You know that you are not going to be in Google’s good graces if you are in the business of selling links and manipulating search engines. One of the pioneers of the text link selling industry is Text Link Ads (commonly referred to as TLA). I was surprised to see that they were still actively selling links, however it became clear that Google was not happy about this.
Matt Cutts tweeted at the end of May that thousands of websites that had been selling links through TLA had seen a huge drop in PageRank.
@MikrutD you might have noticed a big drop in PageRank on thousands of TLA linkselling sites a couple weeks ago.
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 29, 2013
Overnight, Text Link Ads effectively became the leper that no one wanted to touch (though you could argue that they were already viewed that way by most website owners). I was not sure how the company would react to all of this. They certainly did not want to tell the world that using their service would result in your PageRank being destroyed.
There is no doubt that their profits have been decimated by all of this. Years ago, many of the top blogs and websites on the internet using Text Link Ads, but the Penquin and Panda updates discouraged most people from doing so. Was this punishment from Google the final nail in the coffin? Apparently, not so. To distance themselves from the Text Link Ads brand, the company has been branded as Media Whiz SEO. They have said that this is because of a new affiliation with Mediz Whiz, though it is clear that they want to move as far away from the Text Link Ads brand as possible.
It seems like it is a change in name only. Media Whiz SEO are still selling advertisers all the options they did before such as inlinks, infographics, and…of course…text links. Yes, it seems that they have not learned their lesson. The page that promotes the text link advertising service even advises advertisers that they can “Choose from a wide range of sites varying in low to high Link Popularity and Domain Authority”.
I am a little confused as to why they would continue to sell text links to people after receiving such a heavy punishment from Google. Perhaps there is still a big market for it, however it seems to be the wrong direction to go. It would make more sense for them to rebrand, admit that the industry has changed (i.e. you cannot sell/buy text links anymore) and then sell legitimate SEO services. They have a huge user base so they would be a position to become one of the largest SEO companies quite quickly.
I do not believe this saga is over yet. I would hope that “Media Whiz SEO” will change their ways and stop offering text link ads for sale, however I won’t be too surprised to see them receive a slap from Google in the future.