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

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 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?

 

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 3:24 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Part of my rationale for adding nofollow is that I don't want to spend the time anymore checking on the status of links people have posted to my sites.

How were those links obtained? It sounds as though they may have a short life expectancy? If so, get rid of em if they are NOT generating real visitors. It also sounds like they are part of a reciprocal link exchange program of some sort?

If/when the links have gone 404, or redirected, I'm hoping nofollow might offer some protection. Does that make sense?

Yes, it does. In your case, it may be best to review each and every one of your outbound links and just get rid of the ones "you" don't trust. If it was acquired through a link exchange, "you link to me, I'll link to you, submit here at my link directory type deal", those have little to zero value these days. The only time that they might present "any value" is when they are done in mass. And even then, there are risks involved and the maintenance factors just aren't worth it.

Play_Bach

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 3:31 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

No link exchange here - the links are provided by users to add more info about their individual posts. For example, some of the links are to pages on flickr, photobucket etc.

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 3:32 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>>>If/when the links have gone 404, or redirected

Unfortunately, that's a wish not likely to be fulfilled.

If you don't think the industry as a whole is going to get screwed by suckering into this nofollow stuff, perhaps you should take the time to consider exactly how the search engines treat nofollow. Anyone care to provide some facts?

Gosh, it's so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

Are you missing the point that while the SE's will tell you when to use nofollow, the refuse to tell anyone how they interpret it? Doesn't that stink real bad? They're telling you to do something but they will NOT tell you the impact of doing that, either on your site or the outbound linked site.

How about this....maybe google will stand up and say that the effect of a nofollow is exactly the same as if you didn't link to that site. That's what a lot of folks seem to believe is the case. Well, wake up, it's not the case.

Have a read through this thread alone to have a look at all the supposition and speculation being spewed as 'well that sure makes sense' as to how Google will treat nofollows. None of them are based in fact.

Play_Bach

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 3:37 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

> They're telling you to do something but they will NOT
> tell you the impact of doing that, either on your site or the outbound linked site.

That's why I'm giving nofollow a try - so I can see what happens in my stats as well as on Google.

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 3:39 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Here's what I'd do for a laugh (yes, sometimes I'm that suspicious) if I was Google. Convince webmasters who are actively involved in SEO to flag their sites in a fashion that actively states they're involved in SEO. Even better, do so (in direct contradiction to their stated guidelines I'm sure) in a way that regular visitors can't see when they visit, so it has nothing to do with user experience. Do some crawling, remove packaged programs like blog software and forum stuff, and I'd say you've got a good list of people trying to do SEO.

I won't do nofollow if for no other reason than people here are doing nofollow. The joe on the street websites don't use nofollow because they have no idea what it is. And I want my sites to walk and talk like their sites,not the sites of people around here.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 3:42 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Are you missing the point that while the SE's will tell you when to use nofollow, the refuse to tell anyone how they interpret it?

[googleblog.blogspot.com...]

Key quote:

"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."

Sounds pretty clear to me.

Play_Bach

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 3:43 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

> The joe on the street websites don't use nofollow because they have no idea what it is

wheel: the problem I have with that logic is that ALL the major blog softwares are using nofollow - and there are millions of regular Joes blogging away, are they not?

lfgoal

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 4:03 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Half the people will use it to hoard PR.
Will G be able to tell which is which? "

Can we get a show of hands on this? I don't think this is even an issue with google. If you don't feel like passing on PR and reputation to another site, that's your business and I can't think of a single reason for a search engine to care.

From my perspective, when I link to articles and news stories, its just safer. I have run into so many occurrences in the last year where, during link hunting, I have found that a site is no longer what it once was and is now instead owned by an SEO outfit using the site to pass pagerank or is owned by some pornmaster. I don't have the %$#* time to go back and audit my own outbounds on all my sites, so unless I'm linking out to someone I personally know or to CNN, I use nofollow.

The visitor to my site doesn't care if I'm using nofollow and the news source that I link to doesn't care if I use nofollow. And I see no reason why google would care.

[edited by: lfgoal at 4:05 pm (utc) on April 19, 2007]

wheel

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 4:03 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's not logic. It's attitude. Blogs aside, the standard joe on the street website doesn't use nofollow. You go pay $2k for a custom site for your business, you're not going to put a nofollow on it. That's what I want to look like. Not some sort of site that is either being SEO'ed, selling paid links, or full of untrusted content. Which is exactly what you're stating by using nofollow.

Nofollow doesn't say you're site's clean. Nofollow says your site stinks.

lfgoal

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 4:07 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

"That's what I want to look like. Not some sort of site that is either being SEO'ed, selling paid links, or full of untrusted content. Which is exactly what you're stating by using nofollow."

No offense, but that's nonsense. Nofollow has plently of legitimate uses. You think google actually bothered to come up with a tag to incorporate it into anti-spam detection?

"Nofollow doesn't say you're site's clean. Nofollow says your site stinks."

Nofollow says I'm not casting a vote and that's all it says.

thecityofgold2005

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 4:12 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

If Google were to entirely devalue paid links that would be fine by me.

To see my sites beaten in the regular SERPS by inferior websites selling inferior products just because they have thrown a few grand at buying links is basically wrong. That's what Adwords is for.

All outbound links (to my own sites and to others) are now nofollow. This was done as a direct reposnse to the Matt Cutts post.

I'm just waiting for the sites in my sector who I knows ranking is the result of buying links to get penalised. Oh, it will be a happy day.

lfgoal

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 4:36 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

"To see my sites beaten in the regular SERPS by inferior websites selling inferior products just because they have thrown a few grand at buying links is basically wrong."

Yeah it is. You shouldn't be able to buy your way to the top. Advertising when and where you choose is perfectly fine but it shouldn't influence the serps and I think that's google's position. I doubt if individuals who have bought advertising links have anything to worry about. Link sellers, who knows.

Play_Bach

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 4:43 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

> Blogs aside, the standard joe on the street website doesn't use nofollow.

How can you dismiss blogs? Aren't they just websites too?

rekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 5:27 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Nofollow doesn't say you're site's clean. Nofollow says your site stinks.

Exactly. How so? Because...

The joe on the street websites don't use nofollow because they have no idea what it is. And I want my sites to walk and talk like their sites,not the sites of people around here.

Wheel, you are spot on. There is huge risk in using nofollow. We are much safer never putting a single nofollow on our sites.

Nofollow is like raising your hand and saying to the search engines "I'm a link selling, SEO swinging webmaster, so please strip search my site!"

Achernar

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 5:30 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Nofollow doesn't say you're site's clean. Nofollow says your site stinks.

wikipedia must stink a lot. :)

flack47

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 5:33 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wikipedia does kind of stink. :P

Google's going to throw their weight around because they have it. Once a company gets big enough, they find themselves in a situation where they can start telling their users what to do, rather than spend the majority of their time trying to please them.

It's going to have to come down to this for anybody who wants to decide where they stand on this:
How badly do I need Google?

They sure don't need you, because there's more than likely a million other people doing what you do (hate to say it). If you're doing something that's crazy unique, they'll most likely just buy you. That's what they can do, and that's what they do.
Webmasters need to decide if they want to take the risk of not doing what Google wants, and risking the possibility (however slim it might be) of losing any rank on the SERPS they might have. There's still Yahoo!, MSN, Ask. Maybe you can turn your efforts to them, and hope that they don't just mimic Google's stance. If they all decide that nofollow is all that and a tube of Pringles, then I guess that you'll just need to start your own search engine, and get people to use it.

I personally think that Google has at least some good intentions with all of this, but I also realize that it's impossible to ignore the potential financial gain for them from killing that opportunity for webmasters to essentially sell advertising on their sites. Adwords is just selling links through Google.

Another thing to consider is that maybe, if losing paid links is going to break you, or losing Google is going to break you, you've got too many eggs in the same basket.

Start diversifying your efforts so that the next time something like this happens, it won't throw your world into upheaval.

[edited by: flack47 at 5:42 pm (utc) on April 19, 2007]

rekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 5:33 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

How can you dismiss blogs? Aren't they just websites too?

Using the nofollow in blog comments is fine, expected, and exactly what nofollow was designed for. The search engines expect to see nofollow in blog comments because the average blogger has it turned on by default.

Using nofollow anywhere but in blog comments is a huge risk! It's like mailing your tax return with a note asking to be audited.

Quadrille

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 5:42 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

On the other hand, if your site is clean, and you are happy to be audited, go for it.

Let's face it, audits can work in your favour, as well as against you.

A lot of the advice in this thread applies EITHER to those with clean, spam-free sites, OR those who have much to fear from Google's close inspection.

Read the advice carefully, and consider if it really applies to you ... or some guy with brown trousers. If you are familiar with SE guidelines, and you are a regular here and other forums, then you know who you are, and you know where your site is.

Most of you - the majority, often silent - have zero to fear ... and much to gain by Google's new moves.

[edited by: Quadrille at 5:43 pm (utc) on April 19, 2007]

Play_Bach

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 5:51 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

> Using nofollow anywhere but in blog comments is a huge risk!

I'm not seeing why the search engines would particularly care where the nofollow tags occured - either in blog comments, in the templates or on non-blog websites for that matter. Do you have any evidence to suggest that they do?

rekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 6:11 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing why the search engines would particularly care where the nofollow tags occured - either in blog comments, in the templates or on non-blog websites for that matter.

Using nofollow in non-standard places is a great signal of a site with a SEO webmaster that might be selling links. Search engines are always looking for signals.

Do you have any evidence to suggest that they do?

No evidence necessary since they have means and motive. Means: it's only a half day of coding to fingerprint 90% or more of standard blog/forum comment pages. Motive: SE's always need more signals to bake into the algorithm.

Better question: any evidence to suggest search engines won't use nofollow to flag sites for closer inspection?

Play_Bach

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 6:13 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

> No evidence necessary since they have means and motive.

Sorry, that doesn't cut it.

Marcia

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 6:23 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

No evidence necessary since they have means and motive. Means: it's only a half day of coding to fingerprint 90% or more of standard blog/forum comment pages.

They can tell the difference between a site that's a blog and a site that isn't.

Patent application: Ranking Blog Documents [webmasterworld.com]

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 6:46 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing why the search engines would particularly care where the nofollow tags occured - either in blog comments, in the templates or on non-blog websites for that matter.

It may not be a matter of "caring" per se. It may come down to data mining and profiling (topics that ronburk has written about here in the past).

We know that Google hires quality evaluators, and that quality ratings have been used for benchmarking purposes. If such ratings show that heavy users of "nofollow" (except in than blogs and other publicly-edited formats like Wikis) tend to be of lower quality than the mean, anyone who uses "nofollow" for most links may be at a disadvantage--not because Google has singled them out for a penalty, but because they fit a certain profile.

Granted, that's a what-if scenario, but common sense would suggest that deviating from the norm may be riskier than sticking with the tried and true (i.e., linking normally to relevant Web pages in "good neighborhoods").

Play_Bach

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 6:57 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

> (i.e., linking normally to relevant Web pages in "good neighborhoods").

And therein lies the rub :-)
On my sites, most of the links submitted are by users and though I do visit each one to make sure it's OK before publishing it, things change over time - links go 404, get redirected or worse. I'm rolling the dice on this nofollow biz because so far, Google has been very good to me and my sites - I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt unless I see evidence to the contrary.

fearlessrick

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 7:06 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the number of lemmings ready and willing to go over the cliff with Google on this board. I've been around here long enough that I should expect it.

If Google told people to shut their sites down during weekends, a certain bunch around here would.

Good luck to those. I'll take my own route, thank you.

There is a point being missed here. If you put nofollow tags on links, wouldn't Google penalize the sites to which you are linking? They are, after all, the ones paying for the evil links and trying to move up in the SERPs. So, if you want to hurt a competitor, put up a bunch of links to every page on their site with "nofollow" tags. That oughta get 'em.

This whole issue is absurd, ignore Google and run your business. If they don't rank you well, there are other ways to skin the internet cat, like, uh, buying, selling and exchanging links.

Google will be an afterthought (already is for some people) by 2010.

BillyS

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 7:18 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Aleksl: Not making much with these, er? Or not in a competitive niche? Or was lucky to start your sites in last century?

The site is a PR6 with lots of PR5 pages. I'm sure demand for PR from my site would be very high but I don't need it and it's not for sale.

I do just fine in a very competitive sector (thanks for asking). I try to recognize others for good content and I sell advertising space, not PageRank.

Marcia

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 7:31 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

There are people carrying this far beyond the outer limits of rationality and urging that links that are not even paid for - legitimate reciprocal links to on-topic sites - be given the no-follow treatment.

Unless each and every site that's being done to is notified that the site is going back on their agreement, that makes the webmaster doing it a welcher.

In addition, it's very BAD, potentially destructive SEO advice, and is taking the no-follow advisement to ridiculous, hysterical proportions, beyond what even Google has suggested. They've suggested no such thing.

That's the problem with whatever Google announces publicly, it's grossly misinterpreted and starts spreading myths.

Off the soapbox, I don't sell links but if I were to, I would use discretion and would not use no-follow.

Play_Bach

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 7:38 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

> I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the number of lemmings ready and willing to go over the cliff with Google on this board.

I've been aware of the nofollow tag since 2005 and just put them in yesterday - so it's not like this was an impulsive thing to do. As I said earlier, my motivation in large part comes from not wanting to deal with monitoring the outbound user links on my sites. Time will tell.

James45

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 8:17 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just dumped my "no follow" tags on my unpaid outbound links (Not that I actually have paid ones...). If it messes with google's broken ranking system so be it. I installed the tags thinking the lack of these tags was the reason google sends me 10 visitors a day.

BTW: Most of my immediate family admitted they dumped google for MSN or Yahoo at the last sunday dinner. Some are into tech (non web), others are just surfers. The common reason given: the results change daily and there are very few if any accurate links in a given search. Something to think about.

trinorthlighting

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 8:18 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you want to take a chance, take it. Matt already said he has a data set of paid link directories and I am sure he is experimenting or close to experimenting.

If you caught, oh well its your website. Just do not come back to webmaster world and complain about it.

Google has already made its decision in the best interests of its searchers so deal with it.

reseller

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3313974 posted 9:34 pm on Apr 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Folks!

I wouldn't be surprised at all to read something like the following paragraphs within Google Webmaster Guidelines [google.com] before September 2007!

- All paid links should include the rel=nofollow attribute.
Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and link-based analysis has greatly improved the quality of web search. Paid links muddies the quality of link-based reputation and makes it harder for many search engines (not just Google) to return relevant results.

How To Report Paid Links Spam

- Sign in to Google's webmaster console and use the authenticated paid links spam report form. If you use the authenticated form, you'll need to sign in with a Google Account, but your report will carry more weight.

- Use the unauthenticated spam report form and make sure to include the word "paidlink" (all one word) in the text area of the spam report.

As far as the details, it can be pretty short. Something like Example.com is selling links; here's a page on example.com that demonstrates that or www.shadyseo.com is buying links. You can see the paid links on www.example.com/path/page.html is all you need to mention.

[edited by: reseller at 9:41 pm (utc) on April 19, 2007]

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