Google Finally Responds To Paid Links Allegations On Apache.org

For years we have known Apache.org, the Apache Foundation, has been giving thanks to its big sponsors and donors with a thank you page with that do not have the nofollow link attribute on it. ’s John Mueller, three years after I wrote about it, responded to these .

First, you can find the links on this thank you page that lists Google, Amazon, Verizon, Microsoft, Facebook, Comcast, IBM, Baidu, Red Hat and so many others with thank you links. The most expensive links now cost $125,000 per year!

In any event, Google’s John Mueller said:

  • Don’t assume these links do any benefit to these sites in terms of how they rank in Google
  • Those links have been there for well over a decade
  • The correct way to deal with them is to use the rel-nofollow
  • Google does take action to prevent links like these from affecting our search results, even without the re-nofollow.
  • Links that are nofollowed do have a benefit outside of search, they are essentially called ads, he said.

Here are those tweets:

So what do you all think? Should Google send a manual action to Apache? Maybe they did already? We just don’t know much about what is really happening with these links…

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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