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Old 01-19-2005   #41
Dave Hawley
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Missed this earlier Dave. Yes, it's very possible that paid links could be surrounded with these tags. It's something I'm going to suggest Jupiter look at for the internet.commerce program it runs, which you're hinting at.
Subtle aren't I That would a HUGE leap forward toward the entire SEO inductry I believe. However, being the cynic I am, I don't hold my breath.

I applaud you if you try and lead the way on this.

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You know that with the tag most will pull the text "ads" off.
I suspect so too. However, this would be a clear demomstration that the $'s are changing hands for PR and not advertising.

Last edited by Dave Hawley : 01-19-2005 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 01-19-2005   #42
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Prediction: internet.com properties start using the new tag for their text ads and the ad renewal rate drops through the floor.
If so, no big deal. Jupiter has hardly built its business around that particular program.

As said, I'm sure some people are buying the links in hopes they are getting some gain out of them. And as said, if so, that's a dumb reason to buy. They are too easily identified by a search engine that might want to take them out.

Anyone seriously wanting to buy links for search ranking reasons needs to find a paid link program that spreads things out. Oilman, any ideas about such programs

Or alternatively, heck, just put your link into a press release and push it out through Google News!

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The one thing it will certainly NOT do is stop comment spam. Sorry to say but it won't even slow it down.
I think it might deter it a bit -- just a bit. But completely agree with everyone else that this is hardly some silver bullet that will kill the comment spam werewolf. Not at all.

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The squeaky wheel gets the grease and nobody can squeak louder than bloggers it would seem
Yep. Believe me, as a site owner, I like having more control. But there are more important things we could have and should move on to. Folks, squeak loudly please. The search engines reacted finally with something that really solves a PR problem more than anything else. There are some serious indexing solutions they could also provide.

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When this kicks in bloggers aren't going to like the loss.
Oh, this is dawning on them. Check out Anil Dash's recent post. I added a long comment to the end of it.

Basically, it's interesting to hear in it the arguments and fears some bloggers have that they might be entitled to boosts for commenting or that they need those links to be visible.

Oh, so getting into comments is all about being seen in search engines? Ummm -- isn't that what many have been upset about. OK, so they aren't talking about completely offtarget comments and links. But it kinds of sounds a lot like Greg Boser's "we're all manipulators" speech.

I thought blogs were powerful because they had their own self-referential network of linking between themselves on related topics, not because comments give you links to help you get a boost in Google. If that's the case, the blogs become nothing more than dressed-up respectable link farms.
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Old 01-19-2005   #43
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>link farms

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I think it will hurt smaller bloggers. I get a fair amount of link karma from links to my site I've put in on-topic comments on relevant posts on other blogs.

http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000069.html
Like Greg says, we all manipulate the system, Danny.
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Old 01-19-2005   #44
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Like Greg says, we all manipulate the system, Danny.
If by manipulate you mean 'deviously', 'underhanded', or 'falsely', I dissagree.
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Old 01-19-2005   #45
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>>If so, no big deal. Jupiter has hardly built its business around that particular program.

agreed - I'm just saying it

>> Oilman, any ideas about such programs

who? me?

...it's funny ya know - bloggers don't have a problem with the 'miserable failure' Googlebomb stuff - that's all fun and games when they abuse the system but when someone else does it....

bloggers flex their muscles and say "look how powerful we are" with stuff like 'miserable failure'. Now it's gonna be even worse cuz they can say they are responsible for rel="nofollow".

(note: I don't mean all bloggers - just the whiney ones )

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Old 01-19-2005   #46
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That would a HUGE leap forward toward the entire SEO industry I believe
Hardly. You think if Jupiter surrounds links in its text link program that everyone else is going to do the same? I doubt it. I think Jupiter should do it purely because:

1) I've got nothing to do with the program, but every so often someone likes to bring it up in hopes I'll go, "Oh no, you've discovered the secret link network that the ad side of Jupiter's house hoped would stay secret."

2) It honestly does predate Google and buying and selling links for ad purposes, plus I'm told it isn't sold that way.

3) If it really does have value other than search ranking purposes to advertisers, adding the tags isn't an issue.

4) Doing so will solve the first point, and if I'm wrong about 3, big deal. There are other ad program -- and I don't deal with the ads anyway, which are only one way the site supports itself. Hey, you're all paid members and help contribute to support the site don't you?

But while we're talking link networks and the impact this change might have on them...

You might recall that Google has this little thing called AdSense that puts links on people's pages. Google doesn't register the links for PageRank purposes, but it jolly well indexes the text (yeah, I said jolly well. Fit the occasion). I did an article on this last year, about how some pages could show up for terms that only existed in AdSense links. How about blocking that?

Wait a minute, how much was it to get into Yahoo again? $300 per year for a directory that's become more and more invisible except to, um, Yahoo's own crawler? And paid inclusion into the crawler was how much per click again

Yeah, let's talk link networks. Anyone want to go on a scouting mission and come back with some major, prominent companies that are also Yahoo and Google partners and selling text links on their pages?

Hmm, that Vioxx hyperlink over at the Washingtonpost.com? Don't see nofollows yet on that. And oops, it's not a redirect. Wait -- it's both a direct link but also one using JavaScript tracking. Well, it does say advertisement near it, so I'm sure it wasn't purchased by anyone hoping that getting a link from the WPost home page (a proud Google partner) might help with search engines.


Selling links isn't even an "SEO problem." After all, it's not SEOs that are selling them. It's site publishers doing that - and well within their rights to do so.

Google and the other search engines are within their rights to react to link selling however they want, of course -- the SearchKing case proved that (and Bob will be by shortly to chime in now!).

All nofollow does for those selling links to people who really want them for other than search ranking purposes is to have a way to say to the search engines, "Don't shoot! I'm really not trying to harm your index" or to those who might accuse them of trying to spam the search engines to say, "Look, I'm really not."
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Old 01-19-2005   #47
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Like Greg says, we all manipulate the system, Danny.
Yep. To be clear, RC, that was a compliment to Greg. For bloggers to say that nofollow might help them not rank as highly in search engines, because they depend on getting links out of comments. That, as I put on Anil's post, is a distant but still related cousin to those who spam comment area.

In both cases, the concern is over search rankings. Well, sorry bloggers upset that nofollow might harm you getting search juice out of comments. You shouldn't be depending on comments for search rankings in the first place. Or did I miss the amendment that said bloggers had some guaranteed right to fast track top rankings through comment links.

Greg's right -- everyone manipulates to some degree. The intentions can be different. Some running a bot to put off-topic links on a blog is much different than someone who has read the blog and wants to comment and expand on a post. But if that same person is doing so with some hopes that as part of it, they might get a search ranking boost but getting a link in the comments -- sure, that's a form of manipulation.
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Old 01-19-2005   #48
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No, I'm not by any means suggesting that the World will follow anyone elses lead, especially when it's likely VERY damaging to their income.

However, is Jupiter a link network, or an advertising meduim? If the latter, or both, why wouldn't they start using them? If, as you say, Google already discounts, or ignores them, they were there pre PR, most people don't pay their $'s for PR etc, what harm could it do to their business?

If would truly great to see a "link advertising meduim" become open and honest and walk their own talk. Then, all that pay know full well what they are getting for their money and the ROI can be measured.

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Old 01-19-2005   #49
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Greg's right -- everyone manipulates to some degree
But "we all" is not "everyone".
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Old 01-19-2005   #50
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(3 minutes between your post, oil, and danny's reply. Kind of reminds me of that Martinez long ago --damn, that guy could type!)


>if by

Manipulation comes in all flavors. Scoble, for instance, on dispensing links while well aware of their boost to the serps. (Or Beattie, HHH!)
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Old 01-19-2005   #51
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Dave, let me save the back and forth. Greg argues that any type of change to a site is a form of manipulation. I think he's correct, but I have degrees of manipulation that I'd say are widely acceptable versus aggressive. Others completely oppose Greg's notion. Some would say that manipulation only comes into play if you cross certain lines. So fire away your definition of manipulation if you like. That won't change the views of others necessarily -- they may still have the opinion that everyone is indeed we all, even if you and other disagree. It's one of those fundamental issues where folks don't tend to find common ground.
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Old 01-19-2005   #52
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3 minutes between your post, oil, and danny's
C'mon, forum lightning round. Hands on the buzzers...

But seriously, I'm off to sleep. Swore I wouldn't even log in again tonight, but I had to peek at the discussion on the topic. No matter where you stand, it made for an exciting day. BakedJake's IM bleeting off -- I love it!
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Old 01-20-2005   #53
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All nofollow does for those selling links to people who really want them for other than search ranking purposes is to have a way to say to the search engines
Surely it does more than that... In any market, if you remove a portion of the demand, prices invariably go in one direction. Which is good news for anyone that is interested in diversifying their traffic away from a reliance on Search Engines. Less people wanting to buy links for SEo purposes should mean an ROI focus for text link ads, all of which has an upside for at least some online marketers.
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Old 01-20-2005   #54
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To me, a long term question is how this might affect the rest of the web.

I'm concerned that as news of this attribute filters down to the great unknowledgeable, perhaps getting associated with "safe linking," it might become the link condom of choice among, say, institutional webmasters, and end up distorting search results in areas that owe their relevance to the popular vote.

As Mikkel suggests, the web is an organism... and I think this will, over time, churn up the ecosystem. I'd guess that, outside of the blogosphere, it's more likely to be affecting free links than paid ones.
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Old 01-20-2005   #55
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Yes, the customer would finally be able to measure their ROI and decide if the link is really worth the $'s they paid. Now why wouldn't a business want that to happen, if they are, as they say, not selling PR
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Old 01-20-2005   #56
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Originally Posted by Dave Hawley
Yes, the customer would finally be able to measure their ROI and decide if the link is really worth the $'s they paid. Now why wouldn't a business want that to happen, if they are, as they say, not selling PR
My point is that the paid links are likely to continue as the links transmitting PageRank... but the free links (those votes of confidence from a website's peers), may be the ones that use the attribute and not transmit PR.
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Old 01-20-2005   #57
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Yes I know and sadly you maybe correct My comment was more an extentsion of projectphp's post.

It would a boon to see the SEs enforce the use of this tag to all sites selling links. That is just my wild dream though However, all great journeys start with but a single step.
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Old 01-20-2005   #58
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RC wrote:

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the link condom of choice
ROTFL

Bet that makes Threadwatch!!

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Old 01-20-2005   #59
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It would appear that Google have overshot their target - while their aim is to be able to recognize links to be of a certain type, they attempt to dictate the behavior of clients encountering the link ("don't follow").

Supposing Google one day might consider adding a category to their own site allowing for searchability on blogs and their posters, this tag would not even make sense to themselves.

What they really should be trying, is to add semantics to the links - like specifying that it is of a certain type (ie. "type=user" or "type=blog"). It has been a longe time, since the W3C initiated the move towards the semantic web: The arguments for it are countless - and this is just an obvious real-world example of why it makes sense.

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Old 01-20-2005   #60
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The problem, however, is people will lie. If putting type=blog does something helpful, then plenty of people will do this. If putting author="bill gates" means you'll rank well for bill gates, then people will do that.

I'm mildly more positive than meta data than in the past. It usually gets trotted out as a solution to the web's ills but those who aren't familiar to how it is overtly or accidentally abused. Accidentally? Search engines don't depend on language meta tags because quite often, they may say a page is in the wrong language by accident.
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