Currently NARPM.org does not comply with Google’s guidelines. Below is a quote from Matt Cutts the lead on controlling web spam for Google.
“Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your siteÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ranking or PageRank.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Those people can probably guess that Google does consider buying text links for PageRank purposes to be outside our quality guidelines.”
Google doesn’t like when site owners either buy links or sell links – in this case NARPM is selling links. Update: To prove this point – here is more from Matt Cutts:
â€œAs long as were talking about links, this seems like a pretty good opportunity to talk about a simple litmus test for paid links and how to tell if a paid link violates search engines quality guidelines. If you want to sell a link, you should at least provide machine-readable disclosure for paid links by making your link in a way that doesn’t affect search engines. Theres a ton of ways to do that. For example, you could make a paid link go through a redirect where the redirect url is roboted out using robots.txt. You could also use the rel=nofollow attribute. I’ve said as much many times before, but I wanted to give a heads-up because Google is going to be looking at paid links more closely in the future.’
In the interview with Matt Cutts at a conference I attended several months ago – skip to minute 7:23 to hear what he has to say on paid links.
NARPM does not comply in two ways:
- NARPM requires members to pay extra each year for a link from the NARPM site to the member’s site. Update: Wendy Frenzel has told me that NARPM is now including the link in the yearly fee – however when I just looked at the NARPM site it says the following: “Affiliate Members may have a link to their website on the NARPM site for an annual fee of only $50.”
- NARPM is selling the home page link to Rentals.com as part of their $15K-$20K Official Partner package.
My first recommendation to NARPM is stop charging NARPM members extra for a link back to their site. One of NARPM’s missions is to support the property managers through networking. If NARPM is going to support networking it only seems natural to me that NARPM provide a link to the members web site for free. (I am not the only one that feels this way)
My second recommendation to comply with Google’s quality guidelines is to place what is referred to as a NoFollow tag on the Rentals.com link on the home page – or delete that link all together.
Just this past week Google now offers a way for people to automatically tell them who is buying and selling links – so I think it is in NARPM’s best interest to be ethical and not sell links anymore.