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Who is going to use the no follow in paid links?
I sell links should I use it...
proboscis




msg:3313976
 9:48 pm on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I sell advertising on my site and I know Google wants us to use the rel=no follow in all paid links but I haven't started doing it yet.

Wondering what all of your opinions are, should we start using it for all paid links?

 

night707




msg:3315074
 8:17 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is enough junk that rules No.1 positions at Google and their engeneers come across like big time losers.

Now Google wants to use informers .... what a joke!

Why can't they admit the end of their easy to manipulate algo strategy and hire a bunch of brains capable enough to select what deserves to be listed on top.

That would be cheaper, more efficient and certainly more relevant than what this non-functional based on links system will ever generate.

In fact, I could offer to provide IT savy folks in Asia, who would be 100% capable and happy to work a whole month for $100 to do nothing but trying to find the very best pages for any important keyword.

Matt's request for "informers" is nothing but a huge disgrace for this multi billion operator who is loosing it's quality roots in these days.

bordering




msg:3315077
 8:20 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

So my links to 'relevant local sites' - most selected because they are of real interest to site visitors, doesn't need 'nofollow' because they are free. But a few are reciprocal... but then my site is relevant to their visitors. So 'nofollow' these?

In my main directory which is paid ads, a weblink is an optional extra. Anyone can look at my 'advertising info' page and quickly discover that a link is paid for. As far as a typical advertiser is concerned, the purpose of the link is so people viewing their ad can go and find more info in the linked website. [The vast majority don't have a clue about the uses and abuses of IBLs beyond making referrals to their website a possibility].

The clickthroughs go through a referring page for logging, and the redirect from that page is 301 moved permanently.

Can anyone tell me, does a link like this count as a 'paid link' of the type that MC is talking about?

Changing the two links in the template would take about 30 seconds, and would go un-noticed by the vast majority of advertisers. This would, however, affect a really large number of pages in the site, and I'm hesitant to just do it because I don't know whether the effect would be nil, negative or positive.

Can't we just agree a precise date and time to implement this and get it out of the way?

proboscis




msg:3315082
 8:26 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

If so, how come all those off topic paid footer links (viagra, credit-cards, diet pills) are supposedly messing up googles serps so bad? )

I don't know if it's those kind of links they're looking for, probably they are, but there are far worse.

There are networks of "directories" on specific topics offering links, for around 49.95 you can buy 25 on topic, pure html links in 25 different directories in the network.

They are bold about it, they advertise "Increase your PR buy pure one way links...1 link for 9.95, 5 links for 29.95..."

Worst and weirdest of all is that they rank. If I search for: keyword directory, I've seen as many as 3 of their directories within the first 10 results, then there are more on the 2nd page, and etc. plus they do not just rank for that term...and they all have adsense.

Maybe google wants to get rid of these type of link sellers, but who knows, we'll see.

ogletree




msg:3315095
 8:34 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google has recommended for years that we buy yahoo links for seo purposes. Maybe if you word your advertisement so that it says you are selling them the service of you looking at their site and the link is free. You charge to approve the ad not put it up.

mfishy




msg:3315100
 8:36 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is truly rich. 3+ years ago Matt was talking about devaluing certain types of links and they still have not. How arrogant (and typical) of Google to think they can accurately spot paid links.

I don't buy links at the moment (have very often) but I can say without question that the collateral damage is going to me massive if they actually did follow through with this. How hard do you think it is for me to place any of YOUR sites in a paid link network and then pass the info on directly to the proper people at google?

The fact that some folks don't see this as creepy makes me wonder if they are just so giddy about their current google traffic that they are drowning in the kool aid or they have completely lost a grip on what is happening. Just because Google is free to do whatever they want that does not make everything they do right.

The sites that matt likes to talk about are using a different type of currency and it's called the buddy system, just like all their academic pals have been for years. He talks about how certain sites are legit and have become wildly popular and doesn't even realize they are gaming the system in a very similar way to traditional paid links. "I got a great news site thats really cool and totally geeky - put me up on your web 2.0 site and snydicate the heck out of it bro". Bingo. Even if it doesn't have a price tag....

contentwithcontent




msg:3315101
 8:37 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

All this discussion, and Google has never once said to use "nofollow" for paid links.

Matt Cutts has but Matt Cutts blog is not an official Google resource.

night707




msg:3315108
 8:44 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

--- Matt Cutts has but Matt Cutts blog is not an official Google resource. ----

Hey Brett_Tabke, Tedster ...

How would you rate Matt Cutts?

mfishy




msg:3315115
 8:54 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

All this discussion, and Google has never once said to use "nofollow" for paid links.

Hehe, it doesn't matter what Google says just what their engineers DO. They don't really need to announce algo changes which is what Matt is suggesting will occur.

cfx211




msg:3315129
 8:58 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't tell Google how to run their business. They shouldn't tell me how to run mine. As far as I am concerned, this request for informers used up the last bit of credibility they had with me. Shame on them.

randle




msg:3315147
 9:26 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

part of this post is to let people know in advance that Google is looking at some new ways to approach paid links that affect search engines, so it’s true that this post serves as a place to point people to. Google wants to hear about paid links that pass PageRank or potentially affect search engines in the same way that we want to hear about things like hidden text or keyword stuffing.

Well, you may not agree with the philosophy, or believe they have the capacity to tell a paid link from one given out of the goodness of ones heart, but I just don't think dismissing this post from MC's blog is entirely wise if you want to keep riding the wave.

steveb




msg:3315148
 9:27 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

They can ask for whatever they want. They can run their business as lame or as brilliantly as they want. It is impossible to understand why people complain that Google asked for public feedback. Most businesses have a "help us improve" method, from suggestion boxes to the back of restaurant receipts.

A cryathon about how Google runs its business accomplishes nothing. Run yours.

In this case, to try and get back to the topic... I don't see any reason to nofollow links beyond the original conception of nofollow. If you don't vouch for something, and want to clearly say that, then nofollow if you want. If links are valuable, on topic, and useful to your users, then link to them in the clear... unless you happen to like the busy work of adding extra useless junk to your code.

Google sucks as a search engine. There is no reason to bloat your code because of that.

[edited by: steveb at 9:31 pm (utc) on April 18, 2007]

reseller




msg:3315149
 9:30 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

mfishy

This is truly rich. 3+ years ago Matt was talking about devaluing certain types of links and they still have not. How arrogant (and typical) of Google to think they can accurately spot paid links.

I guess you are referring to what Matt wrote in 2005 [mattcutts.com]. For the sake of further discussion, lets recall what he said, among other things, at that time:

Matt
.....
A natural question is: what is Google’s current approach to link buying? Of course our link-weighting algorithms are the first line of defense, but it’s difficult to catch every problem case in adversarial information retrieval, so we also look for problems and leaks in different semi-automatic ways. Reputable sites that sell links won’t have their search engine rankings or PageRank penalized–a search for [key words] would still return site.org. However, link-selling sites can lose their ability to give reputation (e.g. PageRank and anchortext).

What if a site wants to buy links purely for visitor click traffic, to build buzz, or to support another site? In that situation, I would use the rel=”nofollow” attribute. The nofollow tag allows a site to add a link that abstains from being an editorial vote. Using nofollow is a safe way to buy links, because it’s a machine-readable way to specify that a link doesn’t have to be counted as a vote by a search engine.

So it seems Google have been working on improving their algos to identify paid links since.

Matts latest call for reporting spam links [mattcutts.com] mightbe seen as a continuation of Google efforts to improve their algos to identify paid links.

Matt
.....
I'd like to get a few paid link reports anyway because I'm excited about trying some ideas here at Google to augment our existing algorithms.

[edited by: reseller at 9:43 pm (utc) on April 18, 2007]

europeforvisitors




msg:3315151
 9:33 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't tell Google how to run their business. They shouldn't tell me how to run mine.

They aren't, unless your business depends on Google traffic (in which case they can hardly be faulted for asking that you comply with their guidelines).

justablink




msg:3315153
 9:38 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree with WebWork and Wheel on this one.

One of my client's is in a very competitive industry, and we have proven that buying good inbound links got us to #1 in the serps. Let me qualify "good links": they are not blog links, but from authority sites within our industry. Without a couple of paid links, we were top 10, but not #1 for very competitive terms.

SEO strategy for high rankings has many factors, and buying links is not for the meek. The more aggressive/competitive an industry, the same holds true for SEO strategy within that industry.

As far as identifying paid links, if we can find them, certainly G can.
justablink

lfgoal




msg:3315160
 9:41 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

"What if a site wants to buy links purely for visitor click traffic, to build buzz, or to support another site? In that situation, I would use the rel=nofollow attribute."

I always get hung up on this particular quote. Buyers of links (directory submissions, advertising, article republication, etc) don't control how the link giver decides to configure the outgoing link. Was he not thinking when he said this?

trinorthlighting




msg:3315164
 9:52 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

How many people buy links from directories and actually get traffic?

Hell, I do not even get a click a month from DMOZ. There are a lot of directories just out there taking up space that really add no value to the web nor bring any traffic.

mfishy




msg:3315168
 9:53 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I guess you are referring to what Matt wrote in 2005. For the sake of further discussion, lets recall what he said, among other things, at that time:

No, referring to another tye of linking and well before that. But it doesn't take a genius to look around and see what google has said for years they could prevent is still thriving, so there is no need to go into it.

randle




msg:3315170
 9:55 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of my client's is in a very competitive industry, and we have proven that buying good inbound links got us to #1 in the serps. Let me qualify "good links": they are not blog links, but from authority sites within our industry. Without a couple of paid links, we were top 10, but not #1 for very competitive terms.

I’m not criticizing paid links, but isn’t this, err, like exactly what their concerned about? A site that ranked #10, now ranks # 1 and the only change was the purchase of some links? Essentially your voting for yourself.

WebPixie




msg:3315172
 9:58 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

First of all, I'd recommend that anyone just browsing this thread make sure they read Webwork's post.

Secondly, I'd ask that people with sites in that deal in information remember that in the commercial market the authority sites are in almost all cases either you or your competition(or both in some cases). In my market people don't freely link to each other out of good will. Google long ago established a value for links and people expect value in return for links given, end of story.

Lastly I'd ask what are the legit reasons to use 'no follow'? On a forum or for blog comments where you don't control all the content? Where else? It seems to me that adding 'no follow' to links on your site if it's not a open posting forum shouts to google that you are linking for reasons other than the benefit of your user. So while your intentions might be good by adding 'no follow' at the end of the day you've just told google you are linking without wanting to "vote" for the site you are linking to. Which is contrary to the basis of google's search algo. I don't sell links, but if I did there's no way I'd make them 'no follow'.

Bennie




msg:3315241
 11:32 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

randle, adapt or die. Link buying is not about to go away, it existed long before search engines and is how I build traffic to websites. The link benefit is a bonus.

Anyone who uses a no follow is nothing but a bad webmaster that cannot determine what a quality link is. Long term they should be penalised for not doing their job correctly - human review.

The only people I see taking notice to these GUIDELINES are those that do not understand;
a. How links work
b. How the internet works
c. The amount of crap link that Google CAN detect already and ignore

Once you have been in the SEO Industry for a while you will realise what Google say they do and what they really do are two distinctly different things.

For all those that rally on with this no-follow bull#*$! and be scared to sell and buy links, you have a choice. Work it out or surrender all your potential linking real estate to those that know what they are doing. (HINT: one will increase your rankings, one will increase your competitions rankings significantly).

Adapt or die.

Quadrille




msg:3315245
 11:35 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Which is contrary to the basis of google's search algo.

No, it's exactly the point of Google's search algo.

If you have a football site, and are accepting money for debt consolidation, it would be entirely logical to use nofollow.

We've been prepared for this latest by the move towards not crediting 'unrelated' links; and we've generally understood the emphasis on authority sites and we know what 'recommendation' means.

This move is exactly in tune with Google's war on link abuse, and it will help the 'little man', who could never afford to 'buy links' - not even an annual subscription to a Yahoo Directory link.

When the fuss dies down (it will, it will), we'll see that for most people nothing will have changed; for those who made fortunes brokering links, life will be tougher - but I dare say they'll survive too.

What is important, lest we forget, is that one more avenue for distorting Google serps is being closed. And that's good.

confuscius




msg:3315252
 11:55 pm on Apr 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

How can I find somewhere to buy some paid links? Oh I know let's search Google. Now what are those funny little bits of short text above the results and down the right hand side that lead me to such places?

So, Google has some aches and pains, so what. My heart bleeds for them.

trakkerguy




msg:3315254
 12:13 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

for those who made fortunes brokering links, life will be tougher- but I dare say they'll survive too.

Of course they (linksellers) will adapt, and probably make a lot more $$. Prices will just go up.

skipfactor




msg:3315258
 12:19 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>annual subscription to a Yahoo Directory link

I can't see Y! dropping in no follows at $300/year and I can't see G devaluing that source of 'authority'.

iamlost




msg:3315260
 12:20 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

When an old issue is resurrected, especially in a fog of FUD, look at who and wonder why. Just what is the left hand not supposed to know the right is doing? It is an illusion folks, paid links are a distraction and no-follow is a bright red herring.

Just in case you haven't noticed: Google stopped being a search engine over 4-years ago. Yes, it still serves up URLs upon request but as a wrapper for ads, much like greasy newsprint around fish and chips; indeed the ads are deliberately becoming the answer - more paper less fish with every beta enhancement.

That Wikipedia type results top an increasing number of query results shows how far the process has evolved. A summary answer, of uncertain accuracy, has become sufficient. Follow with multiple MFA via Google service 'partners', plus those hiding in their algo shadow, and whatever 'real' sites remain increasingly display below the viewport if on the first page at all.

If a summary answer is insufficient just look at all the contextually relevant ads above, beside, and below. No need to scroll just click...
Step 1: make the ads more relevant than the query results.
Step 2: mix MFA in with content.
Step 3: colour premium ads to imply 'secure connection' subliminal trust.
Step 4: target non-g revenue streams on sites.
Google is a thinly disguised, very greedy, ad server.

The g-content-ads on our sites are just sweeping up those crumbs who escaped the g-search-ads by, horrors, going too far down the SERPs or, horrors, arriving via non-g-links.

When the noise about search result quality (or similar tripwire topic) tops some threshold: bring back the paid-link FUD and revise no-follow once more. I expect a no-follow.txt addendum to robots.txt any day now. Today (once again) its those nefarious link payment schemes, to be followed by 'fear and loathing of [insert retread issue]' as this pandemonium fades. Anything that will distract from search quality et al issues.
Bad webmaster, good Google.

No-follow was a flawed idea in it's first instance and has become an increasingly bad running gag. I control which of my pages the SEs index, they control how they rank them. I control how...and why...I link out, they control how they weight them. I do not use no-follow, they can algo-rate each link, themselves, to their heart's content.

Mr. Cutts' 'bad' paid link examples have been against Googles ToS for a long time. So:
Why do these long proscribed behaviours still boost SERP?
Why FUD in place of ToS enforcement?
Why fold 'bad' paid links in with all paid links in with text advertising?
Why troll no-follow for the nth time?

BillyS




msg:3315267
 12:25 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

For what it's worth, here is my policy:

- If you've got good content and I'm referring to that content in my content, you get a link.
- If I'm writing an article and I consider your website an "authority" on the topic then you get a link.
- If you want to advertise on my website then you get a no-follow tag.
- Send me an email about exchanging links and you go right in the trash.

I consider this policy "natural" linking. This helps save time writing reinclusion requests :)

europeforvisitors




msg:3315270
 12:28 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Kudos to BillyS for cutting to the chase. :-)

Quadrille




msg:3315282
 12:36 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

... And by an amazing coincidence, his honest, sensible policy is very close to what Google recommends in the name of better serps.

Makes you wonder what all the fuss is about, once it's put so simply, doesn't it

;)

calicochris




msg:3315285
 12:41 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Nice one BillyS - I like it!

I still don't know what the result will be if I make my current 'advertising' links nofollow - I never bothered about this before. So, we had a little extra to spread around, but I'm now questioning that - if I get real competition in future, then my a$$ is gra$$.

Quadrille




msg:3315287
 12:46 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Think about it:

All SE algos are based on the theory that a link is a 'vote' - that makes a paidlink a 'bought vote'. And that is not fair on those too poor to buy votes, or those who choose not to. Or just about anyone else.

Of course there's some hanging chad issues, and special voters - like directories; I don't want to oversimplify things!

jonathanleger




msg:3315332
 1:46 am on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Contrary to most people here, I hope Google can develop an algo that completely destroys the value of all paid links.

I for one would like a return to the days where actually creating good content, and having people who appreciate it link to it, was all it took to rank well. As it is, people who can pump huge budgets into buying links rule the rankings.

Frankly I don't understand why this is so difficult. Google already has the ability to understand related terms that match search queries.

Why not just extend that ability to analyze the outbound links on a page and decide whether or not that link is on-topic enough to count as a vote for the linked-to page?

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