Hi, I was analysing a competitors link-structure (as good as this is possible today) and was wondering why he outranks one of my sites: He has much less links, but is linked from wikipedia (with rel="nofollow") and from a comment in a PR-9 blog (with rel="external nofollow").
So do I have to conclude that these links actually do pass PR (and a lot of it)? Would this unfortunalty end up that I have to do the same wiki- and blog-spamming my competitors do, just to keep up, and the rel-tag is worthless?
Technically, that's just a way of showing two values for the same attribute. In theory that "nofollow" value should be treated the same as an attribute with one just a single nofollow value. You could, again in theory, string together other valid values for the rel attribute: rel="next external nofollow". Thast doesn't necessarily mean that Google is going to parse it correctly, just that they *should*.
cangoou, two questions:
1) I assume you are not using Google's link data for your analysis, correct?
2) Is there a chance of domain level 301 redirects in your competitor's picture? Those can affect SERPs by transferring backlink influence and PR that is very difficult to discover.
Suppose someone owns a example1.com and it is just "doing OK" for the search "kw1 kw2". They purchase a nicely aged domain (example2.com) that has been ranking decently for that phrase, and they use a 301 redirect to point example2.com to example1.com. When Google processes the 301, the backlink influence and PageRank will pass through to example1.com - but it may be very difficult to uncover this as a cause for example1.com's imporved rankings.
[edited by: tedster at 8:08 pm (utc) on Sep. 19, 2007]