Google Warns Against Advertorials

In February 2013 Google penalised Interflora and various UK News Papers for using advertorials as a link selling process.

Google clearly stated in 2007 that paid links would lead to a penalty and this latest action shows that in 2013 the penalty still stands.

Matt Cutts said:- Please be wary if someone approaches you and wants to pay you for links or “advertorial” pages on your site that pass PageRank. Selling links (or entire advertorial pages with embedded links) that pass PageRank violates our quality guidelines, and Google does take action on such violations. The consequences for a linkselling site start with losing trust in Google’s search results, as well as reduction of the site’s visible PageRank in the Google Toolbar. The consequences can also include lower rankings for that site in Google’s search results.

Why do paid links violate Google’s guidelines

Matt Cutts is asked Why do paid links violate Google’s guidelines?

Matt explains the difference between a link used to manipulate a search engine result and a pure advert.

Advertising can educate people or tell people about an offer but a paid link is only used to manipulate search engines. This means the end result is that the user search experience is effected in a negative way.

Facebook, Adsense, etc adverts are not used to manipulate search engines.

The intent of selling links to pass page rank is against Google Guidelines.

Why do paid links violate Google's guidelines while other ads don't?