Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Subscribe to HRA Now!

 



Are you a Google Analytics enthusiast?

Share and download Custom Google Analytics Reports, dashboards and advanced segments--for FREE! 

 



 

 www.CustomReportSharing.com 

From the folks who brought you High Rankings!



Photo
- - - - -

PageRank Evaporation When PR Sculpting


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#16 Michael Martinez

Michael Martinez

    HR 10

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,132 posts
  • Location:Georgia

Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:37 PM

The only deception I have ever felt Matt Cutts engaged in was his attempts to tie the Federal Trade Commission's internal memo on disclosure of paid endorsements into Google's campaign against paid links. The United States Government does not (at this time) recognize links as endorsements. An endorsement is a recommendation or apparent expression of favorable opinion and links don't do that.

Matt, of course, has defended himself by claiming he was only interpreting the situation based on his understanding of the processes involved. Well, maybe.

After receiving plenty of criticism over that position, Matt changed his tune to ask that people "disclose their (paid) links" by using the rel='nofollow' link attribute. However, that attribute discloses nothing to the casual human visitor (since most people don't look at or know much about HTML code).

Matt has recently modified his argument to suggest that "people should also disclose their (paid) links to search engines" by using "rel='nofollow'".

But here's the problem with his entire approach: rel='nofollow' does not in any way say to a search engine (or anyone/thing else) that "this link has been paid for or is part of a paid post".

Hence, Matt's entire argument for the use of the rel='nofollow' link attribute is founded on confusion and distortion of public policy and fundamental technological limitations of HTML.

At some point, I feel it's justifiable to ask just how long Matt wants to conduct his propaganda campaign before he loses all credibility on the matter. Googlers just don't seem to understand how the Web works -- not if you look at the dumb things they say in public. "Links are votes" is absolutely ridiculous. Link swapping, buying, selling, and gratuitous listing were prevalent on Web sites before Google came along.

They may want the Web to work a certain way, but it's not their prerogative to force everyone to do things their way.

If people want to disclose their paid links, that's their business, but you can only disclose paid links (with today's HTML technology) by putting a clear label or notice near them that says something like "these links are sponsored".

So we can speculate about why Google might have taken this action with respect to use of the nofollow attribute on internal links, but it should be noted that Matt has never encouraged people to do this and in fact he has always tried to DIScourage people from doing it. Other Googlers have also advised people NOT to attempt to sculpt PageRank.

Frankly, the only reason why Google could do it successfully for YouTube (and no one else has been able to) is that Google has access to all the internal PageRank data you need to track and measure PageRank flow. No one outside of Google has that information.

But Google's YouTube sculpting was rather limited. They were just preventing front-page PageRank from passing directly to new videos, as they scroll new content on their front page. That makes sense. That's not the same thing as trying to lower the PageRank for your "About Us" and "Terms of Service" pages (which are important enough that people often search for those pages for large commercial sites -- it's not a good idea to strip these pages of PageRank).

Googlers have been very consistent about advising people to build good on-site navigation and to point more links at the pages that they want search engines to consider the most important.

Maybe they are trying to herd cats with this change in how PageRank will be handled, or maybe they have an ulterior motive. It doesn't really matter. People should understand that Google has never publicly encouraged PageRank sculpting. They have almost always advised against the practice, and have always mentioned that it's beyond what is necessary for good site optimization for the average Webmaster.

Whether Matt Cutts has been dishonest or is simply confused or merely interpreting things in a way that is favorable to Google is a matter of opinion. He is generally a trustworthy source of information, although he rarely provides full disclosure about anything Google is doing (which is, I think, understandable).


#17 jeepster

jeepster

    HR 3

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 58 posts

Posted 10 June 2009 - 11:09 AM

I've literally - and I mean literally - just spent the past 3 days no-following unimportant links on my site. What do I do now, reverse all that?
The problem is that I put links on a page that are useful from a human visitors' point of view (contact us, login page, etc) but not for SEO purposes - now it seems I'm being punished for that by "evaporating" PR.

#18 Jill

Jill

    Recovering SEO

  • Admin
  • 32,967 posts

Posted 10 June 2009 - 11:58 AM

QUOTE(jeepster @ Jun 10 2009, 12:09 PM) View Post
The problem is that I put links on a page that are useful from a human visitors' point of view (contact us, login page, etc) but not for SEO purposes - now it seems I'm being punished for that by "evaporating" PR.


You're not being punished, it's fine. You're helping direct the spiders the appropriate pages of your site and not waste time on ones you don't care about.

#19 bewarne

bewarne

    HR 2

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts

Posted 10 June 2009 - 12:12 PM

Maybe it was something Google didn't want released or maybe it is the difference between lying and saying something that you think is true to the best of your knowledge. I have been known to be pretty sure I understand something in our company and told it to someone and then been corrected by my boss. That may have been what happened with Matt Cutts. Sometimes you have to correct yourself.

#20 Say Yebo

Say Yebo

    HR 4

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 222 posts
  • Location:USA

Posted 10 June 2009 - 01:44 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jun 5 2009, 09:50 AM) View Post
It's tough because people do hang on every word they (and MC) says so they have to be very careful.


Hehehe...one day in the distant future, when Google is no longer God, we may find that we cease to hang on every word they say. We may be truly liberated. But then again, can we really stick around that long? Might Bing rescue us?

#21 DJKay

DJKay

    HR 5

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 355 posts

Posted 11 June 2009 - 01:44 PM

Well, I never did this when it first came out as the shiznet seo technique. I after reading everyone's comments, I decided there were things I could do that would yield a better result from an SEO/SEM perspective.

DJKay

#22 Randy

Randy

    Convert Me!

  • Moderator
  • 17,540 posts

Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:10 PM

And you were right DJKay. whistling.gif

#23 rolf

rolf

    HR 6

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 675 posts
  • Location:Suffolk UK

Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:15 PM

A slight <tangent>question</tangent> that this brings up in my mind is how this might affect people's willingness to link out to things.

For example: Bob has a page about lederhosen with 20 links on it. Each of those links sends traffic to the linkee and it's all good. Bob is happy to link to those pages and will happily link to more, as long as he can nofollow them so all the google-love goes to his friend jack's site, which is the first link on the page. Under this setup, Bob's page gets progressively better for users and he's also able to pass more love to Jack, and Jack can do the same from his website. (This somewhat manipulates the rules, I know, but I'm sure it's common enough)

With the recent change, now bob is thinking that maybe he should cull some of those good links, because even though he can no longer funnel the love to Jack, he and Jack can both make the remaining links worth a little more by culling some of the links that are not from his friends.

I'm not saying that Bob should be looking at it this way, and in the immediate future it will limit the usefulness of his own page because he's culling useful links, but could this have some sort of knock-on effect in the bigger picture? Could this be the basis for another misunderstood less than half true SEO myth?

For the record - I don't partake of PR sculpting, just find all these ideas to be as interesting as they are convoluted

#24 Jill

Jill

    Recovering SEO

  • Admin
  • 32,967 posts

Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:27 PM

QUOTE
I'm not saying that Bob should be looking at it this way, and in the immediate future it will limit the usefulness of his own page because he's culling useful links, but could this have some sort of knock-on effect in the bigger picture? Could this be the basis for another misunderstood less than half true SEO myth?


Sure, it could cause some problems, which is why it's silly to try to manipulate those things in the first place. Link to stuff you recommend to your readers, and don't link to stuff you don't. (While forgetting nofollow exists.) It's really that simple!

#25 1dmf

1dmf

    Keep Asking, Keep Questioning, Keep Learning

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,167 posts
  • Location:Worthing - England

Posted 12 June 2009 - 05:06 AM

Rolf lol.gif - exactly why I find it so facinating....

However, you cannot pretend nofollow doesn't exist , don't forget the big whohar was caused when mr chow and friends got google slapped for selling PR and then G! announced their insitance in the use of the rel=nofollow attribute.

G! can't come out with a statement . "use rel=nofollow or get penalised" and then expect us to forget it exists.

G! started all this, I think it's only fair they clarify exactly what happens when rel=nofollow is used and why, and accept responsibility that if this is all a can of worms, they are the ones who opened it!

If I can use the nofollow to give more love to the links I love more, what's the problem?

#26 Jill

Jill

    Recovering SEO

  • Admin
  • 32,967 posts

Posted 12 June 2009 - 08:23 AM

QUOTE
G! started all this, I think it's only fair they clarify exactly what happens when rel=nofollow is used and why


You kids today!

Back in the old days of SEO, the search engines didn't tell us 'nuthin and we were happy trying to figure it all out for ourselves. Now everyone expects the algo handed to them on a silver platter by the engines.

Newsflash! We are not the search engines' friends. It's their job to try to confuse those who want to do SEO because in their minds, they don't need us nor SEO. They invent stupid things like nofollow to trip up the dopes who are looking for the next great trick.

Why do you think most of us here have always said to not bother with stuff like that?

#27 1dmf

1dmf

    Keep Asking, Keep Questioning, Keep Learning

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,167 posts
  • Location:Worthing - England

Posted 12 June 2009 - 10:10 AM

Like usual you're right! ( ok more often than not giggle.gif )

QUOTE
Back in the old days of SEO, the search engines didn't tell us 'nuthin and we were happy trying to figure it all out for ourselves.

Newsflash! We are not the search engines' friends. It's their job to try to confuse those who want to do SEO because in their minds, they don't need us nor SEO. They invent stupid things like nofollow to trip up the dopes who are looking for the next great trick.

So we should just ignore anything G! or Matt Cutts says and do what we know works?

Bit dangerous isn't it, could inadvertantly do 'black hat' , and we wouldn't want that!

But I guess your statement kind of answers my issue on my other thread with SEO & SERPs.

They don't want us to know how the Algo works, because SEO gurus like yourself use that knowledge to get good SERPs whether the site deserves to be in the top 10 or not!

Hey do I deserve to be no.1 in Bing , I'm not misleading anyone and what I offer is what you get, so perhaps, matter of opinion I guess.

The problem with SEO is you could have a crap product, a crap website and crap customer service, but if you got Jill Whalen on the payroll, you'll be no.1 in the SE's.

Now is that the SE's fault, The SEO's fault, or just the way it is, like it or lump it?

At the end of the day TV and other traditional and very exspensive advertising chanels were only ever available to the elite few, with the advent of the internet , now everyone wants a slice of the action!

#28 Jill

Jill

    Recovering SEO

  • Admin
  • 32,967 posts

Posted 12 June 2009 - 10:37 AM

QUOTE
So we should just ignore anything G! or Matt Cutts says and do what we know works?


Exactly! That's what I've been trying to tell people for years.

QUOTE
Bit dangerous isn't it, could inadvertantly do 'black hat' , and we wouldn't want that!


No. Not at all. If you're doing stuff that makes your site better for your users while also keeping the search engines in mind, stuff that will bring you more targeted traffic, be it on page stuff or off, how can you inadvertently do something black hat?

There were no "guidelines" in the '90s. And it's why I still say today that you don't ever have to read the search engine guidelines today. Do good stuff, don't try to trick or deceive and you'd be hard pressed to do anything that would get your penalized by mistake.

#29 Randy

Randy

    Convert Me!

  • Moderator
  • 17,540 posts

Posted 16 June 2009 - 10:10 AM

To bring this around full circle, Matt Cutts posted the details of nofollow and PR sculpting on his blog yesterday.

Notice how many times he says it's not necessary or even recommended. Hopefully that'll be the last straw to convince folks to forget about this whole subject and build their internal navigation in a way that works best for real users.

#30 Jill

Jill

    Recovering SEO

  • Admin
  • 32,967 posts

Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:54 AM

QUOTE(Matt Cutts)
At first, we figured that site owners or people running tests would notice, but they didn’t. In retrospect, we’ve changed other, larger aspects of how we look at links and people didn’t notice that either, so perhaps that shouldn’t have been such a surprise.


Which shows what a non-effect it had to begin with, and also how poorly the people who tried PR sculpting actually measured their success with it. (Or if that's even possible.)




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

SPAM FREE FORUM!
 
If you are just registering to spam,
don't bother. You will be wasting your
time as your spam will never see the
light of day!