Let me add one more to that list…
Google is a BUSINESS
This is something that everyone seems to forget about Google.
Say it to yourself again… Google. is. a. BUSINESS.
Google is not a public service. Google is not an NGO. Google is not God, the Devil or a flying spaghetti monster.
Googel is not a service that every business has a right to and as a business, Google reserves the right to include and exclude whatever they want from their search results.
When you find yourself questioning what Google can and cannot do, remember this; Google can do whatever the hell they want with their search results.
Google owns the website www.google.com, on that website they have built a search engine, that search engine is powered by the Google algorithm. All of this is controlled and owned by Google. If for some reason you think this is unfair, I shall play for your the tiny violin because your tantrum will not be tolerated and has no legs to stand on.
Where is this all coming from?
They are are the latest company to get their spot blown up on by Google for unnatural linking. Basically, Forbes got called out by Google for selling links on their site that pass PR. You can find the juicey details here: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=4d212d4d4f5964a8&hl=en
This news sparked a very active comments thread over at Search Engine Roundtable. I pulled out a string of comments that started with someone who clearly needed be reminded that Google is a business:
Google has guidelines and terms that every site must follow. If you choose to operate outside of those, Google has the right to kick yo ass to the curb. It just so happens that Google does not care for link buying and selling that passes PR. The key part of that guideline is – passes PR.
Google does not care about the overall buying and selling of links on sites, it is a natural part of the Internet and marketing on the Internet. What they do care about is when it is done in a way that could manipulatively impact their search results.
The easy solution. Rel No Follow those links. Boom. Done. Google is happy, PR is not being passed through paid links. Wash your hands. Say “my bad homie!”. Move on.
One final reminder…