25-MPH-Regulatory-Speed-Limit-Sign-with-Radar-SignGoogle has made a recent change to its policy regarding artificial (paid) back links. Or more accurately, it’s changed how it notifies SEO practioners and webmasters of these bad links.

Google has been able to identify paid links for a while now. But until this week they followed a policy of “silent distrust”. According to a spokesperson:

“In the past, some links might have been silently distrusted or might not have carried as much weight. More recently, we’ve been surfacing the fact that those links aren’t helping to improve ranking or indexing.”

So the links were already being disqualified. They weren’t helping page authority, improving rankings, or doing anything that the link brokers hitting your credit card said they would do.

I think this move will have immediate results. It creates transparency and a positive feedback loop. When you know what Google knows (especially when it negatively impacts your site) you’re going to make different choices and do things differently. Instead of taking shortcuts, you’re going to have a more reasoned and long-term approach to SEO. You’re going to create better content and ultimately a better site.

What’s your take?