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Old 08-18-2006   #1
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Do Washington Post Blogroll Links Pass Link Pop?

WashingtonPost.com has a blogroll now, and the links do not carry the nofollow attribute, but they do go through some type of redirect.

Anyone know if this type would pass any link popularity?

example source of one link.
<p style="padding:0px; margin:0px 0px 2px 0px"><a href="http://www.VivaLasVegasBlog.com" target="_blank" onclick="sa_onclick('http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv/tracking/textlink/blogroll/');" style="color:#0C4790; font-size:11px">Las Vegas Travel</a></p>

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv...oll/submit.htm
http://www.micropersuasion.com/2006/...on_post_1.html
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Old 08-18-2006   #2
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Those links look clean to me - the onclick wouldn't be triggered by a search bot.

Breaking down the elements, we get:
href="http://www.VivaLasVegasBlog.com" --> clean link
target="_blank" --> open in new window
onclick="sa_onclick('http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv/tracking/textlink/blogroll/');" --> tracking user click
style="color:#0C4790; font-size:11px" --> inline style

Since there isn't a nofollow, it's a great link. Good luck to whoever applied to join the blogroll.

Last edited by dyn4mik3 : 08-18-2006 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 08-18-2006   #3
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Yes they are clean links. Detlev Johnson confirmed that today on The Daily SearchCast. What I want to know is what is the going rate for these links? Also now that this has been publicised, how long before Matt flips a switch so Google devalues their link pop ability?
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Old 08-18-2006   #4
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These links will not count for PageRank value. For instance, gadgets-weblog.com is not receiving PageRank from washingtonpost.com. Neither will the links count from washingtonpost.com to finance-weblog.com, for that matter.

Matt has alluded to this many times in the past, and I came in to reiterate the point.
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Old 08-18-2006   #5
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Where are you getting your information from, Brian? Can you reference the rest of us as to where Matt mentioned this particular scenario? Also what are you using to base your decision that Google is not recognizing the links that are already there? Their backlink command? It is widely known that Google does not reveal all the links they actually recognize.
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Old 08-18-2006   #6
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Yup, we certainly noticed these a while ago. dyn4mik3, it may look like a clean link, but the fact is that the onclick behavior invokes a new page and different behavior from a typical hyperlink, and that's visible to anyone viewing/analyzing the source code.
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Old 08-18-2006   #7
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David Wallace, you can trust what Brian says. He's a member of my team and has spoken on Google's behalf at e.g. search conferences before.
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Old 08-18-2006   #8
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Even if the links pass zero weight, I'd love to have my link there - for the TRAFFIC.
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Old 08-18-2006   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCutts
Yup, we certainly noticed these a while ago. dyn4mik3, it may look like a clean link, but the fact is that the onclick behavior invokes a new page and different behavior from a typical hyperlink, and that's visible to anyone viewing/analyzing the source code.
Two quick questions about this.

Are you saying links that invoke a new page are currently/will be discounted (maybe after a hand review)?

Is this off a finding/assumption that links that invoke a new page are typically external links leaving the site?
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Old 08-18-2006   #10
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Hey Matt and Brian--

Thanks for commenting -- good to know directly from Google. But just so I'm absolutely, positively clear....

A human using a browser that deals with JavaScript is going to click on the link and on that click (onclick), they're going to be redirected to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-adv...link/blogroll/ and then to http://www.VivaLasVegasBlog.com.

Google, which doesn't read JavaScript or process it (much, right?), isn't going to understand or deal with the onclick part. So for Googlebot, isn't that link going to effectively be this:

<a href="http://www.VivaLasVegasBlog.com">Las Vegas Travel</a>

And if so, that's a clean, straight-forward thanks for the anchor text saying "las vegas travel" from the Washington Post home page link, isn't it?

I'm guessing you're going to say there's something where if Google sees an onclick, it knows to do the right thing. If so, great -- but just wanted to be perfectly clear.

More important, Matt, are you or aren't you on MySpace? The world, well, this thread, wants to know.
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Old 08-18-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCutts
David Wallace, you can trust what Brian says. He's a member of my team and has spoken on Google's behalf at e.g. search conferences before.
Well there you have it - right out of the horses mouth (not that I'm not calling you a horse, Matt).

Thanks for clarifying. I didn't know who Brian White was.

I figured if you didn't know, you'd find out soon enough seeing that this issue is getting press.
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Old 08-18-2006   #12
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Hi Brian and Matt,

thats surprising. A question on that: Are both links not valued? What if the onclick-link is only a 301 permanent-redirect to the same website as the normal link.
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Old 08-18-2006   #13
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Quote:
A human using a browser that deals with JavaScript is going to click on the link and on that click (onclick), they're going to be redirected to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-ad...tlink/blogroll/ and then to http://www.VivaLasVegasBlog.com.

Google, which doesn't read JavaScript or process it (much, right?), isn't going to understand or deal with the onclick part. So for Googlebot, isn't that link going to effectively be this...
I avoid Javascript, but put one single piece of JS code on one single page to see what it does. This is the code from the page; it calls a remotely hosted JS to display a product search box for a merchant, in this case from a big retail chain.

Quote:
<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"
src="http://si.domainwithremotejavascript.com/search/display.aspx?SID=BC462B40-6EFD-4D47-81ED-00F4E3DE74B3">
</script>
You can see the products and clickable links to the merchant on the page with a JS enabled browser, but the above script is all you can see in the page's source code and nothinig more. Someone apparently put snoopy into the (remotely called JS) search box, and this is what Mediabot did with it:

Quote:
/directory-name/?remotecallst=snoopy
Http Code: 200 Date: Aug 15 21:42:43 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 2852
Referer: -
Agent: Mediapartners-Google/2.1

/directory-name/?remotecallst=snoopy&goldencanp=2
Http Code: 200 Date: Aug 15 21:43:04 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 2852
Referer: -
Agent: Mediapartners-Google/2.1

/directory-name/?remotecallst=snoopy&goldencanp=3
Http Code: 200 Date: Aug 15 21:43:18 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 2852
Referer: -
Agent: Mediapartners-Google/2.1

/directory-name/?remotecallst=snoopy&goldencanp=4
Http Code: 200 Date: Aug 15 21:43:31 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 2852
Referer: -
Agent: Mediapartners-Google/2.1
You can't see those links in the source code (only the above script is visible), those links are in JS and pull up products, which are displayed on that same page. And those URLs can be pulled up in the browser with the different URLs, all with the same page content except for the products search results (which are JS).

Doesn't it look like Mediabot did something with the Javascript?

Last edited by Marcia : 08-18-2006 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 08-20-2006   #14
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Paid Links

Hi Guys,

I don't work at Google, but I have discussed these types of issues with Matt Cutts, and other Google engineers, many times.

Once Google discovers that someone is selling links, they tag 'em, and the link no longer passes any page rank or other value. It's just like the link has the "nofollow" attribute on it.

So while the Javascript stuff in the link may be a problem technologically for links, even if that problem were fixed, you can be certain that the Washington Post links do not carry any weight at this point.
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Old 08-22-2006   #15
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Is Google suppressing PR for bought/swapped links algorithmically is what I'd like to know.
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Old 08-22-2006   #16
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PR Link Supression for Purchased Links

My understanding is that Google uses 3 methods to supress PR on purchased links:

1. They look for obvious clues algorithmically: (1) text nearby such as "Sponsored Links" or "Advertisers", and: (2) Links that are not relevant to the page, or not relevant to other nearby links.

2. They have human editors in India that review search results looking to find instances of poor relevance. These people also look for evidence of purchased links.

3. They accept reports of purchased links from third parties (such as your competitors).

I always recommend to webmasters that they take the same energy and money that they were planning to spend on purchased links, and invest it in kickass content that earns links of the type that no one will ever devalue. Takes a little longer to build your rankings perhaps, but it's a secure feeling when you get there.
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Old 08-24-2006   #17
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Did you ever get a response to your questions Danny?
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Old 08-24-2006   #18
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Danny, I want to know too -- did you get an answer to your question and what was it?
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