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Am I getting scammed here?

Potential advertiser doesn't like rel=nofollow

     
3:45 am on Jul 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have a site ranking very high in the SERPs. A web site that sells products discussed in the site approached me about advertising. They ran like crazy when I said that I have a policy of including rel="nofollow" in the text links.

Their reasoning involved multiple landing pages. They argued that a text link to "blue widgets" might get a higher percentage than a "red widgets" text link and this data will help aid them in ad optimization. Offhand I don't see how the same thing can't be accomplished with a simple name / value pair.

I of course want my site to drive business to those that advertise with me. But I don't want it used mostly for improving page ranking as I'm concerned it might adversely affect my PR. This is my understanding of the purpose behind rel=nofollow.

I'm something of a Newbie at these issues. Am I wrongly putting off a legitimate advertiser?

4:21 am on July 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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They want the PR as well, obviously. Up to you if you want to give it to them.
4:21 am on July 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure what makes you think you are getting scammed. They thought they were buying a service from you, were told you don't provide the service, and decided they don't want what it is you are offering.
4:22 am on July 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It will still adversely affect your PR [webmasterworld.com].
4:30 am on July 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It will still adversely affect your PR.

Black-holed PR is better than helping the advertising company though, especially since the advertiser will have similar content and likely be somewhat of a competitor. Helping the enemy hurts you.

4:58 am on July 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If you are looking at your advertisers as "the enemy" you don't need to be selling advertising in the first place.
5:06 am on July 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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StoutFiles:
Up to you if you want to give it to them.

I tend to want to protect my PR, so I think I'll err on the conservative side and say no. Too bad, I hate to see any $$$ go uncollected.

woop01:

I'm not sure what makes you think you are getting scammed.

Maybe scammed is too strong of a word. They initialized the email exchange by asking if I accept advertising and then became disinterested when I brought up my rel=nofollow policy. So they are, in my interpretation, only interested in better PR. Put another way if they really were interested in driving customers to their site, I wouldn't think that rel=nofollow to be a problem. Also they are telling me that rel=nofollow limits and prevents their ad data tracking endeavors, and I'm finding that hard to understand.

If you are looking at your advertisers as "the enemy" you don't need to be selling advertising in the first place.

Your point is well taken, maybe I should look more kindly on those willing to support me. But if their PR quest causes me reduced SERP standings, I'm thinking that to be a losing situation.

Thanks martinibuster for the opinion and link.

5:13 am on July 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I tend to want to protect my PR, so I think I'll err on the conservative side and say no. Too bad, I hate to see any $$$ go uncollected.

Is your PR worth $$$? If so, how are you monetizing it? Implied in your original post is that "they" sell and "you" don't.

5:15 am on July 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Who you link to sends a signal of what that page is about. If it's related to what you are doing then no harm to your ranking.
5:35 am on July 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Is your PR worth $$$? If so, how are you monetizing it? Implied in your original post is that "they" sell and "you" don't.

I monetize via AdSense and various affiliate marketing deals. I do well with them and that whole concept falls nicely into my comfort zone. My concern is that if I allow text links without rel=nofollow and my PR tanks, then my revenue from those sources dries up.

martinibuster:


Who you link to sends a signal of what that page is about. If it's related to what you are doing then no harm to your ranking.

Interesting. My site gives advice on blue widgets and they sell blue widgets. Am I leaving money on the table?

Thanks for all the comments, they are highly appreciated!

8:21 am on July 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've little experience but I would suggest this might be a wood for the trees scenario. When you're rejecting hard cash in the interest of a little artificial number somewhere on Google's systems, I think something must be wrong.

Step back for some perspective. If they're not competitors, it fundamentally can't do any harm.

On the other hand will Google pick up a paid link and penalize? That is a risk not worth running, is it standard practice to no-follow explicit advertising?

1:52 pm on July 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Am I leaving money on the table?

Yes.

 

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