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This 164 message thread spans 6 pages: < < 164 ( 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 > >     
Who is going to use the no follow in paid links? - part 2
willybfriendly

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 3:04 am on Apr 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

>>>- The "nofollow" attribute was created to prevent "linkspam" in blogs, Wikis, forums, and other anyone-can-post venues. Matt Cutts has suggested that it might also be useful as a way to handle paid links that exist to drive traffic and not to manipulate PageRank. (He and his coleagues have suggested other methods as well; take your pick.)<<<

If we acdept this statement, the we must conclude that no follow was not intended to deal with people choosing to monetize their websites.

Google has a problem with their algo. It is in large part due to their dominance as a search engine. They can solve their own problem without infringinn on the right of others to make money.

I will grant that it is an intersting approach to get site owners snitching each other off when it is Google's problem. We have no obligation to assist Google in their search to maintain dominance, especially if it infringes on our ability to monetize our sites.

If Google can sell adspace, then I can damn well sell ad space. Further, I can do so according to my own policies and guidelines, not those imposed by Google.

And, if Google attempts to control my internal policies and guidelines by using their market dominance to impose what are ultimately fianancial penalties against me, well then I guess we need to start discussing unfair trade practices.

WBF

[edited by: tedster at 5:50 pm (utc) on April 20, 2007]

 

reseller

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 7:58 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

lammert

A subset of the links on the remaining sites may be changed in nofollow links, but I am not expecting any major shifts in the SERPs just because one Google employee in one post on his personal blog advices to put nofollow on a certain group of links. That would be too much honor for Matt.

But Matt Cutts isn't just "one Google employee". Matt is Head of Google's spam detection team. ;-)

steveb

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 7:59 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Google is making every standard link building technique more difficult for the average webmaster."

That part is good. Some complaints here strangely say that without link buying (or whatever) that little sites can't compete with big ones. Well, good. There is no way that sites that can't get linking on their own should be able to compete in the free serps with well-designed, respected, large sites that get natural linking.

There is no natural "right" for small sites to be able to deceive Google into thinking they are more important than they are.

"I have very strong evidence that Google has been able to identify this type of text link ad for over a year and they no longer help with link popularity. Using common sense one can see just how easy they are to identify and de-value."

Leave the crystal balls out of this. Google does a nearly non-existent job of identifying such links. It does fine in specific cases -- like college newspapers -- but in very competitive areas you can still enormously improve your page and site profiles via purchasing a lot of wildly off-topic, low quality links.

"blogs are already doing that (and have been for some time)."

Why make up nonsense? You don't seriously think "blogs" use nofollow? Blog links continue to be a far worse issue than paid ads if only because nofollow is not used to an effective degree.

"Like Marcia, I think it's idiotic--and, as I've warned, potentially counterproductive--to use 'nofollow' for legitimate unpaid, handpicked, hand-edited links."

Then your position makes no sense. If you don't want to risk a negative Google action against your domain, then you need to nofollow all outgoing links, period... especially if you link to high profile sites in your niche, regardless of whether you are paid anything or not.

Play_Bach

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 8:03 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

> You don't seriously think "blogs" use nofollow?

Wanna bet? Take a look at ALL the major blog software and find me one that hasn't hardwired into their comments code.

[edited by: Play_Bach at 8:04 pm (utc) on April 22, 2007]

reseller

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 8:07 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

steveb

If you don't want to risk a negative Google action against your domain, then you need to nofollow all outgoing links, period... especially if you link to high profile sites in your niche, regardless of whether you are paid anything or not.

Would you be kind to elaborate more on that statement.

Thanks!

whitenight

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 8:29 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wanna bet? Take a look at ALL the major blog software and find me one that hasn't hardwired into their comments code.

People seem to be misinterpreting links added by users on pages vs links controlled by the owner of the site with likely strong PR that have been sending link love for years to another site.

Here's the most probably example.

Any of the top 10 sites I already mentioned don't need to ever link out. And as steve keeps saying, they really have no downside to placing rel=nofollow on all their outbounds.

Imagine the top 1000 authority/PR sites simply stop sending link love to the 100,000s of sites that were originally given links for their "great content"

They don't need to worry about getting links.
No one is going to be afraid to link to them anyways.
Are you going to put on rel=nofollow on a link to about.com?
Does webmasterworld allow it?
Ok.

Those next 100,000 top sites have now lost alot of juicy link love. A majority of them are niche specific authorities which are now sending less link-love to more specific niche sites, etc.

But wait, alot of quality niche authorities have links to
mom and pop websites.
They are thinking,
"Why risk getting accused of selling links and destroying my business? I'll just nofollow all my outbounds.. maybe use normal links to the top 100 sites as there's no way G would think nytimes, dmoz, etc have paid for this link"

And so on and so forth. This thinking includes existing links and links to great new websites they are alerting their visitors about.

What exactly is the incentive to link out at all if the reprecussions are possible banning, loss of PR or rankings?

Play_Bach

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 8:37 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

> People seem to be misinterpreting links added by users on pages vs links controlled by a site
> with likely strong PR that have been sending link love for years to another site.

No. What's somehow failing to get across is the idea that buying links to artificially boost page rank is wrong. If your site deserves to be at the top of the SERPs because it has good content and interested users, then that's what the search engines should be supporting (and rightfully so) - not some two-bit SEO chump gaming them.

[edited by: Play_Bach at 8:38 pm (utc) on April 22, 2007]

whitenight

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 8:46 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

No. What's somehow failing to get across is the idea that buying links to artificially boost page rank is wrong

Sigh. Then I will repeat myself.

Next time, tell G to just be quiet and implement the darn "super fantastic bought link robot of doom detector" and not mention a single thing about it on the unofficial "official" Googleblog.

or

Stop showing the silly PR bar that is only used to collect user metrics - is that for the benefit of the users or for them? Such altruistic goodness that PR bar and their cookie-filled toolbar that is mainly used by webmasters for G's profit-making ability.
(I'd love to meet these "average surfers" who will stop using G because they can't see what PR a site is)

or

create a new algo that doesn't get so easily fooled by via.gra links on ballerina sites (i like that one)

-----
Hey, you don't have to like what i'm saying, but as you've already proved, people will stop linking out for no other reason then stay on G's good side. bought link or not

willybfriendly

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 9:04 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

As for "missing the point," the participants in this thread who keep missing the point are those who think Google's search results should exist for the benefit of marketers and SEOs. Search results are intended to serve users, not Webmasters who crave traffic, and if the engineers at Google Search believe that neutralizing PageRank transfer from purchased links will help them do a better job of serving their audience, then they should be commended for making the effort.

EFV, search results are intended to draw people to paid advertising. That, after all, is how Google makes a living.

Now, I would agree that the listed sites must have relevance to the user's query to accomplish this goal, but let's not confuse the myth with the reality. Google does not provide a "free service". It spends a little on organic results in order to make a lot on purchased advertising.

WBF

willybfriendly

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 9:19 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Perhaps a good reminder of the original intent of the no follow tag comes from the 1/18/2005 official Google blog [googleblog.blogspot.com]:

"We encourage you to use the rel="nofollow" attribute anywhere that users can add links by themselves, including within comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists. Comment areas receive the most attention, but securing every location where someone can add a link is the way to keep spammers at bay."

Pretty simple then. This really is a major change from the original intent.

WBF

Marcia

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 9:24 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

people will stop linking out for no other reason then stay on G's good side. bought link or not

There are some people who are publicly advising that nofollow be put on all links no matter what, stating that it's outbound links that are and will be causing penalties.

And the lemmings follow right along.

whitenight

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 9:34 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

And the lemmings follow right along

Lol, i've restrained from giving my usual FUD tactics rant based on Google's pronouncement. I'm sure people are tired of hearing it from me, and i'm tired of hearing it from me too. :p

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 10:31 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Now, I would agree that the listed sites must have relevance to the user's query to accomplish this goal, but let's not confuse the myth with the reality. Google does not provide a "free service". It spends a little on organic results in order to make a lot on purchased advertising.

More obfuscation (right up there with "corporations exist to make money"). You could just as easily argue that THE NEW YORKER exists to sell ads, but that doesn't mean the editors of THE NEW YORKER are thinking about Absolut Vodka, Mercedes-Benz cars, or Cartier jewelers when they're assigning articles, selecting short stories, or picking cartoons. Similarly, the fact that Google has ads on its SERPs doesn't mean that Matt Cutts & Co. report to the director of advertising sales. Their job is to deliver search results that attract and retain users, just as THE NEW YORKER editorial staff's job is to deliver content that attracts and retains readers.

and the lemmings follow along

Not to worry. Natural selection improves the species. :-)

rekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 11:46 pm on Apr 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

The New Yorker analogy doesn't hold, sorry EVF.

Google makes more money if it ranks pages with adsense than those without. The New Yorker's revenue isn't directly and immediately impacted by their editorial decisions. Don't be so naive as to believe this could never influence Google's search results.

rekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 12:02 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

"I have very strong evidence that Google has been able to identify this type of text link ad for over a year and they no longer help with link popularity. Using common sense one can see just how easy they are to identify and de-value."

Leave the crystal balls out of this. Google does a nearly non-existent job of identifying such links. It does fine in specific cases -- like college newspapers -- but in very competitive areas you can still enormously improve your page and site profiles via purchasing a lot of wildly off-topic, low quality links.

I guess the links I've seen de-valued fall into the college newspaper profile. I can see how they are similar.

I'm shocked though. Google's engineers would have to be utterly incompetent if they can't identify obvious, canned and clearly labeled text link type ads. I have a hard time believing this is true, particularly after mine were devalued long ago. Any other experiences of these ads still passing link popularity?

Powdork

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 12:05 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Then your position makes no sense. If you don't want to risk a negative Google action against your domain, then you need to nofollow all outgoing links, period... especially if you link to high profile sites in your niche, regardless of whether you are paid anything or not.
I don't think I've ever heard a statement as completely full of BS as that. If that were really the case, why would nofollow EVER be necessary. The default would be that links don't count unless you explicitly say 'follow'. </rant>
A very useful whois site that for some reason is a bad word here (I learned of it from MC) has an seo score for your pages that is pretty good and includes outbound link analysis. Here is what they recommend
We only want to see rel=nofollow links when third parties are adding the links. If you think the resource is quality then websites should not fear linking to it and giving them some PR. It actually shows search engines the site is a quality hub site.

[edited by: Powdork at 12:07 am (utc) on April 23, 2007]

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 12:22 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google makes more money if it ranks pages with adsense than those without

Aha! That must be why Wikipedia does so well in Google's search results. :-)

steveb

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 1:11 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

"What's somehow failing to get across is the idea that buying links to artificially boost page rank is wrong."

That's about a mile and half back in the discussion. Just assume that. Now let's deal with the real issue. The "wrongness" of buying links for pagerank is not a significant issue here. To simplify it, there is no way on Earth Google can discern that practice with anything close to 100% accuracy (or even 10% accuracy).

steveb

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 1:14 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

"I don't think I've ever heard a statement as completely full of BS as that. If that were really the case, why would nofollow EVER be necessary."

Please explain. Your response again just makes no sense. Please explain how Google will with precise accuracy know this link was not paid for:

[yahoo.com...]

The reality is ANY link can cause you trouble if paid for links can get you in trouble. I'm all ears to hear what you believe is mystical way that Google will always judge things right. Let's hear it.

steveb

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 1:23 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Wanna bet?"

Spend some time looking at the backlinks of any of the hacked edu sites. It's just fantasy to say all blog links have nofollow on them.

lfgoal

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 1:32 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Because people with perfectly honest, legitimate, quality sites with honest, legitimate, editorially correct and on-topic quality OBLs (yeah, even topically relevant sites legitimately worth linking to) are scared half out of their wits to link to ANYONE, no matter what. It's warped and SICK."

Yes, it is.

"The main problem here is Google continues to do a terrible job understanding niche and theme. It's mindboggling that in very competitive areas some sites manage to rank based on irrelevant linking, be it ballerina ads or blog comments. The problem is Google gives weight to what has no value."

Apparently, today, Google knows nothing about a webpage other than what the page's links tell Google. And that's a recipe for an insufficient search engine (even if the two other major search engines suck even more so).

"Also, who's most likely to implement the "nofollow" attribute for plain-vanilla links (as opposed to publicly-contributed blog, forum, or Wiki links)? Easy: The kind of Webmaster who tries to manipulate PageRank via link exchanges and other SEO techniques, and whose links therefore aren't "organic" and don't represent genuine "votes" for the link recipients."

Right. Obbbvviiouuussslly, everyone who uses nofollow does so for the same exact reasons. Nope, not everybody who sees value in the use of nofollow engages in this behavior.

"Like Marcia, I think it's idiotic--and, as I've warned, potentially counterproductive--to use "nofollow" for legitimate unpaid, handpicked, hand-edited links."

Why is it counterproductive? If the purpose of nofollow is to give the publisher control over what is and what is not meted out as a vote for the search engine, what's the problem with that?

"to use "nofollow" for legitimate unpaid, handpicked, hand-edited links."

If you're linking out in an article, you have more time to evaluate the recipient of your link. If you're linking out to news stories that need updating every few hours or so, you don't have this luxury.

The longer this and other threads go on, the easier it is to see that the perception of nofollow depends to some extent on the type of website that an individual operates. Its understandable, but a little narrow minded.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 1:55 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

The longer this and other threads go on, the easier it is to see that the perception of nofollow depends to some extent on the type of website that an individual operates.

What really matters, in the context of this thread, is how Google views the use of "nofollow" and paid links.

Komodo_Tale

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 2:13 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

There are some people who are publicly advising that nofollow be put on all links no matter what, stating that it's outbound links that are and will be causing penalties.

Yes, I have read this too and, with a big toothy evil grin, invite fools to do so.

Think about this logically. A web site's outbound link profile is a signal of quality (or lack of). If you have a useful collection of outbound links and remove that profile you remove an important signal to Google about the usefulness of your domain.

You can dig yourself a deep hole by playing it safe.

Marcia

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 2:13 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I hear that hanging garlic on your bedpost will keep vampires from getting you at night while you sleep, and that if you leave the light on in your bedroom all night the bogeyman won't come out of the closet and eat you.

Another thing: In an ancient culture the locals created a monument in the forest to worship the God of the Tiger. They lit candles and torches and burned incense as part of their rituals. Worshipping this God was the only way they could be safe from tigers.

Make all the links on your sites rel=nofollow
Only then will you ensure that your house will be safe from tigers.

rekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 2:19 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)


Google makes more money if it ranks pages with adsense than those without

Aha! That must be why Wikipedia does so well in Google's search results. :-)

Great point. You've brought to mind a further twist on how Google should be viewing nofollow links.

Websites fall into three basic competitive categories to Google:

1. Google advertising partner sites (Adwords, shortly DoubleClick).

2. Neutral or unknown advertising sites (Wikipedia, .gov, sites with no ads, sites with undetectable ads).

3. Competitive advertising sites (YPN, paid links, other ad networks).

While Google doesn't make revenue off Wikepedia, neither do it's competitors. As soon as you add nofollow to your links your are telling Google you are a Competitive advertising site. Not sure that's where I'd want to be pegged in the long run given Google's momentum.

Play_Bach

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 2:24 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

> As soon as you add nofollow to your links your are telling Google you are a Competitive advertising site.

rekitty: Can you please provide some evidence? So far after adding nofollow to several hundred links, my sites metrics are all up - not down.

[edited by: Play_Bach at 2:26 am (utc) on April 23, 2007]

lfgoal

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 2:28 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

"A web site's outbound link profile is a signal of quality (or lack of)."

Yes it is. For those links that count as cast votes. A site puts its reputation on the line for those outbounds that pass reputation.

"What really matters, in the context of this thread, is how Google views the use of "nofollow" and paid links."

And one of the primary issues in relation to that is whether or not Google can properly discern, with any stomachable margin, what is and is not a paid link. Hence, the reason for a considerable amount of concern.

"Make all the links on your sites rel=nofollow"

Using nofollow for some links doesn't necessarily mean that you use it for all outbounds.

"As soon as you add nofollow to your links your are telling Google you are a Competitive advertising site."

And if I put on a pair of socks am I telling the floor I'm made of cotton? That's just as logical.

rekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 2:59 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)


> As soon as you add nofollow to your links your are telling Google you are a Competitive advertising site.

rekitty: Can you please provide some evidence?

Simple. It's an obvious logical conclusion. Google doesn't sell advertising that contains nofollow.

If you have nofollow links on your site you must sell advertising that is competitive to google by Matt's definition. The only exception is if your site has user generated content that is easily identified as such, say by using standard blog or forum software. I'd be worried if you are using custom software for your user generated content given all your new nofollows, Play_Bach. Here's some psuedo code to sum it up:

// Check if a site is a competitor to Google by selling link ads

if (subject_site.contains_nofollow == true) AND (subject_site.contains_UGC == false) {

subject_site.competitor = true;

}

It's unlikely Google is using this data yet. They first have to convince competitive advertisers to label their paid links with nofollow.

Powdork

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 3:08 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

The reality is ANY link can cause you trouble if paid for links can get you in trouble. I'm all ears to hear what you believe is mystical way that Google will always judge things right. Let's hear it.
I don't trust google to get it right which is why I won't put nofollow on any links at all including those added by my users. My users have as much right to vote in my forums as anyone. As soon as they link, i check it out and if it's suitable I leave it. If it's not, it's deleted and they are banned. it doesn't hurt that they have to post 10 times before they can link at all. If their post includes a referral to something and they aren't able to link out yet, i will gladly reply and include the link.
The more I read your previous post the more I think you were going over the top to prove a point.

I also find all these complaints about not being able to keep up with links and whether they are 404 or redirected to porn to be lame excuses. That means you can't be responsible for your content. That content has no business in the serps then IMO. To think that if someone adds a link on your content site that goes to pictures of Brittney getting out of a car is bad because it might hurt your rankings means your missing the forest for the trees. It's not bad because it hurts your rankings, it's bad because your users will see it and know you don't care enough about them to properly control your site.

Play_Bach

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 3:50 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

> That means you can't be responsible for your content.

I'm simply following Google's recommendations to nofollow user submitted links. So far, I haven't seen any reason why this is a bad thing to do.

Marcia

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



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 4:00 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Please explain how Google will with precise accuracy know this link was not paid for

So maybe that's why Matt is "excited" about trying out a new filter - which is a good thing for everyone. So if data is accumulated and verified, they've got a handy seed set to work with, and can develop link profiles and patterns for those and related sites for their testing. There is nothing new or unusual about using "seed data" it's a techique that's as old as dirt in IR an dataset research, going WAY back.

The ONLY thing Matt mentioned was paid links. But there's a mass hysteria happening with all kinds of people getting afraid of phantasmic tigers.

The reality is ANY link can cause you trouble if paid for links can get you in trouble.

That is not so, and there's nothing about it that can be historically proven. Sure, they can do anything they want to - but why would they want to encourage NOT linking out any more as votes, when it contradicts any number of public statements that are out there.

rekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3317050 posted 4:29 am on Apr 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

Marcia, seeking "seed data" for new their new algorithms would be an essential step for Google. Matt doing so by asking webmasters to tattle on each other was clearly unnecessary as there are numerous marketplaces that publicly list sites selling link advertising. We all know the sites. So does google... try the obvious search terms on google.com :-)

The only reason for Matt asking for link buying spam reports was to create fear and to influence webmaster behavior. It's amazing how easy it is to influence some people into doing what is against their best interest in the long run.

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