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link pages being removed?
site has good PR, links page has PR0 or not indexed.
moehits




msg:185238
 5:24 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not sure if this has been discussed, or just a coincidence but,...

I'm seeing quite a few sites with good PR on all pages except their links page. These pages had PR before, now they are either PR0, or grey ( not indexed ).

It seems it's more consistent at sites that have just one links page with multiple topics on it, sites with multiple links pages (directory style links pages) on topic seem OK.

the consitencies I see are:

Most have link text pointing to them called links
Most are called links.htm or have links in the URL.
Most are 1 page, multi-topic links pages, e.g., there is no targeted theme to the page, anything from greeting cards to health sites all on same page.

Could these be mistaken for FFA's?

I haven't checked fully, but many are listed on "link trading" sites. Maybe peple have created link farms and don't realize it?

I've seen this on many sites. It doesn't seem like a coincidence.

 

Zapatista




msg:185328
 5:40 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Looking into this phenom on my own sites, I see it is only effecting pages named links.html or blank_links.html

All others seem to be okay. I am changing the ones as mentioned above.

I don't know why people are so surprised Google is doing this. 2 reasons why. People have been manipulating the old algo by pumping up their PageRank through link exchanges. Also, they have to make room on the PR scale for the additional pages they are crawling. Google has said they want to hit 10 billion pages.

MeditationMan




msg:185329
 5:42 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

The problem has nothing to do with the word "links". It's ridiculous to even think that's the problem.

That may be so, but of the 11 themed (and on topic) links pages I have, the only one that had PR was the one that did not have "link" in the URL. Needless to say I've changed the file names.

But this would be an extreme tactic for Google to use!

Incidentally, I've noticed that since the update started I'm no longer seeing guessed PR in the toolbar for pages on my site. It used to be that I'd see a guessed value on pages that are password protected, but now on those pages the toolbar is grayed out. Anyone else noticing this?

stevegpan2




msg:185330
 5:45 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

what I see is:
sometimes the links.htm pr greyed out. sometimes ok.
but other pages, are not greyed out.

my home page pr jumped from 4 to 5 but not stable.
why?..

pageoneresults




msg:185331
 5:45 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I see it is only effecting pages named links.html or blank_links.html

If you take a very close look at the SERPs when doing various backwards links, where do you see most of the junk? It usually resides at a url that contains the word links in the string. Most of the junk urls are extremely long and can be spotted a mile away.

I'm not too sure how much validity there is to this argument, but, I saw it happen almost a year ago to this day.

If you were Google and there was one surefire way to clean up a little bit of the index, wouldn't you target a majority of the links pages? This topic has surfaced over the years and I stopped naming links pages links.htm a long time ago. It could be a poison word, and it may not be. As many have stated, they have that term in their file name and are doing just fine.

There is something else being calculated into this whole links thing. Whether its a long abusive url, a disproportionate amount of links, or any number of things. As GoogleGuy stated in another thread, it could be a red herring.

<edit>Corrected Typos</edit>

[edited by: pageoneresults at 6:26 pm (utc) on May 20, 2003]

Elvis Presley




msg:185332
 5:55 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

i dont have this problem on any of my sites. Googleguy (god bless his soul) always said if you make pages for the user then you wont have a problem. personally my link pages have a clear navigation, descriptions and are on topic. I wonder if the pages with pr0 are in fact of no use to a user and google (god bless its soul) is scoring on the usability of the links page. If it has no use to user because its just a collection of unclassified links, 100's and 100's of them etc. etc. then makes sense to pr0 them.

martinibuster




msg:185333
 5:57 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ok, I have two links pages on one site. One in the "Links" directory, and another in the "Link" directory.

The one in the "Link" directory is fine. The one in the "Links" directory was penalized.

The one that was penalized also uses a "transparent.gif" located in a "links" directory, while the non-penalized site does not.

martinibuster




msg:185334
 6:02 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Elvis Presley

I appreciate your opinion, but your opinion doesn't apply to my situation or others on this topic. Stop trying to blame us because we're already on record stating that these pages are squeaky clean.

Because it's already been established in previous posts that we are speaking about clean pages, comments trying to shift the blame onto us are taken (by me at least) as unhelpful and insulting and shows that you HAVE NOT been reading the threads as carefully as you should.

Yidaki




msg:185335
 6:03 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>I am taking out the word Link and links.html from every single page on my websites and replacing it words like "sites.html" and other safe words.

Does Google shape the web? Or do we webmasters shape the web? Or do we webmasters let Google shape the web? Erm ...

rcjordan




msg:185336
 6:04 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

> Googleguy always said if you make pages for the user then you wont have a problem.

And Google first started out by saying that they could conquer spam with an algo, and now they solicit spam reports. I'm with pageoneresults on this one. There are a few down-n-dirty things that the algo could do that would benefit the quality of the index overall; poison words, too many hyphens in domain, etc. Sure, there'd be some collateral damage, but that's the way the game works.

Elvis Presley




msg:185337
 6:04 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

oops..not trying to insult anyone.....:-)..i need all the fans i can get....i was just testing the water..as i said...for me i dont see this..i have some sites using resources as a title other links...what i do see is pr0 hitting pages 2-3 months old..how old are your pages?

BigDave




msg:185338
 6:06 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just had a thought about this, and it is just a wild hunch.

Google has been using this update data for testing since February. What if someone ran a test on the old data to see what effect removing links pages would have on the quality, and they did not revert it back to what it was before the test. Of course there would be no reason to do that since it was only test data anyway!

Since the index going out is Feb crawl + fresh data, my links pages may be in there because they are fresh crawled almost daily.

In this case the problem would go away as the new data is pulled in.

IITian




msg:185339
 6:16 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I, for one, am NOT changing the name of my directory (/links) nor the tag (Links) on my website. My goal is to make my website user-friendly, and Google and other search engines will come and go, the users will remain.

Napoleon




msg:185340
 6:24 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Sure, there'd be some collateral damage, but that's the way the game works. <<

Jeez... remind me never to get in a quarrel with you... or play a game with you!

BigDave




msg:185341
 6:32 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

No matter what you do with any change to the algo, there will be collateral damage as far as some webmasters are concerned.

I still do not like to believe that this "link" filer will stay in.

[edited by: BigDave at 6:50 pm (utc) on May 20, 2003]

TheComte




msg:185342
 6:49 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

{quote}As GoogleGuy stated in another thread{/quote]

I wish people would stop concentating on GoogleGuy. He has made too many contradctory statements to be believable. We're on the cutting edge of oblivion and GoogleGuy is helpig.

IITian




msg:185343
 6:52 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have one more hypothesis. If Google makes links pages to have the externally visible PR of 0, while keeping its real PR hidden from us, many of the webmasters will be less inclined to do links exchange for shady reasons.

PR has resulted in much abuse and maybe making PR hidden for at least the links page will make it more relevant since most of the PR abuse goes on in such pages.

Kirby




msg:185344
 6:53 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I wonder if the pages with pr0 are in fact of no use to a user and google (god bless its soul) is scoring on the usability of the links page.

How would Google determine usabilty?

pleeker




msg:185345
 7:05 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a very popular hobby site with a links page at site.com/links/, and the site's menu says "Links" in text and the page itself has about 125 links on it, most of which also have brief descriptions.

That page still has PR5, the same as my home page (which used to be PR6, but who cares....). So no penalty on my links page, at least.

I, for one, am NOT changing the name of my directory (/links) nor the tag (Links) on my website. My goal is to make my website user-friendly, and Google and other search engines will come and go, the users will remain.

Amen and hallelujah! Well said, and count me in.

pageoneresults




msg:185346
 7:10 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have one more hypothesis. If Google makes links pages to have the externally visible PR of 0, while keeping its real PR hidden from us, many of the webmasters will be less inclined to do links exchange for shady reasons.

You know IITian, you may be on to something there. I have this theory that Google caps PR in certain industries, The PR Cap Theory. They could easily devalue links pages while capping PR in the Public Consumption Toolbar. But, behind the scenes, the page is not penalized, just devalued to keep all the link hunters from doing their thing.

There have been many threads where people wonder how PR0 and Gray PR pages can be appearing in the top positions. Maybe the PR for those pages has been capped to prevent abuse.

Now this adds a new twist for the link seekers. They will need to do actual searches to find those resources who hold top positions and request link exchanges. Makes the task of link hunting that much more difficult. It also puts a stop to automated tools that seek out links based on PR.

Kirby




msg:185347
 7:15 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

If Google wanted to mislead regarding PR to stop the abuse and sale of links, wouldn't it be easier to just eliminate the Page Rank bar?

xy123




msg:185348
 7:16 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Personally I think G is right to target links pages, if it is in fact doing this. If you search for widgets you dont want to find a load of links pages to other sites about widgets. You'd rather G return *its* idea of what the important pages about widgets are. You are, after all, just asking G for its 'links page' about that subject.

Considering that links in links pages are more likely to be spammy links than 'real' links embedded in good content, they are right to devalue such links.

I personally have a links page. I couldnt really care less about it to be honest. I only have it to satisfy those people who really want a recip link. I also use robots.txt to tell the bots to ignore it. As an aside, does anyone think this could get me a site ban in G? My links page only has about 30 links in it.

Kirby




msg:185349
 7:24 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

If Google doesn't see the links page, doesn't that stop the flow of PR? If true, then why would Google penalize? Your links would exist then only for the user and not for the sake of PR. Isn't that how Google really views the purpose of links?

Sunny_M




msg:185350
 7:29 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just checked all of my pages. Sites containing 'links' in the URL have PR0, other sites with links on it still have the old PR. But I guess it has nothing to do with file-extensions...

What about a new theory? Can it be that Google only penalize a site when it has more links to other URLs than to it's own content? It's clear to me when I look at my own domains... When a site is linking to other domains and the value of links to your own content is less than 70% it's PR0 - when 71% off the links point to my webspace it is the old PR. What do you think?

martinibuster




msg:185351
 7:42 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

links pages are more likely to be spammy...

That's not necessarily true.

I only have it to satisfy those people who really want a recip link. I also use robots.txt to tell the bots to ignore it.

It's amazing that you publicly admit to that. It's possible that many of the people who link to you are reading this and will disconnect their link.

It's a dangerous trick to play because once people get wise to it you will see you're PR and Ranking doing a whirlpool down the toilet.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:47 pm (utc) on May 20, 2003]

IITian




msg:185352
 7:42 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Your links would exist then only for the user and not for the sake of PR. Isn't that how Google really views the purpose of links?

Not really. Links were the concept which set Google apart from others. Putting a link is like voting and PR gets assigned to the linked site.

Some people argue that linking sites from other pages, especially from ingrained text, is better. I disagree. As a visitor to a site, if I want information on what other sites are related to that site's content I quickly turn to its links page. Otherwise, searching for other sites which are linked in from other pages would be a nightmare. Links page/directory is logically clean and easier to maintain too.

xy123




msg:185353
 7:46 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I doubt whether G penalizes a page because it contains 'links' in the URL. Too simple to get round, and too blunt an instrument. No, if anything they would be doing very careful analysis of the page contents.

pageoneresults




msg:185354
 7:51 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I doubt whether G penalizes a page because it contains 'links' in the URL.

Unfortunately this is not true. I've stated many times in this thread and others that Google has applied penalties to urls with the term links or something similar. It would be the first place to target in cleaning up an index as large as Googles and one that relies on link popularity as part of the algo.

When you get rampant abuse on links pages, something has to be done. Maybe Google is downgrading links pages as a start to a new index. It might be of benefit to become more creative with your linking strategies so as not to fall prey to the in thing.

As a side note, many of the automated link generating programs leave a footprint in their urls. That would be the first thing I'd look at. If there were a disproportionate number of urls containing a certain string and those urls led to nothing but a links page (link farm), then into the filter they go!

pageoneresults




msg:185355
 7:56 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Quick questions, for those of you seeing your links pages getting hit with possible PR penalities.

1. Do you have some sort of form so that visitors can submit a link to your links pages?

2. Are you using some form of software that scours the web for link exchanges that is somehow associated with your links pages?

If you answered yes to either one of the above questions, then that is where I would begin my research. Typically these programs generate url footprints that are easy to spot. There is also other code that you may not be aware of that may possibly link back to the mother site of that link exchange software. Many of these programs are not what they appear to be. Just be careful in how you develop your link exchanges.

MeditationMan




msg:185356
 8:01 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Quick questions, for those of you seeing your links pages getting hit with possible PR penalities.
1. Do you have some sort of form so that visitors can submit a link to your links pages?

2. Are you using some form of software that scours the web for link exchanges that is somehow associated with your links pages?

No, and most definitely no!

My links pages are also (Elvis please note) selective, on topic, and altogether squeaky clean.

xy123




msg:185357
 8:02 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

My own links page is created by hand, contains appx 30 links, and has not (yet) been penalized. Its a PR4. And I've instructed G not to index it (via robots.txt).

Napoleon




msg:185358
 8:10 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> When you get rampant abuse on links pages, something has to be done <<

Give me a break... what is the web about if it isn't linking to other on topic sites?

If they start trying to stop that they can forget any sort of ethical SEO as far as I am concerned at least. It would be a joke, a farce, a nonesense. Totally contrary to the ethos of the web itself.

What is it coming to when folks on here are worried about legitimate sensible linking to other third party useful sites/content, from a page they happen to call links.

Ludicrous, and I simply cannot see it.

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