Published today was a summary of Google’s consistent policy over buying and selling links. It is worth pointing out to site owners. A frequently asked question by someone with a “big idea” and wants their site up and running on the web in two weeks with loads of search engine traffic on launch day is “Can I buy links for search engine placement?”. Of course they can, but against my recommendation. If they choose to do so, I choose to not get involved with them. Some people just see money as a short cut and understand once they read the webmaster guidelines. Others could care less about the rules, they are more interested in gaming the system and trying to get away with it. I think that effort is much better spent elsewhere.
Much of the anti-Google sentiments on the web I believe is from site owners who provide no value whatsoever, and are still trying to eke out revenue from link doping or other paid for links strategies as were employed over five years ago (Remember searching on a topic and ending up on a page full of links that had no relevance to your search in terms of actual content? See examples of today’s methods). Google is not the monopolistic dictator in this regard protecting big business/themselves as is often portrayed. There is a universal desire among all search engines to protect their indexes’ PageRank or equivalent from manipulation from paid links. I commend the search engines proactive work in this area, keeping their indexes unpolluted and user trustworthy. I feel the whole Internet becomes much less useful if the search engines were ever contaminated this way.