Changes could lead to increased usage of black hat sabotage-style attacks against competitors
I recently came across some rather disturbing news related-to social media. According to MarketersRelief.com, Google has decided to pick on blogs and sites that are frequently bookmarked in social media communities. In this article, Google’s Jeff Waltz had this to say; “Webmasters who rely heavily on bookmarking their own sites to gain traffic will likely see a drop in pagerank before the end of 2008”. As usual, Google offered no definition for “rely heavily”. If your site naturally has a lot of unique content that over the years has accumulated quite a collection of social media links, are you relying too heavily?
While he did use the term ‘bookmarking’, the impression I was left with is that he was referring primarily to social news-sharing sites like Mixx. Otherwise, they would have no reason to pick on the people marketing their own site. If there is no PR or link-juice or whatever you want to call it flowing from those links (like Yahoo’s del.icio.us, for example), there would theoretically be no reason to further punish sites by docking their pagerank.
From that, we can deduce one of the following two scenarios is true: One is that the whole nofollow / pr sculpting thing is a sham, and Google for whatever reason wishes to count nofollow links. The other (more likely) scenario is that Waltz misspoke when he used the term “bookmarking”. Based on the rest of the article in which his quote appeared, the impression I was left with is that he was referring to users of sites like Mixx and Propeller.
I am still waiting for someone at Google to explain to me what exactly it is about a person attempting to (gasp) market his or her …