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This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: 43 ( [1] 2 > >     
Should I Dump all My Outgoing Links .
..that are less than "valuable"
old_expat




msg:715802
 3:40 am on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Pardon if this has been discussed before/elsewhere, but this phrase in Matt Cutts' blog about pages dropped and Big Daddy got me to thinking.

Id think about the quality of your links if youd prefer to have more pages crawled. As these indexing changes have rolled out, weve improving how we handle reciprocal link exchanges and link buying/selling.

I think we all have links that were exchanged years back before link selling was done and when link exchanges were very popular.

1 - Should I be dropping these "less than valuable" links?

2 - Should I selectively add <rel="nofollow">?

3 - Should I delete all my links pages?

 

ken_b




msg:715803
 4:24 am on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

1: Hmmm, might not be a bad idea, IF they are really "less than valuable" and you aren't just over-reacting to Matt Cutts latest blog comments.

But then if the links are "less than valuable", why are they on your site in the first place?

Nevermind, I don't really wanna know.

2: Why not.

3: Speaking of over-reacting.....

old_expat




msg:715804
 5:08 am on May 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

But then if the links are "less than valuable", why are they on your site in the first place?

Good question, um, so-so question. Pleading guilty to owning a website that is not completely altruistic in content and management .. the answer would be, "To show up better in the SERPs." 10% of my pages are predominantly affiliate oriented and I am trying to get to #1 for my keywords without spending all my income on PPC (actually, I don't spend any at present).

That being said, what are "valuable links"? Links that bring visitors and no PR? Links that bring PR but no visitors? (sorry, "both" is not an option in this question)

How should I/we define what is a link worth having?

Is a PR2 that is from a "ho-hum" site "valuable"? What if that link costs a reciprocal link from a PR2 links page?

mimo




msg:715805
 9:33 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm in the same position, I have link page, with triangular and reciprocal link, but all link are relative to my business ex:"Travel".
I link hotels competitor, car rentals, tour guide, and everithing is relative to travel.
What do you suggest to do?

MLHmptn




msg:715806
 10:12 am on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Stop worrying about Google and stick to building relevant link exchange and great content for your visitors. Anything else and your taking Google's bait for their search engine dependence. Sure you may get in the Top 10 but what about when they decide to dump your site and you have no other traffic to rely on from MSN and Yahoo? :>~ I might sound stupid here but I'm not about to change my site nor am I about to second guess my relevant link exchanges for Google.

Of course this is IMHO! :>~


Is a PR2 that is from a "ho-hum" site "valuable"? What if that link costs a reciprocal link from a PR2 links page?

And what if that "ho-hum" site has an underlying PR of 9 but yet Google only shows it as a PR 1? Who cares about PR! Stick to relevancy for your visitors and if you don't feel a link is worth your visitors time, don't bother with it.

theBear




msg:715807
 1:57 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

"Stick to relevancy for your visitors and if you don't feel a link is worth your visitors time, don't bother with it."

Well said MLHmptn.

old-expat his is the correct answer.

One of the major problems with linking in general is that you have to revisit all of the places you link to in order to make certain the sites haven been repurposed or corrupted.

Reid




msg:715808
 2:08 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree with thebear on this one. Just make a good website and let google worry about weeding out the bad results. If you get your head too deep into pleasing google (instead of visitors) then your site will (without you noticing) begin to get very tacky and then google will be the first to let you know by dropping you into the black hole of the SERP's. It's like anything else in life, if you do good it's hard to get recognition but if you do bad then they are right there at your door.

chickenpaw




msg:715809
 4:58 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Link exchanges to relevant sites will never hurt you. Google and Matt Cutts are full of politically correct answers.....

look at most websites that lead the SERPS...they have link pages.

Google is just cutting down on link spam and overlinking - Don't link out of your niche and link to website that your visitors might find useful.

JuniorOptimizer




msg:715810
 5:05 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Dump the whole site. That's what Google really wants ;)

pageoneresults




msg:715811
 5:30 pm on May 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

What determines Link Quality?

That is the question you need to ask yourself when linking to other sites.

Personally, I've never really participated in any link exchanges. When building sites, we always have a resources section and those resources are chosen based on the clients industry and the value to the visitors, period! There is no exchange going on unless of course the webmaster of the destination site has seen our referrals and decided to link to us from somewhere on their site. That's what I call a natural link exchange.

1 - Should I be dropping these "less than valuable" links?

If you feel they are "less than valuable", then yes, you should be reviewing and purging those where necessary.

2 - Should I selectively add <rel="nofollow">?

Red flag. I wouldn't touch that attribute with a 10 foot pole unless of course I had a blog or similar outlet. The whole purpose of that attribute was to curtail blog spamming.

3 - Should I delete all my links pages?

Yup! Based on that sentence and the words "links pages", I'd say you may need to rethink those pages.

So, back to what determines the quality of a link. Not only do you need to look at the quality of those resources you link to, you also need to look at the quality of your outbound link. If it's sitting on a links page in your standard format, it may not have as much value. If it were a link that was naturally placed within related content, that link may have a bit more value. It's all relative.

old_expat




msg:715812
 2:19 am on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Stop worrying about Google and stick to building relevant link exchange and great content for your visitors. Anything else and your taking Google's bait for their search engine dependence. Sure you may get in the Top 10 but what about when they decide to dump your site and you have no other traffic to rely on from MSN and Yahoo? :>~

I'll take these one at a time.

1 - relevant link exchange .. *exchange* seems the appropriate word .. could be a problem if Google's algo keeps getting tweeked ever more toward the bizarre.

2 - Great content. Some of my content (500 pages of it) is good, a few pages are great and the rest is probably average. Best sellers are pretty rare.

3 - Google's bait? Maybe, but I'll take free user traffic from wherever I can get it.

4 - Top 10 .. yes .. from #3 to #5 but liking #1 a lot better .. and doing about as well in MSN and Yahoo as in Google .. but 70% of my SE traffic comes from Google.

old_expat




msg:715813
 2:24 am on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

One of the major problems with linking in general is that you have to revisit all of the places you link to in order to make certain the sites haven been repurposed or corrupted.

I just had a really good lesson in this on one of my sites. I visited all my link exchange "parthers". All are relevant and done personally after discussions with site owners.

About 30% of then had been taken down.

It is extremely frustrating.

old_expat




msg:715814
 2:29 am on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just make a good website and let google worry about weeding out the bad results.

I wish I had your same confidence in Google. The #1 site is my niche has virtually no content, but is one of a family of (about 200) sites that all cross-link .. the links at the bottom of the index pages.

The domain name happens to be made up of the exact keywords.

old_expat




msg:715815
 2:31 am on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Dump the whole site. That's what Google really wants ;)

LOL! I'm going to fight them to the last pixel!

old_expat




msg:715816
 2:41 am on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

1 - Should I be dropping these "less than valuable" links?

If you feel they are "less than valuable", then yes, you should be reviewing and purging those where necessary.

The reason I used the intentionally ambiguous "less than valuable" description was to read some opinions about what types of links are valuable.

2 - Should I selectively add <rel="nofollow">?

Red flag. I wouldn't touch that attribute with a 10 foot pole unless of course I had a blog or similar outlet. The whole purpose of that attribute was to curtail blog spamming.

I'm curious about this statement. I have seen numerous recommendations for using <... rel="nofollow">. Just because something is designed for one purpose doesn't mean it is necessarily inappropriate for another.

Can you expand on your "Red flag." comment?.

old_expat




msg:715817
 2:57 am on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm in the same position, I have link page, with triangular and reciprocal link, but all link are relative to my business ex:"Travel".
I link hotels competitor, car rentals, tour guide, and everithing is relative to travel.
What do you suggest to do?

FWIW, my site is travel as well .. one of the "better" sites, IMHO for a destination. About 85% of my pages are truely unique informational content that I try to keep current.

I have a *killer good* history of about 40 pages written by an historian (all attributed and with permission). Roughly 40 pages are for hotel booking affiliate .. but with a bit of a twist. I wrote my own teaser paragraphs and serve them as database query type searches displayed with thumbnails and ratings.

I will no longer link to sites that book hotels.

I have a tendency to link to *resource* type sites .. but it is really difficult to come up with pages that have contextual links to some of these .. that don't bore the heck out of users.

As far as what to do .. and I don't mean to sound flippant .. take advice from someone a lot smarter than me.

I tend to post questions here, sift through the replies, take the ones that seem logical and see if I can find some other backup around the web.

Then I have a cup of coffee and think about them.;)

MLHmptn




msg:715818
 6:10 am on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)


3 - Google's bait? Maybe, but I'll take free user traffic from wherever I can get it.

My point was expat that you shouldn't play Google's and only Google's game. If you only worry about Google and they dump you, what will you have left? Those directories that you may or may not have submitted to? Link exchanges? ... You get my point?! DO NOT RELY ON GOOGLE! :> If you do, it's going to bite you in the a$$ someday.


4 - Top 10 .. yes .. from #3 to #5 but liking #1 a lot better .. and doing about as well in MSN and Yahoo as in Google .. but 70% of my SE traffic comes from Google.

I applaud you with such success...It's certainly not easy to accomplish that feat.

On another note, If it's not broke don't fix it! :> I'm sure you've heard that age old ado?! If I ranked #3 to #5 consistently like you have I wouldn't change a thing. Google might sandbox you for tweaking anything! :> Seriously!

And with the link exchanges it sounds like you are doing the correct thing so don't worry about it. Just make sure you constantly monitor who your linking to because sites can change in an instance.

dhaliwal




msg:715819
 7:03 am on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

i was thinking of the same thing.

But i was of a different opinion.

To make a no follow tag to the link pages as i do not want to exchange links any more from my website.

i would also like to ask one thing here

Is it a myth that google thinks bad of you if you use no follow tag

Regards

Reid




msg:715820
 12:52 pm on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is it a myth that google thinks bad of you if you use no follow tag

google doesn't mind but the guy your exchanging links with will.

last year when the tag was new we were discussing this issue and googleguy gave the OK to use this tag on webpages. No problem it's just a flag for googlebot to ignore a link (treat it as text). They don't penalize you for using noindex meta tag do they?
I use it on a couple of affiliate links that only block bots anyway. I'm sure nofollow looks better than a "browser check" or one that has a few partial sentences because of no java.

Reid




msg:715821
 1:30 pm on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

about the nofollow issue:
Ok I'm such a nice guy I went and checked so here it is right from the horses mouth.
[google.com...]
end of myth

pageoneresults




msg:715822
 2:33 pm on May 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm curious about this statement. I have seen numerous recommendations for using <... rel="nofollow">. Just because something is designed for one purpose doesn't mean it is necessarily inappropriate for another.

The nofollow attribute was originally implemented to curtail comment spamming period! It's also a great way to raise a flag for your site if it is anything other than a blog or similar outlet where comments are being posted.

If you're a blogger (or a blog reader), you're painfully familiar with people who try to raise their own websites' search engine rankings by submitting linked blog comments like "Visit my discount pharmaceuticals site." This is called comment spam, we don't like it either, and we've been testing a new tag that blocks it. From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel="nofollow") on hyperlinks, those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results. This isn't a negative vote for the site where the comment was posted; it's just a way to make sure that spammers get no benefit from abusing public areas like blog comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists.

You are welcome to read whatever else you wish into the above statement from the Official Google Blog.

Preventing comment spam
1/18/2005 04:28:00 PM
[googleblog.blogspot.com...]

FWIW, my site is travel as well .. one of the "better" sites, IMHO for a destination.

Travel? I don't know where to begin. Probably one of the most competitive areas online. And, one that is watched closely. You have your work cut out for you if you are in this sector.

Just make sure you constantly monitor who your linking to because sites can change in an instance.

High maintenance! If I had to monitor the outgoing links on all the sites I manage, that would be a maintenance nightmare. If you are involved in link exchanges and you are targeting certain industries, I guess this is the norm for you. I surely wouldn't want to have to do that. Not my forte.

Much of this discussion is going to be industry specific. The more competitive the industry, the more apt you are to be involved in the types of things that will raise flags and possibly cause problems.

Go back to what you were doing before Google came on the scene and released PageRank. You'll be much better off. ;)

old_expat




msg:715823
 3:30 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

FWIW, my site is travel as well .. one of the "better" sites, IMHO for a destination.

Travel? I don't know where to begin. Probably one of the most competitive areas online. And, one that is watched closely. You have your work cut out for you if you are in this sector.

I've been on page #1 for about 3 years for several 2-word sets of keyphrases, # 1 for some good 3-word phrases .. yet not enough of them.

I'm just trying to get to #1 for ALL keywords. I know it won't happen, but I sure won't get there without trying. My quest for #1 is what prompted me to start this thread.

old_expat




msg:715824
 3:33 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's also a great way to raise a flag for your site if it is anything other than a blog or similar outlet where comments are being posted.

That would seem to no longer be the case in light of the link that Reid was kind enough to post, or did I misread that?

pageoneresults




msg:715825
 3:37 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

That would seem to no longer be the case in light of the link that Reid was kind enough to post, or did I misread that?

Think of it this way. How many people know about the nofollow attribute? And, what group do most of those people come from?

Personally, I would not use it. That's just my personal opinion. I've never had a need for it anyway. If I had to babysit my outbound links like that, I'd be looking for a new line of work. ;)

I'm just trying to get to #1 for ALL keywords. I know it won't happen, but I sure won't get there without trying. My quest for #1 is what prompted me to start this thread.

Ah, chasing the algo. Too much stress for me. ;)

old_expat




msg:715826
 3:39 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

If I ranked #3 to #5 consistently like you have I wouldn't change a thing.

Just before one of the updates in 2005 I was at #2 for a couple of months. Addictive!;)

pageoneresults




msg:715827
 3:56 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just before one of the updates in 2005 I was at #2 for a couple of months.

It sounds as though you are chasing one or two terms. What about all the other terms? What about the long tail of search?

It's somewhat rare these days for a competitive site to hold the #1 position for any length of time. Those that do most likely have an aging factor involved. I've seen a few pages hold in that #1 spot for quite some time. But, every now and then, they shift to #2 or #3. It's no big deal. Eventually I see them back in the #1 position. It's all part of the natural process. With Google, you'll most likely see this more frequently than with the other two majors. Google's index is in constant flux.

crobb305




msg:715828
 4:02 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow...now it seems that we now have to run potential outbound links through a PR checker before we add them to our pages. That's absurd.

old_expat




msg:715829
 4:15 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

It sounds as though you are chasing one or two terms.

Then you didn't read my posts very well.

annej




msg:715830
 5:05 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is it a myth that google thinks bad of you if you use no follow tag

MC has mentioned that no follow is meant for whenever you don't want to pass on the PR. I think he's said something along these lines a few times but don't want to wade through the blog to find them just now.

I've used it for affiliate links for some time and seem to be doing as well as ever if not a bit better in Google's serps so I don't think it hurt.

On recip links and not getting spidered or listed MC made a couple of comments when he was evaluating some examples that indicated that the recip links neither hurt nor helped. The same with unrelated links. The point he seemed to be making is that you need enough inbound links of value not so much that you are being punished for some questionable links. Read through the comments under the indexing timeline entry and see what you think. That's what I got out of it but would like to hear other's opinions.

Just before one of the updates in 2005 I was at #2 for a couple of months. Addictive!

I know that feeling and it's a real rush. I hit #3 for my top page a few weeks ago :), now I'm back at my usual #5 :(. It's an emotional thing that has nothing to do with reality. It's the long tail that brings in the greater % of my visitors. But boy does it impress people when you say your site ranks 5th in google for a top keyword.;)

tedster




msg:715831
 5:38 pm on May 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

Here's a related thread that was begun after this one:
Google, time to define "RELEVANT" or "RELATED" [webmasterworld.com]

Adam Lasnik's reply in Message #17 is worth reading, especially. He's using phrases like "abuses your visitors" in addition to "trick search engines".

This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: 43 ( [1] 2 > >
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