Amid all of the Google algorithm updates and alterations that we have seen become more frequent, fear has started to creep in for a large number of website owners that have found that their site is being linked to by a third party site that appears to be selling links.
With such a huge crack down on the buying and selling of equity passing link placements, Google have now stepped out of the gloomy depths of the online world to assure those of you that believe you could be about to suffer penalisation due to being associated indirectly with websites that appear to be selling links that you don't need to hit the panic button just yet.
According to Google's head of web spam team, Matt Cutts, Google have devised a mentality that will ensure that innocent link placements on sites that are deemed to be selling equity passing links will be protected from penalisation, answering a related question in his recent Webmaster Help video.
Answering the question "If some site that is linking to my site gets penalized for purchasing links, will my site get affected by that penalty?" Cutts revealed that Google were aware of situations like this occurring and that instead of assuming that all links on the site were paid placements, they instead take action against the site in question and completely devalue the link equity that the site passes to third party sites that they link into.
During the video Cutts pointed out that any website that is deemed to have broken the Google guidelines in regards to the selling of equity passing links will see that their Google toolbar PageRank score would be reduced by anywhere between 30, 40 or 50%.
Although the message seems to be that you are protected from penalisation if found on a link selling website, between the lines you can see that there would be certain cases that would warrant a penalisation of a third party website, which would be likely be determined by how natural your backlink profile looked to a Google reviewer, making it even more vital to ensure that you comply with the Google guidelines when it comes to building up your backlink profile.
You can see the 91 second video in relation to the question below, let us know your thoughts…