[theforum] nofollow in articles (was Re: New article)

William Anderson neuro at well.com
Wed Oct 17 05:27:25 CDT 2007

Drs Marcel Feenstra, MALD, MBA wrote:
> William Anderson wrote:
>> *please* stop using asterisks so liberally in your mails, it gives me a
>> headache trying to read them :P
> I apologize if I have caused you a headache. I was using the asterisks to
> emphasize points I thought were important (not being a native speaker of
> English, I'm already at a slight disadvantage in getting my point across
> properly). I will try to use them less often.

Your English is just peachy.

> William Anderson wrote:
>> Ah, the meat of the matter.  You're pissed off because we're setting
>> nofollow on links to your own sites?  That's not denying credit, that's
>> just a side effect of a blanket policy to defend against the ridiculous
>> entity that is SEO and related spam.
> I disagree, for several reasons.
> [snip]
> It's funny that you should say "to your own sites". I actually have a habit
> of linking very liberally to sites I refer to, since I believe it is
> important to give proper credit, e.g.:

I still don't know where this notion of "proper credit" comes from.
You've linked to some page, or pages, and the reader of your article can
choose to click, or not click, on the links to those pages.  Why the big
fuss about nofollow?

And the reason I mentioned "to your own sites" is that's what you
admitted yourself: "... As for the 'nofollowed' links in my article ...
they are the actual sites for which I designed ..."

> [snip]
> and I could give you dozens of other examples. (If you should think that I
> added these external links only moments ago, to make my point, simply check
> the Google cache.)

Why would I think that?

> [snip]
> Now, what about (all) SEO being a ridiculous, spam-related activity? It is
> true that there are "black-hat" SEOs who will use any trick and shortcut,
> legal or not, to get their
> get-credit-so-you-can-buy-viagra-and-play-poker-while-watching-porn sites to
> rank higher. But there are other, legitimate ("ethical", if you will) forms
> of SEO, for example: telling a mom-and-pop store that their site should use
> title tags, so that search engines will "understand" what the main topic of
> each page is; or telling them *not* to use Flash or JavaScript for
> navigation, because it will keep the SE from finding the "underlying" pages.

I can't stand SEO.  It's spawned an industry of consultants who are
mainly greedy twats, who leech money from clients while gaming the
search engines to their own ends.  Most core tenets of SEO stem from
sane web design, so they should form the backbone of any well-designed
site as a matter of course, not merely just as hooks into working your
way up search rankings.

Related to that: of course you can use Flash or JavaScript for
navigation, as long as you're sensible enough to put in text links
underneath that for people with flash and/or js disabled.  That's the
primary reason for doing so; not to game the search engines into
crawling stuff on your site, but to permit those who decide - or
require! - that text only is the way to go.  Think people on slow
connections, or blind people with screen readers.

The day that a search engine becomes the primary consumer of a website,
with the human reader second, that's the day something has been
fundamentally broken on the web.

> On Dean Mah's blog:
> http://dmah.blogspot.com/
> I noticed a sentence that looks quite relevant here:
> "And I don't think that we even have all of the search engine friendly URLs
> mapped over from the previous CMS."
> Yeah, using search engine friendly URLs --another form of search engine
> optimization that looks perfectly legitimate and "non-devious" to me!

IME "search engine friendly" URLs actually stem from making URLs
human-readable and -memorable.  Making them part of SEO is just another
thing they've borged into that process.


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