Google is buying marketshare for Google Checkout by profiling merchants who use it, and giving them free high PageRank links from Google sites.
The Google Checkout blog, currently a PageRank 8 site, recently posted about the success of GolfBalls.com on their blog. Not only does that post provide direct links, one one of the links is a deep link with targeted anchor text.
The blog post about GolfBalls.com contains the following passage:
In addition, Google Checkout helps make it even easier for consumers to find us when they search for items like Titleist Pro V1 Golf Balls by displaying the Google Checkout badge next to our search results.
They talk about searching for an item, and instead point that link at a product page on GolfBalls.com. That is like me telling you to search Google for something then dropping an eBay affiliate link in the post.
If Google does something like that it is a co-brand cross promotion, and all is well. If I do something like that it is an attempt to manipulate Google and/or a spammy link buy.
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying I would do it differently than Google is doing it. I would just like to remind Google engineers that they would call me as a spammer if I did the same things they do to make their business model work.
How can Google ask webmasters to police paid links then do that kind of crap? What a bunch of hypocritical garbage.
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