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Links And Nofollow


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7 replies to this topic

#1 kslnor

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 06:55 PM

My blog has a several pages that contain both information on a specific subject as well as links to several companies related to the particular subject.  For each link, I have included the rel=nofollow attribute. 

 

I do not seek-out the companies, nor do they come to me.  I do not get paid for the links.  They are strictly for information and references related to the subject.

 

Google's Webmaster Guidelines states that buying or selling links that pass PageRank is considered a link scheme, which can negatively impact a site's ranking in the search results.  Their suggestion is to add a rel="nofollow" attribute to the <a> tag to prevent PageRank from passing.

 

So this got me thinking: will the rel=nofollow tag I have attached to my links raise a red flag with Google?  I realize they may penalize me if I don't have the nofollow, assuming I am selling links to pass PageRank.  But what if they see several links with the nofollow...will they see this as selling links and penalize me? 

 

Thank you,

Kat.

 

 



#2 qwerty

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 08:54 PM

Google is fine with you selling links, as long as you nofollow them to make sure they don't pass PageRank. Not that using nofollow is really a way of saying that it's a paid link -- what you're doing demonstrates that.

 

But I don't really agree with your logic. Putting nofollow on the link will protect you from having Google conclude that you're trying to pass PR through paid links, but they're not paid links. Unless I'm misunderstanding you, these are links to pages that you think would be of value to your readers. The only reason you're considering nofollowing them is because you're worried that Google will assume the links are paid.

 

You're choosing to link to these pages for the real reason links were created. And that reason is the reason that Page and Brin chose to make links a big part of their ranking algorithm. In that sense, you're actually harming Google's efforts to make judgments about the value of these pages, and you're doing so out of fear that your actions will be misinterpreted by Google. And that's kind of a pity.


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#3 kslnor

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 09:21 AM

Thanks Qwerty.  Yes, you understood me correctly.  The links are important to my readers and I am worried Google will assume the links are paid.  On said pages, I have several paragraphs of content followed with 10 to 50 links to sites (depending on the page).

 

I wondered if I was affecting Google's efforts to properly judge the value of the pages, and to be honest I still don't know if my concern is quenched.  Nofollow to imply the links are not part of a link scheme, or allow follow to contribute to the overall reason links were created. 

 

Still stumped.



#4 Jill

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 12:57 PM

You should not nofollow them. There's no need to. Google won't penalize you for recommending links to your readers.



#5 kslnor

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 01:41 PM

How does G. determine the links are recommendations and not paid-for links ?  Is it as simple as the search engine "reading" the words leading up to the links and determining the overall context of the page?  My pages have paragraphs of content, then a statement similar to: "following are companies that offer....." and then the links. 

 

Perhaps I am over-thinking this.  Just trying to comply with the 'rules'



#6 qwerty

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 03:49 PM

For the most part, they try to determine it algorithmically. They look at the content of the page, they look at the links, they look at the anchor text of the links, and they try to figure out based on that whether the links are editorially chosen or paid ads.

 

Sometimes, a person will look at a page, decide that they're looking at paid links that aren't nofollowed, and report it to Google in the hope that Google will manually penalize the site for doing this.

 

I'm guessing that you're not linking to these pages using keyword-rich anchor text. For example, if you had a page about plumbing, and chose to link to a plumbing company called Apex Plumbing in New York, would the anchor text be "Apex Plumbing" or would you use something like "24 hour emergency plumber NYC"? Using the latter would be a pretty strong hint that you'd been paid to place that link.

 

And if your page about plumbing linked to an internet pharmacy based in Canada, that would be an even stronger hint that you were getting paid.



#7 kslnor

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Posted 13 April 2013 - 05:13 PM

Great explanation qwerty, thank you .  And you are correct, I am not using keyword rich anchor text.  I use the actual company name, and no non-subject links. 

 

Thanks for all the advice.



#8 Jill

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 09:36 AM

I think also that if the websites you're linking to in general have tons of other links that seem more of the paid variety then yours might be suspect. But if the sites you're linking to aren't doing anything like that, then there's no reason for Google to suspect that they've suddenly started buying links via your site.






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