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Rotating advertising causing lots of links

Bad or not?

     
4:03 pm on Mar 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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On quite a large site we have rotating banner advertising where we sell a number of banners and randomly show them across the pages. It means at any given time any one banner could be on hundreds of pages as it moves around. They are only ever one per page and all nofollow.

We have people who have taken banners who complain that their Webmaster Tools shows hundreds of incoming links from us and they don't like it. It seems to be the banners rotating and being picked up by Google on many pages as Google spiders the whole site.

The question is, is there some standard by which we should be somehow hiding the links from Google or if not, is there any harm to the person the banners link to because of the perceived quantity of links?
8:20 am on Mar 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google shows both nofollow and 'dofollow' links in WMT. There's no reason to worry if the "nofollow" attribute is being used... albeit I can understand the confusion.

Matt Cutts is quoted in this thread from April, 2008 [webmasterworld.com...] which is as close to an original source as I can find.
we don't follow nofollow links, but we do include nofollow links in the webmaster console just to give webmasters a full picture of all the stuff that's linking to them.

We've had numerous discussions on the topic. This has also been confirmed independently by members who've seen nofollowed Wikipedia links to them appearing in WMT.
8:31 am on Mar 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the answer, but my issue was more centered around the volume of links appearing in Webmaster Tools because of the rotational nature of the banner advertising and whether it was anything to worry about or if I should be presenting banners to the user in some .sort of different way so that Google wouldn't keep picking them up.

Basically we have someone complaining about the number of incoming links to us that show in their Webmaster Tools and they have asked us to do something about it. I;d either like to be able to solve it or categorically tell them it's nothing to worry about.
8:49 am on Mar 10, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I think that hiding the links from Google has potential to cause more problems than the multiple nofollow links displayed... and I wouldn't try to do that.

I myself think that if the ads are nofollowed, then there's nothing to worry about, but I can also see how to the advertiser the great many backlinks showing up are at best a PITA, and are likely also to be an ongoing cause for worry.

Someone who has used rotating banners, either as the display source or as the destination site, might be able to give you the benefit of that experience... or you'd have to get some official word from Google via their product forums.