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Using "nofollow" on redirect ads. Would it make any difference?

11:07 pm on Dec 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I am using Open Ads (formerly phpAdsNew) to serve banner ads on my site, and I'm wondering if I should tweak the program to use "nofollow".

My questions are mainly circling around the redirect links typically used by such programs, and whether they are passing Pagerank at all, even without "nofollow". According to the server headers, Open Ads issues a 302 redirect, and as far as I'm aware, 302 redirects don't pass Pagerank (is that correct?). What about my site, though? Even if the Pagerank never reaches the advertiser's site, am I still sending Pagerank into nirvana, namely to the redirect URL?

6:36 pm on Dec 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It all depends on the url that the ad "points to". If the href value is a script, or an onclick action (common for record keeping purposes in ad programs) then I'd say there's no concern. Ad-serving is so widespread, that I doubt there's an PR "leakage" going on.

Still, you might want to experiment. My prediction is that it won't make a difference for your rankings, but I can always be suprised. Google does ask us to clearly denote paid link of any kind, so just maybe...

[edited by: tedster at 7:57 pm (utc) on Dec. 28, 2007]

7:54 pm on Dec 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think there must be quite a bit of PR leakage. Just survey the domains that offer free website click statistics, they all have huge PR (Why?). So I imagine affiliate links do pass some significant PR. I doubt using nofollow would do any good in this case anyway, that's the problem.

Google really should modify "PR" to be more meaningful. The pure statistical probability of a site being reached cannot be determined using purely random clicks, it's useless information, people rarely click on a statistics site image, but there are thousands of them. (I'm sure Google does prorate PR for the SERPS rankings, I have many low PR pages that rank #1 for their search terms.)

Unfortunately PR does impact the ranking of low traffic pages quite a bit. And Google's silly PR forces ridiculous navigational structures from webmasters wanting higher PR for whatever reason. Usually the pages with the most meaningful content are lowest in the navigation structure but they are the most important content, but most still will link to the home page. Oops digressing a bit.


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