Hiding The NoFollow from Advertisers on Ad Links

Sep 11, 2007 • 7:28 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO
 

A WebmasterWorld and DigitalPoint Forums thread discusses how some publishers are now applying the nofollow attribute to ads they had already sold without the nofollow attribute on them.

One publisher actually was accused of "breach of contract" over applying the nofollow attribute to an advertisers link.

So I JUST got an email from the once a quarter person that I contact about payment saying that these nofollow tags need to be removed!

"This needs to be removed as per our initial agreement"

In fact, some publishers admit to cloaking the advertiser links to be nofollowed to GoogleBot and not to humans.

I've been nofollow'ing paid links for some time, although in my case I cloak to only serve nofollow to GoogleBot. Unless someone has purchased a link explicitly for SEO benefit then they cannot expect to get it.

I wonder if Google would consider this form of cloaking to be acceptable?

In any event, here is really the first discussion I have seen about these two concerns:

(1) Advertisers cloaking their paid links to be nofollowed in the eyes of the search engine spiders. (2) Publishers claiming breach of contract for nofollowing links they paid for.

Forum discussion WebmasterWorld and DigitalPoint Forums.

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Comments:

JLH

09/11/2007 04:22 pm

Of course whether or not Google has a problem with a site cloaking will fall under their long standing policy of cloaking. It's fine for some people and not for others.

Michael Martinez

09/11/2007 04:28 pm

Disclosure is important on both sides of the fence. Advertisers should be told up front whether their links will be visible to search engines.

Barry Schwartz

09/11/2007 04:32 pm

Disclosure... 100% agree.

Mark Laymon

09/11/2007 06:01 pm

Is this not the same thing that many reciprocal linkers were doing a few years ago?

Vincevincevince

09/12/2007 08:42 am

Does it make a difference to the need for disclosure if the link purchaser never bothered to disclose that he wanted the link for SEO purposes, nor that he wanted links without rel="nofollow" applied? After all, rel="nofollow" on paid links is precisely what Google have requested; for a site depending upon Google for traffic rel="nofollow" should certainly be the default for all paid links unless otherwise agreed.

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