Spam is a poison that in different ways (and in different names) affects many things. Matt, you and your guys do a great job in trying to keep it at bay. But, as mentioned before, with that role and power, you set the rules for the web in many ways. As I have said before even though the JavaScript link change is not (in Danny’s words) backward compatible, it is understandable. I will maintain that the PageRank sculpting thing is not the same.
The numbers didn’t quite sit right with me because there didn’t seem to be enough juicy inbound links to the winning page. Then I noticed that two key links were missing from the 10 node chart with the PageRank metrics on it when compared to the previous chart without the metrics. The two missing links are the two coming from node 2 to node 1. Suddenly it all made sense again and it was obvious why that page won.
If you’re a blogger (or a blog reader), you’re painfully familiar with people who try to raise their own websites’ search engine rankings by submitting linked blog comments like “Visit my discount pharmaceuticals site.” This is called comment spam, we don’t like it either, and we’ve been testing a new tag that blocks it. From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel=“nofollow”) on hyperlinks, those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results.
It’s hard to believe that the Internet is now multiple decades old. Affiliate marketing has been around since the earliest days of online marketing. It’s a great solution for businesses that are risk-averse or don’t have the budget to spend on upfront marketing costs. Use affiliate marketing to build a new revenue stream for your ecommerce or B2B business.
Matt, I’ve been a firm believer of the thought that webmasters shouldn’t really bother too much about the calculations that Google would do while spotting external links on a site. Leave that to Google. You write the content and if you find relevant resources, link to it. Why worry over PR ? In case you’re so sure about the linked site to be “kinda spammy” then nofollow it. That’s it.

“NOTE: You may be curious what your site’s or your competitor’s PR score is. But Google no longer reveals the PageRank score for websites. It used to display at the top of web browsers right in the Google Toolbar, but no more. And PR data is no longer available to developers through APIs, either. Even though it’s now hidden from public view, however, PageRank remains an important ingredient in Google’s secret ranking algorithms.”
What are backlinks doing for your SEO strategy? Well, Google considers over 200 SEO ranking factors when calculating where a page should rank, but we know that backlinks are one of the top three (the other two are content and RankBrain, Google’s AI). So while you should always focus on creating high-quality content, link-building is also an important factor in ranking your pages well on Google.
I compare the latest Google search results to this: Mcdonalds is the most popular and is #1 in hamburgers… they dont taste that great but people still go there. BUT I bet you know a good burger joint down the road from Google that makes awesome burgers, 10X better than Mcdonalds, but “we” can not find that place because he does not have the resources or budget to market his burgers effectively.
Ask for a technical and search audit for your site to learn what they think needs to be done, why, and what the expected outcome should be. You'll probably have to pay for this. You will probably have to give them read-only access to your site on Search Console. (At this stage, don't grant them write access.) Your prospective SEO should be able to give you realistic estimates of improvement, and an estimate of the work involved. If they guarantee you that their changes will give you first place in search results, find someone else.
SEO is an effective tool for improving the volume and quality of traffic to your website. Visitors are more likely to click on free organic listings than on paid listings. Our SEO strategies apply only the best and most current practices that focus on the use of great content development, content marketing, social media. All of these strategies combined result in the most effective use of best practices that drive long term ROI. 

Black hat SEO attempts to improve rankings in ways that are disapproved of by the search engines, or involve deception. One black hat technique uses text that is hidden, either as text colored similar to the background, in an invisible div, or positioned off screen. Another method gives a different page depending on whether the page is being requested by a human visitor or a search engine, a technique known as cloaking. Another category sometimes used is grey hat SEO. This is in between black hat and white hat approaches, where the methods employed avoid the site being penalized, but do not act in producing the best content for users. Grey hat SEO is entirely focused on improving search engine rankings.
All in all, PageRank sculpting (or whatever we should call it) didn’t really rule my world. But, I did think that it was a totally legitimate method to use. Now that we know the ‘weight’ leaks, this will put a totally new (and more damaging) spin on things. Could we not have just left the ‘weight’ with the parent page? This is what I thought would happen most of the time anyway.
You may not want certain pages of your site crawled because they might not be useful to users if found in a search engine's search results. If you do want to prevent search engines from crawling your pages, Google Search Console has a friendly robots.txt generator to help you create this file. Note that if your site uses subdomains and you wish to have certain pages not crawled on a particular subdomain, you'll have to create a separate robots.txt file for that subdomain. For more information on robots.txt, we suggest this Webmaster Help Center guide on using robots.txt files13.
One of the consequences of the PageRank algorithm and its further manipulation has been the situation when backlinks (as well as link-building) have been usually considered black-hat SEO. Thus, not only Google has been combating the consequences of its own child's tricks, but also mega-sites, like Wikipedia, The Next Web, Forbes, and many others who automatically nofollow all the outgoing links. It means fewer and fewer PageRank votes. What is then going to help search engines rank pages in terms of their safety and relevance?
Another example when the “nofollow" attribute can come handy are widget links. If you are using a third party's widget to enrich the experience of your site and engage users, check if it contains any links that you did not intend to place on your site along with the widget. Some widgets may add links to your site which are not your editorial choice and contain anchor text that you as a webmaster may not control. If removing such unwanted links from the widget is not possible, you can always disable them with “nofollow" attribute. If you create a widget for functionality or content that you provide, make sure to include the nofollow on links in the default code snippet.
However, some of the world's top-earning blogs gross millions of dollars per month on autopilot. It's a great source of passive income and if you know what you're doing, you could earn a substantial living from it. You don't need millions of visitors per month to rake in the cash, but you do need to connect with your audience and have clarity in your voice.
Thanks for the clarification, Matt. We were just wondering today when we would hear from you on the matter since it had been a couple of weeks since SMX. I think we’d all be interested to know the extent to which linking to “trusted sites,” helps PageRank. Does it really mitigate the losses incurred by increasing the number of links? I ask because it seems pretty conclusive that the total number of outbound links is now the deciding metric for passing PageRank and not the number of DoFollow links. Any thoughts from you or others?
Danny, I was on the panel where Matt suggested that and I point blank asked on stage what happened when folks starting abusing the tactic and Google changed their mind if you recall (at the time, I’d seen some of the things being done I knew Google would clarify as abuse and was still a nofollow unenthusiast s a result at that time). And Matt dismissed it. So, I think you can take home two important things from that – 1. SEO tactics can always change regardless of who first endorses them and 2. Not everything Matt says is etched in stone. <3 ya Matt.
From a customer experience perspective, we currently have three duplicate links to the same URL i.e. i.e. ????.com/abcde These links are helpful for the visitor to locate relevant pages on our website. However, my question is; does Google count all three of these links and pass all the value, or does Google only transfer the weight from one of these links. If it only transfers value from one of these links, does the link juice disappear from the two other links to the same page, or have these links never been given any value?
The biggest problem that most people have when trying to learn anything to do with driving more traffic to their website or boosting their visibility across a variety of online mediums, is that they try to do the least amount of work for the greatest return. They cut corners and they take shortcuts. Because of that, they fail. Today, if you're serious about marketing anything on the web, you have to gain Google's trust.

Brian, you are such an inspiration. I wonder how do you get all these hacks and then publish them for all of us. I have been reading your stuff from quite a time now, but I have a problem. Every time I read something you post I feel overwhelmed but I haven’t been really able to generate any fruitful results on any of my sites. I just don’t know where to start. Imagine I don’t even have an email list.
1. Apparently, external linking of any kind bleeds PR from the page. Following or nofollowing becomes a function of whether you want that lost PR to benefit the other site. Since nofollow has ceased to provide the benefit of retaining pagerank, the only reason to use it at all is Google Might Think This Link Is Paid. Conclusion: Google is disincentivizing external links of any kind.
However, some of the world's top-earning blogs gross millions of dollars per month on autopilot. It's a great source of passive income and if you know what you're doing, you could earn a substantial living from it. You don't need millions of visitors per month to rake in the cash, but you do need to connect with your audience and have clarity in your voice.
Why do so many people spend so much time researching SEO and page rank? Its really not that hard to figure out, (I am speaking in a nice tone by the way =) – all you should need to be focusing on is advertising and building your website in a manner that is ethical, operational and practical for the content and industry that your website is in/about. If you are not up-to-something, then google will know it, and they will rank you accordingly. If you spend so much time trying to figure out how to get to the top, I bet you google spends triple that time figuring out how to figure out how your trying to get to the top. So and and so forth…and your not going to win. Have good content not copied, stay away from to many out bound links especially affiliates, post your backlinks at places that have something to do with your site, etc etc… Is it an American thing, I don’t seem to see it as bad in other places of the world, that is “always trying to figure out an easy way, a quick fix, a way to not have to put in the effort…” anyway… Thanks for letting me vent. Please not nasty replies. Keep it to your self = )
The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Although social media and other types of traffic can generate visits to your website, search engines are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users. This is true whether your site provides content, services, products, information, or just about anything else.
Adjusting how Google treats nofollows is clearly a major shift (as the frenzy in the SEO community has demonstrated). So, if Google were to adjust how they treat nofollows they would need to phase it in gradually. I believe this latest (whether in 2008 or 2009) change is simply a move in the direction of greater changes to come regarding nofollow. It is the logical first step.

Great article and writing in general. My company just published a 5,000 word Keyword targeting best practices guide for PPC and SEO, and we linked to your article “10 Reasons You Should Use Google Trends for More Than Just Keyword Research”. http://vabulous.com/keyword-research-targeting-for-ppc-and-seo-guide/ I would love if you checked it out and possibly shared it if you like it.
Hi Matt, I have a question about PR: N/A. With the recent update I found many sites including mine went from PR: 3 to PR: N/A. I Googled for Site:mydomain.com to find it its banned, but I found its not banned, I posted this question on Google Webmaster forum and couple of other places but I didn’t get any help to fix it. I don’t know whom to ask, or how to figure this out. Could you please help me out please?
I really think Google keeps it’s enemies sweet and close, all the while gathering info on ALL SEO tactics, so they can compare and discount them where warranted. Put yourself in Google’s shoes. It relies on returning the most trustworthy and relevant pages in the SERPs for any given search term. That IS the all important foundations of the Google empire. IF that can be artificially manufactured by SEO and money, Google has lost, not only the battle, but the war.
I started taking action right away on the “Best Of” Blog Posts” approach… I found some great blogs and left a relevant and useful comment. The first impression, sins a lot of the blogs see my as the competition it is not easy to get past the moderator. I made 6 or 7 comments the first day and will update this comment after I have a good number of post to measure results…
I always like hearing a new idea for beefing up the number of backlinks to a website. The fact is, creating backlinks is hard work. There’s always that urge to look for a better way to do things. Just keep in mind that Google is always on the lookout for anyone who might be trying to “game” the system. Google’s algorithm, especially, looks closely at how relative the content on both sites appears to be. If there’s a close match, it’s a good link. If not, the backlink may appear to be a little suspect!

In the 2000s, with more and more Internet users and the birth of iPhone, customers started searching products and making decisions about their needs online first, instead of consulting a salesperson, which created a new problem for the marketing department of a company. In addition, a survey in 2000 in the United Kingdom found that most retailers had not registered their own domain address.[12] These problems made marketers find the digital ways for market development.
There’s a misconception that creating an infographic is expensive; that's not always the case. Figure on an average price between $150 and $300. Assuming you may earn 10 backlinks per infographic, you'll be paying $15 per link. For five backlinks, the price will be $30 per link. That’s very cheap for backlinks earned through webmaster moderation. And if your infographic goes viral. you win even more.
In the page, the text “Post Modern Marketing” is a link that points to the homepage of our website, www.postmm.com. That link is an outgoing link for Forbes, but for our website it is an incoming link, or backlink. Usually, the links are styled differently than the rest of the page text, for easy identification. Often they'll be a different color, underlined, or accompany an icon - all these indicate that if you click, you can visit the page the text is referencing.
Also, backlinks are important for the end user. With an end user, backlinks connect searchers with information that is similar to what is being written on other resources. An example of this happens when an end user is reading a page that discusses “how child care expenses are driving women out of the workforce.” As they scroll down, they might see another link with a study on “how the rise in child care costs over the last 25 years affected women’s employment.” In this case, a backlink establishes connection points for information that a searcher may be interested in clicking. This external link creates a solid experience because it transfers the user directly to additionally desirable information if needed.

Danny Sullivan was a journalist and analyst who covered the digital and search marketing space from 1996 through 2017. He was also a cofounder of Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo and MarTech events. He retired from journalism and Third Door Media in June 2017. You can learn more about him on his personal site & blog He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Mani, could not agree more your statements. It’s no wonder the SEO industry has such a bad name and it’s 99.9% Snake Oil. Still, Google, this Blog and other “SEO” sites are partly responsible for the PR hysteria, link spam and email spam for PR. Google should also put an end to Webmasters being screwed by SEO, but placing a BIG prominet statements on their Webmaster pages along the lines of;
If you’re not getting the clicks… you may need to invest more money per click. As you might expect, there are algorithms in play for SEM. Also, the more you pay, the more likely you are to be served with high-value (in terms of potential spending with your business) clicks. Or, you may just need to re-evaluate your keyphrase – maybe it’s not as popular as the figures, provided by Google Adwords, suggest?

PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at considerably more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; for example, it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.” Using these and other factors, Google provides its views on pages’ relative importance.


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.
Yes, the more links on a page the smaller the amount of page rank it can pass on to each, but that was as it was before. With regard to what happens to the ‘missing’ page rank, it seems that if this is the case all over the Internet, and it will be, the total amount of page rank flow is reduced the same all over so you don’t need as much page rank flow to your good links to maintain relative position.
I’m in the wedding industry and recently a Wedding SEO Company began touting PageRank sculpting as the missing link for SEO. So naturally I got intrigued and searched for your response to PageRank sculpting and your answer for anything SEO-related is always the same. “Create new, fresh, and exciting content, and organically the links and your audience will grow.”
There are over 800 million websites on the Internet. The majority of web traffic is driven by Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, and the Internet users will either find you or your competitors. More than 60% of the users do not go past the first page and more than 90% users do not go pass the 3rd page. If you website cannot be found within the first 3 pages in the search engine results page (SERP), you miss out on incredible opportunities to drive free relevant traffic to your website.
Online marketing, also called digital marketing, is the process of using the web and internet-connected services to promote your business and website. There are a number of disciplines within online marketing. Some of these include social media, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, online advertising and mobile advertising.
The Nielsen Global Connected Commerce Survey conducted interviews in 26 countries to observe how consumers are using the Internet to make shopping decisions in stores and online. Online shoppers are increasingly looking to purchase internationally, with over 50% in the study who purchased online in the last six months stating they bought from an overseas retailer.[23]
Great post. I’m posting a link back to this article from our blog along with some comments. I do have a question. In your article, you post “The only place I deliberately add a nofollow is on the link to my feed, because it’s not super-helpful to have RSS/Atom feeds in web search results.” Yet when I look at this article, I noticed that the comment links are “external, nofollow”. Is there a reason for that?
In the beginning, it was rough for Sharpe. No one out there should think that it's going to be easy whatsoever. His journey took years and years to go from an absolute beginner, to a fluid and seasoned professional, able to clearly visualize and achieve his dreams, conveying his vast knowledge expertly to those hungry-minded individuals out there looking to learn how to generate a respectable income online.
PageRank was once available for the verified site maintainers through the Google Webmaster Tools interface. However, on October 15, 2009, a Google employee confirmed that the company had removed PageRank from its Webmaster Tools section, saying that "We've been telling people for a long time that they shouldn't focus on PageRank so much. Many site owners seem to think it's the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true."[67] In addition, The PageRank indicator is not available in Google's own Chrome browser.
However, if you're like the hundreds of millions of other individuals that are looking to become the next David Sharpe, there are some steps that you need to take. In my call with this renowned online marketer, I dove deep the a conversation that was submerged in the field of internet marketing, and worked to really understand what it takes to be top earner. We're not just talking about making a few hundred or thousand dollars to squeak by here; we're talking about building an automated cash machine. It's not easy by any means.
It is clear that something new should emerge to cover that unfollow emptiness. Here and there it is believed that some search engines may use so-called implied links to rank the page. Implied links are, for example, references to your brand. They usually come with a tone: positive, neutral, or negative. The tone defines the reputation of your site. This reputation serves as a ranking signal to search engines.
Collaborative Environment: A collaborative environment can be set up between the organization, the technology service provider, and the digital agencies to optimize effort, resource sharing, reusability and communications.[36] Additionally, organizations are inviting their customers to help them better understand how to service them. This source of data is called User Generated Content. Much of this is acquired via company websites where the organization invites people to share ideas that are then evaluated by other users of the site. The most popular ideas are evaluated and implemented in some form. Using this method of acquiring data and developing new products can foster the organizations relationship with their customer as well as spawn ideas that would otherwise be overlooked. UGC is low-cost advertising as it is directly from the consumers and can save advertising costs for the organisation.
Inclusion in Google's search results is free and easy; you don't even need to submit your site to Google. Google is a fully automated search engine that uses web crawlers to explore the web constantly, looking for sites to add to our index. In fact, the vast majority of sites listed in our results aren't manually submitted for inclusion, but found and added automatically when we crawl the web. Learn how Google discovers, crawls, and serves web pages.3
The biggest problem that most people have when trying to learn anything to do with driving more traffic to their website or boosting their visibility across a variety of online mediums, is that they try to do the least amount of work for the greatest return. They cut corners and they take shortcuts. Because of that, they fail. Today, if you're serious about marketing anything on the web, you have to gain Google's trust.
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 )
The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Although social media and other types of traffic can generate visits to your website, search engines are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users. This is true whether your site provides content, services, products, information, or just about anything else.
Most online marketers mistakenly attribute 100% of a sale or lead to the Last Clicked source. The main reason for this is that analytic solutions only provide last click analysis. 93% to 95% of marketing touch points are ignored when you only attribute success to the last click. That is why multi-attribution is required to properly source sales or leads.
There is much discussion in these last few months about reciprocal linking. In the last Google update, reciprocal links were one of the targets of the search engine's latest filter. Many webmasters had agreed upon reciprocal link exchanges, in order to boost their site's rankings with the sheer number of inbound links. In a link exchange, one webmaster places a link on his website that points to another webmasters website, and vice versa. Many of these links were simply not relevant, and were just discounted. So while the irrelevant inbound link was ignored, the outbound links still got counted, diluting the relevancy score of many websites. This caused a great many websites to drop off the Google map.

At IMI, we have the ability to incorporate Affiliate Marketing into any integrated digital marketing campaign in order to push product sales and drive revenue. We believe that this is just one piece of the digital puzzle however. Affiliate campaigns can incorporate many aspects of digital marketing including web design and development, display, paid search, conversion optimization, and SEO.
In an effort to manually control the flow of PageRank among pages within a website, many webmasters practice what is known as PageRank Sculpting[65]—which is the act of strategically placing the nofollow attribute on certain internal links of a website in order to funnel PageRank towards those pages the webmaster deemed most important. This tactic has been used since the inception of the nofollow attribute, but may no longer be effective since Google announced that blocking PageRank transfer with nofollow does not redirect that PageRank to other links.[66]

And my vital question about Amazon affiliate links. I think many people also wonder about it as well. I have several blogs where I solely write unique content reviews about several Amazon products, nothing more. As you know, all these links are full of tags, affiliate IDs whatsoever (bad in SEO terms). Should I nofollow them all or leave as they are?


The Nielsen Global Connected Commerce Survey conducted interviews in 26 countries to observe how consumers are using the Internet to make shopping decisions in stores and online. Online shoppers are increasingly looking to purchase internationally, with over 50% in the study who purchased online in the last six months stating they bought from an overseas retailer.[23]
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