Sitewide links, Deep links, Sponsored links, Carefully crafted anchor texts, Blogroll link lists – Well, they are not probably worth tying together, but I’m beginning to think that they have some similarity of sorts and are more junk than anything else these days, that Google might be discounting them no matter how valuable they might seem. And I have the reasons.
With the September Page Rank toolbar stats update, we’ve seen more “downgrades” than “upgrades” right ? Many popular blogs have dropped by one point, some of them even further down.
Reasons are diverse, but let’s see if we can find a pattern.
I think with the new changes being implemented, there is clearly an indication that Google is once again sealing the concept that links are not any more just links. But a lot more factors goes into deciding whether a link is actually a “vote” or not.
Age old concept I know, but I think this is becoming more prominent.
Here are some factors I can think of to help Google decide if a link is actually a “vote” or not.
- Content and nature of the site linking you
More than the page and the content on the page linking to you, it matters more about, what is the content on the website that’s linking to you. Ex:- It might be wiser to consider a news site which has more authority and “value” link to you than a fellow blogger on hisname.com
- Does the link come from your social network?
Just like Digg, I cannot think of a good reason why Google should not discount the incoming links from a “friend” of yours. A friend might be a common commentator on your blog, or a guest blogger, if he is related to you in some way, I think it’s fair for Google to consider that it’s a “favor link”. Even worse, what if Google knows who your friends are (it has the friend feed data remember?) and discounts all those links from the network ?
- Are you guys too similar ?
If your links are originating from same domains, which are too similar, won’t they be “favor” links ? Ex:- If you are a part of any Feedburner networks (like the feedburner technology bloggers network), why shouldn’t Google stop from discounting the links from all the blogs in that network?
Well, these points my sound lame, but I think there is a possibility to this concept, getting stronger as we go ahead and Google acquiring more “networks”.
If we look from Google’s perspective, it all makes sense, it only would want to take into consideration the genuine links and recommendations and not the “scratch me, I scratch you” networks that might be gaming the system.
It is also a fact that the networks and the user interactions will grow stronger, and the “favor” links will keep coming in. I can only guess, that they might only carry less value than earlier.