First JCPenney gets outed by the New York Times for buying links, then Forbes gets caught selling links and now Overstock.com has been busted by on a thread over at Webmaster World which has now been reported by the Wall Street Journal. So why are journalists and SEO’s doing Google’s dirty work? It’s a good question and it is easy to say follow the money. I can certainly see why Google would be less than agressive in pursuing link spam from companies that certainly must spend millions in PPC advertising. I think the truth is probably more complicated than that. Maybe Google is trying not to appear as the monopoly that they are and leaving it up to others to report shady practices before bringing down the ban hammer. Maybe it is just cheaper for them to be reactive rather than proactive.
What do you think? Is Google going to turn us all into a bunch of tattle-tails? Are they turning a blind eye to big e-commerce sites because of the money involved?