I am noticing that my competitors have a boat load of paid backlinks, which don't seem to be discredited from google (PR is intact, rather then 0)
Problem is, those sites aren't any gambling or viagra sites, where google really cracks down. They are Software niche sites, open source sites, communities etc but they still sell links effectively.
They have a sidebar, where it says "Our sponsors" or something similar and "become a sponsor" below it.
I have seen other sites getting penalties because of something like this, but those sites, don't for some reason.
My question is, does google even take spam reports for paid links seriously?
Or do they only take action if its overly spammy?
Some of the purchasers of those paid links are reputable sites like oreilly.com or even symantec.
What can I do to have my report reviewed rather sooner then later and acted upon?
Or am I misjudging those links? Tbh I do not see how these followed type of links, you can only get by "donating" is anthing else then a paid link.
Here a few examples (notice the tell tale sidebar/footer):
There are many more like it, but I think thats enough as example.