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View Poll Results: Who Blog Comment Links Be Counted As Votes In Google's Eyes?

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  • Yes, Blog comment links are valuable in determining the quality of a site

    1 33.33%
  • No, blog comment links are not useful in determining the quality of a site

    2 66.67%
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Should Google Count Blog Comment Links As "Votes"

    Assuming we forget about spam and all that sort of thing, is there any good reason that Google should count the link to your site from blog comments you post as a "vote"?

    When I say "vote", I mean:

    Should this link count toward the ways that Google determines the quality of a site? Does a site with more blog post comments with X anchor text have any legitmate reason to rank higher for that anchor text?

    ------

    My vote is "no".

    If blog comment links were counted as real votes by Google, they would do little more than allow a user to vote for himself for whatever anchor text he felt like voting for as many times as he would like.

    Granted, it does take time and energy to post a blog comment, but what does "time" or "energy" in blog posts have to do with a site being most relevant and most likely to be what a person searching for "X" is looking for?

    A person who votes for himself is worthless in my "election" and, at best, a person should only be allowed to vote for himself once.

    Brandon
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  2. #2
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    It's a non-issue. Forums have been around almost as long as links, and forums have had signatures almost as long as that. Yet the millions of signatures don't seem to phase the search engines' algorithms. Google doesn't need to decide whether to count blog comments as votes.. they've got plenty of algorithms to handle discounting links they don't think are valuable already.

  3. #3
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I like to think in terms of overall link quality.
    If I look at all the links pointing to your site, what am going to find?
    Often, the story is an open book. Nothing wrong with blog links, but if you are using this as some automated "seo technique" is surely not the way to go.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I agree with both of you. This was more of a "think like a search engine" exercise "for fun" kind of thing, though.

    Brandon
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  5. #5
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Let's take that point of view then. If I were a visionary in charge of coming up with these kinds of rules for a search engine, I wouldn't impose something as simple as "ignore blog comments". Some links in blog comments might be worth taking note of, while others aren't.

    For example, on a technology blog writing about the new iPod models, someone might write up a comment comparing their feature set to the new Zunes. They might link to Engadget's post where they created a feature comparison chart between the two music players. The comment is on topic with the post, the text around the link will be contextually related to both the post and the site being linked to, and the site being linked to will have content contextually related to the blog post and comment the link was made in. This is a good link. It helps people reading the one article find related information on a quality site. This link should be counted and its context help define Engadget's post in the eyes of the search engine, as well as "vote" for it as a good resource on the topic gleaned from that context informaton.

    Then there are the "bad" links. A spammer has written in the comments of 6 blogs! They're technology blogs as well, but he's linked his name on these comments to a site about "making money" with some type of membership program. My search engine would be able to tell this is a "bad" link. It can tell because the content of the page doesn't match what his comments were talking about. And they don't match the topic my search engine thinks the blog was about either. I probably even have a notion of what the commentor's site is about from other places he has links, their anchor text and context. If they're all different, I know something fishy is going on and I'm not going to rank him well for his topic anyway. The places linking to him aren't about money-making programs, and his links aren't surrounded by text about money-making programs. I don't give them the same weight I gave the link to Engadget about Zune.

    Plus, my ranking algorithm isn't about the pure number of links. It may use a link-based weight in determining a subset of the index to return that match a query. But I then rerank those results by the weight of links pointing to each page from pages about the topic the searcher is looking for. These comment links a site may have from off-topic blogs don't factor into that kind of a reranking. And if I also tone down the value of links with the same anchor text, or that all appear with the same kind of text around them, and those that occur in clusters on pages as likely 'sponsor' or 'partner' links... suddenly the 'making money' site has little chance of ranking very well.

    Meanwhile, none of these "filters" touch sites with a variety of links. Links with different anchor text, on many sites that are topically similar, and in the context of words relating to the page's topics. No, these make it through, because they're the natural pattern. The pattern of people deciding on their own to link to a site. Something that's difficult to fake or to buy out.

    When you define "good" and "bad" in terms of context, it doesn't matter what type of page you're looking at. You don't need extra rules for blogs or forums or whatever the latest thing is... twittering? That's just second-guessing yourself.

    That's how I'd think as a search engine...

  6. #6
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    I'd say that you pretty much nailed it Dan.

    I think that you are one of two people I have seen that seems to truly understand what is going on here.

    I have a question for you then. Why do most people not get this, even after they have been told? I mean, this really isn't rock science here. This is information and ideas from 2003 or 2004.

    Now, back then, google wasn't cracking the whip like they are on the link filtering, but now that they are...why aren't people taking note and adjusting their link strategies?

    In fact, since we started our textlinkcenter marketplace and have done some discussion on the forums, we have been completely flogged for posts like yours above. Many just don't get it.

    Is it going to be another 3 years before people come to understand what a true quality link is? Do they understand now, but find it easier to bash the ideas because they will have to adapt? It's easier to just say bullschmidt than it is to adjust your thinking and actions I guess.
    Buying Links for SEO? Better watch this!
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  7. #7
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    I didn't vote because I agree with Dan. Sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't. I don't think signature links anywhere are very effective for SEO. If they were, I would have over 3000 backlinks from SitePoint alone... and honestly, I would rather get my backlinks from sites that are relevant to my business. Even though SP is relevant, I would think that me linking to my own site just wouldn't count. What I think might count is if somebody else links to one of my articles or sites as a part of an answer to a relevant question.

    I think it maybe works the same way with blog comments. If you put a link in a comment that is relevant to the topic, it counts. Signature links and irrelevant links don't count because... well, because they're irrlevant.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict
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    Most blogging software automatically inserts rel="nofollow" attributes into hyperlinks in comments, so its not worth the effort, this this doesn't stop idiots with automated software attempting to use it spam blogs, hence the need for CAPTCHA.
    David Parkes
    Nuclear Internet - Windows Web Hosting
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