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Business.com "no follows" standard listings
Controversial No-Follow Attribute in Spotlight Again

 7:30 pm on Jun 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just noticed that Business.com recently included the rel="no follow" tag for all of the standard and ppc listings.

This may be old news but I just noticed it today thanks to the wonderful firefox searchstatus plugin.

Your thoughts?



 11:22 pm on Jun 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hmm, I was thinking of buying a listing there. Now, maybe not.


 11:35 pm on Jun 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

Does anyone think that's a misuse of the tag?

Anybody want to speculate on what the reason for doing that is?


 1:17 am on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Considering the amount of traffic they send (which is little at best), I find it rather humorous that they've done something to devalue buying a link there. With a human editorial process, it seems kind of stupid to say "we don't trust this link"... if you don't trust the link, don't take their two hundred bucks and put them in your directory.


 2:22 am on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

You know what's going to happen, the search engines are going to have to deprecate this tag because everyone misuses it.


 3:01 am on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Perhaps someone thinks it will improve their rankings? I'd give it a go; I don't recall seeing them much in my searches--about as often as I used to see them in my logs.


 3:10 pm on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

You know what's going to happen, the search engines are going to have to deprecate this tag because everyone misuses it.

I've been surfing with the Search Status extension for FireFox set to automatically highlight nofollow links and it's very enlightening. More and more sites are using nofollow to manipulate link popularity with both internal and external links.

Here's an example of nofollow being misused (in my opinion) on an official google blog I saw the other day:

The link to JavaOne has nofollow. It seems Google doesn't trust Sun, or could it be they are manipulating link popularity?


 3:43 pm on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Actually, I think that's exactly what the tag was designed for. business.c0m (as acurately stated in this thread) is nothing more than a paid links directory. The amount of traffic they send is dismal at best. The main value was in the link itself and paid links are supposed to be nofollowed. (please, no snickering)

And a previous poster is correct --b.com will now be of zero value to most people with their nofollowed links.

Is Yahoo next?


 4:04 pm on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

The "nofollow" tag was intoduced by google ostensibly to protect forum and blog owners from unsolicited spam in the comments sections. It later morphed into an algo "helper" for G$$G when Matt Cutts promoted extending the use of the tag to include "paid links".

Yahoo considers it a mistake that it was even intoduced into the web and as far as I know G$$G is the only SE that MIGHT be using it.

For add'l info you may want to do a search on "jeremy zawodny nofollow". The effects of the tag have inhibited the very thing that makes the web work (linking).

I personally feel that Matt Cutts did a "sneaky redirect" when he promoted the use of the tag as a way to combat comment spam and then later upped its use to "paid links", its one thing to index the web quite another to attempt to reshape it to the liking of your commercial interest.

business.com was intimidated into using a tag that will impact their revenues -- the value of a listing there just went down by orders of magnitude BUT G$$G can plaster their ubiquitous ads ad nauseum. The short story is G$$G gets paid for ads, no else does.

You want exposure? You buy into the G$$G mess.

That tag should be dead and buried.

[edited by: TypicalSurfer at 4:14 pm (utc) on June 24, 2006]


 4:08 pm on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is Yahoo next?

Or ODP :)


 4:12 pm on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Believe me they are not in the same league as Y or ODP. There are simply one giant circle of ad clicks, the content isn't worth a dime, just a click generating machine. Look closely and you will see what I mean. I dropped all renews a while back.


 4:32 pm on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I personally use their PPC engine for a medium sized B2B company with lukewarm results, but enough to stay with the program. I agree though, all it is, is a giant click machine(and one designed to give traffic to their PPC customers, not those who paid for the standard listings.)

I actually find their PPC app to be 2nd to Adwords(blows overture and MSN out of the water)

I had considered buying an actual directory link but had never actually gone through with it. (now I'm happy I didn't.) I'm sure they didn't inform any customers of this change.

A problem I had with them, that the "no follow" tag now fixes is, once you deleted a PPC listing with them, it would automatically turn into a regular link for 15 days. At this time Google would then index my tracking URLs, and screw with all of my SERP positions.

That would be one guess as to why they did this, but adding "no follow" to the standard links is another story.


 6:14 pm on Jun 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't think the ODP would follow down that road. They seem to be a bright bunch, and I suspect they would know how to properly utilize these tags.

From Google's website [googleblog.blogspot.com]:

it's... a way to make sure that spammers get no benefit from abusing public areas like blog comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists.

Q: What types of links should get this attribute?
A: We encourage you to use the rel="nofollow" attribute anywhere that users can add links by themselves, including within comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists. Comment areas receive the most attention, but securing every location where someone can add a link is the way to keep spammers at bay.

It's commonly understood that manipulating the way a search engine ranks websites- beyond making a site spiderable and making sure the content contains keywords, is spam. So is misusing the no-follow tag any different?

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