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Google Guidelines - Link Schemes and Forum Signatures?
helenp

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 5:49 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi,
Been reading google guidelines for unnatural links,
and it says this about signing comments in forums with a link:
"Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature, for example:
Thanks, thatís great info!
- Paul
paulís pizza san diego pizza best pizza san diego"

I have in 2 forum my sites url in the signature but without anchorwords, and after many years posting they are quite some.
I just took away the signature, but I wonder if that is necesarry as it is not optimized as google says, its only the url to the index page.
Thanks

 

Leosghost

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



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 2:00 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Helen ..just leave your URL in both of your profiles..but make sure that it doesn't show in every post..

helenp

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 2:06 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Helen ..just leave your URL in both of your profiles..but make sure that it doesn't show in every post..

How can one make sure of that, when the forums rule are done by the forums?
I just did on one and that made it disappears even from the profile.
I think it is of good vaule a signature for the forum user, as long as it is not spam.
If all my posts in webmasterworld would have my url without any anchor text, would you say Im a spammer?
I think not, the only problem is google may see this as spam.
No, I am just making it easier for users to view my site, I have had many visits from webmasterworld today, and google shouldnt be the only site where one can do publicity?

So the problem should be googles.
Google are forcing me, this is not correct,
if I were rich I would ever enter there game as I could pay for my visits.

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 2:44 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately, if you don't have editing rights you obviously cannot change your fate.

Just remove them is best.

From a practical use standpoint you are not getting the link from Forums to drive your ranks you are only getting the link to advertise to forum patronage... "that's it"... and Google's TOS policy is very clear... there is nothing wrong with advertising - just make sure all links are designated that way through rel="nofollow".

Dymero



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 3:20 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've never seen a problem with signature links, as long as they're using the site name or the URL, and not optimized keywords.

Though I haven't used forums with signatures regularly for a couple years now, so perhaps things have changed?

mcneely

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 3:44 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

... if you are posting genuine and insightful posts ...


If you are posting intelligent, useful, and insightful forum posts, you don't need siggy links at all ... Anybody that matters is going to recognize you for what you can do and head straight for your profile .. where the link to your homepage should be.

Case in point ".. wow, that incredibell guy is spot on with what he says .. I better head on over to his profile so I can learn more about him ... "

Signature links are fodder for spam bots and other such nafarious things .. Putting your link to your homepage into your forum profile, and restricting it so that only registered forum members can see it, will in the end, produce much more useful and productive traffic IMO ..

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 3:55 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's a matter of choice, I figured out how I am going to handle it (link in a profile but not in signature) and that works for me, your mileage may vary.

I get plenty of traffic that way as it is, and I'd rather have visitors who really want to know something about me than someone who idly clicks on a forum signature just because it's there.

If you have fewer than a hundred links, it's probably not a big deal. If you have a few thousand, then you might want to think about your strategy.

But if you haven't paid anyone to post your links in forums, and you don't have thousands and thousands of them showing up in GWT, then you're probably overthinking it. It's really easy to fixate on little bushes like this and overlook the trees or the forest.

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 4:29 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

But what about auto-links?

I just went over to the nearest php/bb forum and double-checked. If you've added a www page to your profile, then every post will contain a clickbutton that says "www". And in the page source-- which is what robots see-- every one of those "www." buttons is shown as a full <a href> link.

afaik, all those non-links are counted. I can't check directly, because the forums where I've got a www page in my profile all happen to be non-indexed. But I know that if I poke around the lower reaches of "links to your page" in gwt, I'll find things listed that any idiot should know enough to ignore.

1script

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 4:46 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

@fathom:
Re-tool the signature code so that the link on the member's profile page is the only external link and their massive internal forum contributions that built value for you over time (compelling content) is rewarded by providing their profile solid link juice.
THAT would make you look even more like a spammer. Most spammers are not interested in building local following at the forum site and only register to have that one profile link. If you were a member for years but all you have is also that one profile link, you will look nothing different to Google than a spammer that just registered a second before Googlebot hit.

Many profile page URLs are robot disallowed or noindexed just for the very purpose of discouraging drive-by registrations for link dropping only. I do it on all forums I support. I don't know exactly how Google treats signature ULRs on forums but it's pretty clear to me that if you are consolidating all of your forums links from that site into one profile URL, you might as well just simply delete all the links.

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 6:45 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

@fathom:
Re-tool the signature code so that the link on the member's profile page is the only external link and their massive internal forum contributions that built value for you over time (compelling content) is rewarded by providing their profile solid link juice.

THAT would make you look even more like a spammer. Most spammers are not interested in building local following at the forum site and only register to have that one profile link. If you were a member for years but all you have is also that one profile link, you will look nothing different to Google than a spammer that just registered a second before Googlebot hit.

Many profile page URLs are robot disallowed or noindexed just for the very purpose of discouraging drive-by registrations for link dropping only. I do it on all forums I support. I don't know exactly how Google treats signature ULRs on forums but it's pretty clear to me that if you are consolidating all of your forums links from that site into one profile URL, you might as well just simply delete all the links.


Not really.

Much like profiles are not default set to disallow, you have to actually implement that specifically... just like you can implement specific features for trusted members by membership time, post count, REP level or whatever and/or a combination of them and the lack of features for others like drive-by registrations.

Clearly as a forum owner the onus is on you to set your priorities for the audience you wish to serve.

Be that as it may, the only link you get here is in your profile... go figure if that is as big of a problem as you elude to.

gouri

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 2:20 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have a few links in forum posts in a niche-related site using the website URL as the anchor text. The URL is a PMD, and I think that the links are no follow.

Do you think that these links could be affecting me?

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 3:01 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Not if the links are nofollow - no problem at all.

commanderW

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 3:27 am on May 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think the salient point here is in the term
Forum comments with OPTIMIZED LINKS...

The example is structured in a deliberately spammy way -
paulís pizza san diego pizza best pizza san diego

So I believe this means that simply having links to your site in a forum is not counted against the site. That makes no sense anyway.
But it does seem to say that if you make a spammy post, and your URL is the subject of that spam, then baby, you'd better be selling Viagra!

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4573312 posted 2:11 pm on May 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

So I believe this means that simply having links to your site in a forum is not counted against the site. That makes no sense anyway.
But it does seem to say that if you make a spammy post, and your URL is the subject of that spam, then baby, you'd better be selling Viagra!


I would suggest you are somewhat right... but somewhat wrong.

It is agreed that the more you emulate webspam, specifically the webspam PENGUIN is designed to detect the more change you will have at being detected.

But the definition of webspam isn't limited to just your idea of "MASSIVELY SPAMMINESS"... Google could write down a million examples of webspam and that would be the short list...

Google also states, with complete clarity & certainty, that manipulating its results comes in many forms. Footer links are a great example... they don't say web designer citations so much of the web designer community think that "site designed by XXXX Company" is within Google's TOS... but they would be wrong. Google hints at that by suggesting "never link to an SEO"... why is one exclusive service defined as webspam and a different non-exclusive service ok?

It isn't ... but as I stated Google could write down a million examples of webspam and that would be the short list... they stopped at a few. I'm reminded of the days of "doorway pages" when Traffic Power didn't use those... they had "See Pages"... since Google's guidelines never mentioned "See Pages" those must not violate Google's TOS... come to find out Google disagreed with that assumption.

The SCHEME...

A Noun
A large-scale systematic plan or arrangement for attaining some particular object or putting a particular idea into effect.

Verb
Make plans, esp. in a devious way or with intent to do something illegal or wrong.


Part is the part you need to worry about.

Since "SIGNATURE LINKS" tend not to be directly related to the post or the thread of posts... even a single sig link can be equally damaging... e.g. webspamming thousands of forums with largely thin content, poor quality content, or auto-generated content so you can acquire the identical "1" sig link... 100s, 1000s, or 10s of thousands of times over... is equally as bad.

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