Is Registering With W3C Considered Buying a Link?

We have all heard that the almighty Google wants us to report the links we pay for and that they have ways of finding out. This gives me nightmares of a multi-colored Big Brother spying around the corner. But I read over at Dave Naylor’s blog that registering with the W3C could be considered buying a link. It seem that W3C doesn’t us nofollow code on their site, so they are passing some serious link juice to all their members.

I looked into registration earlier today, and for Goatsmilktavern Studios, 1 year would cost me around $1000. Thats not much for the amount of link juice they trickle out as far as links are priced.

So the question is, “Does buying a membership to the W3C count as a paid link?”

Well, I think the question is more about why you are registering with them. Yeah, I looked into it for the link, but what if you are truly concerned with creating better internet standards and consistent, universal page viewing? So I looked at most of the sites on the registration and there are few web designers on the list, many are big business (Apple, Toshiba, a bunch of .edu’s, Walt freakin’ Disney, Yahoo, Inc., and so on) and large internet marketing firms (WebMethods) that transfer that juice to their clients. So is it a paid link or cyber philanthropy?

Conclusion: The Google paid links thing is unnerving to some, but I don’t believe they will push it too hard on a few select sites. I think “paying for registration” or “memberships” will become the new term for “paid link campaigns”.

Doesn’t effect me because I’m too broke to rub shoulders with the likes of this links list, but I think the W3C members list could be a big pay-off for anyone who wants to join, and Google (who is on the list) won’t bother with this one.

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