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Business.com Responds to NoFollow Controversy

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Business.com Responds to NoFollow Controversy

Business.com Responds to NoFollow Controversy

Lane Soelberg of Business.com dropped by Threadwatch today to address the Business.com nofollow tag controversy which came to life yesterday as some in the SEO world found out that Business.com is using a nofollow tag on some of its paid for outgoing links, which many companies by with hopes of ranking higher in search engine queries afterwards.

Assuring accuracy and relevance of link resources in our directory is a very important part of pointing our users to the right direction. In order to address some of the questions raised around “no follow” tags, I’ve put together an overview on how the “no follow” tag is being used at Business.com:

Featured Listings Clients (Pay-per-click)
• Featured Listing clients advertise on Business.com under a pay-per-click advertising model.
• We strive to deliver them the most qualified traffic.
• These clients DO carry “no follow” tags as one of many methods we use to screen out unqualified search engine bot clicks on our client’s pay-per-click listings.

Directory Inclusion
• New listings submitted for inclusion in our general directory area are reviewed for accuracy and relevance to specific categories in our directory.
• Upon editorial approval, these listings are admitted into the Business.com directory and matched to the appropriate categories by our staff. Directory Inclusion clients are charged $199 per year for listings included in the general directory.
• These listings DO NOT utilize “no follow” tags as they have met our rigorous editorial review guidelines and they are not charged on a pay-per-click basis by Business.com.

Web Listings / Editorial Links
We have thousands of editorial links to online resources in our general directory. These resources have been added over time by our editorial staff because they were considered to be valuable resources in specific subject matters. Checking them for relevance and accuracy is an ongoing process. Editorial listings that have recently been reviewed and approved DO NOT have a “no follow” tag, while those awaiting renewed editorial approval DO have a “no follow” tag.

Lots of good feedback to Lane’s statement going on at Threadwatch right now, including Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch chiming in:

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.

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Loren Baker

Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing ... [Read full bio]

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