Every time paid links is brought up Matt Cutts brings up the FTC’s “suggestions” on bloggers disclosing things they have been compensated for. In no where in these “suggestions” does it talk about paid links. But even if it did they are just suggestions.
They are not law and if Google was following the FTC’s suggestions I doubt Google Adsense/adlinks would be engaging in some of the most deceptive advertising methods I have ever seen on the internet.
Also I am curious then why Google is not requiring Firefox to display that they are paying Firefox billions of dollars to be the default search engine each time you search. The funny thing is not even firefox developers know they are getting paid so much by Google as you can see in my posts about it before. Talk about a lack of disclosure.
And what about all the other properties Google has bought their way into? How many times have you seen Adsense ads not labeled as ads?
What about the spyware/virus bearshare I have BEEN SHOWING IN SLIDES FOR PRESENTATIONS FOR 3+ YEARS that is still ruining Google Adsense. Google CLEARLY has knowledge of these things and they choose to participate in deceptive advertising.
Now in regards to Matt you know why he must do this right? He is a smart guy. And I would guess he HATES ADSENSE with a passion. But as we saw before text links are Google’s achilles heel and remain to be.
Now honestly there is absolutely zero way for them to detect inlink ads if it is done properly and Matt (and maybe former Googler Vanessa Fox who chimed in also) knows that.
If its easy to detect why did they have all the calls for help using the paid links form to rat on people who pay for links and employ the hundreds of people to review all those submissions?
Surely if you can “detect” it so easily that would save a few bucks.
Anyway I personally don’t think Google wants to go down this path with the FTC.
If they want to come out and say they will take you out of their search engine index if you don’t follow their rules then fine. But don’t act like its some Government mandate and everyone is going to go to jail who is selling/buying paid links.