Matt Cutts again talks about buying links via two posts, one on his blog and the other on Webmaster Central Blog. It recalls the history of actions taken against the purchase of links in recent years and encourages the use of the no follow attribute for links sold …

As usual, he refers to the user experience dear to Google and indicates that making links only to pass the pagerank is prohibited by Engine guidelines. If a webmaster still wants to sell a link (for traffic), he must add the link to the link.“rel = nofollow” attribute ! Hence recent decisions by pay per post agencies, such as ebuzing, to add this attribute to links from their blog network.

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It also recalls the history of the fight againstlink purchase :

February 2003 : Addition in Google guidelines the following sentence: do not participate in link buying programs in order to improve your positions and your pagerank.

September 2005 : Post in Matt Cutts’ blog to support this position.

December 2005 : A new post indicates that selling links can deteriorate the relevance of search engine results, it also indicates that in the case of a link sale for traffic, the nofollow attribute must be used. Finally, a site selling links can lose the trust of the engines (trustrank).

September 2006 : Interview on John Battelle’s blog on the subject of paid links.

January 2007 : Again a post on Matt Cutts’ blog on Pay Per Post.

April 2007 : Establishment of a report to denounce paid links.

June 2007 : Intervention on the subject at Search Marketing Expo, post on Google Webmaster Blog indicating that the link purchase violates the guidelines of the engine and update on the documentation for webmasters.

August 2007 : Intervention at Search Engine Startegy. Post about this in Matt Cutts’ blog in September 2007.

October 2007 : Sanctions with sites selling links: loss of Pagerank.

He ended up with a series of question and answer on the subject. The post is quite long and insists that after having warned for a long time (see history) google has taken action and that now, link buying is an obsolete technique. The netlinking must therefore be considered to keep its effectiveness.