Linking to a good story – Be careful

I just saw a post by Aaron Wall of SEObook.com saying “People Don’t Look Beyond the Page“. It says, “I once saw a college professor cite a page about caffiene on a low quality site about pornography, gambling, and drugs on his official profile page. Many people never look beyond the page when linking to a story.”

Call it “Good Page on Bad site Problem”

This is generally true as most of the people are not aware of backlashes of linking to bad sites. So my team asked me two questions :-

  1. How to handle it in an effective way? (I do not have time to check the whole site whether it is good or not)
  2. What happens if I want to use the bad site as a bad example, bad sites are not 100% bad they can still be good examples for bad sites :)? (I liked the question)

Here we go

  1. You need some plugins which will help you understand the site quality. You can install site advisor or SEO tool (and browse the homepage). This will let you know what others feel about this site as a whole. Still if you are not sure of what you are linking to then add “NoFollow” Tag.
  2. If you want to talk about a bad site, let the world know you are not recommending them with a nofollow tag.

In Short, link to only good sites (that you know as good) and for everything else (even for the sites which may be good but you are not aware and have no time to investigate) use NoFollow tag.

4 thoughts on “Linking to a good story – Be careful

  1. Anand

    “Still if you are not sure of what you are linking to then add “NoFollow” Tag.”

    Aji, I think that advice can prove detrimental. Everyone knows wikipedia.org, and very little people know about example.com, which is probably one of the many sites which has provided content for Wiki. Now, your advice, in the long run will lead to a situation where ‘ the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’.

    I pretty much guess Search engines do not look too much into bad WEBSITES. They probably only go till checking if the page you link to is a good or a bad page. (I say all this, though I still do not get your idea of what is a Good and what is a Bad page).

    For example, take del.icio.us. I am sure, somebody somewhere should have bookmarked all porno stuff on del.icio.us. Will that now affect my site simply because I linked to a del.icio.us tag on technology? I think not.

  2. AjiNIMC Post author

    >> the rich get richer and the poor get poorer
    You can never hide a lighting lamp in darkness. If you are good you will be recognized. Wikipedia never spent money for promotion, they were poor once now they are rich (may be), reason they decided to be remarkable. Smarter gets richer. Look at Google Vs Microsoft, many such example and I am sure history will keep repeating itself.

    >> For example, take del.icio.us. I am sure, somebody somewhere should have bookmarked all porno stuff on del.icio.us.
    Google bot is dumb, she is feed in with limited knowledge and every smart business which needs to survive keeps her happy. I am sure del.icio.us must be taking care of it else they will face the sword. See yourself http://del.icio.us/AjiNIMC, do a view source all external links are nofollow.

    Let me quote one sentence from my upcoming post on canonicalization (by Marcia) – Never confuse the bot or make her wonder, think or second-guess. She is not a mind reader, able to second-guess what the webmaster’s intentions are. ( I really liked this comment)

    >> I pretty much guess Search engines do not look too much into bad WEBSITES.
    I am afraid they do. Let me show you an example. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=pay+per+post+sweet+poison&btnG=Search my comments are ranking higher than my post. This happened even before these pages got any backlinks, now those pages have some backlinks. The overall site value matters for the page as well. I have seen it myself for many sites I work for. When they look into good sites I am sure they look into bad sites as well esp when they want to keep their searches clean. It is advisable to link to good site only else nofollow, the only reason is Google bots dumbness.

  3. Anand

    Aji,

    I am still unclear with what you call good and bad site? Do you refer to those link farms and stuff, or eve porno stuff as BAD?
    Because, Porno, in SE’s logic is just another site. Do a search for porno on Google, and you get these links at the top. So, maybe, if your point is like, ‘A site on technology, linking to another page on technology, but on a site dominated by porno (or even say, Agriculture) is a bad link’.; then i think I can agree to…

    PS: My knowledge of SEO is still rudimentary…

  4. AjiNIMC Post author

    >> I am still unclear with what you call good and bad site?
    Good or bad is an opinion than a global definition. In this case the opinion/guidelines of Google (Search Engine) is accepted as a global definition for good or bad. A site that is involved in bad practices (like spamming, hate theme, illegal content like selling drugs or banned medicine, online theft, MFA, duplicate, meaningless copy etc) is taken as Bad and any site that is not in your neighborhood is taken as irrelevant. Look at Google’s guidelines, http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769, which says, “Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or ‘bad neighborhoods’ on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.”

    Porno sites are not bad but if you link to a lot of such website then your site will become a doorway for such sites, which is not a part of safe search. Most search engines have an ‘adult’ filter that will attempt to filter out adult or pornographic stuffs, which includes links/certain words to such sites. That is the reason many sites even filter certain words with *. Most of our sites do that. Adam Lasnik of Google says, “Also, be assured that we’re not looking to penalize folks for a “bad” link here and there. Rather, our algorithms are tuned to look for patterns of “egregious” linking behavior… both on individual sites and in the aggregate.

    >> ‘A site on technology, linking to another page on technology, but on a site dominated by porno (or even say, Agriculture) is a bad link’.; then i think I can agree to…
    I have explained about porno they fall into different category. Now let me take globally accepted good sites but irrelevant to your main theme, this is a highly debatable issue. We have debated over this issue many times. I call it a difficult problem to solve as in marketing we know how diapers are closely related to beers, so defining a bad neighborhood is just not possible but you can play a little safe (as there is no big returns in this case compare to risk involved) if you are in business but for a casual site you can take higher risks for fun. You can further read http://www.webmasterworld.com/link_development/3062798.htm , http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3122835.htm , http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3101946.htm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *