Chris Sherman mods the panel with:
Yahoo's Tim Converse Google's Adam Lasnik Windows Live's Eytan Seidman Ask.com's Vivek Pathak
Q: For promoting a new web site, you run into problems with the sandbox or trustbox. What is more trustworthy, etc. A: Google said they use a greater amount of trust for those "who is closer to the front of the conference." Kidding... Adam said there are a lot of signals they use. On the whole, have patience and over time get natural links and make sure you have good navigation... etc. Yahoo said there is not explicit sandbox at Yahoo, they do use a lot of signals that determine trust. They look at linkage. They are trying to mirror the web in terms of trust.
Q: How does internal links affect your rankings? A: Yahoo said it does, so make them descriptive. Google said are those links useful to your users, then Google will probably find them useful as well. Ask.com uses expert ranking and they must be meaningful.
Q: Is there a number of links you can have from a certain resource without being penalized? A: Google said the answer is 42, obviously joking. They apply the "smell test" they see you get a ton of links, but they wont necessarily hurt your site, but the links might not be worth as much. Yahoo agreed
Q: On how they identify primary site when it comes to RSS syndication A: Yahoo said it is a big issue these days and they are working on that. Expect to see improvements in this regard. Google said he doesnt see it happen that often, so please let him know. Splogs are a concern, but thankfully the splogs have little trust, normally.
Q: Use absolute or relative URLs? A: Most say either is fine, just make sure they are valid. Google says try to use absolute, because they can be a safer option, especially with splogs scrapping the sites. Ask.com said do what is easier for you.
Q: Someone pulled up a site that has one set of navigation but in the source code, it has two pieces of navigation source code. One for firefox and one for IE. A: Yahoo said just having two instances of the link on the page wont be an issue for them. Google said dido
Q: Cars.com said they have many co-branded web sites and they ask co-brands to link back to them with an aff value. Some of the co-brands are pointing first to a redirect, through a tracker. What implications does that have? A: The SEs really didnt know what to respond to that. Yahoo said they will crawl through that like a human MSN said a 302 redirect is different than a 301 redirect (temporary versus permanent). Also because 302s have had issues with hijacking, so be careful with that.
Q: Sitewide links from multiple sites, does it hurt, etc... A: Diminishing returns.... It is not abusive in Yahoo's case, but doesnt help much more than one link. Google is looking for what is really a vote of confidence via a link. Yahoo agreed also. Ask.com gives the expert rank thing.
Q: What if you had lots of clients and getting site credit links (designed by, sponsored by, etc. links)? Is there a penalty on that, from several hundred sites with the same link? A: Google said two ways to look at this; (1) lots of great software packages that have a link at the bottom that say powered by and that is not manipulative, they wont ignore it either. (2) If 40,000 people say I love this product, all within two minutes, you would be a bit suspicious, especially if they all said the same thing.... Yahoo added that if you have a powered by link showing up on different sites at different sites, even if the link text is the same, they would discount the culmitive affect of that, using Diminishing returns. It gets abusive if you build out sites to do this for you with that intent.
Got to leave this session early... Sorry.
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