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Don’t Do (Insert Here); It’ll Mess Up Your Blog

Posted by on Jan 29, 2009
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Time for a rant of sorts. Once again today, on another blog, I came across a statement that just made the hairs on the back of my neck rise up. Okay, it was on Dennis’ blog, a comment someone wrote on one of his topics, to whit:

remember to put nofollow in them though, keywordrank might suffer otherwize.”

Spelling errors notwithstanding, I am so tired of reading things like this in general, talk about worrying about losing keyword rank, page rank, ‘link juice’, etc. I’m not tired of hearing about it because I see it everywhere; I’m tired of reading about it because none of it is true. Rather, let’s not go out on a limb and say it’s not true; it’s not legitimate enough stuff for anyone to worry about. Yes, I like that better. But I can’t make a statement like that without following it up, so let’s take a good look at it all.

First, let’s look at that particular comment above. Keyword rank is an invalid term; I think what the writer was trying to say is that if you use keyword links and don’t make the “nofollow” that those keyword links will suffer. It’s not true. No one suffers anything from using links within their content, especially if those links help validate the keyword phrases one is hoping to use in their article. As a matter of fact, links highlighting keyword phrases are strong, even if they’re not internal links.

Second, it was a misstatement because that wasn’t the topic of Dennis’ article to begin with. I’ll just say that it was related to looking at what kind of ads might be more recommended, banner ads or text link ads within content. Since Dennis didn’t mention it, I didn’t take his question to mean paid for text links; I took it to mean having affiliate programs that might work as links within the content, such as a link to hard drives if he was talking about hard drives. He might have even been talking about some of the affiliate programs such as Kontera that add links to one’s site.

On the first point, if you add your own links to your content to take someone to a product, that won’t get you into any trouble on your blog. That’s not considered a paid link, per se; I got that from Matt Cutts blog, though I can’t tell you right now which post, as he has so many. Now, if your entire article was filled with these links every step of the way, Google might not appreciate that, but even so, that won’t get you into trouble either. They do know, however, which sites might be paying for links, and if they find those, you might get into some trouble. Or you might not; Google goes looking for overt sales links. They’re not looking for everyone, and certainly not looking at every blog in the world; there’s over 90 million blogs at this juncture. What you don’t do is flaunt paid links in their faces, and of course you don’t irritate someone to the point that they turn into the “link police” and out you.

On the second point, companies like Kontera use javascript in the ads that they add onto your site, and since Google doesn’t track javascript there’s no worry there at all. Heck, you don’t even have any control over where those ads go, so how would you even try to add a nofollow attribute to it?

Moving on, this term “link juice”. How many folks remember my post on January 1st where I did my study of page rank and SEO? I’m thinking that, based on my own study, this thing about losing page rank because of too many links has been outed as invalid. As a matter of fact, SEO practices in general believe that the more related links, the better your website will perform, especially if you can figure out internal linking better. So, having 5 or 500 comments on your blog, dofollow comments at that, don’t hurt you at all.

Now, let’s talk about page rank; what, again? I talked about it when I wrote about “dofollow” blogs, and of course I’ve mentioned it often in passing on other posts. I did another little study, because, after all, I’m the researcher. I went to the all-knowing Google and put in “losing page rank”. You want to know what I found? Out of the top 300 links on Google, only 33 articles on the actual topic were written in 2008. The majority of the articles written on the subject were in 2005; isn’t that fascinating?

It says one of two things to me. One, not as many people really care as much about page rank anymore because, overall, it’s a dying topic. You know where the benefit of a high page rank is? It’s in advertisers who think that actually means something, and therefore want to pay you to place their ads on your site. It’s not in visitors; you don’t get more visitors from having a high page rank. If you get a lot of visitors you’ll have the possibility of obtaining a high page rank, but not the other way around. So, it’s more important, for a blog at least, to write good content, write posts that people want to read on topics they care about, and have a few SEO techniques such as good titles and description tags to help people know what you’re writing about.

Two, overall concern about page rank is dying, mainly because those in the know realize just what I said; page rank and visitors aren’t necessarily tied in with each other. Our friend Sire, who lost his page rank because he writes paid reviews (yes, that will lose you page rank, because it’s easy to track), certainly hasn’t lost visitors to his blog because of it. Last I saw, he had one post that had almost 80 comments, I believe. Our friend Dennis, whom I mentioned above, has a page rank of 3 on that particular blog, but one of his posts, which has received 123 comments, still doesn’t have a page rank associated with it. I’m betting Dennis isn’t crying over that page not being ranked; are you, Dennis?

Anyway, it’s time to bring this rant to a close. Here’s the thing, folks. It’s not about page rank or losing “link juice” or dofollow or nofollow. It’s about finding ways of writing content, or doing some other things that will bring people to your blogs, some of which I talked about when I gave my December statistics, or finding ways of using SEO to bring people to your websites. Worrying about dofollow, link juice, page rank or most of the other ranks means nothing. The one that means the most, at least to me, is how many visitors are you getting, and how many people are subscribed to your feed in some fashion. Everything else; you’re wasting your time worrying about a lot of nothing.

Thanks Dennis, for letting me use you like this; take it out of some of that Scratch Bank love I gave you. :-)

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29 Comments »

That’s interesting that the concern for PageRank is actually dying, although it’s hard to conceive because of the amount of people that bring it up in posts, comments and such. I reckon that most of these are relatively new to the blogging world. What really surprises me in the amount of advertisers who will pay top dollar for a link on a highly ranked blog, even though that blog may get very little exposure. I thought these guys were supposed to be smarter than that.

Sire´s last blog post..Sire’s Big Moment A Total Flop

Mitch Reply:

I was stunned to see it also, Sire. Of course, there is a third possibility, that being that few of the people who might write about it nowadays are ranking high enough on Google to make any difference in the numbers. And if that’s the case, then I’ve bolstered my argument even further.

January 29th, 2009 | 1:49 AM

As you do Mitch, as you do. Say, how is the snow collecting going, as I really could do with some seriously cooling down. We’ve had another blustering 44C day today and can expect the same again for the next three days. Luckily we will get a cool change on Monday when it goes down to 39C.

Anyway, back on the subject at hand. Those blogs that have lost their page rank are actually doing pretty well visitor wise, a major portion of the visitors being sent to my by Google. Pretty good huh?

Oh, and remember that post I did on Exact Replica watches? It’s now got 107 comments and I’ve received two sales from it. Talk about residual income.

Sire´s last blog post..Sire’s Big Moment A Total Flop

Mitch Reply:

And that’s what it’s really all about, driving visitors to your site and making sales, or at least getting readers and commenters.

As for snow, we had about 10 inches today, with another 2-3 inches coming overnight from what’s known as lake effect. We’re sitting around 121 inches for the year thus far.

January 29th, 2009 | 2:06 AM

Yep, an all we have is about the same in dust. About due for a nice little dust storm I reckon.

Sire´s last blog post..Sire’s Big Moment A Total Flop

Mitch Reply:

Dust storms yet; not my way!

January 29th, 2009 | 2:24 AM
Sadie:

Hey Mitch…It seems as though every site I visit has some type of comment about page rank and how to increase it, but I if you are hoping to make money with your blog…I guess the bottom line is about making a sale.

I didn’t realize though, that google wasn’t able to or doesn’t follow JAVA…is that why some blogs [ex: WordPress] don’t allow you to use JAVA, because things can be placed there that can’t be detected. It didn’t make sense to me before, but the bits and pieces that I have been reading about JAVA are starting to come together now.

Sadie´s last blog post..-Just Gotta Luv This Guy

Mitch Reply:

Glad to help you out there, Sadie. Yeah, javascript has a double edged sword. Can’t be seen by Google, so it works for some people as well as nofollow. However, too much javascript on a blog and things start going haywire.

January 29th, 2009 | 7:32 AM

I’m with you Mitch. PageRank is a silly concept that really doesn’t carry as much weight anymore. And the problem is, people try and hoard it like Scrooge with his piles of money, causing people to be more protective about linking to other sites when it really matters.

People need to loosen up some and start to forget about the page rank craze.

Boyz II Men´s last blog post..J. Poww Interview: Past, Present and Future of UNV

Mitch Reply:

Exactly, Boyz. Concentrate more on good content and good delivery, and success will eventually come.

January 29th, 2009 | 8:50 AM
Marjory:

I completely agree with you Mitch. You can’t lose PageRank to a page because you link from it. You might diminish the amount of PageRank you’re passing around your site but I think you’ll gain much more by having the relevant link from your post to a really good resource for your visitors. Great post.

Mitch Reply:

Thanks Marjory. Truth be told, even for those worried about page rank, the most important bit of it comes from the main page, and all the individual posts with lots of comments doesn’t harm it at all, because what’s more important is actually having your own content, since that’s what links all of one’s pages together.

January 29th, 2009 | 10:14 AM

Ahhh how I love a good rant hehehe

I personally have thrown most of the “link juice” getting methods, and whatever you wanna call it on my blog out the window.

It is now purely something I do for enjoyment, and if I make some money from it great. I figure if thats how the rest of the big boys started, I guess we all have to do the same right?

Taris Janitens´s last blog post..Hitler sues Nissan

Mitch Reply:

And that’s the way to go, Taris. Worrying about something that we really don’t have all that much control over is stressful.

Sire Reply:

That’s the way Taris, what’s the point of making a couple of bucks if you can’t enjoy whet you are doing, you could say that it’s almost a form of prostitution.

Sire´s last blog post..Sire’s Big Moment A Total Flop

January 29th, 2009 | 10:16 AM
Mitch:

Dennis, it wasn’t quite the point, in my mind. All the talk about worrying about losing page rank or keyword rank or whatever rank is just getting ridiculous overblown, in my opinion. I think there’s enough people showing that they can make pretty good money without worrying about that, because even without page rank, it takes some pretty serious and blatant attempts of gaming the system to get totally delisted by Google, et al.

January 30th, 2009 | 5:37 PM

I’ve noticed that once again I haven’t been getting any email notification Mitch, unless I tick both boxes of your email subscription. Will have to go back over some of the older posts to see what I have been missing.

Sire´s last blog post..Women & The All About Me Syndrome

Mitch Reply:

I wonder what that’s all about, Sire. You know I’ve done nothing to change up either of those things, and you were getting notifications before, right?

January 30th, 2009 | 8:32 PM

Sure were, and I’ve only ever had the bottom box ticked, now I have them both ticked. What’s with the two boxes anyway, do you have two plugins?

Sire´s last blog post..Sire’s Big Moment A Total Flop

Mitch Reply:

Man, you really haven’t kept up with conversations. lol You have the same thing on your blogs, which you probably haven’t noticed since you don’t have to sign in to comment on your own blog.

January 31st, 2009 | 2:03 AM

You had me going there for a minute mate, but I’ve just logged off and had a look and I only have one box that needs to be ticked, not two.

Sire´s last blog post..Sire’s Big Moment A Total Flop

Mitch Reply:

The proof is in the picture, Sire; take a look at this, your blog: http://www.imjustsharing.com/Sire002.jpg

Sire Reply:

Yes indeed Mitch, and if you have a look at this picture you will see what I mean. ;) I always assumed as one box was ticked that I was subscribed.

Sire´s last blog post..Sire’s Big Moment A Total Flop

Mitch Reply:

I’ve always assumed the same on your blog, and every other blog I’ve seen that on. It must be something added by CommentLuv.

January 31st, 2009 | 3:23 AM

I wish I could answer that for ya, but afraid I can’t. Still it’s no biggie now that I know I have to have both ticked.

Sire´s last blog post..Sire’s Big Moment A Total Flop

January 31st, 2009 | 5:46 PM
John Dilbeck:

Hi Mitch.

I’ve been mostly offline for the last week or so and I’m trying to catch up.

I agree with you about there being too much concern over minor things that you mentioned.

Perhaps some of us obsess over some things and others over different things.

;)

Regarding your subscribe to comments discussion.

I just took a look at your source code for this page, and it looks like the top notify checkbox is powered by the subscribe to comments plugin, and the bottom one is powered by the thread comment plugin.

I’m not sure of the names of the plugins, but it looks like you have two plugins doing similar things.

If I had to guess, clicking the top box would get most of the emailed reply notifications, unless someone replied by clicking the threaded reply link, in which case you’d need to have selected the bottom box.

Does that look like it makes any sense?

Act on your dream!

JD

Mitch Reply:

It does make sense, John, and truthfully, I’d forgotten that I had added a “subscribe to comments” plugin to begin with. I just made a change and looked at it in IE, and I only see one box; y’all let me know if you only see one box for subscribing now. Course, I didn’t set it to default being checked; let me know if you think I should do that also.

February 6th, 2009 | 1:31 PM
John Dilbeck:

Good afternoon, Mitch.

I just looked at a post to which I’m not subscribed and I’m only seeing one checkbox, now. It is checked by default, and I think that would be my preferred setting.

Looking better all the time. ;)

Act on your dream!

JD

Mitch Reply:

Thanks John; we’ll run with that for now.

February 6th, 2009 | 2:25 PM