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Does Google understand/rank Url`s that are not linked?

 7:44 am on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was wondering; Couple of my sites get cited very often in universities research papers and they seem to have the habit to put a reference for their source but not link to it. For example at the end it would say Sources; and then a series of www.thissite.com www.thatsite.com and so on... but not linked just plain text...

Now my question is, does the google algo understand that those research papers are getting info from the sources (my site) although there is no link?




 6:18 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

If there's no link, then actually getting ranked well because of the article and citation will be a challenge, because no link means that no PR is being voted to your page. Google still may crawl the url that the unviversity lists to see what may be there -- and perhaps your pages are linked from elsewhere as well?

You didn't mention if the university pages actually quote your site, or only use it as a reference in the footnotes. Is that part of your concern?


 7:04 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Pause for thought.

After playing around with some of the info in this thread [webmasterworld.com ] I noticed that some of the sites didn't actually - or seemingly so - link to the target, but rather quoted the source as in h*tp://www.thatsite.com.

I haven't had time to follow this through and it may very well be bogus. But its an interesting thought, and why wouldn't Gooogle want to follow and credit citations whether linked or not, it would seem very much in keeping with their original idea although perhaps with an ironic twist.


 7:57 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

You didn't mention if the university pages actually quote your site, or only use it as a reference in the footnotes. Is that part of your concern?

Well actually both, sometimes just a reference in the footnote, sometimes within the content, i do get plenty of links, but it still sucks when a huge top notch university quotes/cites you on their page and google has (apparently?) no clue how to judge that..



 8:06 pm on Feb 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Google judges it as a mention of the page -- but the Page Rank formula is based on links. If you do a search on [info:example.com] then one of the choices you see sometimes is "Pages that mention this site". So there's probably some little teensy positive factor there, being documented by the big G. I never tried to isolate this one, but I can't imagine it does much good on its own.

Yes, I agree that being link-stingy can really feel like a blow to the gut. But it's not only universities that do this. Some magazines are really awful about it -- for instance, recently one of my clients got a glowing review of a new product in a top international print magazine, but no link love on the web version of the article.


 9:25 pm on Feb 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Have you contacted the sites and asked them to please add a working link to your url? Works for me. If they really like your site they want to keep you happy. Doesn't hurt to ask.


 10:35 pm on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

oh yes, i asked every time, the problem is that many times the person who wrote the article/essay/paper is most of the time not the person in charge of the universities website, so it is a very long winding process, would be so much easier if the engines would figure it out without links ;)



 10:46 pm on Mar 4, 2006 (gmt 0)


This question was asked of G, Ask and Yahoo at the SES NY conference . There's mention of it in the comments on Matt Cutt's blog (Day 4 report):

Audience Question: Some major news publications will list a url but not create a hyperlink to a site. Do you use that information into account?
Ask: We do assign credit for newly found sites. If there is already a link to the site, additional links to the same site are not considered. The URL as text is not treated as a link.
Yahoo: At this point we do not treat a text url as a link.
Google: That delves into the secret sauce. Think of coverage in major publications as a traffic source but not as a way of getting link popularity.
Yahoo: Y!Q creates links automatically to popular resources.


 8:49 pm on Mar 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well i stumbled across this patent from Google [appft1.uspto.gov] , not sure how and what that all means however it does refer to non links...

In addition to non-HTML documents, many HTML documents may also contain indirect or implicit linkage information without an associated hyperlink. For example, scientific documents often cite other reference documents using the title, author, publication date, publisher, and/or various other identifying information such as the book or journal in which the reference document appears. The citations to the reference documents are typically found directly in the text of the source document, in footnotes at the bottom of each page, or in endnotes or a bibliography at the end of the document, etc. It would be desirable to generate hyperlinks with appropriate anchor text to the reference documents such that a reader may navigate directly to the reference document.

another reference
[0021]The automatic hyperlink and anchor text generation process 100 begins at block 102 in which the source document is analyzed to extract various identifying information of the source document such as the title, author(s), affiliation(s), the publication date and/or the book or journal in which the source document appears or is published, etc.


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