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Using the new rel="nofollow" attribute

Discussion in 'Co-op Advertising Network' started by glengara, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. Owlcroft

    Owlcroft Peon

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    #41
    I suspect that that sums it for most. The ad is absolutely, positively not "worth less" if it is entirely advertising. But it absolutely, positively is worth less if the point is garnering PR. There is nothing whatever "technical" about that.
    SEMrush
    As I said before, right now, I have the network on all my sites. But I am quite concerned with how the engines will treat it, and that is a long-run issue. In one of the posts I linked before, "GoogleGuy" stated: I pointed out one network member using hidden text and another with keyword stuffed doorway pages . . . spammy sites . . . already in the network.

    Maybe those are now gone. But the issue remains: unless each member site--not page, site--has been human hand-reviewed for quality, which is or will soon be a superhuman amount of effort, we all take chances with the network. Google apparently has no sense of proportion (or, in fact, sense, period), and I suspect that a network 96% of whose members were honest, upright webmasters would still be a hazard to those 96% based just on the nature of the other 4%.

    Perhaps the network will have to become like dmoz: months of wait time to get in. But if the sites are not hand-reviewed, at some modest length, then as the network expands, trouble is almost sure to follow, soon or late.
     
    Owlcroft, Jan 22, 2005 IP
    SEMrush
  2. ferret77

    ferret77 Heretic

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    #42
    Why does it have to be entirely one or the other?

    why can't it be advertising and link building?

    I see the coop as another form of link trading, thats all . And trading links has been acceptable to the SE for 3 years now. That I personally know of.

    Owlcroft I'm speaking purely for myself, but I would feel that if I am giving you links that pass pr its only fair your links should be passing pr also.

    So as soon as digitalpoint has an option to make all your links nofollow, I think it would be fine for you to display nofollow links

    How come people don't post on forums how the jupiter media partners are spam?

    Why is it if you pay 5 thousand a month for "advertising" with the bonus of creating tens of thousands of backlinks its honorable? but if you generate a fraction of that for free with the coop its spam?

    Glengara , purina why arn't you guys rallying against them?
     
    ferret77, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  3. T0PS3O

    T0PS3O Feel Good PLC

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    #43
    IMO the coop is an ad exchange with the bonus of better rankings. But that;s only because the SE's decided to give anchor text such great weight in their algo's. If they don't like it then they can discard the coop links if they want. Take them out of their own equation if they want. I'd be very pissed off and disappointed if they banned sites for it.

    Those who say it's spam have to realize it's only spam because the algo's rely heavily on link popularity. Just the fact that this ad network doesn't use popularity-blocking tracking URLs is hardly a crime is it?

    If the SEs would frown upon it then that would be admitting their algo's don't suit the state the internet is in currently.

    I don't see why Shawn should have to change it. If SEs are not happy about it then they should change their algorithms and update their 'voting' system.
     
    T0PS3O, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  4. Bernard

    Bernard Well-Known Member

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    #44
    Bernard, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  5. ferret77

    ferret77 Heretic

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    #45
    thats pretty funny

    how many thousands of dollars a month do you think they would lose if they implemented that?
     
    ferret77, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  6. puravida

    puravida Well-Known Member

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    #46
    Hi Ferret,

    Since you sound like you're genuinely asking and not attacking, I will respond to this...

    My site is advertising and link building. The coop is not advertising and link building because the links are all in the footer of the pages. It is designed for minimal traffic with maximum SE benefit (ie. by showing on thousands of sites). That is blatant spam --just like all the bought links from the "link sellers" or "pagerank sellers".

    Link trading, yes.... just like link2you was. However, that network was also spam and all of those sites have been devalued by most search engines. And, it is not possible to say "generally" that all trading links is acceptable. It clearly is not acceptable when people begin to abuse linking.

    First of all, the major difference is that their links are not in the footer of pages --that makes it advertising (not like the coop).

    However, they do offer tracking links (traffic-only) instead of direct links; but most of their advertisers go for the direct links. I tried to buy the tracking link option from them, but they wouldn't even sell me the links (at $5,000/month) because they are working with my competitor (Patrick Gavin)... JupiterMedia is just another scammer network and I have told them this.

    ...as mentioned above: because the coop links are in the footer and the bought links are above-the-fold or in the left-hand column above the footer and are intended for traffic.

    As I've mentioned before: simply place these coop links in premium spots on all sites, and I will concede that it is "advertising" and not "spam." Hell, I might even join some of my sites, if that were enforceable but it's not.

    See answer to previous two questions...

    Cheers,

    Wesley
     
    puravida, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  7. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #47
    There is nothing that says the ad network ads have to be in the footer. There also isn't anything that says they should be text only links. The first version of the ad network only did banner advertising (which is still the default mode on the setup), the text link ad mode was added after the fact based on existing user's requests (you probably could find the thread in this forum somewhere).

    Some people run ad network ads above the fold, some below, some in their navigation bars, etc. But to say any advertising run below the fold is spam is a pretty bold statement. I've seen many instances of AdSense being run on the bottom of people's pages. is that also considered spam? Yahoo search results run text ads "below the fold" on every search you do. Would that also be spam?

    In the case of Yahoo, Google and pretty much every other major company, their text based ads are not done with JavaScript either. And they don't use the rel="nofollow" attribute on their text ads on their own site. So we should use it because someone (that isn't a search engine) complains about it when the search engines don't utilize it themselves? Seems strange to me... but okay.
     
    digitalpoint, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  8. puravida

    puravida Well-Known Member

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    #48
    Hi Shawn,

    Thanks for giving your feedback also...

    The problem is that with the sheer volume of sites in the coop, one cannot trust the bulk of the other webmasters to give premium placement. I also would be surprised if the bulk of advertising isn't text links -even though you allow the option.

    One of my sites caters to the SEO field but also offers javascript-delivered banners and javascript-delivered text links. The fact is that only 1% of webmasters use those options.

    I did not specifically say all below-the-fold static links were spam. I should clarify that it becomes iffy, if it's below-the-fold (becomes a matter of whether they are truly in spots to offer traffic); but footer links are more obvious.

    The difference of AdSense and paid advertising on Yahoo (and elsewhere) is that those are not static links. They will not help the SERPs of the advertiser. So, no -even in the footer- those programs are not SE spam.

    Cheers,

    -Wesley
     
    puravida, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  9. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #49
    Well it's impossible to 100% catch all people using the ad network for spam purposes right off the bat (just like with anything). But sites that are reported (and they have been) have been permanently barred from the ad network (I usually take it a step further and ban every site they are associated with for a single site doing something). That's really the best anyone can do.

    It's impossible to look at every page running ads every 5 minutes to make sure nothing has changed.
     
    digitalpoint, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  10. Bernard

    Bernard Well-Known Member

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    #50
    I don't want to touch the footer/spam question, but could you elaborate on the Yahoo & Google text based ads? Are you referring to AdWords & Overture PPC or something else?

    AFAIK, Yahoo & Google ads on their own networks only appear on pages disallowed by robots.txt. AdSense is Javascript based. Not sure about Overture.
     
    Bernard, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  11. puravida

    puravida Well-Known Member

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    #51
    I 100% agree.

    My question then is "what constitutes someone using the network for 'spam purposes'?".

    We may be on the same page with our definition of "advertising" or we may not. If we are, however, you have created a nearly impossible job. ;)

    -Wesley
     
    puravida, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  12. ferret77

    ferret77 Heretic

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    #52
    I hardly think that is any solid evidence of anything

    People are free to put their ads wherever they want, and some people put them right in their left navigation
     
    ferret77, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  13. kepa

    kepa Peon

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    #53
    Mine are in the footer because the co-op is currently a hodgepodge of sites that have no relevence. Some are actually an embarrassment (there I said it, I know you all thought it). However, if it was themed, I would move mine to a more premium location to display proudly.

    Unfortunately, for websites, the footer is not like the newspaper or many magazines where people go to the back of the magazine to see ads. The would be great, if people went to the bottom of all websites to see good ads. . .even then, though the ads still are themed. Right now, with the exception of a basic review process according to some general guidelines, it is a free for all of sites, good and god awful.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the co-op (or Shawn) because it is fantastic and free. . .and also because a more intensive review process would be gargantuan, but that doesn't mean that there can't be improvements somewhere. I really believe the solution is to implement the theming as soon as possible to be more like true advertising so that people would have some control and responsibility over the sites that appear on their sites. Right now, the only solution is to NOT JOIN which doesn't make the co-op better.

    Think about it. If it really was an advertising vehicle, then e-commerce sites would be more "welcome". Right now, from what I've heard countless times right here in this forum, is that if you place value in your site, then you should rethink joining the co-op. What? That doesn't sound like an ADVERTISING vehicle to me since advertising is mostly, not always, but mostly $$$ driven. What I hear is, it is good for blogs, forums, message boards, yadayada. . .sites for which you don't rely on for income or not that important. What? Why would you take the time to advertise a site that is not important? Yet, these are the same people that are defending the current state of the co-op to their graves, refusing to admit that it mostly is about link building and not really advertising.

    We all need to grow up and realize that just because we have an opinion for what it is now, putting forth ideas for a constructive discussion, doesn't mean that we are HATERS ATTACKING IT, its creator, or the rationale behind it. Let's just try looking at the big picture to try and make it better.
     
    kepa, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  14. nevetS

    nevetS Evolving Dragon

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    #54
    ESPN.com has ads on every page. CNN has ads on every page. So does the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and just about every commercial site that has produced a modicum of success.

    The co-op advertising network has given my sites plenty of click-throughs. Probably not as much as I would for a front page ESPN ad, but probably pretty close if we were just measuring percentages instead of quantity.

    I'm sure there are some sites in the network that don't produce a lot of clicks, but just like adwords, you do get impressions - which even if people don't click through they notice the ad and that helps to create exposure.

    So lets see here:
    1) The network ads are all acceptable to put on my site. Those incidents where questionable sites have come up in the past have been dealt with quickly.
    2) The network provides click throughs.
    3) The network provides search engine exposure.
    4) The network specifically does not "guarantee" search engine rankings, PageRank or YahooRank or anything like that.
    5) You can place ads anywhere on your site.
    6) You can place any number of ads on your site.
    7) You can place and display text ads, banner ads, or text banner ads.
    8) The ads are reviewed.
    9) Nobody is forced into displaying ads.
    10) No pop-ups, pop-unders, "network cookies", or any of the thousands of other (IMO) unethical advertising techniques put in place by major advertisers are there.
    11) There is no 'encouragement of clicking' going on in the network.
    12) Any site displaying ads is approved and indexed by the search engines or else they wouldn't be able to put their own ads up.
    13) The managers of the network respond quickly to problems and have produced an effective set of code that has made us very happy.
    14) The members of the network have donated over $15,000 to the network because they are happy with the service even though no payment is required at all.
    15) The ads cannot be hidden per network policy - so no hidden links, white text on a white background, no display:none attributes or anything like that.

    So what are my other options:
    1) Pay a text link broker hundreds a month for a set of ads on a site that will produce no traffic.
    2) Pay more for an ad on a high traffic site in my same niche that will probably support a competitor as well.
    3) Pay thousands for ads on one of the major ad networks that will also provide them the side benefit of knowing who my end users are and advertise their network as well.
    4) Pay 20 bucks for 100,000 bot visitors.
    5) Pay a major player major bucks directly for an ad on their site.

    So how is this option any worse? How is this spam and your ad network or doubleclick's network or any other network not spam? Because they get paid?

    A text link is IMO much more effective advertising than a banner ad. Google thinks so as well, as does Yahoo. Thats why they developed their own text ad networks.

    How does Google deal with a not-so-nice site in their network? They don't pay the guy. This network does not have that option because why? Because they aren't paying for the ad space. This network deals with sites in a very simple and effective manner. If Google does not like a site, google will not give the site any weight in the network. As "spammy members" are discovered, they get banned or their page count reduced or their pagerank dropped - all of which affect the site's ability to advertise on this network.

    I've put front page ads in the LA Times and have gotten less out of it than my free ads in this network.

    So tell me specifically why or how this could possibly be perceived as spam by anybody who has done any research into this network at all?
     
    nevetS, Jan 23, 2005 IP
    GuyFromChicago and ViciousSummer like this.
  15. puravida

    puravida Well-Known Member

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    #55
    Hi Ferret,

    Shawn already clarified that not all people put the links in the footer.

    Some is not enough to not be labeled. Sorry.

    I would not advertise any of my quality sites where only some of the people offered quality spots. If I put a site in the coop with a premium link placement, it would give at least 50 uniques per day (on my lower traffic sites) and 1,000+ uniques per day (on some higher traffic ones).

    I doubt that it would be a fair trade-off while I'm sitting back hoping that the "some" sends enough traffic back.

    -Wesley
     
    puravida, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  16. ferret77

    ferret77 Heretic

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    #56
    well ..... don't join
     
    ferret77, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  17. nevetS

    nevetS Evolving Dragon

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    #57
    That is a reason to maybe not join the network. That is, IF you feel that you are not getting out of it what you put into it. It doesn't make the network spam.

    If you were to base a network on the number of unique visitors it would be very difficult. There are plenty of bot programs out there to generate unique IP traffic. Alexa rankings are notoriously flawed. It may be something that could be done, but since there is no obvious solution along those lines I fail to see how this system should be considered a bad one.

    I've had adwords and overture ads show up as backlinks and in they helped push my site to the top of the SERPS when I used them extensively. The only difference is the matter of payment. Google seems to have stopped displaying my site name in their adsense ads, but it hasn't even been that long since they changed their format.
     
    nevetS, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  18. puravida

    puravida Well-Known Member

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    #58
    Hi Ferret,

    Don't give up so easily. It's as if no one (except maybe Shawn) wants to improve the coop.

    What I'm hearing: "if your sites are so great, then don't join"

    Then what kinds of sites are joining??

    I tell you... those people that can't take criticism and advice end up *dead* in the business world. People like myself that can take honest feedback and advice to improve succeed above all others. So, how is your business doing?

    Kepa's post was excellent...
    This is what the rest of you need to be saying.

    6) My site is a huge alternative, but I won't self-promote and the ad spots are not free

    Also, don't forget that I'm not trying to convince Shawn to stop the coop or convince no one else to use it --unless it is left in its current state. I am trying to warn others that do not know what they are getting in to AND I -like Kepa- would be 100% OK with the coop (and even promoting it), if it were improved upon to avoid these issues.

    I think that if there was no SE benefit, the webmasters only wanting SE boost would leave and the true advertisers would remain. With something in place to push premium spots, this coop could be powerful --even for the ecommerce and quality sites -as Kepa mentioned.

    As mentioned before. This coop is spam when sites place the links in the footer (I hate repeating myself repeatedly), and it's already been established that only "some" give premium placement.

    My ad network caters to everyone and educates webmasters with these values I've tried to express. We have sites in our inventory that I -personally- consider "spam" and they are not 'LinkSmile Approved' so that everyone knows they do not give premium link placement. Webmasters who have "converted" -so to speak- are tagged as 'LinkSmile Approved' and they make most of the sales in our system.

    As time passes, the other webmasters are beginning to jump on-board. If this coop can distinguish between sites with premium placements -as our site does, then maybe that would be a solution as well.

    As for doubleclick: those are not direct links, are they?

    Yes, this is not disputed and is a known fact.

    I am tired of repeating myself.

    -Wesley
     
    puravida, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  19. kepa

    kepa Peon

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    #59
    Ads on all of the big boys you mentioned are clearly seen as ads and are purely traffic driven. They aren't spam because people expect ads on sites. They are also purposefully not incorporated into their content to seem like "their" own. Also, these are also NOT direct links either that can manipulate rankings. Finally, they have complete and total control over what ads they choose to display on their sites.

    The co-op network is brilliant in that you see immediate results, in Google primarily, and not by the choice of the engine itself. This is very very uncommon, difficult, and being able to do this is a holy grail of sorts. All we are saying is that this is so uncommon in today's SEO that this could possibly set off a red flag somewhere and to preserve its life we need try to consider every gripe, negative opinion or perception. I love the co-op and don't want to see it go away.
     
    kepa, Jan 23, 2005 IP
  20. puravida

    puravida Well-Known Member

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    #60
    Nice post, Kepa. I bet Kepa will be successful with or without the coop because he understands. Now, if the rest of you can take this to heart; maybe some of the rest of us can look at using this network too...

    -Wesley
     
    puravida, Jan 23, 2005 IP