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Unfollowing Blog Rolls and Sitewide Links

6:50 pm on Aug 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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There is quite a few blogs that placed a blog roll link pointing to my site.

I am worried that these links may harm my rankings, but I don't want to ask the bloggers to remove them, because these links bring me traffic.

I wonder if I could just ask the bloggers to nofollow the links, would it be safe SEO-wise?
7:14 pm on Aug 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't be worried about blogroll links at all, as long as they're natural.
7:30 pm on Aug 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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...as long as they're natural.

That's the tricky one. ;)

Avoid keywords in the blogrolls. Those have been on the radar for quite a few years. Natural recommendations, such as blogrolls are supposed to be, shouldn't suggest manipulation.

I'd also have myself nofollowed from a blogroll if other sites on the blogroll are getting keyword links (which might cast some suspicion on the source).

Similarly, dofollows from blogrolls that identify some sites as "sponsors" should be avoided.
7:36 pm on Aug 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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If the site is good, doesn't do any paid links, doesn't link out to questionable sites, doesn't have a bunch of bad backlinks, then probably you don't have to worry about it.

If you were really worried about it, you could ask them to nofollow the link or you could also disavow it.


It seems that there are a LOT of SEO people out there who say that ALL blogroll / sitewide links are dangerous.

I am not sure where they got this idea from. Maybe there is a google document that states this? If so, I haven't seen it.

Nor have I seen Matt Cutts or John Mueller specifically state that a blogroll / sitwide link is ipso facto a bad link.

The bottom line: If it is a good site, why not keep it?


I will give you a little food for thought:

I was using one of those "find your bad backlink" tools and they said that one particular link that was from a professor's page at a well-known university in the USA was a "bad" backlink. The professor had linked out to a handful of pages as a reference to the material he covers in one of his courses at the university.

I guess that it was flagged because the professor had titled the page it appeared on as "links page" and had about a dozen links on there with scant text.

I seriously doubt that google would in interpret this as a "bad" link in any way, shape or form.

But if you follow a lot of the advice out there, that is the kind of link that you would be instructed to remove.


Bottom line: what we conceptualize is controlled by our perceptions.

Because we CAN'T see all the things that google sees, we believe the things we CAN see must be affecting our sites.

I wonder if we are basically using leeches to perform blood letting on our sites, since we have about as much comprehension of the data google has as medieval doctors have of bacteria and viruses.

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