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What is your preferred definition of a poison link?

     
11:25 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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There are good links and then there are some not good links. Some people call these bad links a "poison link" and many other negative nicknames.

When you are looking through a backlink profile, how do you prefer to define a bad or poisonous link?

Run of Site
Links that are placed throughout an entire website with identical anchor text could cause you trouble but then again I wouldn't refuse a run of site on Google.com

PageRank
Do you want to use toolbar pagerank to determine if a link is poisonous. Having a toolbar pagerank of 0 is probably going to scare away some people.

International Domains
If you are serving just the USA market, it can look weird to see Russian, Chinese and a bunch of weird international sites linking to you.

Nofollow Tag
Google does say that you should nofollow links that you do not trust, so having people link to using a nofollow tag could say to Google your site isn't trustworthy.

How do you define poison links aka the links you would rather not have
6:05 am on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The question is why Google wants US to define bad links and why should we speculate?

I'd say every link that was built in an artificial way to promote a website could be treated as bad link by Google, which makes me write this questionable list:

1. Link directories
2. Article directories of any size and authority
3. Blogrolls (site-wide links) from zero page-rank blogs
4. links from wiki and Q/A sites of any size and authority
5. Guest blogging (paid)
6. Profile pages in social media networks.
7. Paid links
8:42 am on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The last time I posted a question at Google, I was told-- by, I think, a random human, not a G mouthpiece-- that I needed to "nofollow" certain links because I own both sites and the link is therefore "unnatural".

A world in which a link whose sole reason for existence is to benefit humans is regarded as "unnatural" is not a world I want to live in.

Hmph.
9:18 am on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If I have a site that sells shoes, and a site that sells shoe polish it makes sense to link them up.

G says they want you to link naturally as if G didn't exist, well if G didn’t exist nor would rel=’nofollow’ so I guess use common sense and use nofollow only when linking to sites you can’t vouch for or are completely unrelated to the topic at hand. Linking to another site, even your own should be fine as long as they are reasonably related and you can easily explain why a user would find site B of interest, to say you cant link two of your own sites up that compliment the other is wrong. Sounds fair?

[edited by: CaptainSalad2 at 9:23 am (utc) on Jan 22, 2014]

9:56 am on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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CaptainSalad2,

Why would one link to a site which is completely unrelated to the topic at hand? Within some piece of content, if the other site is not relevant, you just don't mention it at all, ain't it so?

One obvious exception are paid links to unrelated sites, but then the party requesting the link would probably not agree to a nofollow link anyway?
10:07 am on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Yea I meant adds! id pay for an add with nofollow if the site it was listed on received enough traffic and the topic was close in some way that the add was likely to receive clicks.
1:22 pm on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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You know at times the average person may not see the connection between two different products. I have pinball repairmen buy my product, cake decorators, train enthusiast, comedians etc and none of them use the item in the manner that it was intended. So yes I have links from some of these areas. So to the average person they may look unnatural but they are natural. Google thinks they are smarter than they actually are. Honestly from what I see the linking today is way worse with the blog comments, foreign sites that link for who knows reason etc. So what is a poison link - I don't know because I don't know what Google values anymore. I can see 80K links of pure garbage and manipulation, Google sees a site that is number 1.
3:43 pm on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm okay with not having too many links with keywords as anchor text.
7:42 pm on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If I have a site that sells shoes, and a site that sells shoe polish it makes sense to link them up

If you have a business that sells cheese and another that does private investigation you should still be perfectly free to link them up.

I'm not advocating site wide anchor text, just a mention of the business' name.

I know plenty of small businesses with links pages who link to their friends and associates, relevant or not, because they are vouching for the business concerned.

This is what links were for before Google came along, and even how Google used to treat links when they started out.

As long as you don't try to squeeze some benefit from the link, Google should be able to work out what's going on.
10:56 pm on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If you have a business that sells cheese and another that does private investigation you should still be perfectly free to link them up.

Save your money. It was the rats.
5:35 am on Jan 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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G says they want you to link naturally as if G didn't exist, well if G didn’t exist nor would rel=’nofollow’


Correct, and vise-versa Google stated that any link you didn’t get naturally can be considered 'bad link'.
However, these days, what link isn’t bad?
If guest post links and other so called 'white hat' sources aren't considered natural links, I came to a conclusion that there’s no such thing as building high quality links and might be that there never has been.

But how can the algo makes the difference between types of links? Answer: Outbound links from brands are OK other links are risky.
10:36 am on Jan 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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[off-topic]
What really annoys me is that nofollow is a convention that Google adopted, and now they are acting as if it belongs to them. They are not the only search engine and in parts of the world they are not even the major player. What they really need is a rel='nogoogle'
[/off-topic]