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Business.com Responds to NoFollow Controversy

July 11, 2006 by  

Business.com practice to use nofollow tag on some of their listings paid links has been attracting unfavorable mentions from several bloggers including here at Sabahan.com

So Lane Soelberg of Business.com stopped by Threadwatch in an attempt to clear the controversy.

Apparently the no follow tag is only used in the featured listings clients (pay per click) as according to them, to screen out unqualified search engine bot clicks.

The directory inclusion and web listing/editorial links do not have a “no follow” tag. Those awaiting renewed editorial approval do have a “no follow” tag.

The post attract lots of feedback including that from Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch.

Makes no sense. Nofollow doesn’t actually mean that a search box can’t click on a link. It’s simply a name applied to an attribute search engines may use however they want. Yahoo, for example, has never said they won’t "follow" or list a nofollow link. Plus, nofollow isn’t universally supported anyway. So the idea that this is something you are using on CPC listings to prevent unwanted clicks — even as one of "many" methods — just makes no sense.

Frankly, if you’re going to allow anything in your directory, you either trust the information or not. The only reason to use nofollow on some of your listings still awaiting further review (and there seems to be a lot of those) is because you don’t want other search engines to count them for link credit.

In other words, the typical person at Business.com has no idea if you "trust" a link or not with nofollow. So why bother using that tag at all? Because you don’t want other search engines crawling you to think you trust certain links.

And that means you care more about ensure some robotic crawler has faith in your listings than your human reviewers. Or alternatively, you do have faith these links are just fine for your human visitors but realize that selling links without nofollow might help boost sales.

And you clearly understand the value of selling links for search engine purposes, given over on this page, http://www.business.com/info/ad_products/annual_inclusion.asp, the first thing said is:

"Clean-link listings boost your sites visibility to the major search engines "

Since you’re commenting on the issue, simple question. Have any of your sales people ever stressed the fact that only with paid inclusion into the directory would you get a link without nofollow? And when did the nofollow links begin to be applied?

Read the full story: Business.com – Use of "No Follow" Tags Explained

[via Search Engine Journal]

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