The process of selling links to people on your website for the purposes of SEO and passing PageRank has long been frowned upon by Google. It’s against their TOS and they even have a way in Google Webmaster Tools for you to report websites selling links.
However, it still goes on. Websites sell links direct to other websites and SEO companies buy links for their clients from link suppliers. I have even been penalised by Google for it. Some companies own hundreds, sometimes thousands, of websites just for the purpose of selling links.
One such SEO company owns the websites below. They make a point of creating hundreds of websites just to sell links on, and even buy up domains that have just expired so that they can offer links on domains with PageRank and IBLs (inbound links) for their clients.
This process, as I’ve already stated, is frowned upon by Google, yet Google seems to turn a blind eye to it. These websites, many of which are listed below, use the same template and consist of a small bit of text, followed by dozens of irrelevant links to client sites. One of these sites, agold.co.uk, features links to websites offering piano lessons, football tournaments, mouse mats… you name it. Whatever they can sell links for. All of the other sites, listed below, are the same. They’re devoid of unique, relevant content and exist purely to act as links to other websites. Just what Google wants to avoid.
How did I find this list of websites? Simple, whoever created them did so in a very amateurish way as they included the same intro line on every site. Simply Googling that line as an exact match showed up all of the other websites. However, I made the mistake of clicking on one of the results, which obviously then showed up on their stats, and they subsequently removed the line that was identical on all of the sites. Not before I copied the list though!
You’ll also notice that they’re all on the same IP address, on a server owned by Fasthosts… no surprise they’re involved somewhere.
Despite these websites being obvious spam links, they still carry PageRank and still rank within Google for competitive phrases. The question is, why does Google allow this when it’s so clearly against its TOS?
Have a look at the list of URLs and see what you think. Do these look like spam websites to you?