Natural Search Blog


LinkedIn, But NoFollow Link Love

We all knew it was only a matter of time, but still secretly hoped that the honeymoon would last forever. It does appear that LinkedIn has started nofollowing public profile links…but with a strange twist.

I’ve been so heads down in client audits that I didn’t discover this until, ironically, doing another audit for another client. However, I also don’t recall seeing many blog headlines in my Netvibes, so perhaps this one has rather floated under the radar a bit. Even a quick scan in Google doesn’t turn up much beyond this post, ‘Linkedin adds rel=”Nofollow” to profile links‘ over at Kingpin SEO, which dates this change around early-mid November. Based on my recent audit schedule, would make this about right.

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Relationship Between Link Growth And Indexation

With every passing day, the number of websites and hence the number of web pages are growing at an explosive rate on the internet. This can cause a major headache to the search engines as they gear up to meet the challenge of crawling and subsequently indexing the new sites popping up everywhere in the cybersphere.

Today, when a new web site is launched, it will take a while before its pages get crawled and indexed in Google. With the increasing strain on hardware and resources due to the rapid growth of new sites, Google has become very strict in its policy of admitting sites and retaining web pages of sites in its index. It is a case of survival of the fittest in cyberspace.

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Inbound Deep Links Benefit Page Rank Distribution Sitewide

Many a time, you would have come across sites (especially the large ones) where the deeper you dig into the site hierarchy, you can see the Pagerank toolbar grayed out or having a value 0. In general, the home page is the starting point for a website and it accrues the maximum Page rank.

The entire domain’s authority and trust is reflected by this page rank value. The home page then tends to distribute this page rank to the first level (categories), the second level (sub-categories) and the third level product pages which we often refer to as link juice. In general, the first level pages tend to derive the maximum link juice from the home page. But in a site with excessive number of sub-categories and product pages (money pages), the pagerank distribution is not proportional with some gaining link juice and a large majority not gaining any.

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Link Building Tactics That Influence Search Engine Ranking Factors

Today’s post dwells on the discussion of link buillding tactics that influence search engine ranking factors in 2009. Link acquisition is a key component of the ranking algorithms. The number of external links pointing to your site and the anchor text contained therein can certainly propel your site to the top of the search results pages.

I will be discussing only the top 4 factors under each section with a mention of the value score allotted by the SEO professionals . This biennial survey by Rand Fishkin at SEOMoz picks the brains of the top 72 SEO professionals from all over the world and their collective wisdom is presented in this post.

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10 Practical Actionable SEO Tips To Boost Your Website Visibility

Today’s post covers ten practical actionable SEO techniques that can give your site a major boost and help it achieve better visibility in the major search engines. These observations are made by Whitespark, a SEOmoz member who attended the recent SEOMoz PRO Training series.

These tips are easy to implement and will suit a majority of the businesses on the web. With paid traffic getting more expensive with each passing day (and yet providing only 12% of traffic on the web), it is high time all website owners started ramping up their organic seo efforts. These tips will certainly help in improving a site’s natural search visibility which still accounts for 88% of the traffic on the web.

There are a few proprietary tools (created by SEOMoz) that are mentioned in the post. These tools do a great job of automating the mundane tasks thus saving valuable time and giving great results to help you plan your strategy. You have to be a paid PRO member to access these tools.

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Link Building Through Social Media – Is It That Difficult?

The post today deals with link building using social media. Most SEO practitioners love to use social media to build backlinks to a site. It is a powerful method and can gain numerous inbound links in a short period of time.

For this, the content has to be of high quality along the lines of linkbait and capable of going viral. It gets picked up by various social media properties and earns lot of link love. Yet, there are people who complain that they are not having success in using this technique. One of the major reasons for failure is the inability to build relationships.

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Domain Diversity – Key Metric For Higher Google Rankings

Domain diversity is an important SEO factor that is crucial for a site in order to rank well on the Google SERPs. This is achieved by the site gaining inbound links from a diverse set of domains. This is a daunting task as it is not easy to get inbound links. The best way to achieve this is for the site to contain top quality content that makes it a standout in the industry in which it operates.

Research done by the experts at SEOmoz indicated (above the 95% confidence level) that domain diversity is a key metric that helps a site achieve top rankings. The diversity here refers to the number of links coming from a variety of root domains to the site in question.
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Yellow Pages & Blog Payola

Ed Kohler, outspoken critic of YP industry, “outed” DexKnows.com for using Pay-Per-Post to increase links and associated PageRank for their site.

DexKnows.com logo

As you may know, Pay-Per-Post involves paying bloggers to write articles endorsing products, services or companies, and in this flavor it also involves using those posts to link back to the company’s site in order to help build PageRank.

The blog post is very thinly disguised payola – as Kohler points out, the blog is purportedly belonging to someone in Arkansas, while this post appears to be all oriented around providing keyworded links involving Pizza in Minneapolis through DexKnows. The blog has a large “payperpost” ad badge on it, too, and if you read through the articles, every single one seems to be engineered to sound like someone writing about random daily life incidents, but always with a couple of injected keyword links.

In context, it’s glaringly obvious that the blog is a paid posting. Kohler posts a comment below it, asking if it’s a paid post for Dex, and the author replies that she doesn’t “know who’s Dex”.

Kohler further pokes fun at Ken Clark, a yellow pages industry advocate, (more…)

Syndicate Your Articles and Blog Posts Without Getting Burned

Have you ever been really impressed with an article or a blog post you’ve read online? Did you link to the article? Or did you copy and paste the content into your own blog, blockquote it, then add your own commentary?

Syndicated content can be a nightmare for SEO, for several reasons. First, there are so many different ways to give author attribution. Some may pass link juice to the author, some may not. Many times, it’s the home page of the author’s blog or company site that receives the juice, rather than the source article. Secondly, multiple copies of the same article can result in duplicate content which, in turn, may confuse the spiders and disperse the ability for an author’s article to rank well. In my interview with Matt Cutts, I asked the famed Google engineer and head of the Webspam team at Google whether it is better to have the syndicated copies linked to the original article on the author’s site, or is it just as good if it links to the home page of the author? Matt answers…

I would recommend the linking to the original article on the author’s site. The reason is: imagine if you have written a good article and it is so nice that you have decided to syndicate it out. Well, there is a slight chance that the syndicated article could get a few links as well, and could get some PageRank. And so, whenever Google bot or Google’s crawl and indexing system see two copies of that article, a lot of the times it helps to know which one came first; which one has higher PageRank.

So if the syndicated article has a link to the original source of that article, then it is pretty much guaranteed the original home of that article will always have the higher PageRank, compared to all the syndicated copies. And that just makes it that much easier for us to do duplicate content detection and say: “You know what, this is the original article; this is the good one, so go with that.”

Sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? Well, in this case, it’s a little more than that. By intentionally linking to the author’s source article (rather than the generic home page), you are telling the bots that that is the “true” original author of the article. So, like Matt Cutts suggested, if other articles pop up elsewhere, the bots can easily determine what the “authoritative” source is, passing the authority on to the author and helping them get the credit they deserve.

For more great tips from my interview, you can listen to the audio podcast with Matt Cutts. The interview is a little over thirty minutes long.

Happy syndicating!

Flickr Starts Nofollowing

Solitary RockA couple of my colleagues, Brian Brown and Jeff Muendel, identified that Flickr has begun NOFOLLOWing hyperlinks in their photo profile pages. I’ve confirmed this and have a few more details to add. (more…)

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