session citing one of the main reasons behind their crusade against paid links being the concept of full disclosure, as discussed by the FTC.

    The biggest issue I have with this, and one most other people are not picking up on, is that the FTC only has authority in the US. There are no laws or guidelines in the UK requiring website owners disclose adverts or paid links in any way. If these laws existed then we would happily obey them but they don’t. Why should Google try to apply US laws to residents in the UK?

    This isn’t the first time Google has tried to force US laws overseas. Recently they stopped Adwords advertisers bidding on the word “poker” in a half hearted attempt to enforce the US online gambling legislation in the UK.


    3 Responses to “Google pushing US legislation in paid links fiasco”

    1. Anonymous says:

      is this reason why example of directory without any listing just full of categories ? with high page rank and lot of high pr backlinks?

    2. Anonymous says:

      Don’t you know that US == The Whole Fucking World? And in the nearest future all justifiable countries will assume US as the one and only World Government. Renegade countries that refuse to do so will be justly punished of course.

      Btw, google also enforces DMCA in other countries. I was especially amused by DMCA notice diligently translated into Russian when searching for something on google.ru. I guess they display this junk on other local google sites as well.

    3. John R says:

      That is totally uncalled for Google to impose US laws on other nationals. In my country, we have laws to rehulate Monopolistic trade practices and it seems Google’s action falls into that category by forcing people to change their web culture.

      If Google ever tries that in my country, I would report them to the Monopoly practices watchdog.

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