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Adsense Links Being Counted As Google Backlinks?

 7:31 pm on Mar 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

About 6 months ago I noticed one of my competitors getting a ton of backlinks from an authority site in our industry. I couldn't find where this site was listed there, so I just thought that maybe they stopped the advertising, which is why I no longer saw the link.

Fast forward 6 months later. I did the check again and noticed this competitor was still getting the same backlinks. I looked at the cache of the page and noticed that all the pages that were counted as backlinks had his link as an Adsense link on the authority site.

Is this an error on the side of Google? How can this happen?


Robert Charlton

 8:12 pm on Mar 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Did you see these counted as backlinks on Yahoo Site Explorer or on Google?


 8:20 pm on Mar 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

On Google...


 10:19 am on Mar 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

As well as link checking tools I also recently started doing the search "www.domain.com" -site:domain.com" and I've seen Google returning pages with AdSense in them for this query i.e. it is indexing the urls in the ads.

Whether this means they are counted is anyone's guess.


 10:33 am on Mar 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've seen this before too. Quite a while back.


 1:49 am on Mar 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you use the term "www.example.com" all this is doing is returning pages that contain the exact term within the page. If the site is crawled and the ad is shown then this will be what appears in the index. This in its self brings up another point. Why is google showing impresions to Googlebot?

If you are using link:www.exanple.com then this is very different. It is also hard to understand how Google could count these links as backlinks when you concider the sort of url an adsense click is sent through. The url doesn't point to the final destination page it goes via Googles tracking applications.



 3:22 pm on Mar 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

I was using the query to look for citations of a url rather than links.

AdSense ad urls don't exist in the HTML source code for the page they're on as they are generated by Javascript, yet Google is indexing these and returning them as part of their cache of the page. I think this is something fairly new.

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