Why do some Websites or Blogs get away with Selling Links…?

I have always found this an interesting topic this one, why do some web owners openly sell links and get away with it with the search engines (namely google).. I mean as website owners many are becoming more and more aware of the selling link epidemic where google penalises peoples website…

“But what i wanted to know is why do some websites seem immune to it…?”

I was beginning to think that some big websites are being turned a blind eye to compared to the smaller websites… It seemed unfair in a lot of ways yet why would the search engines, mainly google do this…? It really had got me confused this one… Blogs in particular is where i had noticed this happening.

The Selling Links Debate and Google…??

Maybe it is preference to the high traffic websites, or maybe it is something simpler… This took me to want to investigate more… After many months of reading many Search engine advice webites I came across one post that revealed most of the answer for me… It was written by Matt Cutts from google so needless to say more, it resolved my most of my questions quickly…

While most of us believe any selling is not okay with google, what it really is, is we are mislead on how to sell links…? Basically google is fine with it as long as it has either the “nofollow” attached to it or is disallowed in robots.txt…

“So basically what was wrong all along was selling links that pass pagerank…”

I really think they should of made that more clear to newbies on this, but anyway it is all good news for blog / website owners worried about this… Personally this issue does not effect me anyway, as I do not sell links or promote selling links, so I do not fall into this bracket. However if you do sell links all that you need to do is some minor adjustments…  A quote from Matt Cutts on this, from Google is below –

selling links issue with google

To read more on Selling Links from Matt Click here.

Example of Advertising Url Adjustments –

From this –

<a href=”http://www.yourwebpromote.com”>

to this –

<a href=”http://www.yourwebpromote.com” rel=”nofollow”>

Or in robots.txt, add the folder redirect not to follow like this –

User-agent: *
Disallow: http://www.yourwebsite.com/redirectfolder/

Personally if you are going to do these changes it is ethical to let your advertisers know of the change. Hopefully that being said, they are interested more in the traffic and not so much the pagerank…

Maybe Robots.txt was the Reason some Web Owners can Sell Links…?

Okay so back to my point on why some blogs or websites get away with blatantly selling links.. Possibly these larger websites i was wondering about were using the robots.txt solution all along, maybe this is what i had missed in previous investigations of this… Or maybe it is also because they have so many good backlinks they brush off the fury… If there is another reason than this, whatever it is I am sure it will always be a mystery and a big debate by many to come…?


  1. Blogging Tips says

    Hey Timon

    You can sell links as long as they are nofollow in nature. I’ve been adopting this strategy on all of my paid reviews but never use the robots.txt method as it’s too time consuming. Just for the record, I’m using a plugin to set all the links as nofollow on any category I choose.


  2. Timon Weller says

    Yeah the nofollow way is the easiest way, what had me stumped for a while was big websites not using nofollow, instead they must of been using the robot method for each individual advertiser url…

  3. Blogging Tips says

    The rule is such that if all the links are pointing to one particular website or product site, the big G will interpret it as paid links while links pointing to multiple sites are considered outgoing links which are perfectly fines.

    I could be wrong but that’s my understanding of the issue. I figure you are right on the use of robots.txt for big websites. Have you ever checked on their robots.txt file?


  4. Timon Weller says

    Hey Yan,
    Yeah i agree there with you there on many links… I thought it was good to hear that using some of our own network links is okay with them… Also i keep reading, but am very surprised that it is okay to exchange effort for links (like work for links), as long as money is not involved or intentions is not to effect pr… This has major potential for trade systems to become popular.. eg. For a review you can have some of my own services for free…

    Yeah two major sites i checked out were Johnchow.com and Problogger.net… John Chow has robots.txt, but Problogger does not… however Problogger changed there links for advertisers, which looks like there own solution… yet “nofollow” is not being used or robots…

    Another that caught my eye was BOTW.org a directory, that sells links but does not use “nofollow” or robots.txt…? What is up with that…? I thought directories were being targetted in particular…??

    Other than those ones it looks like many webmasters are starting to change there system now to comply with Google… 🙂

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