Every day I seem to come across some story that reminds me how much I hate the Google monopoly. Today that story was at Search Engine Roundtable: Google advice on linking out from your web site.
The original advice was provided in a Google Groups thread, where someone was concerned about linking to their own sites in case it incurred the wrath of google:
I understand that GOOGLE does not like the exchange of links solely for the purpose of increasing page rank. Can it accurately determine which sites are abusing their guidelines? I have a number of websites that deal with similar products and services and I am reluctant to exchange links because these sites might run the risk of being penalised. I know that I can include rel=”nofollow” to overcome this problem but am I being over cautious?
The advice provided was not particularly offensive or restrictive, but what bothers me is that so many people have to be concerned about what one search engine thinks. If Google started penalising links to affiliated web sites, people would take down those links; if Google promoted sites that were covered in leprechauns, people would cover their sites in leprechauns. In a healthy search engine marketplace we would not have the need to be overly concerned about the criteria of any single search engine.
Personally, about 80-90% of my traffic comes from Google. Luckily, as my income is not derived from my web activities and I don’t need to be overly concerned about Google’s ranking and happily link to my allotment blog which has absolutely nothing to do with the world of technology (except for the fact that it is a blog).