It always amazes me when people throw a fit about someone else monetizing their site when it might interfere with a search engine.
Sounds to me like search engines have a really good life right now with all kinds of webmasters trying to do their jobs for them.
Web Guerilla complained about Jeremy Zawodney monetizing his blog through links. He says that because Jeremy has a high powered site, he should be sensitive to search engines algorithm problems and should sell links on his blog that don’t benefit the linkers in the search engines (He says he should put a “condom” on his links).
So since when was everything we did online designed to protect a search engine? Since PageRank became a monetizeable commodity? Since search engines created a market for it? Since Google became so nazi about their algorithm that they have created a problem because of linking that they can’t fix or get around?
Why is it that people are sooo protective of google right now, but if someone were to do something on their website to take advantage of MSN’s algorithm nobody would complain. In fact, people would probably laugh and encourage more of it.
Jeremy has been super smart over the past few years. He’s kept a great blog and used his job to do a dang good job of marketing it, and now that he has something of value, people say he can’t use that value because it might make it difficult for a search engine to do it’s job!
Doesn’t the fact that he works for Yahoo, in the Search and Marketplace Group, tell you something?
Yahoo doesn’t care all that much that Jeremy sold those links.
Jeremy has the right to do so.
What about StatCounter.com? They have a PR9 or 10 (given the time of the month and depending on googles current mood) and they sell 10-15 links on their homepage. Should statcounter be banned from the search engines because they’re selling links? What about the fact that they provide one of the best free services on the internet? They’re manipulating Google’s algorithm WAY more than Jeremy is.
What if someone comes up with an incredibly useful service that is in an extremely competitive market, and there isn’t an easy way to market it except through the search engines? Should they be punished, telling them “No, you can never get to the top of the search engines” even though they have the most relevant result for that search term. Because that’s how it is in a lot of industries right now. It’s impossible to get to the top without paying for a little help.
While we’re not letting people buy links, let’s also stop letting people put ads in the yellow pages. Only text ads from now on. The quarter page ads manipulate what people see when they’re looking for a service.