The fact that the top spot for the term “marketing” in Google goes to Wikipedia is an appalling fact that I will rant on another day. For now I want to rant about Google’s “choice” of Bidvertiser.com as a top 10 site for the term “marketing”.
Clearly the Bidvertiser.com site is not one of the 10 most valuable resources for marketing information on the Internet. Their home page’s keyword focus doesn’t even seem to be about “marketing” — indeed the word isn’t in the title tag or in the page copy. Yet it’s currently #5 for marketing, at least according to the Google datacenter I’m being served results from.
So how did this happen?
Any guesses on what one of those words in the hidden link might be? Yup. “Marketing”. Here is what the hidden link looks like (this taken from binodc.com):
<noscript><a href="http://www.bidvertiser.com">affiliate program marketing</a></noscript>
Now binodc.com on its own doesn’t have enough link importance to have much of an impact, but with all the publishers on Bidvertiser’s network including this hidden link, you could see how this would sway Google. Some of these publishers may even be authority sites with a lot of trust built up (not to mention PageRank) and part of really good neighborhoods. I am rather astounded that Bidvertiser could occupy a top 10 spot for such a competitive term as “marketing”, given that these links are hidden in noscripts and clearly not “earned” in the sense that a traditional link is. But there you have it, another Google loophole being exploited.
I haven’t done the research to find which links I think are the vital few (versus the trivial many) that are pushing Bidvertizer into the top of the SERPs. But I do wonder if the publishers realize the value they are giving away to Bidvertiser without compensation. I’d guess it’s without their knowledge or understanding.
I wonder how long it is going to take before Google discounts links wrapped within noscript completely. Until then, sites like Bidvertiser.com will be able to take advantage of their publishers and of the search engines, to the detriment of the user.