Links still matter as part of the algorithmic secret sauce. The influence of a site’s link profile is plain to see in its search engine rankings, whether for better or worse, and changes in that link profile cause noticeable movement up or down the SERP. An SEO’s emphasis today should be on attracting links to quality content naturally, not building them en masse. (For more on proper link building today, see http://bit.ly/1XIm3vf )
Also given that the original reasons for implementing the ‘nofollow’ tag was to reduce comment spam (something that it really hasn’t had a great effect in combatting) – the real question I have is why did they ever take any notice of nofollow on internal links in the first place? It seems to me that in this case they made the rod for their own back.
Well, something similar happened with PageRank, a brilliant child of Google founders Larry Page (who gave his name to the child and played off the concept of a web-page) and Sergey Brin. It helped Google to become the search giant that dictates the rules for everybody else, and at the same time it created an array of complicated situations that at some point got out of hand.
If you are serious about improving web traffic to your website, we recommend you read Google Webmasters and Webmaster Guidelines. These contain the best practices to help Google (and other search engines) find, crawl, and index your website. After you have read them, you MUST try our Search Engine Optimization Tools to help you with Keyword Research, Link Building, Technical Optimization, Usability, Social Media Strategy and more.
Chris_D, great question. If you have a single product page that can have multiple urls with slightly different parameters, that’s a great time to use a rel=canonical meta tag. You can use rel=canonical for pages with session IDs in a similar fashion. What rel=canonical lets you do is say “this page X on my host is kinda of ugly or otherwise isn’t the best version of this page. Use url Y as the preferred version of my page instead.” You can read about rel=canonical at http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=139394. Bear in mind that if you can make your site work without session IDs or make it so that you don’t have multiple “aliases” for the same page, that’s even better because it solves the problem at the root.
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On-page SEO is the work you do on your own website to get a high rank in search engines. Your goal is obviously that your website will show on the first page and perhaps even among the first three search results. On-page SEO does not carry as much weight as off-page SEO in the rankings, but if you don’t get the basics right… it’s unlikely that your off-page SEO will deliver results, either.
So, for example, a short-tail keyphrase might be “Logo design”. Putting that into Google will get you an awful lot of hits. There’s a lot of competition for that phrase, and it’s not particularly useful for your business, either. There are no buying signals in the phrase – so many people will use this phrase to learn about logo design or to examine other aspects of logo design work.
But how do you get quoted in news articles? Websites such as HARO and ProfNet can help you to connect with journalists who have specific needs, and there are other tools that allow you to send interesting pitches to writers. Even monitoring Twitter for relevant conversations between journalists can yield opportunities to connect with writers working on pieces involving your industry.
You’ve launched an amazing product or service. Now what? Now, you need to get the word out. When done well, good PR can be much more effective and less expensive than advertising. Regardless of whether you want to hire a fancy agency or awesome consultant, make sure that you know what you’re doing and what types of ROI to expect. Relationships are the heart and soul of PR. This chapter will teach you how to ignore the noise and focus on substantive, measurable results.
Having a ‘keyword rich’ domain name may lead to closer scrutiny from Google. According to Moz, Google has “de-prioritized sites with keyword-rich domains that aren’t otherwise high-quality. Having a keyword in your domain can still be beneficial, but it can also lead to closer scrutiny and a possible negative ranking effect from search engines—so tread carefully.”
 Katja Mayer views PageRank as a social network as it connects differing viewpoints and thoughts in a single place. People go to PageRank for information and are flooded with citations of other authors who also have an opinion on the topic. This creates a social aspect where everything can be discussed and collected to provoke thinking. There is a social relationship that exists between PageRank and the people who use it as it is constantly adapting and changing to the shifts in modern society. Viewing the relationship between PageRank and the individual through sociometry allows for an in-depth look at the connection that results.
Should have added in my previous comment that our site has been established since 2000 and all our links have always been followable – including comment links (but all are manually edited to weed out spambots). We have never artificially cultivated backlinks but I have noticed that longstanding backlinks from established sites like government and trade organisations are changing to ‘nofollow’ (and our homepage PR has declined from 7 to 4 over the past 5 years). If webmasters of the established sites are converting to systems which automatically change links to ‘nofollow’ then soon the only followable links will be those that are paid for – and the blackhats win again.
So what happens when you have a page with “ten PageRank points” and ten outgoing links, and five of those links are nofollowed? […] Originally, the five links without nofollow would have flowed two points of PageRank each […] More than a year ago, Google changed how the PageRank flows so that the five links without nofollow would flow one point of PageRank each.
Re: Cameron’s Comment. Google transparent? Maybe. Great products for users – yes… but they operate from lofty towers. Can’t get a hold of them. Can’t contact them. They are the ONLY company in the world with zero customer support for their millions of users. Who really knows what they are doing from one month to the month in regards to ranking sites… etc.
Finally, start building links in relevant sites like business directories (especially local directories) relevant niche blogs and forums, and industry publications. Success at link building will result from a combination of good PR, smart marketing strategy, and of course, great content. Google has said that social media doesn’t impact rankings, but reaching out to social influencers can give your content traction on other channels that can be useful.
Despite this many people seem to get it wrong! In particular “Chris Ridings of www.searchenginesystems.net” has written a paper entitled “PageRank Explained: Everything you’ve always wanted to know about PageRank”, pointed to by many people, that contains a fundamental mistake early on in the explanation! Unfortunately this means some of the recommendations in the paper are not quite accurate.
Search engines want websites to have a level playing field, and look for natural links built slowly over time. While it is fairly easy to manipulate links on a web page to try to achieve a higher ranking, it is a lot harder to influence a search engine with external backlinks from other websites. This is also a reason why backlinks factor in so highly into a search engine's algorithm. Lately, however, a search engine's criteria for quality inbound links has gotten even tougher, thanks to unscrupulous webmasters trying to achieve these inbound links by deceptive or sneaky techniques, such as with hidden links, or automatically generated pages whose sole purpose is to provide inbound links to websites. These pages are called link farms, and they are not only disregarded by search engines, but linking to a link farm could get your site banned entirely.
The field is replete with terms that might confuse and perplex the average individual. What is a squeeze page? What's a sales funnel? What's a CPA? What's SEO? How do you setup a good blog to filter the right type of relevant traffic and get your offer in front of eligible users? What's a massive value post (MVP) really mean? Clearly, there are an endless array of terms, some of which you might already know or might not depending on how much you presently know about the field.
When would this be useful? If your site has a blog with public commenting turned on, links within those comments could pass your reputation to pages that you may not be comfortable vouching for. Blog comment areas on pages are highly susceptible to comment spam. Nofollowing these user-added links ensures that you're not giving your page's hard-earned reputation to a spammy site.
Search engine optimization (SEO) receives a lot of love from inexperienced marketers. It’s seen as “free marketing” in that you can handle your own SEO work (as long as you follow some rules to do so), and thus all it requires is your time to make things happen. SEO is simply what you do to your website and web pages to make them show up in “organic” (or unpaid) search results on search engines.
Imagine that you've created the definitive Web site on a subject -- we'll use skydiving as an example. Your site is so new that it's not even listed on any SERPs yet, so your first step is to submit your site to search engines like Google and Yahoo. The Web pages on your skydiving site include useful information, exciting photographs and helpful links guiding visitors to other resources. Even with the best information about skydiving on the Web, your site may not crack the top page of results on major search engines. When people search for the term "skydiving," they could end up going to inferior Web sites because yours isn't in the top results.
How does it work? In essence, you use Google Adwords (or another search engine’s equivalent – depending on the market you work in; in China, you’d be looking at Baidu, for example) to place bids on keyphrases; you write an advert based on that keyphrase; the search engine places the advert near the top of the search rankings, and you pay the amount of the bid every time someone clicks on your advert.
Internet Marketing Inc. provides integrated online marketing strategies that help companies grow. We think of ourselves as a business development consulting firm that uses interactive marketing as a tool to increase revenue and profits. Our management team has decades of combined experience in online marketing as well as graduate level education and experience in business and finance. That is why we focus on creating integrated online marketing campaigns designed to maximize your return on investment.
As they noted in their paper, pages stuffed fulled of useless keywords “often wash out any results that a user is interested in.” While we often complain when we run into spammy pages today, the issue was far worse then. In their paper they state that, “as of November 1997, only one of the top four commercial search engines finds itself (returns its own search page in response to its name in the top ten results).” That’s incredibly difficult to imagine happening now. Imagine searching for the word “Google” in that search engine, and not have it pull up www.google.com in the first page of results. And yet, that’s how bad it was 20 years ago.
In early 2005, Google implemented a new value, "nofollow", for the rel attribute of HTML link and anchor elements, so that website developers and bloggers can make links that Google will not consider for the purposes of PageRank—they are links that no longer constitute a "vote" in the PageRank system. The nofollow relationship was added in an attempt to help combat spamdexing.
At the time I was strongly advocating page rank sculting by inclusion of no follow links on “related product” links. It’s interesting to note that my proposed technique would have perhaps worked for a little while then would have lost its effectiveness. Eventualy I reached the point where my efforts delivered diminishing returns which was perhaps unavoidable.
We have a saying that “good data” is better than “big data.” Bid data is a term being thrown around a lot these days because brands and agencies alike now have the technology to collect more data and intelligence than ever before. But what does that mean for growing a business. Data is worthless without the data scientists analyzing it and creating actionable insights. We help our client partners sift through the data to gleam what matters most and what will aid them in attaining their goals.
Thanks Matt for the informative post. However I do have some questions regarding blog comments. Let say a blog post of mine have PR 10, the page has 10 links, 3 of them are my internal link to my other related post, the other 7 links are external links from blog comment. Based on your explanation, even the 7 external links are nofollow, my 3 internal link will only get 1 PR each which is still the same if the 7 external link is dofollow. Therefore there is no point of adding nofollow for the sake of keeping the PR flow within your own links. Is this correct?
For instance, the Pew Internet & American Life Project has demographic data that suggests individuals between the ages of 18 and 33 are the most likely to use mobile Internet technology like smartphones and tablets, while the “Gen-X” demographic of individuals who are in their 30’s and 40’s are far more likely to seek out information through their laptop and desktop computers.(See also Targeted Marketing)
I won’t blame MC. Google, knows what they does. These are things that webmasters need not worry about. Well, it won’t make much difference as far as I think. I don’t use no follow tags specifically – I use WP for blogging purposes and it does rest of the things for me other than writing content which I do. I think it is the content and the external links that sites point to – which should be considered. I mean, if a computer blog owner posts a really fantastic computer article about something related to computer, and also puts some links to external pages (which are really useful for the readers), then that post, should be ranked high in gooogle – And I think google does this well – So, webmasters, just concentrate on yur website/blogs etc and leave rest of the things to Big G.
Backlink is a link one website gets from another website. Backlinks make a huge impact on a website’s prominence in search engine results. This is why they are considered very useful for improving a website’s SEO ranking. Search engines calculate rankings using multiple factors to display search results. No one knows for sure how much weight search engines give to backlinks when listing results, however what we do know for certain is that they are very important.
I suppose for those people, including myself who just keep trying to our best and succeed, we just need to keep trusting that Google is doing all it can to weed out irrelevant content and produce the quality goods with changes such as this. Meanwhile the “uneducated majority” will just have to keep getting educated or get out of the game I suppose.
Also hadn’t thought about decreasing the rank value based on the spammyness of sites a page is linking into. My guess on how to do it would be determining the spammyness of individual pages based on multiple page and site factors, then some type of reverse pagerank calcuation starting with the those bad scores, then overlaying that on top of the “good” pagerank calculation as a penalty. This is another thing which would be interesting to play around with in the Nutch algorithm.
Well, to make things worse, website owners quickly realized they could exploit this weakness by resorting to “keyword stuffing,” a practice that simply involved creating websites with massive lists of keywords and making money off of the ad revenue they generated. This made search engines largely worthless, and weakened the usefulness of the Internet as a whole. How could this problem be fixed?
Site owners are using the toolbar to find “good” sites that they should get links from, regardless of the fact that link context is also important, not to mention many, many other factors that are used by Google to rank a web page. Other site owners, getting a gray PR0 toolbar for their site, immediate assume the worst, that they’ve been blacklisted.