Thank goodness for Google! Even though our business as SEO consultants gets harder, at least Google are constantly mixing things up to enable those who specialise to be… well, specialists… Now, don’t get me wrong I don’t completely get ‘gooey’ eyed over everything about the big G, but if you like a boss (and let’s face it they are the boss) who constantly challenges you then they do this just fine.
So, what am I talking about? Well, this time it Google (and Bing… like what I am seeing by the way guys!) talking about what signals they get from Twitter and Facebook for natural search. Thank you Danny Sullivan for such a great article that kicks this process off.
To get a further insight into this, check out this Matt Cutts’ video.
Don’t Twitter and Facebook ‘nofollow’ their links? Yes, they do, but as Danny points out both Google and Bing get a feed from both without the ‘nofollow’, so in theory they can pass PageRank (or whatever Bing call it too).
Aren’t Twitter and Facebook links mainly done though a URL shortener? Yes, but do you really think that both Google and Bing can’t easily circumnavigate this?
Wait a minute, I just realised this article was turning into a mini Q&A with myself… just one more though…
What about Wikipedia links then? They are ‘nofollow’, but will they now help me rank better? Ah ha! Good question. Does the link pass PageRank? Probably not. Does it pass trust or TrustRank (can I trademark this?), I would say yes. Put it this way if you had a page that was hugely authoritative in its genre, was well linked to and had a bunch or axe wielding (not literal, but you know what I mean) custodians who made it pretty much spam free, wouldn’t you find a way of using this as a signal? Remember it is your search engine and algorithm.
OK one last question then… Why do these links not pass PageRank then? Because Google has said that if you can’t vouch for a link or it is a paid link then use ‘nofollow’. That doesn’t mean they can’t find some other way to use it as a signal, does it?