SEO | Apply Common Sense When Passing PageRank

Image of Google PandaYour Website or Blog’s standing in Google search results is measured in part by an analysis of other website’s and blogs which link to your website or blog.

The relevance, quality and quantity of these links influence’s your website ranking. Other Websites linking to your website hopefully do so in context to the subject matter of your website; if they do, then they are indicating the quality and relevance of your content and are advocating you for what you do. This is a great benefit when done naturally and freely.

If you write way out of context to earn the price of a link, there is a high possibility that your readers will view it as spam. particularly if your readers receive your blog posts via an RSS news reader or directly via email.

Conversely if you link out to a third party website because you have accepted payment for placing an article and or a link in an article pointing to the third party website then you are violating Google’s guidelines and when caught your site may be downgraded and your rankings and standing with Google depreciated.

You need to be very careful because Google has an algorithm named Panda which can sniff out paid links. Generally if you are offered money to place a link to a third party website on your website then the party offering you the money is more than likely making the same offer to hundreds of other website and blog owners, which results in an un natural number of links pointing to a particular page or post which Google can identify then as paid for links and track back to your website and penalise you for participating in a link scheme.

My advice is this, only link out to a website or blog in real context to what you do:

EG: if you write about flower arranging and all of a sudden an article about home insurance which is way out of context for flower arranging appears on your blog with a link to the home insurance website it’s safe to assume that you’re normal readers will not appreciate this and if there are a lot more links from other blogs/sites pointing to the same website, then Google will assume you have participated in a paid link scheme and you may be penalised or even removed from the Search Engine Return Pages (SERPS) altogether.

The above is a very simplistic, non-technical description of a paid link scheme. Google are getting tougher on sites that sell links which pass PageRank and you will for sure lose out in the long term.

Selling Advertising on your site is safe if you do it by way of placing the advertisement in image format with the word “Advertisement” above it (Because image links don’t pass PageRank). Also, this is to ensure your readers understand it is an advertisement.

You can also declare that the article or text link is an advertisement and use rel=“nofollow” so that you do not pass PageRank.

Most website owners are simply not aware of Google’s rules and guidelines; if they were they would be less likely to accept payment for paid articles and links:

Top 5 reasons why you should NOT accept payment for links.

  1. It violates Google’s guidelines
  2. It degrades the context of your website or blog
  3. It degrades your personal authority
  4. Other website owners and bloggers will be less likely to link to you
  5. You may lose your hard earned ranking for the sake of a few pounds

Read about our Search Engine Optimisation Training here.


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About Mick Say

Mick Say is an Online Business Development Consultant. Mick's goal is to help UK businesses to develop meaningful online marketing strategies via the development websites and digital marketing resources engineered to inform and sell.


  1. Interesting stuff Mick and thanks for explaining something that I had been aware of but didn’t fully understand. I have been looking at text link advertising companies such as Infolinks and Intellilinks, do the same rules apply to them or do you think they are ok to use without affecting Page Ranking?


    • Hi Tony – great to catch up..

      Google are more actively informing web masters that they should not accept payment for links which pass PageRank and if they get caught doing it, will be considered black-hat (link-spam) and the consequence could be at worst removal from Google’s index. You can safely accept payment for a link ad providing that you place rel=”nofollow” in the html – when you do this you are saying to Google – I’m recommending this link (company/brand) to my readers but I am not passing any page rank, therefore proving to you (Google) that I am not trying to influence the target websites PageRank or SERPS rankings in return for a payment I may or may not have received for placing the text link advertising.

      Hope that helps a little Tony, – Have a great week…


  2. Andrew s. says:

    What about the flip side? It makes sense to not pass your page rank but what if your site needs a higher pr? Getting a high pr site to link to you could be great for seo. I have found it tough for ecommerce sites to get a high pr. Any tips ?

    • The only safe way to get back-links is to write meaningful content which people will appreciate and link to. In the first instance, your target audience must first find and read your content so you will find it helpful to join and participate in interest groups and other places your prospects hang out.


  1. […] My advice is this, only link out to a website or blog in real context to what you do and what the target website does.  […]

  2. […] My advice is this, only link out to a website or blog in real context to what you do and what the target website does.  […]

  3. […] My advice is this, only link out to a website or blog in real context to what you do and what the target website does.  […]