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Hiding links from Google



12:44 pm on Jan 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


In a older conversation on Webmasterworld I've read that Google can't follow links that are Javascript, like the example below:

function openWin(theURL,winName,features)
<a href="JavaScript:openWin('mylink.html','','')">Mylink</a>

I've also read that having outbound links to sites with a much lower PR can have a negative influence on your own PR.
My question is: is it wise to use Javascript links to sites with a low PR so that my own PR stays higher? Or (if this works at all) is this behaviour frowned upon and regarded as cheating?



12:59 pm on Jan 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

How many links are you talking about? Just a few or a huge bunch of them? First, think of your visitors and if they will benefit from the links. I usually concentrate on the value for my visitors but I never put too many outgoing links on my sites, just as many as what makes sense. I really don't think you should have to hide the links in javascript just to protect your PR.

The problem with linking to low PR sites, IMO, is that the reason for a low PR COULD be that a site has been punished by Google for doing something fishy. So if you link to a "bad" site, or to dozens of bad sites, you might also get punished. That is how your PR could be affected. You can and will be punished by who you link to but not by who links to you. But you will never know for sure whether the low PR sites you link to are actually NORMAL low PR sites or PUNISHED low PR sites. Sometimes it's fairly easy to tell by doing a bit of detective work but not always.

But I wish I was 100% correct in this and I want to believe that: if I link to a site that's of great value to my visitors but with low PR I will not get punished for it if it's a "good" site. I think I'll just stick to this belief, keep my fingers crossed and hope I'm right. ;)


9:18 pm on Jan 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am talking about 10 links to sites that have a very low or no pr at all. I don't know if they have been penalized in some way, but it sure looks like it.

I was hoping that when I make javascript links the visitors won't notice any difference. Only Google will skip the javascript links which can affect my pr.


9:30 pm on Jan 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

We have been doing quite a bit of research on using javascript links - and so far we have decided that googlebot does not follow these links.

I guess you can depend on luck...I prefer research ;)


9:09 am on Jan 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Arjen, I don't think Google will be able to follow the links if you make them the way you showed in your first post. One alternative to doing that is to put your links as normal text on a page that you block spiders from completely, by using robots.txt file and META noindex,nofollow.

Take a look at the sites you want to link to. Having a low PR doesn't immediately mean a site has been punished. It might just be really small sites with very few or no incoming links at all. Check who those sites are linking to. If you find some obvious crooked ones there, you might be right that they've been punished. Check if they are hiding content from human visitors, if they use sneaky re-directs, if the indexed page in Google isn't the same as the page you land on when you click on their link. Cheers!


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