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For example, I have a bar at the top of each page that links to my other sites - I think they are relevant and of use to visitors - google may think they are not and that I am overlinking between domains it MIGHT consider unrelated. So I don't show that bar to google.
I also have many links on each page to other pages on the site (it is a magazine, so this makes sense as I want to link all the articles in a given issue) I don't show these to google as it MAY think the pages are "not different enough".
Is this likely to cause problems? I know ADDING things just for google will cause problems...
I really want to be free to design my site in the way that makes most sense for humans, without having to worry that google will penalize me for it.
[This topic may have been covered extensively already - if so, I would appreciate a link to the discussion if anyone can come up with one...]
You shouldn't hide from Google things you find useful for users - Google purpose is to reward everything user-valuable, isn't it?
But remember about PageRank while linking, do it such way that most important pages will get higher PR.
If some less important pages will trigger duplicate filter, they will be gone from search results, but it won't hurt rankings of more important pages, and they will keep helping them with PR, even if they will be hidden from results as duplicates.
if your really worried about it then make a "for cellphone" version of your site and present it to the google engine and cellphone browsers.
Thank you for your response.
To answer the question above: I doubt it. Google's main purpose seems to be to make money for google. Hence the huge and unpleasant conflict of interest at the centre of its business.
Just because something LOOKS like a spamfarm doesn't mean it isn't there for the convenience of the user.
My concern is inadverdantly doing something that google might regard as an illicit attempt to increase pagerank. By simply not showing google those links, I thought I could get around the problem. On the faq on the google site, the restriction noted isn't about cloaking as such, just cloaking to distort ranking.
From what you are saying - that isn't so... (no particular surprise there...)
I guess I could leave the links in and just use the "nofollow" attribute. This won't HURT the site link is too, will it - it just won't help it...
cloaking is judged on intent. If you main body of content is still there then you have nothing to worry about. There are lots of reasons cloaking might be an appropriate solution. As an example... I run a forum, Cell phone users don't want to see all the poster information they just want the poster name and the thread. They don't need a link to the user profile, a link to "report this thread", a link to "view this users pictures". And hey guess what neither does a bot.
Am I presenting the same content? Yes
Am I trying to fraudently fool a bot into thinging I have a site on "highpaying keyword"? No
and rel=nofollow dangerous?
I have only seen an increase in rankings since I used it.
I just did my taxes, as an example.
I finished off the mortgage (fireworks please!) but this made for
a hard decision: whether to itemize deductions or not.
As it turns out, I could have saved a few bucks by itemizing,
BUT the time it would take to do so, plus the cost of aspirin tablets
etc. made this silly.
I filed with the standard deduction, the only deduction
that has never been challenged in court.
I value my sleep, and my conscience. A few bucks ain't worth
the mess. - Larry