It’s not secret that if you read Matt Cutt’s blog, there’s a lot of barking about how they urge the use of “nofollow” links if it is an advertising link. Most people think it’s a weak way for them to fix what they say is a problem, but they say it is meant to say you don’t trust the website you link to, which if you think about it, you can trust a paid link as much as a link that is not paid.
Well, this leads me to something interesting that I noticed today on Cutt’s blog where he is talking about metrics of comparing Firefox with IE. He lists several metrics websites and links to them and only one of them he has a “nofollow” link attached to it, “StatCounter“. The others, OneStat and Extreme Tracking are not selling links which makes it obvious the nofollow is due to the selling of links. So if all he barks is true about the nofollow means he doesn’t trust StatCounter, I would only guess it’s because they sell paid links on their site for big bucks because they have a PR10. Now, their link popularity is through the roof with around 2.5 MILLION backlinks because of people placing their code on their homepages, but still, according to the Goo-Gabbing, they’ve marked that site as selling links and Matt doesn’t want to trust their site from his blog because of it.
Now hopefully you’re keeping up, because based on that, these untrusted sites are said to not pass known sold links link strength. So armed with this info, I decided to check through these obvious paid links to see how they were doing. The first link is for http://www.proboostgold.com/, which is a PR7 and has shown backlinks from statcounter. The pattern held true where each link I reviewed, showed statcounter as one of their first listed backlinks, which from my experience, the strongest backlinks are usually shown first. . .theory, but evidence tends to prove it.
To sum up my research, I’ve often considered a lot of the matt cutts blabbing a bit of scare tactics. He obviously gives good info, but things he says “DON’T DO THIS WE’LL CATCH YOU!”, I think when it comes to trusted vs untrusted and paid vs unpaid links, this interesting find seems to prove it’s a google oversight, technical glitch or the proof of a bunch of hot air being blown at webmasters.