Several times in the last few months I have run into the following scenario… I see a website that is ranking higher than me for a certain search term. When I analyze their backlinks I find they only have a few decent backlinks, and many backlinks from Yahoo Answers. These links are always in the answers to the question that was asked on Yahoo Answers, and the links always include the “nofollow” tag. Yahoo Answers includes the “nofollow” tag on all outoing links in their questions and answers.
According to Google no PR is passed when the “nofollow” tag is used.
How does Google handle nofollowed links?
We don’t follow them. This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links. Essentially, using nofollow causes us to drop the target links from our overall graph of the web.
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.
Could there be exceptions? If you’re Google and your goal is to provide the most relevant results, then you know that Yahoo Answers is going to be a quality source of reputable links. The same goes for Wikipedia, a human edited and highly credible (for the most part) set of links related to a certain topic.
It wouldn’t be hard at all for Google to make an exception in their algorithm to count “nofollow” tags from certain authority sites. In fact, when it comes to Yahoo Answers they could even count only the links in the winning answers. This would definitely increase their search results relevancy as those winning answers would usually be very high quality sites that are related to the question.
So I set out to see what other information there was about this topic and I found I wasn’t the only one that seems to think there is some incongruity when it comes to what Google says and what they do when it comes to nofollow links.
Wikipedia had an interesting bit…
Google states that their engine takes “nofollow” literally and does not “follow” the link at all. However, experiments conducted by SEOs show conflicting results. These studies reveal that Google does follow the link, but does not index the linked-to page, unless it was in Google’s index already for other reasons (such as other, non-nofollow links that point to the page).
I also found this very interesting blog post where someone also notices a conflict between what Google says about “nofollow” and what it they really do.
Only testing will tell if my suspicion about Yahoo Answers and the “nofollow” tag is true. Until then I’m never going to assume what anyone tells me is the truth without putting rational thought and experience through my own testing into it. Especially when it comes to SEO.
What do you think? Is this theory off the mark or have you experienced inconsistency with the nofollow tag also?
Ijust watched an extraordinary film called Man on Wire. If you haven’t seen it you really should. It’s about a man that walks across a tightrope between the two World Trade Center towers! It’s a movie about passion, dreams, and pushing life to the edge.
Not many of us are as big a risk taker as Philippe Petit, the man who performed the feat. However, we can still implement the lessons he shares in the movie in our own lives and marketing. You see, so many times I talk with people that are too afraid to take even the smallest risks online. They’re practically paralyzed in their marketing efforts because they’re afraid of what Google might do to their rankings, that their landing pages might get slapped, or they may risk losing sales. However, it’s the people that push the envelope a little further and aren’t afraid to take larger risks that end up with the larger rewards.
Frank McKinney calls this risk taking “exercising your risk threshold muscle”. If you don’t know of Frank, he builds some of the world’s finest and most opulent mansions ever built all on spec! Meaning he doesn’t have a buyer when he builds them. Talk about risk!
Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a comfortable rut, and it’s definitely easier to take bigger risks if you have nothing to lose. Yet, if you really want to push things, to really see what’s possible with your marketing and your business you have to be willing to walk the wire to some degree.
What risks could you take in your business that could really pay off for you? Are you holding off spending more money on getting help or purchasing more content for your website? Have you been holding back on implementing some split-testing because you’re afraid you might lose sales?
Whatever your personal risks are ask yourself, what would happen if I took these risks and succeed? You can’t find out if you don’t take the risk.
Being that it’s Labor Day in the US today many of us will find we suddenly have some extra time on our hands. No need to waste the entire day, so why not spend a little time doing something that’s of critical importance: backing up your PC! If you don’t have an automated system for backing up, perhaps you could take time today to set one up. If you have nothing at all to backup on, then go to the store, get a backup drive and start. Remember, it’s not a matter IF your computer is going to crash, it’s a question of WHEN.
I currently use a few backup methods. I backup everything to an internal hard drive every night at 3am, I have an external USB drive that I backup to once every few weeks, and today I’m looking at setting up with Mozy for online/offsite backup.
The program I use and absolutely love for automatic backups is GoodSync, (created by the people who make RoboForm). It’s a really nice program that can remember several different types of backups and syncs. I also use it to sync certain files to my laptop and my USB thumb drive.
Whether you’re off for Labor Day or not, I hope you take some time to protect your hard work and backup your PC.
Yesterday I received a call from Matt, he’s the marketing director with Trialpay. Coincidentally I had just come across Trialpay about 5 days earlier when I went to purchase Linkman, a software for bookmarking websites that I use.
TrialPay works by offering customers an alternative to paying for your product directly. Instead, customers can register for one of many different offers that Trialpay has and then get your software product for free. Trialpay works with many large companies (Ebay, Gap, McAfee) and offers include various credit cards, music downloads, movie rentals, etc. When the customer signs up for an offer, let’s say they decide to join BlockBuster movie rental service, you get paid an amount from BlockBuster, and in turn the customer gets to download your product.
It’s actually pretty ingenious if you think about it. It’s like letting your customer pay for your product by buying something else through an affiliate link that pays you a commission. It’s a win-win, you get paid, and the customer gets more bang for their buck.
Trialpay has a case study on their site with the company Lavasoft (makers of Ad-Aware). Using TrialPay they made an additional 5000 sales a month!
I’m not going to go in-depth about all the ins and outs of TrialPay, but the amount you make as a vendor varies depending on the offer, and you can offer two options to your customers; Trialpay and your own merchant, and you can still do affiliate tracking if you want.
Matt did mention that this service works best for products that are under or around $50, and you need to have a digital product, software is ideal, and any kind of trialware is perfect for this service.
I’m currently working on a software program and will definitely be testing this one out.
When I signed up for HackerSafe they told me that their tests proved it increased conversions and they touted to me how recognized the brand name ‘HackerSafe’ was. It was recognized worldwide and a sign of trust and security that gave your site visitors and customers extra comfort when doing business with them and helped overcome buyer skepticism.
Hard to believe it was that strong of a brand. Especially since I went to one of my sites today and apparently they have suddenly changed ALL the HackerSafe “trusted and recognized” logos to ‘McAfee Secure’ logos. I guess all the credibility wasn’t worth keeping. It also wasn’t worth telling their customers about ahead of time either. I pay $100 a month for their .gif image on two of my websites, would have been nice to know ahead of time along with justification of the switch.
I read several articles about the HackerSafe logo where split testing from 3rd parties showed a slight increase in sales when the HackerSafe logo was used vs. not using it. Now, I’m really overpaying for it I feel, although I will have to do my own split-testing to see if it’s making any difference. Only time will tell.
Just makes you wonder how strong a brand really is or how together a company is when their product and brand can simply be replaced without even notifying paying customers about the switch. Like I wasn’t going to notice or care. Apparently they are banking on McAfee being a bigger brand name, let’s hope they’re right.
Are you paying for HackerSafe logos? How do you feel about the switch? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
I‘ve been working on podcast that I’m about to release on this site and in the process found some great sources for adding music to your own podcasts. If you plan on doing a professional podcast and you’re running an actual business then you don’t want to just copy some song off iTunes and throw it into your podcast, not only is it illegal, but it could get you in trouble down the road. You want to make sure that you have the rights to use the music or that it’s royalty free music.
Here’s some good sources I came across in my search…
Opuzz.com – Purchase 10-second music clips for as little as $4.99
I’ve been keeping this under wraps for a while, but it’s grown a bit out of control now. So I’m officially declaring that I’ll be running for president in 2008. Watch the video below for a story my local television station did on me.
This is actually a very cool concept, and very interesting in terms of viral marketing, and Internet marketing in general. It seems the lines are really blurring with what you can do online dynamically with video. With YouTube’s new inteartive buttons in their videos, and videos like this one where you can insert dynamic text I think we’re on the verge of seeing a lot more when it comes to interactive video.
So I recently upgraded to Firefox 3. If you don’t know, Firefox 3 is the most recent upgrade to the Firefox browser, and just recently set a new Guinness World Record for most downloads in 24 hours, over 8.3 million. If you aren’t using Firefox I highly recommend you check it out, it’s highly configurable and there are many free add-ons available that allow you to customize, tweak, and fit the browser just the way you want to use it.
I love Firefox and have been using it for quite some time, however I can’t say I’m impressed or unimpressed with Firefox 3. There are many improvements and improved memory performance, but overall I haven’t seen much difference in the way I use it vs. the way I used Firefox 2. I did however have to make some additional customizations to fit the way I use it and make my Firefox 3 look and act a little bit more like the old Firefox.
Here’s a few tweaks and hacks I did, in addition a list of all the add-ons I use and why I use them.
Customizing the AwesomeBar (Location Bar). The new ‘Awesome Bar’ as it’s called was hardly awesome for me. Especially with the two icons at the right, RSS, and Bookmark icon. The problem is, you can’t easily get rid of them. If I want to subscribe to an RSS feed I will find the link on the site, it’s something I don’t do often anyway. I don’t use Firefox Bookmarks, so that icon is completely worthless to me. So here are the resources and add-ons I used to get the awesomebar the way I wanted it.
First, make the ‘awesomebar’ look and act like the Firefox 2 location bar, use this add-on.
ChromEdit Plus – This is a great tool and I used it to implement the customizations to remove the RSS and Bookmark Icons from the location bar. You can also use it for additional advanced hacks.
Download Statusbar – For me downloading with Firefox is much too complicated and requires too many steps, there’s no point in opening a new window, clearing out the downloads from it, etc. etc. This add on gets rid of all those steps and makes downloading easy, convenient, and customizable.
IE Tab – This is a must have, I HATE having to use IE for sites that only use IE, like movie watching on Netflix, or online QuickBooks. Use this plugin and you can use IE inside a Tab, just like it’s Firefox.
Navigational Sounds – Well, one thing I always missed about IE was the auditory cue that something was actually clicked on, without that sometimes you don’t know if you’ve actually clicked or not. This addon makes that click sound for Firefox.
New Tab Homepage – I don’t know why Firefox doesn’t have this as a standard option, however that’s the nice thing about Firefox and add-ons. Now every time you open a new tab your home page will be loaded. I use my custom homepage with all kinds of links on it, so this is a very important add-on for me.
ReloadEvery – This nifty little add-on will refresh a page at set intervals. I like to use it to keep an eye on my stats sometimes if I’m doing a special promotion or something.
Screen grab! – If you ever want to grab website screenshots then this is the tool to use, you can even grab long, full-page screenshots of an entire website.
There you have it, those are the add-ons I use to help make my browsing easier, faster, and more productive. There’s also an add-on called disable menu that I liked, it would remove the File menu at the top of the browser to save screen real-estate, right now it doesn’t work for Firefox3, hopefully it will soon.