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Does Google Conduct Link Buying Sting Operations

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Google Swat Lego

A Reddit thread asks if Google engages in link-buying sting operations where they will pretend to want to buy a link and then use that to penalize the network. John Mueller of Google responded by saying, “I get sent offers all the time to an official Google email address.” That means, Google does not need to do that proactively; they come to Google without any official or necessary operation.

This question came up on Reddit, “That is, do they send out spam, disguised as marketers, to bloggers and publishers, asking to buy links on their websites, and then after completing the transaction, delisting them from Google for violating the paid links rule?”

I don’t think Google does this, but I know Googlers have received such communication via email over the years, unsolicited. And as John said, they even send them to official Google email addresses.

It seems like Google may use these emails against the network. This is not the first time Google has said this. Gary Illyes from Google in 2017 where someone emailed him about link buying based on DA. Heck, even in 2016, someone emailed Matt Cutts with paid link requests and in 2012 they sent it to a different Googler. In 2019, Gary Illyes from Google said they even talked to these folks. It is not smart to ask Googlers who work on Google Search to break their webmaster guidelines.

I know you all get these emails, not once or twice a month, but more like several times a day. So I am not surprised these go to Googlers without any need for Google to try to do some special operation to get them.

Forum discussion at Reddit.

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Google Ranking Volatility, Ads In Google AI Overviews, Sundar Pichai Interview, Heartfelt Helpful Content & More Ad News

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Google Ranking Volatility, Ads In Google AI Overviews, Sundar Pichai Interview, Heartfelt Helpful Content & More Ad News

We had more Google search ranking volatility in the middle of the week after some calming for a few days. Google Ads will soon show within the Google AI Overview, plus we covered a lot more ad news. Sundar Pichai was interviewed, and we broke it down. Bing lets you turn off its AI Copilot answers in the search results, but Google still does not. There are many poor-quality AI Overviews, and now there is a way to find a lot of them. Google said it is working on surfacing more heartfelt, helpful content in Search. Google is testing a special snippet treatment for Reddit. Google Search Console is showing a weird surge in the search performance reports for product snippets. Google and Bing recommend you upgrade to WordPress 6.5 because it supports lastmod dates in sitemaps. Google’s site reputation abuse policy enforcement is still not algorithmic. Google Lens now shows richer and links to sites. Google added more visual knowledge panel source information. Google can now index epub formats. Bing went down this week, taking down ChatGPT search, DuckDuckGo, Copilot, and more services. Bing is testing tags filters in its search results. Apple Maps can permanently close a business if the hours and address are missing or don’t match. GA4 real-time reports now show users in the last 5 minutes. That was the search news this week at the Search Engine Roundtable.

SPONSOR: This week’s video recap is sponsored by Duda, the Professional Website Builder You Can Call Your Own.

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Daily Search Forum Recap: May 24, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Google’s site reputation abuse policy is still not algorithmically enforced. Google Search can now index EPUB formats. There is a neat place to follow all the embarrassing Google AI Overview examples. Google Analytics 4 adds real-time metrics in the past 5 minutes. Google Search has new profiles for looking at reviews and notes. And I posted thew weekly SEO video recap.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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Daily Search Forum Recap: May 23, 2024

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


Microsoft Bing was offline for a while today, taking down third-party sites like ChatGPT Search, DuckDuckGo and even its ad products. Google is testing special treatments for Reddit results in search. Google is testing from sources across the web without images. Google is testing replacing related search with people also search for. Google Ads has a referral program, not sure if that is new. Google updated its robots.txt parser code in GitHub.


Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Search Features

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, on Threads, Mastodon and Bluesky and you can follow us on Facebook and on Google News and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.



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