Saturday, June 03, 2006

Link Building: Are Bloggers A Bunch of Morons?

In the first week of my link building class (Flash video), I go over a spectrum of "link types," based on the idea that search engines really want to see natural links of pure love, those that are created by web authors who really like the web resource (site, page) they're linking to.

There's another type of link, though, that probably counts for just as much in boosting the authority of a web site, natural links of pure hate. It's just possible that these are actually easier to get.

When a blogger cleverly links to Microsoft's web site with words like "evil empire" in the text of the link, they think they're sticking it to the man, but they're actually passing link love to the man. Which makes it easier for Microsoft to put more pages into search results... and still hasn't made Microsoft the #1 result for 'evil empire.'

When right-wing loons link to Michael Moore's web site with "miserable failure" in the link, they're actually helping Mr. Moore's cause by passing PageRank to his web site. Which makes it easier for him to spread the word about just how nasty US elections actually are and how the greatest losses in the Iraq war are felt by ordinary Iraqi civilians.

But I digress... these are just a couple examples of bloggers helping their enemies in search engine rankings. I could go on for days. Link condoms, anyone? Or are all bloggers just a bunch of morons? Is the blogosphere full of idiots? It's possible...


At 11:07 AM, patung said...

Certainly plenty of idiots, yes. But who cares, why should bloggers have to worry about things like this? It's a small thing.

At 2:53 AM, Valeriu Popescu said...

Hi Dan,

Well, it's a tough post.

I do blog and use for the moment. I also use, sometime, the nofollow attribute.

But no one told me I'm a moron or idiot. I came offen to your blog because I found it interesting.

But now... isn't tooooooooo much for a single post?

Where's your impartiality here... as a business people, of course?


At 6:22 AM, Dan Thies said...

Maybe we have a language/cultural barrier in the way of understanding, Valeriu?

My point isn't that all bloggers are idiots, which is of course not the case...

It just seems that so many have heard about link bombing yet don't understand that they're actually doing the opposite of what they intend.

For any right wing loons who are excessively angry (or left wing loons who are excessively happy) about this post:
Just link to this blog with the words "miserable failure," and we can all go home happy.

At 1:50 PM, Avalanche Internet Marketing said...

The title should be "Link Building: Check out my Great Link Bait!" : ) Seriously though, good point Dan.

At 2:12 PM, Dan Thies said...

LOL... it probably would be great link bait if anyone read my blog. :D

At 7:43 PM, Valeriu Popescu said...

"... if anyone read my blog."

Or if anyone will continue to read it...

At 9:15 PM, Dan Thies said...

Different opinions are a good thing, Valeriu. I hope you'll keep sharing yours, but that's up to you.

I definitely won't stop sharing my own thoughts on my own blog; even though some may misunderstand, that's what comments are for.

Impartiality? No, objectivity.

At 9:35 AM, Cking said...

Hello, blogs do have a fair share of morons, and they do not see what they are doing when they link to a site in that manner, but seriously who actually goes to a search engine and looks for "miserable failure", or "evil empire"? I know i don't.

At 7:11 AM, Valeriu Popescu said...

Hey Dan,

Do we have a language/cultural barrier ? I don't think so...

Actually, I'm teasing you again.

And I still like to come here and read your posts!

BTW, speaking of links and your last post about Big Daddy... how do you see the future of selling links on my site?

Should I do this for an extra-profits and try to keep my excellent SERP's?


At 8:15 AM, Dan Thies said...

I wouldn't recommend selling text link ads (without nofollow) on a site you care about in the long run, especially if you don't exercise any editorial control.

Rand Fishkin over at SEOMoz dot org was linking to (selling an ad to) a site that appeared to be offering information on illegal tax evasion schemes. This is the sort of thing that would stop someone like me from linking to his site and start spelling the YOO ARR ELL. It could also very easily create long term trust issues with search engines.

The whole nofollow thing *is* a mess, and Google definitely *did* screw up by trying to twist it to fit paid advertising, but let's not lose sight of the basic truth.

Search engines *must* find a way to filter out more forms of link manipulation if they want the organic results to remain "better" than the paid listings. They must deal with these issues, one way or another... and it's not an easy problem to solve.

Google's attempt to give webmasters an option (other than having all links filtered) with nofollow may have been flawed, but it's a lot nicer than just slapping a filter on your links.

In the past, we could expect the baby to be tossed out with the bathwater. Now Google is offering us a "bathwater" tag to slap on our paid links, we complain, but when I compare this to how they used to operate, I have to see it as an improvement.

At 10:12 AM, Valeriu Popescu said...


Thanks for the tips. I get the idea here.



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