Legal fictions can be used by greyhat SEOs to overcome Google’s nearsighted paradigms on buying websites and buying links. While Google is trying to pass off its guidelines as law – and is succeeding in convincing some people of that fact* – the facts are otherwise, and my two-post series on the topic will show that the law can actually enable people to skirt Google’s techniques and expose its faults.
For my first post, I will address how legal fictions in the common law solve the problem of having a website’s SEO strength reset upon purchase and transfer. (I’ve yet to grasp how the civil law handles this, though my understanding is that it has similar mechanisms.)
Everyone’s favourite competitive webmaster, John Andrews, recently liveblogged Matt Cutts’ presentation at Domain Roundtable . Matt explained that Google eliminates all or nearly all of a site’s value when it is sold.
Obviously this is not the case for corporate America (Myspace anyone?), which in any case has its own legal fictions defending it (News Corp bought Myspace Inc, and Myspace.com was just one asset…). But for your average independent/competitive webmaster, the situation is different. So hopefully this will be helpful to you search marketing folks without the benefit of Fortune 500 status to back you up.
Update: The post is live: Buying Sites? Use Trust To Avoid Google Domain Demolitions.
For my second post, I will show how another legal fiction enables the purchase of text link ads under the radar.
After my post on hiding/disguising text link ads as AdSense and other ad format, and Shady’s point on making paid links look like the result of linkbait , this tip is another tool in the link purchaser’s arsenal.
Google is broken: it gave up the original PageRank paradigm of valuing links based on the traffic they send in favour of some public relations notion of links as “votes” (next SEO that repeats that links are votes is getting their ass kicked by yours truly). Until Google fixes itself, buying links from craptastic sites with no visitors (the majority of link buys, imho) is going to keep working.
*”[B]lackhat tactics are [...] illegal ways to game the system to your advantage.” – Avinash Kaushik’s Web Analytics an Hour a Day, p. 206; otherwise an interesting and educational read and one which I’ll be reviewing here once I’ve finished reading it. Note also: I spoke to Avinash before publishing this and he wanted to highlight two points of context for the above statement:
- First, he recognized that it was a mistake and poor choice of words. His point was merely that it’s unwise as your site might get banned (which is a more accurate statement and one I agree with).
- Second, he highlighted that he wrote that prior to working for Google, and thus it wasn’t a statement that they had him put out there. (That said, I’m quite certain their public relations department was more than happy to see that statement put out there.)