Google Whois Domaintools Paid Links Passing PageRank

A few weeks ago Google launched a new feature intended to provide users with whois data in Google's main SERPs. By entering a query like "whois" users are returned new whois data including creation and expiration dates in Google's main results. In addition to the new feature, Google provides users the option for more information via "Whois record for" link which resolves to After linking directly from Google's main search results to, users are greeted with various details about the domain including website title, description and even an "SEO Score" provided by

After linking from Google's main SERP to you might notice, there are lots of ads provided by Google. If you look closely, right along side those Google ads you'll find paid links passing PageRank at Paid links passing PageRank are a violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines and grounds for being banned from Google. In this case Google is linking to pages with paid links passing PageRank!

Here is an example using the cached text version of the landing page linked to by Google for the query "whois" In it you'll notice is a paid link passing PageRank. As I mentioned at the paid link domain ranks #1 for the keyword term used in it's ALT anchor text at and linked to by the Google Whois feature.

If you would like more information about paid ads at and have $10k per month, click on the "Sponsor us" link to the right of the Google search box. I've not seen many banner ad landing pages with a PR of 6!

- beu

UPDATE: - In response to this post being picked up by, Matt Cutts (Head of Google Web Spam Team) confirmed earlier today that is now in compliance with Google's Webmaster Guidelines. DomainTools is now blocking ads with paid links passing PageRank via robots.txt. Sincere and special thanks to Matt, Google and for swiftly resolving this issue!

- beu

2 thoughts on “Google Whois Domaintools Paid Links Passing PageRank

  1. genuwine4532


    Great post, I am wondering, can you elaborate on this rule. I have a few links I paid for in directories, including some deep links, how does the Google rule apply to me?

  2. beussery

    Post author

    Sure Genuwine4532,

    “In order to stay within Google’s quality guidelines, paid links should be disclosed through a “rel=nofollow” or other techniques such as doing a redirect through a page which is robots.txt’ed out. ”

    Bottom line, buying or selling links passing PageRank can get you banned from Google. It’s a good rule of thumb to only buy or sell links using “nofollows”.

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