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url citations without link - are they a ranking factor?

   
8:16 pm on Apr 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I was doing a G search for a domain I own, and there were a couple thousand results, many of which link to this site, and there are many others which referenced my site (such as: example.com) but did not link.

This site ranks first in a moderately competitive field for several different kw phrases. It occurred to me, what about all those citations to my site that are unlinked? Would they not be of some minor importance? After all, it is my site and its unique content that is being discussed. Why should such text be ignored?

What do you think?

2:16 am on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Good question, i've wondered the same myself.
2:28 am on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



The fact that someone spends energy on writing an URL as text (not as an 'a href') could indicate that the person is aware that the URL exists, but intentionally don't want to refer to it by a link.

Why should a Search Engine include that as a ranking factor?

3:05 am on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I suppose if you wanted to see if the SE's even see these things you could set up an orphan page with one of those links to it and see if it gets crawled. You'd have to be careful Google doesn't see the link some other way, like via your toolbar or PR bar.
3:20 am on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



You'd have to be careful Google doesn't see the link some other way, like via your toolbar or PR bar.

Or via publicly available server logs....

Why is Google indexing my entire web server?
[webmasterworld.com...]

Note:
Google has apparently moved its relevant explanation on this topic. New location here...

Why is Googlebot downloading information from our "secret" web server?
[scholar.google.com...]

4:18 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The fact that someone spends energy on writing an URL as text (not as an 'a href') could indicate that the person is aware that the URL exists, but intentionally don't want to refer to it by a link.

This would account for maybe 1% of cases where the link is not posted by a webmaster

4:39 pm on Apr 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Its easy to get lots of non link based domain references. For example we launched an affiliate network and now there are 100k pages referring to our domain but not exactly a link in the href sense. Should that NOT count as a boost because the popularity of the term/domain?