Google and the link networks

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for long, and it’s being in my drafts as an unpublished entry for some days now, it’s not an easy thing to explain exactly how I feel about this.
This would not be the first link network targeted by Google. Google has penalized link networks several times over the years, most recently the BuildMyRank.com link network.
But after reading what Seoroundtable published about www.sape.ru and other entries about similar networks I though about writing my opinion about it.

Matt Cutts         @mattcutts @dannysullivan @seocom just another day at the office for me. :) Okay, gotta look at some really naughty Russian link selling software now.
9:27 PM – 13 Feb 13

Actually some people that know the market in Russia commented:

Actually we don’t care so much about Google, for Russians Yandex is the king. If Google wants to kill his Russian branch – no problem, nobody cares

It certainly bugs that there are “links marketplaces” out there that are manipulating the search results selling links. Some questions and thoughts arise:

  • Why there are caring about this specially in country where they have 30% of the market search ?
    (Yandex seems to be the search king of Russia)
  • They know this for so long but suddenly they decide to take action ?
  • I’m really surprised that professional SEO’s are still using this kind of get link marketplaces. There are valid ways to get links in an organic way to avoid doing something stupid like this that can damage your client reputation and your professionalism as SEO.

And another though that came to me after this is that Google used to be a search engine which nows looks as a giant advertising marquee of their own advertising and products. Try to search for “Hotel in Berlin” or any popular service and you will see it for yourself.
Google in 2013:
google-2013

And this is how it looked a search for “Hotels New York” just a couple of months ago when they got in the hotels business:
hotel-new-york-2012

Thanks! At least after the Google hotels finder we could see some natural results.
Now this is how we see the same search it in March 2013:
hotel-new-york-2013

So what I don’t get is the double message of fighting so much to keep their search ranking clean but at the same time they put all their advertising marquee in front of your face almost stopping all of us to see organic results.
Why are the organic results so important if you have to scroll to see them in the first place ?

Keep the conversation coming:
Did Google Just Penalize Another Link Network? SAPE Links
SAPE Links Penalized by Google? – Sape employee blog post