If a Penalised site Links to me, will I get Penalised?

With the most recent Penguin refresh affecting quite a lot of websites out there and the perennial problem of “I can’t help who links to me”, this question is getting more and more frequently asked.

Thankfully Matt Cutts has released a video answering this question once and for all. Before we get into the explanation, let me give you an example.

You’ve got a blog that creates original, quality content that also has a high page rank. Let’s call this site A.

Site B is your site. You also create beautiful, descriptive content so successfully that site A decides it’s going to link to you.

Site C isn’t in the same league. The content it creates is OK but no trails are blazed with it. Site C has a low page rank and would ideally like this to change so it approaches site A and requests a link, but offers to pay for it. Site A agrees and sees this as an avenue of revenue eventually selling quite a few links.

Invariably this is picked up by Google who then takes the following steps:

> Reduces Site A’s Toolbar PageRank by anywhere between 20%-50%

> Prevents PageRank being Passed forward.

> Removes trust from any links pointing out from site A.

As you can see that’s a pretty hefty penalty for selling a few links but there are no active penalisations that are passed on due to this link.

However, you do have to deal with the fact that you’ve lost link juice from Site A so there is a slight downside to this.

Phew! Glad we got all that cleared up. Once again thank you to Matt Cutts.

Posted by Greg McVey