Twitter added nofollow to “www.” links in their Bio field

Yesterday John Battelle emailed me to ask about Rae’s post. This will be a little inside baseball to some people who don’t live and breathe search and Twitter, but I figured I’d take what I emailed to John, add some pictures, and post it here. Here’s the email:

Sorry for the delay in replying; I’m really behind on email because I’ve been talking about Chrome this past week.

The short answer is that back in July I saw this post http://www.davidnaylor.co.uk/twitter-backlink-tip.html . David Naylor was pointing out that Twitter intentionally nofollowed links in the “Web” part of a Twitter profile, but that you could embed a link in the “Bio” field that would flow PageRank:

Excerpt from DaveN post about twitter

Dave’s blog is read by a bunch of SEOs, including quite a few blackhats, so it was pretty clear to me that Twitter might get hit by spammers who jumped onto Twitter just to get PageRank, or by bots who signed up a ton of accounts automatically trying to get links.

I wasn’t sure of Evan Williams’ email address, so I took my best guess at two of Evan’s emails and dropped Evan a quick note pointing out Dave’s post and that spammers might start attacking Twitter soon because of this. Because I wasn’t sure of Evan’s email, I also sent Evan a Twitter saying “@ev, dropped you an email about (the post that Dave did)” That was all in July, and I forgot about it.

Evidently just in the last few days, Twitter changed that Bio link to a nofollow link. A few thoughts:

- My guess is that spammers have started to attack Twitter more, probably at least partially to get links/PageRank. In an August post at http://blog.twitter.com/2008/08/turning-up-heat-on-spam.html , Biz Stone mentioned that Twitter was hiring their first full-time spam fighter. For a company of ~25 people, a full-time spamfighter is a lot of resources. Evan/Biz have seen how dedicated spammers can hurt users’ experiences at Blogspot, so I imagine that they want to keep Twitter really clean and lock out any spammers early.

- It could be that as part of the process of looking at spam attacks on Twitter, the Twitter team asked “What are the incentives for people to spam Twitter? Are we leaking links to spammy sites anywhere?” If they were asking those sorts of questions, it makes sense if they decided to nofollow the Bio link to prevent spam accounts from attacking Twitter.

- I dropped Evan an email about Dave’s post just as a heads-up in July in case he wasn’t aware of it, but people have been talking about gaming Twitter for links even before that, e.g. http://nickwilsdon.com/do-you-want-some-followe-links-from-twitter/ :

Excerpt from nickwilsdon post about twitter

and there’s another post someone did in March called “Gaming Twitter for Thousands Of Backlinks”:

Excerpt from nickycakes post about twitter

By the way, I totally support if Evan wanted to lift nofollow for real users in some way, but I figure that Twitter probably wanted to protect themselves against spam as a first step. Given that a month or so after I dropped them a note, Twitter hired a full-time spam person, I’m not surprised if Twitter was starting to see more spammers show up and wanted to take strong action to push back on spam as a first step–if Twitter got gummed up with spam that would be bad for everybody. Perhaps down the road they’ll look at ways to keep flowing PageRank to real users while not opening themselves to a spam attack. I would imagine that they have pretty good signals that would let them separate (most) real users from (most) bots/spammers. So Twitter could take steps such that most users would still get PageRank by removing the nofollow on sufficiently non-spammy users.

Best wishes,
Matt

That’s what I sent to John by email, minus the pictures.

161 Responses to Twitter added nofollow to “www.” links in their Bio field (Leave a comment)

  1. Let me know if you think this sort of thing is too inside baseball, but I figured that some people would be interested in my reply to John.

  2. And i don’t love you Matt.
    Your decision regarding spammers made every twitter member suffer. Also the ones who are real members with good activity, were just getting a backlink for updating their profile pages hundreds times a day. You took away that too..

    You should have at least suggested ev that they try to do something to give some link love to those members who have good activity and quite good number of followers.

  3. rob

    Personally, I think Sugarae was spot on with her ‘give people a little link love’ post.

    It wouldn’t be so hard for those guys at twitter to set a tweet threshold and enable such things to happen.

    When I read your tweet to @ev I thought, man, there he goes again! Can you see how some might see you as some kind of ultra right wing link extremist Matt?

  4. ok so what happens if twitter opens up profile links and makes them nofollow? how are the spammers not going to abuse that? or are you going to shut off PR and punish the whole class because a few ppl misbehave or will we be back to the same situation.

    The real issue here is if we create good content we should get credit for it with a link that passes juice.

  5. It seems to me sometimes that we really do have a tendency to want to have our cake and eat it, as the saying goes. How many of us have complained about spam on Twitter? There’s no question that it’s been getting slammed lately… And maybe it’s not a bad thing, to put the emphasis back on usability and service to the reader: as long as the Bio links are clickable by humans, for convenience in checking out our sites *if they so choose* – and please do pardon me if this sounds too ingenuous, but isn’t that supposed to be the main point of the Bio, after all? Serving the user?

  6. It doesn’t bother me that you gave Twitter the heads up, probably a smart move and something you would do if you were chatting in person. It would come up in discussion and informing them would be considerate. I guess what does bother me is that Dave Naylor goes and posts about this “twitter tip” and exposes it to potentially black hat / manipulative types (sorry for assuming but I’ve a hunch that’s his audience).

    I’d known about the Twitter profile bio links passing juice from the moment I signed on, not a big surprise when you use SEO for Firefox or another tool to label nofollows. And it’s something I do all the time on social profiles – sometimes there’s an opportunity for bio links in just the same way on other sites. So I test by including a link in the bio, to see if it’s been coded nofollow there too. It’s not a major thing to advertise, and it’s harmful to post about it when you run a high-traffic blog frequented by blackhats.

    I’m not a Johnny do-good trying to call foul. I’m just saying, it’s kind of a junior move to cash in on a “tip” like this that’s pretty trivial. Wow a followed link on twitter – let’s tell everyone! It just looks like Dave’s trying to claim credit for something.

    Now obviously this isn’t a huge deal and Dave’s probably forgotten more tips than I’ve ever known, but why ruin it like this for everyone? Why be so loud? Why not just go about your business? Does everything in the SEO world have to be destroyed and squeezed of every last drop of value?

  7. Matt – By the same token should something FriendFeed also start putting nofollows to profiles? It seems to be fertile ground for spammers to come and create backlinks.

  8. “Your decision regarding spammers made every twitter member suffer.”

    Chetan, I dropped a short email to Evan in July. Twitter hired a full-time spamfighter in August. Twitter added a nofollow to one area of links in September. I wouldn’t jump to a conclusion that my note in July did anything other than provide a heads-up about a potential loophole.

    And bear in mind that hardly anyone other than SEOs even knew that you could embed a link in the Bio field that would flow PageRank.

    Adam Audette, lots of people knew about the potential loophole before Dave blogged about it. I mentioned in my email to John a couple of earlier posts that disclosed potential Twitter loopholes before DaveN. So it was on my radar but below the threshold of effort to try to find Evan’s email address; Dave’s post just reminded me that I needed to look for Evan’s email address and give him a heads-up, but something else would have anyway.

  9. I’m glad that you took the time to make your response public and shared your thoughts about the situation. If this is inside baseball, I think Rae Hoffman hit one out of the building with her related post, particularly her mentions of denying people benefits from all their hard work and effort.

    It leaves me confused as to what the repercussions would be for a site that does provide PageRank passing links for active members of their community. If we are killing spam on the backend, and the community has grown into the thousands (with some very much more aware a link value than others), is there any reason to expect pressure to no follow outbound links on the entire community?

  10. rob

    Popcorn out waiting for @ihelpyou to show up ;)

  11. Makes sense Matt. At least we know Dave’s intentions were pure though: http://twitter.com/DaveNaylor/statuses/911180467 ;)

    /me gets back to work

  12. Harith

    Matt,

    But you forgot to mention my Sphinn submission which was Desphunn not less than 8 times :-)

    Matt Cutts Reports Dave Naylor For Spamming Twitter!

    Ì’m just wondering. Have my above submission at that time been so far of what Matt is saying now? Keeping in mind I didn’t know of the content of Matt’s email to Evan when I posted on Sphinn.

  13. Hopefully Twitter will “do follow” links for real users and then we can put this issue to bed.

  14. Harith, I left a comment in that Sphinn submission just now. :)

  15. Forget the bio link, I think the web site link should be regular. Actually, I think all the links should carry weight. Twitter is my microblog. Why can’t I point at what I want to with authority, just like I do with a regular blog. If my twitter home page has earned a good PR score because people point at me, then I’ve done what Google wants — provided good content that earned that value, just like with a real blog.

    I mean, if I start a WordPress blog, no one says “oh, WordPress, you should be nofollowing links from the blog.” Twitter is my microblog, dammit — hell, anything I link to from my microblog should carry link credit unless *I* as the blog author decide to nofollow.

    Let’s take Google’s Blogger. Anyone can start a blog there, just like at Twitter. Does Google automatically nofollow links from Blogger blogs? No it does not, as far as I can tell. Oh, by why not? I mean, won’t spammer just link willy nilly from Blogger? Yes, they will. Yes, they do. And those blog don’t tend to carry a lot of PageRank to pass along. But still, shouldn’t Google nofollow things?

    To paraphrase what you wrote Matt, and put it in that perspective:

    “Matt’s blog is read by a bunch of SEOs, including quite a few blackhats, so it was pretty clear to me that Google’s Blogger might get hit by spammers who jumped onto Blogger just to get PageRank, or by bots who signed up a ton of accounts automatically trying to get links….

    By the way, I totally support if Google wanted to lift nofollow for real users in some way….

    Perhaps down the road Blogger will look at ways to keep flowing PageRank to real users while not opening themselves to a spam attack. I would imagine that they have pretty good signals that would let them separate (most) real users from (most) bots/spammers. So Google could take steps such that most users would still get PageRank by removing the nofollow on sufficiently non-spammy users.”

    So enough. Ev and Twitter should drop nofollow period, secure in the fact that if Blogger doesn’t need to have it on by default, they shouldn’t feel they need to. If they want to use it because they find it a good way to deter spam, then I understand that completely. We use nofollow on Sphinn in many ways for exactly the same reason. But we do let some link love flow, and I’d like to see Twitter do the same.

  16. Harith

    Matt,

    As per your suggestion, I have changed the title of my said Sphinn submission

    From:

    Matt Cutts Reports Dave Naylor For Spamming Twitter!

    To:

    Matt Cutts reports a loophole mentioned by Dave Naylor

    However, the rest of the content of my post and my comments shall remain unchanged :-)

  17. chuckallied

    It seems like one answer to this is for Twitter to allow their software to be run on other domains, similar to wordpress and let links be what the webmaster wills. Another option is to let link follows be determined by an account status similar to SEOmoz’ setup: 100+ twit posts and the links get turned on, a twitter determined switch of “you’re a spammer”, and maybe a community aspect similar to votes.

    Bleah. They’re all open to abuse. No Follow is a mess.

  18. Just tried this trick on my Twitter bio. They not only took away the link juice, they took away the link. I’m an SEO, so I like easy links just as much as the next guy, but in my estimation that list of links in the bio counts as spam. I mean, is it really adding any value to the page? I think this is probably smart of Twitter. Self preservation.

  19. All I can say is GOOD. Hopefully enough Black Hatters will realise this has now changed to nofollow so they quit botting the olé Twitter.

    And maybe… dare I say it, the SEO fog will rise so I can get back to seeing the regular Twitters whom actually use Twitter because they like it and not using it as a promotional tool. Grrr, sometimes this industry annoys me slightly.

    I’ll just end with;
    http://www.cluetrain.com/
    I wish more people would read it in this industry, that’s all I ask.
    >.<

  20. OK This may seem odd, But Matt did the right think and I would have done the same I guess if I new that @ev was Evan at twitter I didn’t

    why would be my guess to the big question, well thats easy if twitter wanted to give us the users credit for our work building their community then they would have NOT nofollowed our bio links.. but they did, so finding a hole or exploit, they had to close it really, if i could hijack rae’s or graywolf’s account would we complain so much with Matt if he got Evan to fix it

    This wasn’t Matt putting pressure on Evan to stop link juice this was Matt telling Evan that there was an exploit and it was Evan’s choice to fix or leave it ..

    DaveN

  21. Here’s my two cents on this whole thing: Twitter owns your profile page. If you don’t like it then go and start your own micro blog service. Google owns it’s SERPs. Don’t like it? Then start your own search engine. If Danny wants to nofollow or follow all the links at Sphinn, that’s his prerogative because Sphinn is Danny’s site. I have the luxury of making these same types of decisions over my favorite networking site, OIVillage.com because I created it!

    The horrible honest truth is that life isn’t fair, and many of the things that we all interact with in business and our personal lives we have little control over. Get a grip and do the best with what you have.

  22. @DaveN @MattCutts

    If that’s the case, if you really just wanted to give Evan
    a heads up, you should have done so privately.

    I don’t mean so to preserve the “loophole” .
    I’ve never taken advantage of that and I’ve been on
    Twitter since, well, there were only hundreds of us.

    I’ve chipped in ALOT of time from the early betas,
    to evangelizing Twitter, to turning in countless spammers
    and pointing out troubles early on and proactively.

    I would have liked the opportunity to be able to use that
    enhanced link at some point, perhaps to a personal blog, etc.

  23. Separately,

    Those who are over-doing it screaming that it’s
    our content and energy are going overboard.

    While I feel that way in theory to a degree also,
    they have been providing us with a free service
    cool enough that we’re all there non-stop.

    Comments like ‘fine use nofollow as long as jack, ev, and biz do too’,
    is just ignorant.
    These guys, (and their closest friends,
    with a contributions from family),
    conceived, created, and have taken the heat for Twitter.

    The same people ragging now, were NOwhere to be found
    when they were getting killed over failwhales.

  24. Dave (original)

    I love it when spammers get their loopholes blocked :)

    Best of all, they have no idea how do real “SEO” (which has ZIP to with search engines) so they go straight back like a Moth to the flame.

    Why can’t I point at what I want to with authority, just like I do with a regular blog. If my twitter home page has earned a good PR score because people point at me, then I’ve done what Google wants — provided good content that earned that value, just like with a real blog.

    You can do anything you like to your sites. Who’s stopping you?

  25. Patrick Grote

    Interesting.

    Are there are user generated content sites that don’t use no-follow? Any web utilities? Other than individually owned blogs I don’t see where the no-follow *isn’t* used.

    It would be fascinating if someone broke out where “link love” comes from nowadays and how Google actually uses it. It appears, and yes this is totally off the cuff, almost all larger sites employ no-follow.

  26. not too inside at all. Very interesting post Matt.

  27. I think this is kinda funny. I really don’t care if my link no longer works from my Twitter profile. It’s was known from the beginning that it was a loophole and would have been eventually removed. So, I’ll just find other ways to bring in links.

    And yes, I understand that this isn’t the whole point. Many SEO’s are saying that Google doesn’t have the right to tell website owners what to do. Well it happened, and after this outcry, maybe Twitter WILL reward the quality members of the service. I hope so, actually.

    What I really find funny though, is how often SEO’s talk about how you shouldn’t be promoting Page Rank and that links should instead be about the traffic they bring in. I was actually attacked on Sphinn for mentioning a site for a friend, in which he stated that he not only wanted the help the environment, but also help blog owners gain pagerank to their own website. Once that word Page Rank was mentioned, the Sphinn community went crazy and started saying things like “we should report you to Google” etc.

    My point being, SEO’s are bunch of fuckin’ hypocrites. My friend was attacked for promoting Page Rank, yet it seems the entire community of SEO’s are crying because their Page Rank was taken away from Twitter. Get over it. Find another loophole, and next time don’t tell anyone about it.

    Sorry for the rant, but I just can’t believe how overblown this story has become. This is just my opinion, and I’m sure I’ll take some flak for it, but that’s just how I feel about this whole mess.

  28. Danny Sullivan gets this right (of course). If Blogger doesn’t nofollow every link, then why should Twitter? Even if they did, It’s our pagerank that we’re building, pass the it on. Don’t neuter all our hard work at creating good content.

  29. @Dave (original) Twitter is stopping me. If you consider Twitter to be a blogging platform (which I do), then Twitter has decided what links can benefit from my blog — which is none of them. In contrast, if I were blogging on Google’s Blogger, I have control over whether I can pass link credit or not.

    Of course, neither platform is “mine” in the sense that I’m really using a hosted service that’s “owned” by someone else — Twitter and Google. But the argument is identical for those who think Twitter should somehow nofollow all links to close a “loophole.” Google’s Blogger has exact the same type of loopholes, then — anyone can sign-up, make a fake blog and generate links. And plenty of people do. Yet Google hasn’t closed this loophole for years, so why should Twitter come under criticism that it somehow has been neglecting this?

    Let me be clear. I’m not at all into the idea people should just grab inappropriate links. Nor am I anti-nofollow. As a site owner, I like that I can use nofollow as a deterrent if I want. It’s my decision to use it or not; Google’s not imposing a requirement on me to do so.

    Nor do I see this entire thing as Twitter somehow “caving” to Google or being forced to do this. Rather, I think Twitter simply hasn’t thought it through. They know they can be open to spam, figured they should apply nofollow as many people do, then realized there was this one place where they neglected to do it. So they shut that down too.

    The criticism I have is simply that it shouldn’t be so binary — credit or not. If they want to block new Twitter pages or pages they can somehow detected being abused just to generate links, hey, go for it. That’s a smarter move that allows those who have built great Twittter profiles to ensure that any authority they want to pass on gets passed on (bear in mind that since you don’t get anchor text, there’s not much you’re getting anyway – and since URLs in your twitter stream both get redirected as well as fall off your twitter home page, they ain’t so great too. But it’s more the point).

    But if anyone is going to hold Twitter to the fire for either having a “loophole” or allowing some link juice to flow, then they better put Blogger right alongside it. That’s because the issues at Blogger are identical if not worse — Blogger is far more a spam problem for Google than Twitter is, ironic given that Google itself owns Blogger. And let’s not forget that Blogger is also a major source of search spam that pollutes the other search engines, as well. Google’s come a long, long way in reducing the blogger spam out there. But just go hit Google Trends for any term listed, then look at the blog results that come up. You don’t have to search hard to see Blogger content with spam.

    [carson daily cancer] is a top term now. Here’s one of the top posts listed right now:
    http://disgustfuldtg.blogspot.com/2008/09/carson-daly-cancer.html

    Spam. Hosted by Google.

  30. Twitter should control the bots / spams through automated systems but give the power back to real people who use Twitter almost on a daily basis to get some advantages over PR flow.

  31. Sphinn completely deleted a thread the other day with a very interesting dissection of a new website with dozens of comments. As it was deemed self-promotion by the OP, it was deemed by mods proper to nuke the whole thing. I thought I did make some interesting points as did others, but that content was wiped, and don’t get credit for my additions.

    Each service is run in a way that works for them..six one half dozen the other.

  32. I don’t know the point of no-follow links , but really surprised to how they fail to prevent spammer to register. Like you just eradicated all good or bad bacteria with broad antibiotics.

  33. SD

    I think Twitter did the right thing here to be honest, but they should consider opening up the regular Web link for users *if* they can be relatively safe in assuming it’s a real user. This is what most of the commotion is about; when you’ve spent a good deal of time ‘building’ a profile (yeah, writing c**p is another way of saying it ;)), then why not allow the link.

    Whether or not Matt triggered it or not is kind of irrelevant in my opinion as it’s Twitter’s decision. That said, Danny’s point regarding blogger/blogspot being the exact same situation is of course totally valid and *that* is something Matt should be doing more about. As the head of webspam at Google, ie. the owner of blogger/blogspot – probably the most spam-infested site on the planet, this seems to me like a direct reflection on Google and something that does fall under his watch, unlike Twitter. It sure is ironic to see posts like this in the face of all the spam hosted by Google. And *that* is a topic I’d like to see Matt address.

  34. I totally support Twitter using “rel= vote for links” for “real users” . With all due respect, G is so hard on site owners to use no follow, it should also encourage vote for as well, so it doesn’t appear that G simply wants to monopolize the net and be mere thought police.

    I use vote for links for my trusted deep links on my home page http://www.ehlinelaw.com/

    What do you say about that Matt?

  35. I think it comes down to sacrificed alternatives for now. Twitter has some very real system problems they need to address. Link juice and “nofollow” doesn’t matter if the service fails.

    Evan, Biz and crew probably made a decision for now to stop additional damage until they can fully evaluate the issue at a better time. While this decision applies to every account, I suspect the vast majority of users don’t know the impact or for that matter care. They won’t notice the change unless they read sources like TechMeme and so on.

    Given what I know, I’m willing to cut Twitter some slack on this.

  36. Okay, so let’s shift perspective just a bit. Matt, I know you’re not a big ego and perhaps you don’t recognize your own influence… but….

    Say I run a big new VC-funded web site growing lke mad and possibly the best thing since sliced bread or salsa in a jar and then Google’s head of Spam/Quality rings me up to “just let me know” that Google is watching carefully, and considers these open link opportunities to be “risky”. Hmmmm…..what to do?

    C’mon Matt this isn’t Twitter making an independent decision that nofollow on all links is the solution to abuse of its services. This is a safe response to Godfather Google having expressed his distaste.

    If you don’t want Google to continue to earn a bad reputation for “ruining the Internet”, then couple the great Google innovations with more sensitive approaches to search spam fighting that do a better job of managing the side effects/collateral damage.

    Step back (as we pro’s do) and take a good look at today’s web: does anyone enjoy freedom to link as they choose anymore? Google is stifling the very thing it says it values most about the web — publisher creativity and editorial use of the Internet by the people.

  37. Anne H, I pretty much agree 100% on your comment. I think that this was a small/easy step that probably preempts an entire category of spam attacks against Twitter, especially as they hire their first full-time spam person.

    Danny, I think I agreed with you in my last paragraph of my email to John, where I said

    By the way, I totally support if Evan wanted to lift nofollow for real users in some way, but I figure that Twitter probably wanted to protect themselves against spam as a first step. Given that a month or so after I dropped them a note, Twitter hired a full-time spam person, I’m not surprised if Twitter was starting to see more spammers show up and wanted to take strong action to push back on spam as a first step–if Twitter got gummed up with spam that would be bad for everybody. Perhaps down the road they’ll look at ways to keep flowing PageRank to real users while not opening themselves to a spam attack. I would imagine that they have pretty good signals that would let them separate (most) real users from (most) bots/spammers. So Twitter could take steps such that most users would still get PageRank by removing the nofollow on sufficiently non-spammy users.

    We’ve said that before as well. For example, on the official documentation page about rel=nofollow that we added this summer, we explicitly make the point that “If you want to recognize and reward trustworthy contributors, you could decide to automatically or manually remove the nofollow attribute on links posted by members or users who have consistently made high-quality contributions over time.”

    I pointed out to Evan that one field of the profile had a nofollow but someone could bypass that code in another field of the profile, so there was a mismatch there that probably wasn’t intentional. But if Twitter wanted to, they could choose to lift the nofollow for users that they thought were trustworthy enough. It’s up to the Twitter folks to decide how nuanced of a policy they want and how many resources to put into the issue.

  38. If anyone ever wanted proof that the SEO community is largely full of self-absorbed brainwashed stark raving idiots, this whole “story” has provided all the evidence needed and then some.

    Your decision regarding spammers made every twitter member suffer.

    Then Matt’s suffering too, and you don’t hear him complaining.

    Mind you, it would be kind of funny if he did whine like most so-called SEOs. “I just took away my link love. I’m a good Twitter member. This is unfair! Give me back my link love, other me!” (Or is that Mini-Me…or Mini-Matt? Is there a Mini-Matt?)

    Also the ones who are real members with good activity, were just getting a backlink for updating their profile pages hundreds times a day. You took away that too..

    This is precisely the wrong attitude to the subject. The question that I haven’t seen asked yet (although it probably has been) isn’t whether Google was right to take something away from Twitter users (which, by the way, isn’t even true), but the following:

    Why should Google be under any obligation to reward participation in a community that has little at best to do with them in the first place?

    If I volunteer my time to various social causes in my hometown (Toronto), I wouldn’t expect any kind of reward from Los Angeles. L.A. isn’t my community, and I have done at best very little to help it. So why should the city reward me for something I did in Toronto? The reward, if any, should come from the community which derived benefit from the volunteer. And let’s face it…we’re all volunteers when it comes to these social sites, and none of us would ever want to use social sites for anything other than to help our fellow man. Damn…the Elmer’s smells good today!

    (Side prediction: this analogy will be completely lost on someone who will attempt to tear it to shreds).

    The prevailing logic, like most SEO prevailing logic, is completely ass-backwards and reeks of vested interest (the one thing that, above all else, destroys most attempts at intelligent thought.) If anything, Danny Sullivan inadvertently made a good point in that it doesn’t go far enough. Start taking on Blogspot. Start taking on WordPress blogs (and yes, I know I have one, which means I would be negatively impacted…I get it). Start taking on forums. Better yet, include a regex for any sites of a social nature and/or forums with large percentages of spam and blackhat activity (Digital Pointless comes to mind) that examines any external links (which would be really easy to pick out) and blanket discount them or dampen them. You can manually add those sites in if you wanted to as well, so any forums that largely monitor against spam would still provide some “link love” if necessary…although I still prefer the blanket approach just because of the effect it would have on the vested interests of the masses at large.

    That way, even if the site owners don’t use rel=”nofollow” (or better yet, use rel=”dofollow”, rel=”SheepFollow”, or whatever), you can still avoid any issues

    As far as those of you who are upset about this and building effigies of Matt and proclaiming that Google is evil are concerned, take a look at what Joe Hall said (one of the rare voices of reason that I’ve seen on the subject). He summed it all up in three simple words:

    Get a grip.

    Attaboy, Joe!

  39. Just wondering what you think Matt – what backlinks should legitimate businesses have that obviously affect search engine ranking? And how can a legitimate business compete fairly for ranking in the search engines?

    Thanks.

  40. Instead of bashing Google or calling Matt “the godfather” (although Halloween is coming Matt…), I think we should all recognize that what Matt did was give a courtesy heads up to the folks at Twitter, encouraging them to take PUBLIC action that might help curb Spam rather than helping Google keep their index clean.

    It is not necessary for Google to bully a site, publicly or privately, to assure their Hegemony. The fact is that Google can and does stop links, pages and entire sites from passing PR, regardless of whether they use nofollow. They do it for link sellers, they do it for user generated content and they do it for some directory sites. They may well do it for Blogger (the ability for a SPLOG to rank is not the same as it’s ability to pass PR). I have very good reason to believe that WikiPedia links where not passing PR before they publicly switched to nofollow early in 2007.

    The reason for a public notification is to enable Twitter to devise a strategy whereby the could ELECT which links still pass PR instead of having their ability to pass PR secretly removed without doing anything to reduce the number of people/bots flooding the system with sock puppets and spam links. The warning is valuable and I dare say appreciated by the site owner.

    Someone from Google would need to public confirm that WikiPedia fact, but the data was fairly clean. Now that WikiPedia uses nofollow, they have the option of somehow vetting which links should be considered authority links.

    The SEOs who bemoan the loss of a valuable back link are not necessarily black hats, but I think there anger is misplaced. Dave Naylor, Rae and Greywolf are probably not (anymore) the kind of abusive spammers who would setup a network of sock puppets just to grab some link juice from Twitter. Rather, they are social leaders with a large number of followers who begrudge what they perceive as Google bullying on principle. It is easy to loose perspective when you feel your hard work has been discounted. On the plus side, Matt’s link to Rae’s post is certainly worth more PR than her twitter profile. :)

  41. Superman

    Matt,

    I completely support any movement that aims to take down spammers, but at what expense? I am the co-founder of a small start up internet business that wants to be completely run and promoted via the internet and web applications. Obviously, taking part in multiple social sites is a great way to promote any company. Because of this we decided that we would create pages (by the company) to help promote ourselves. I think there is something to be said about spamming for the sake of spamming vs. actually taking part in these online communities. The “nofollow” tag does help stop spammers, but the rest of us who are actively involved in these communities and contribute should not have to pay the same price the spammers do. Is it really wrong for a person or group who is a contributing member of a social network to gain some influence because of it? It is wrong for someone is only contributing for page rank, I know, but how bout the rest of us?

    -Superman

  42. Due to the “fix” I currently can’t achieve an active hyperlink to my contact form (with company registration details) and disclosure policy.

    No notification of the change was made to users, so if Rae hadn’t included a link to me from her post, and I hadn’t happened to actually spot the trackback (I have been really busy recently), then depending on your interpretation of current UK regulations my Twitter “blog” which is a blog owned by a registered UK company that is both business to business, and potentially business to consumer, might not be fully compliant.

    Now I am not an incessant Twitterer, just over 500 updates in over 18 months, and 2300 followers. I am not addicted thus I could cope with deleting my Twitter account, but it is a useful discussion channel even though I don’t use it as may do for heavy self-promotion (without disclosure)

    Maybe you should ping Ev and ask how you should link through to your disclaimer?

    It could be achieved with a background image, but those details aren’t available from Twitter clients using the API.

  43. Call me crazy… forget it, I do it myself all the time! BUT… I have just read 36 comments that are all dealing with an “Effect” of one factor, PageRank.

    Being one of the “Self Absorbed, Stark Raving Idots” I managed to put my three marbles down this evening and come up with a total and simple solution to all of this… Eliminate PageRank as a measure of value!

    In reading the replies in this post, we need to completely reinvent the way webmasters, young or old, skilled and new, write and deliver the content to their readers. Again, all of this due to the pagerank algo.

    Why should hundreds of thousands of page content need to be rewitten or shaped in a way to please the PR pundits, when PageRank can be gone with one fell swipe of the mouse.

    Rel=NoFollow’ing the web is not the answer… eliminating PR will literally kill the PR spam! Its your monster…. put it to rest.

    Mark

  44. Mark,

    PR isn’t the problem it is just showing the problems of our society. If you would introduce another ranking system, it will still get abused.

  45. OMG. BIG o’l sigh!!

    So the SEO industry is mad because a site they do not own, but could put their very own content and links on it to hopefully gain some Google juice, has suddenly closed off a loophole that SEO’s were exploiting for their own gain? Come on now; say it ain’t so?

    Please read “multi adam’s post. Read Dave’s post. Read Joe Hall’s post. Read Brian White’s post. Read them all again.

    Also read Danny Sullivan’s post for the irony of it. I suggest you take a stand one way or the other Danny. Your post doesn’t make much sense at all and is catering to both the people who want link juice from someone else’s website, and to people who see the SEO industry exploiting a loophole. The irony of it all as you have your own social media site as well, and add and delete and edit to your heart’s content.

    Think about all of this; SEO’s want to create content on a site they do not own, and at the same time they want their own outgoing links to post to that other site to give them a boost in Google even though those links can be posted “by them” and lead to their own sites.

    Please explain to me why Google should give a boost to a link just because the owner of that link can post his own links? I’m not getting it. I’m also not getting the fact that every site owner can make their own rules regarding their own sites and blogs. Why is twitter any different? Many SEO’s have their own blogs with user generated content. Don’t you all make your own rules?

    Twitter did good. The alternative would have been bad for Twitter as even outgoing links posted by the Twitter owner might have been discounted IMO.

    The days of SEO’s signing up with multiple usernames and profiles on these social media sites to game the search engines are slowly going away. … finally.

  46. @Jonah Stein

    Calling Matt the godfather is actually a compliment from my perspective. Matt even goes out of his way, on his own dime, to put up this bad ass blog. I have learned more from his videos and blog than from all the books and forums I have visited combined.

    Godfather, godfather, godfather.

  47. Harith

    @panzermike @Jonah Stein

    No Godfather, please :-)

    Matt’s preferred nickname is Earl :-)

  48. @all the blog references

    When did twitter become a “blog”? Twitter doesn’t call itself a blog and refers to it’s tweets as SMS. Since when did SMS become blogging?

    This is ripe…

    BTW, how is NOFOLLOW on the link in your BIO hurting anyone?

    If you have hundred of followers they may follow that link, so many anyone else that lands on your profile page.

    See, if you would all just keep quiet when you find a place to game the system we wouldn’t all be here having this little chat now, but it was probably inevitable because nothing good every happens anywhere a bunch of well known SEOs is found hanging out, there’s always an ulterior marketing motive.

    Maybe next time you’ll discuss your new toy underground, use code names, not make it so obvious that even the visually impaired that sued target can see what’s going on.

    Just a thought…

  49. Dave (original)

    RE: @Dave (original) Twitter is stopping me…

    @DS, it IS their site, correct?

    Social media sites and alike have been targeted, exploited and basically ruined for the masses by your blackhat buddies.

    *So lets make this clear, it is NOT Google ruining sites and the Web on the whole, it’s the SE spammer who don’t have a clue how build sites that EARN votes and have to resort ‘tricks’.

    I love when spammers get what is inevitable, just like moth flying around a light globe, spammers think the light will never go out :)

  50. Even though I appreciate your efforts in the fight against spam, this whole preventive measure is somehow contra productive to the overall health of the web. When there is too much intrusion and controlling behavior you bet people start feeling like we are living in an authoritarian regime. Keep in mind that public companies are also socially responsible not only to their shareholders, but the society at large.

    What you think is in your best interest, that same issue might not be good for others. Unless, of course, corporate values prevail and transcend anything.

    Applying nofollow is not the solution to spam, and you know that well. There is a flaw in the algo that needs to take precedence than going around preaching the great news to protect your well intentioned crusade.

    By influencing others with your anti-spam measures real Twitter users have been affected too. For instance, the clicking capability in the Bio section was removed completely. And there was a reason for some of us to use that option other than getting a dofollow link back to our sites. I have two different Twitter profiles to separate my audiences with notes stating so. One account is for English speakers, the other one is for Spanish speakers. Like me, there are several people that need to do that, mainly because of request from folks who are following us. English speakers are not interested in news in Spanish and vice versa.

    I also hope you know that not only blogger is the buffet of spammers. Google groups has been a target for a very long time. In fact, recently several groups have been hacked with redirects to porn sites. Even a simple link to Google Chat was redirected to not one, but several rotating sites. So why not put more emphasis at home rather than going around the hood preaching the gospel?

  51. Deb

    One thing Matt – if every one add nofollow in links then how the seo will work?
    Seo – link building is a part of it – if nofollow is there then link building must be closed

    Deb

  52. @incredibill,

    Twitter is ‘micro blogging’.

    And if every one would keep their good programms a secret, those services would not been used as much as they are and that would make it a bad programm. So, what is your point?

  53. Hi Bonnie; You wrote:

    “And how can a legitimate business compete fairly for ranking in the search engines?”

    I’m not Matt and am not speaking for him or Google at all.

    Try forgetting about how to gain backlinks. Instead; focus on making your site the best in your niche. …. links will come if you do that. Stop focusing on twitter profiles and other social site profiles. They were only going to be short term fixes that disguise the major issues most sites have anyway………. their own site problems.

  54. Bonnie,

    Ask Doug Heil what the properties are of a “best site” in a niche. Don’t accept theories or vague descriptions, but only specific implementable things.

    Just bugging you a bit Doug! :)

  55. tonnie,

    Bill’s point wasn’t that the programs themselves should be kept secret. You’re right…good programs and sites should be shared with others.

    What Bill was saying is that, if an idiot somehow manages to stumble and bumble his/her way to find a website exploit, (s)he should keep it a secret in order to keep the exploit “open” as long as possible. It’s a brilliant comment on his part because the only people smart enough to know what he’s talking about are too smart to waste their time trying to find these sorts of things in the first place. In other words, he tells spammers the truth, none of them get it (or choose to accept it), and therefore uses reality as a weapon.

    As far as “micro blogging” is concerned, what is that? Seriously, what is it? Is that blogging in 25 words or less? It just sounds like a typical SEO wannabe made-up term designed to waste 3-4 hours a day yapping with all the ethical criminals out there in SEOland and somehow justify it as a productive exercise. Let’s face it…Twitter is largely useless as a productive activity. The closest I’ve seen anyone come to actually applying it to something useful is Matt, and even he spends half his Twitter time in non-productive ways.

    Oh wait…he’s being social, and that’s a great way to promote a business. I forgot. How silly of me. * sighs * I can’t wait until people get that idiotic notion out of their collective heads.

  56. Google started digging a hole for itself when it put so much weight on backlinks. It tried to dig itself out of the hole by pulling a bait and switch with nofollow (Google introduced nofollow as a tool for blog owners and then turned it into a band-aid for its algorithm)… rather than focusing on how to serve up good results, it runs around the web telling other site owners how to link to things and dictating how markup is supposed to be used. Google is going to lose the fight against spam if the focus continues just to be on bullying other people into sticking nofollow on links Google doesn’t like.

  57. We shouldn’t allow the importance of links in SEO to distract us from the real reason for their existence. They are there so that people can click on them and find their way to something useful. Nofollow tags don’t interfere with that. Just because a link doesn’t donate Page Rank, that doesn’t mean it has no value. It can still be a source of useful traffic to your web site.

  58. Harith

    Bonnie

    “And how can a legitimate business compete fairly for ranking in the search engines?”

    One way is to employ In-House SEO or hire an ethical SEO company. As simple as that :-)

  59. George

    Good to know your stance, seems reasonable to me.

    I noticed you linked Naylor and Wilsdon’s blogs, why not NickyCakes(.com)? Its not right to screenshot someone’s blog without attribution.

  60. @Multi-worded Adam

    – What Bill was saying is that, if an idiot somehow manages to stumble and bumble his/her way to find a website exploit, … -

    Since when is placing a link an exploit? But i do get your point, people who find these bugs should keep their mouth shut. So they and they allone can abuse the system…..

    - As far as “micro blogging” is concerned, what is that? Seriously, what is it? Is that blogging in 25 words or less? It just sounds like a typical SEO wannabe made-up term -

    That you have never heard of it isn’t a shame.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro-blogging

    Since when is Twitter meant to be usefull in SEO terms? It is a usefull tool that can be fun. Even if it is limited to 25 words.

    That you cant see that isn’t a shame.

    I have found many interesting sites that were just pinpointed in twitter, didn’t have to crawl through tons of egocentric narrow minded shit or cluttered up blogs to find them. And still had fun reading what people all over the world were doing.

    Calling every SEO the same by stating – yapping with all the ethical criminals out there in SEOland – is an offence to people who do take their business serious.

    I work as an SEO in the narrow path that white hat techniques give me, and i have enough struggles to keep up against ass(peep) that use every kind of trick.

    That you cant see that isn’t a shame.

  61. Jim Wilhelmy

    I have found it is best to optimize my site and content for Live.com, Yahoo.com, etc. and NOT Google. Once I have produced quality content that ranks well on Yahoo.com and Live.com, Google seems to follow suit. I run several sites that sell products, so most buyer types come from Live.com and Yahoo.com, so it works well for me.

    Just my 2 cents.

  62. Harith

    Matt,

    My thoughts and sympathy are with you and the friends of GOOG WebSpam Team. Because you have the most unpopular job on this planet :-)

    However, the success of WebSpam Team should be measured in term of the volume of attacks the team is subjected to. As such congrats, GOOG WebSpam Team :-)

  63. Matt, dropping someone an email that points out how SEOs are sharing tips on techniques to compromise a specific site is probably okay.

    But you could certainly stop a lot of spam in its tracks by just not counting any links anywhere and focusing on relevance.

    Links still pass value through the visibility they create and the traffic they send even if you get everyone to choke off the PageRank and anchor text.

    Think of all the resources that Google has unnecessarily invested in fighting link spam that could have been prevented by removing link valuation altogether from the ranking process. Those spammy links might still have been dropped, but Google would not have suffered through all the spam abuse it has experienced through the years.

  64. Dave (original)

    Ask Doug Heil what the properties are of a “best site” in a niche. Don’t accept theories or vague descriptions, but only specific implementable things.

    IF you have to ask a total stranger (not in your niche) how to make *your* site in *your* niche the best, you can forget about getting past page 3 of the SERPS.

    I say forget ALL about SEs and links and focus on frequently adding good quality unique content pages. SEO is a myth and distracts from what Google REALLY ranks high.

  65. The whole nofollow thing makes very little sense to me. People will drop links where there is traffic. Regardless of an SEO benefit. Nofollow does not punish the “bad guys”, it puts a hurdle in the way of those who want to get something for contributing something, which is more than fair.
    All of this seems like a very shortsighted quick fix to me.
    It can’t be that hard to implement something more sophisticated preventing people from being able to register 100s of brandnew accounts and dropping their links in it, but taking an SEO benefit away from everyone does not seem to do anything but give people the impression that Google is trying to control every aspect of the web.

    You have a strong voice, Matt. When you suggest something to a twitter employee, do you think he will come up with something he has never paid much attention to, or simply ask you what you would do and then do the same?

    If you’re popular on Twitter, chances are you have something to say. If you do, then chances are your site has something to say as well.

    Shouldn’t that be a pretty good indicator that maybe whatever you have on your profile could be something that Google searchers will be likely to be pleased with when surfing for related keyterms?

    ~ Mike Dammann

  66. Dave (original)

    The whole nofollow thing makes very little sense to me. People will drop links where there is traffic. Regardless of an SEO benefit. Nofollow does not punish the “bad guys”, it puts a hurdle in the way of those who want to get something for contributing something, which is more than fair

    You STILL get the human traffic, so it is “more than fair” to the contributor.

    However, Google boosting pages based on self promotion for “contributing something” is NOT fair on Google searchers and would see Google lose all relevance. Is it really that hard to see the common sense logic?

  67. Sure, Dave, and everytime you link to a friend from any of your sites, then it should be no follow as well, because … them being friends would make your link biased and is in no way an indicator that the site is good. Your personal feelings will cause Google results to lose relevance and having a link period should be enough for them, don’t you think?

  68. Dave (original)

    No, not by a long shot. Friends linking to each other does not make a site more important or relevant. When you link to a site (friend or foe) from your OWN site you can choose to use nofollow or not.

    PageRank is a complex *voting* system that determines importance and relevance of web pages to search terms.

    To say those who have the most free time to self promote their site(s) via self promtional linking from other sites can be deemed as votes for PageRank is just plain silly.

    Self-promotion via links is good for human traffic only and is NOT a *vote* from the page that allows the Self-promotion.

  69. @everyone above:

    What is the difference from in house SEO and simply trying to promote your own business by writing articles, social bookmarking and getting friends to link to you?

  70. This is a case of Twitter showing extreme – extremism. I mean, common they already no followed the Web part, at least they should not have done the same thing with the Bio field. And Matt, you could have suggested to the twitter guys to at least allocate some link love for the members.
    But anyway, as I see it now, the only way to get some back links to boost your PR is by providing important links in your updates. I hope Twitter does not No follow this as well.

  71. @panzermike,

    An SEO knows how to structure those articles, he knows how a site has to be set up and guides you in writing your articles the propper way.

    SEO is not ‘bad’ and ‘links gathering’ only. If that and only that is what your SEO is offering you, you should take care.

  72. Dave (original)

    What is the difference from in house SEO and simply trying to promote your own business by writing articles, social bookmarking and getting friends to link to you?

    SEO is a myth and sees many people wasting their time and money for *possible* short terms gains.

    Google users could not give a hoot which page has been “SEO”, as such Google themselves doesn’t give a hoot either.

    Focus ONLY on good unique relevant content pages. Knowing YOUR subject is by FAR much important than ANY form of “SEO”. Do that, and in time, other sites will give your pages genuine votes in the form of one-way links that WILL stand the test of time.

  73. Harith

    Dave (original)

    “SEO is a myth and sees many people wasting their time and money for *possible* short terms gains.”

    Thats Blackhat strategy you describe.

    Do I really need to teach you whats Whitehat SEO, or are you going to figure it by yourself :-)

  74. Dave (original)

    I don’t need “SEO”, be it whitehat, blackhat or any color. Been there, done that. ALL are myths perpetuated by the “SEO” industry to line their pockets. I too was like yourself, thinking SEO is needed, but after 10 Years+ of running a successful Web business, it became more clear by the day that knowing your subject and frequently writing good unique quality content is the ONLY thing that matters.

    I can call a spade and spade as I have no ve$ted interest in “SEO”, unlike most here.

    Content is, always has been and always will be King.

  75. Jag

    Yes i have noticed this earlier, that why i like twitter :)

  76. Harith

    Dave (original)

    “Content is, always has been and always will be King.”

    Contents is a “stupid objects” :-)

    - content can’t manage by itself to be crawled.
    - content can’t protect itself of being crawled.
    - content can’t manage by itself to be found under what it stands for.
    - content can’t classify itself by itself.
    - content can’t make itself visible anywhere.
    - content can’t get itself to rank on the serps.
    - i.e content is stupid and helpless object.
    - etc..etc.. :-)

  77. That is an interesting development. I have seen several people wanting to manipulate Twitter as a way of advertising their website – afterall, it is free advertising. However, getting sneaky about it is not cool.

    I would be interested in seeing how this plays out. We have seen Myspace and Facebook use these similar tactics, but people still flock to manipulate them.

  78. @Original and Harith

    Thanks for your speedy responses. It still seems as though there is an open debate on what white hat and black hat is. I write lots of articles and try and use the latent semantic indexing into them.

    I post them at e zine and other places and also have blogs for each sub topic I offer. This works for me, but I am fearful that I could be accused of spamming or be black hat, so I am always trying to learn more as to what the difference is.

    BTW. E zine sucks now and their editors have become mere censors and I am going to stop posting at E zine. One problem I see is that everyone is so fearful of the Google spam team, that even fresh content that is on topic with ideas that are not spam, is being refused for publication and being rejected.

    For example, e zine no longer allows more than three words in a hyperlink anchor text. This means I cannot place the words: “Los Angeles personal injury attorneys” (my top keywords) in an article.

    What a joke. They seem to think more than three keywords are spam. So you see it is getting a little ridiculous and is actually stifling the free flow of ideas.

    This is not to say that spam is not bad, but the fear of having one’s business banned by Google more and more it is reminding me of a book I read called “1984″ by a guy named George Orwell.

  79. Just a quick note to counter the assumption that many seem to hold in this discussion that all SEO is shady and evil.

    Rather than think of it as a way of gaming SEs (which some undoubtedly is), consider the wider usage of the term SEO as a synonym for Search Engine Marketing… in that many use it that way.

    While the industry is constantly evolving, likewise is the terminology used and therefore I imagine that sooner or later SEM will become the predominant phraseology by those inside and outside the sector.

    With that in mind, suggesting that ensuring your content is fresh, wonderful and constantly updated is naive in the extreme. Fair enough, a few may luckily find your product and then link; however, this will not guarantee the rankings, traffic and conversions your site deserves.

    Do you think that Coca Cola took its place as the world favourite soft drink, simply by being tasty? No it didn’t. It marketed the hell out of itself and reached as many people as it could possibly do.

    Being as a website inhabits the internet, and search engines are the primary marketing tool in the arena, SEO/SEM is an absolute must and the ‘build it and they will come’ ethos is a thing of fantasy alone.

    Apologies for continuing off topic! (For what it’s worth, I agree with both Matt and Danny in this argument, and they’re essentially arguing from the same view – i.e. it’s Twitter’s responsibility to be more proactive in its spam filtering etc)

  80. Harith

    panzermike

    “I see is that everyone is so fearful of the Google spam team, that even fresh content that is on topic with ideas that are not spam, is being refused for publication and being rejected.”

    Sorry to hear that. There is really no reason to fear Google WebSpam Team. Matt is the head of that team and he is so helpful as many have stated on this blog and other places. The Googlers at webmaster central are helpful too. As long as people read, understand and respect search engines quality guidelines, they should be ok.

    Whitehat SEO is about conducting responsible search engine optimization techniques and to care about the clients sites and interest. Its a long term strategy carried out taking into account the search engines quality guidelines.

  81. Panzer, personally I dislike comments on my blogs where the user name is “cheap hosting” or “san diego realtor”, it just makes you believe that the only reason for posting is indeed to move up in search engines. I know, duh …. but it also looks strange and spammy to visitors who don’t pay any mind to SEO and come there for a conversation wondering what is really going on.
    So I do believe when I post somewhere, the best thing to do is use MY NAME or the name of my site instead of something I would like to rank higher for.

    You don’t need SEO if you do things right, but the short term strategies work well for those who are less creative or competent which causes so much weaseling and spamming.

    My point is that if self promotion should not benefit in any way, then Google should stop asking people to implement nofollow and rather change the algo to where no forum, social network or any other self promotional links benefits the sites linked to.

    My previous post was more regarding the waste of time and the lunacy revolving around discussions like this one.

    Stop playing around Matt, and do it on your end. Discount every links from social networks or forums and I can guarantee you that you will see some sort of improvement in the Google SERPs as well as on social networks out there.

  82. I think Matt likes DIGG, and Stumbled precisely because of the user votes. So discounting that vote to no follow in my opinion would hurt the results.

    Google has always looked at votes and PR was sort of manipulated in a bad way, so social votes and traffic appear to be the new focus of Goggle and I like it.

  83. Exactly! So what does putting a twitter account of someone having 5k followers versus 1,000 autocreated spam ones with no followers into the same category?

    My point exactly! :)

    Mike

  84. @mike dammann,

    What did SEO give us in the first place? And dont think of SEO as linkspamming basterds that put up tons of sites. That aren’t SEO’s, those are spammers.

    SEO gave us insight in what is important and how to do it right, so your statement – you don’t need SEO if you do things right – would still have us walking in the dark ages if we followed it from the start.

    A real SEO is the one that educates his customers, tells them what went wrong and is able to prove it. He knows how the internet works and what should be done. Therefor, he will never tell his clients that he can garantee a top position, but is still willing to put in a lot of work to achieve it.

    Either one is an SEO or one isn’t, so a black hat should be called by his real name ‘spammer’.

  85. Dave (original)

    panzermike, while the blackhats always like to blur the lines for their vested self interest, the difference between blackhats and whitehats is light night and day.

    A true Whitehat will NEVER go outside the SE guidlines and will NOT focus on links, PageRank etc

    Why are you giving your content away to another site?

  86. Stop playing around Matt, and do it on your end. Discount every links from social networks or forums and I can guarantee you that you will see some sort of improvement in the Google SERPs as well as on social networks out there.

    I’ll drink to this idea….mostly because I said it first. ;)

    Seriously, this idea makes more and more sense every time I think about it. If it’s “gamable” in any way, and people are publishing ways to game it, then don’t let it influence SERPs in an indirect way. This doesn’t seem especially difficult….unless I’m missing something.

  87. Dave (original)

    My point is that if self promotion should not benefit in any way, then Google should stop asking people to implement nofollow and rather change the algo to where no forum, social network or any other self promotional links benefits the sites linked to

    Amen to that! However, I’m pretty certain no value comes from forum links, newsgroup links, blog links etc. Same goes for most directories.

    With forums, the sheer number of pages and links means that PR on the vast majority of inner pages have little to no PR to pass on.

    nofollow is handy to distrubute PR between your OWN site pages in a controlled manner. It is also handy when linking to another site pages and you don’t fully trust the site. E.g, they MIGHT be part of a bad neighborhood.

  88. Harith

    Dave (original)

    “A true Whitehat will NEVER go outside the SE guidlines and will NOT focus on links, PageRank etc”

    Well said, Dave. Well said!

  89. Bill

    The use of nofollow is getting way out of hand. I’ve checked some sites that have naturally linked to me using a nofollow, while their paid advertisers have dofollow links on the same page.

    We are entering an era where every user generated link, and even natural links, will carry no SEO weight because they are nofollowed. Paid advertisers usually don’t have to worry about being nofollowed.

    I certainly would question how effective Google believes nofollow is when many webmasters simply nofollow every outbound link to protect their PR/ranks.

  90. @Bill Said:

    I 100 percent agree. People are so fearful G will penalize them, they are using no follow like crazy. The whole point was to not give weight to paid adverts, but from my view point, it is having the EXACT opposite effect.

    After reading Bill’s post, I have come to one conclusion. Spam Team thinks of an idea, webmasters exploit and manipulate it. Spam Team forced to come up with new idea, and same thing happens.

    Web masters and site owners suffer, or they learn to manipulate. Google creates jobs like crazy.

    Capitalism at its best.

  91. I agree with you, Bill. And the only explanation I have is that Matt’s strategy is to wear the SEO world out with going on and on about nofollow and other stuff that we should not even spend time on discussing.
    What it does is create “link greed” to the max. Give a free nofollow and “upgrade” it for a fee.
    The original webmaster guidelines by Google stated that we should build our sites as if Google didn’t exist.
    Now we’re being encouraged to build our sites for and businesses around Google.
    This seems hypocritical to me.
    I also highly doubt that this is benefitting Google’s results. Google can do whatever they want, it’s their business. But limiting webmasters’ creativity and impacting what they spend their time on and how they build their sites borderlines on being a control freak.
    I miss the good old days when there was no nofollow. And from what I recall, the Google results back then were a lot better than they are today.

    ~ Mike Dammann

  92. Dave (original)

    Guys, report the paid links to Google. Then move on and worry about YOUR site only and make it the best in your niche.

  93. @ Dave Original:

    I agree with you Dave. But you have to admit, this is a tough job keeping your rankings when the guys who cheat always seem to have the short term advantage. Sometimes that’s all the advantage they need to get that billion dollar phone call or lead off their site.

  94. Dave (original)

    Hmmm, I never check my competitors ranking and only check my own pages sometimes. I check my TOTAL unique visitors weekly and, over time, my unique vistors are growing slowly but surely. Other than ROI, that is that matters.

    I spend most of my time uploading useful content pages and/or modifying existing ones.

  95. Danny Sullivan is spot on about twitter being a blogging platform.

    Danny said, “Of course, neither platform is “mine” in the sense that I’m really using a hosted service that’s “owned” by someone else — Twitter and Google. But the argument is identical for those who think Twitter should somehow nofollow all links to close a “loophole.” Google’s Blogger has exact the same type of loopholes, then — anyone can sign-up, make a fake blog and generate links. And plenty of people do. Yet Google hasn’t closed this loophole for years, so why should Twitter come under criticism that it somehow has been neglecting this?”

    This is exactly why I advise all clients not use any free hosted blogging platform, including wordpress.com and blogger, and now possibly twitter.

    Whenever you do that, you are sunject to their terms of service and any changes to that terms of service they want to make.

    The time you invested or money you have invested in creating and posting to a free hosted blog can go away in an instance. It’s out of your control altogether.

  96. I agree with you Dave. But you have to admit, this is a tough job keeping your rankings when the guys who cheat always seem to have the short term advantage. Sometimes that’s all the advantage they need to get that billion dollar phone call or lead off their site.

    I’m not Dave, but I don’t have to admit this and won’t. I couldn’t care less where people “rank” because 1) it varies too much across the to be a worthwhile exercise in and of itself and 2) much as Dave pointed out, I check my referral traffic and see that traffic is coming from SEs. I can’t even figure out in some cases how they found me under Keyword X, Y or Z because on the rare occasions I do a cursory examination (usually under some phrase or word I wasn’t even targeting), I can’t even find myself. The term M.Y.O.B. comes to mind here.

    Yes, blackhat works…sometimes. No one can deny that. As much as any search engine can do to fight it, there are simply too many people who are too lacking in moral fibre and too capable of coming up with absolutely anything under the sun for any one search engine to provide effective counters or proactively deal with the issues, as it stands right now.

    The one thing that always bothered me, however, is that Google in particular has a very effective spam fighting tool right under their own noses and they haven’t even implemented it on the main yet i.e. Google Accessible Search…if you ever want to eliminate about 95% of spam or more, put that into place on some level. Most spammers are lazy and looking for shortcuts, and as a result are usually horrible coders.

  97. If it’s SPAM you’re concerned about, why not add a really difficult captcha at the user registration page? Why should a whole community be harmed because of some idiots that use blackhat tactics?

  98. @seologia,

    Spammers are not just bots, they are real people so they can read the captcha.

  99. Dave (original)

    Google’s Blogger has exact the same type of loopholes, then — anyone can sign-up, make a fake blog and generate links. And plenty of people do. Yet Google hasn’t closed this loophole for years, so why should Twitter come under criticism that it somehow has been neglecting this?”

    How do you KNOW that Google doesn’t already discount Google blog links?

    I have a sneaky feeling that *Google* knows what is best for *Google’s* search quality as apposed to those sitting in arm chairs looking in :)

  100. @Dave (original) Said:

    I think they do discount those eblogger links, cuzz I lost serious PR on all of my e bloggers last update. I dont really care, cuzz I blog for traffic.

  101. Dave (original)

    I would think so as well. I doubt that there are many (if any) serious loopholes in Googles PageRank in the Year 2008.

  102. @Dave (original) Said:

    Yeah, it seems like they are just mopping up at this point. Just socialize and hope you get voted for backlinks with good content and pics IMHO.

  103. Dave (original)

    Agree, any open taps have been turned off long ago.

    IMO, social sites are for socializing and were never intended for any “SEO” or “SEM”. The blackhats have yet again ruined these sites for what they perceive (erroneously) as a means to exploit Google and its users for their own vested interest.

  104. Dave (original)

    Most spammers are lazy and looking for shortcuts, and as a result are usually horrible coders.

    A lot of good and informative content pages are also badly coded. So, IMO (and Google must agree), using “Google Accessible Search” as the norm would see LOTS of good content (which should be ranked high) falling back to page X. This would quickly end Google’s dominance as a SE and would punish the masses to kill off a few SE spammers for the short term, many of which would adapt and start spamming Google Accessible Search and make the blind suffer for their greed.

    So long as page renders correctly in a Browser, Google users don’t give a hoot and as such, neither does Google.

    Google Accessible Search was designed for Results Optimized For Visually Impaired And Blind Users. Nothing more and nothing less.

  105. Dave, try doing some searches using GAS. I’m not blind or visually impaired to the point where I’d actually need it, but I have never performed a search with it that hasn’t gotten me what I wanted within the first page (and I’ve done thousands of searches with it…things I’ll guarantee big G never would have tested for). And if some “good content” doesn’t show up, the person who lost here isn’t me as a user, but the bad coder whose page may have loaded more slowly or incorrectly in my browser or, in extreme cases, may have crashed it. I found what I wanted to find, and that’s Google’s goal. More importantly, I did it without seeing “v*agra pen*s big t*ts (my search term here)” in the SERP.

    It also fits in with Google’s whole mantra of “would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?” A serious webmaster WOULD code pages as well as (s)he could if search engines didn’t exist, if for no other reason than to maximize usage of the site (or for those who prefer this term, market share.) So to consider something like proper code only makes sense from a big G standpoint.

    I can’t see a logical reason why anyone would argue that a page shouldn’t be as well-coded as possible, either.

  106. Dave (original) Said:

    I would be interested to hear what Matt has to say about social sites. I watched his video and it appears he is a proponent of these sites for SEO.

    It makes sense to me too, as they are primarily vote based. I think it is hard to manipulate them, as people will not “vote” for spam.

  107. Mike, you obviously haven’t been around long enough, and that’s okay. But social sites are openly manipulable and nothing more than online popularity contests. Anyone with access to multiple machines on multiple IPs could have a field day “voting” his/her stuff to the top. It happened with Digg for the longest time and to some degree still does. It happens with SpambleUpon. It happens with all of them.

    The userbase, by and large, doesn’t know enough and/or doesn’t care enough to stop it either. They’re a fad, and one that will inevitably die off. They have to.

  108. Dave (original)

    I can’t see a logical reason why anyone would argue that a page shouldn’t be as well-coded as possible, either.

    Me neither, but that isn’t the point. The FACT is a lot of good content pages are written by those who KNOW their subject, yet no clue about coding. As I say, Google users don’t care about strict coding so long as the page renders in their Browser, as such, Google (any SE) cannot afford to care and use strict coding for ranking.

    I feel confident that Google knows more about search quality and relevancy than any of us, don’t you agree?

    I watched his video and it appears he is a proponent of these sites for SEO.

    Can you point me to that video, thanks.

    I know that Matt often feeds the links for PR frenzy and Google even sponsors “SEO” conferences where people are taught how to spam SE.

    I think it is hard to manipulate them, as people will not “vote” for spam.

    Sadly, lots of people vote for Spam as they too are spammers and have a vested interest in gaming Google.

  109. @All:

    Now I am confused. I am submitting highly relevant news and articles to these bookmark sites because I thought Matt liked them. Now I am hearing social sites are spam.

    I don’t want to get sand boxed and hope that Matt will clarify, so I can keep my site up.

  110. Dave (original)

    Why are you giving away your content to other sites who will profit from your work?

    “social sites” are not spam, but have been targetted by spammers since inception.

    Matt, may personally like “social sites” but, IMO, they are nothing more than chat rooms filled with young teens. regardless, Matt “linking” certain sites does not mean these site will help you in “SE0″. Like Yo Yos and other Fads, they will be flavor of the month for a while, then they will die off in a slow and painful death.

    Even now, the traffic they send is “junk traffic” that uses more bandwidth than its worth.

    Can you point me to that video that you say Matt is suggesting “social sites” as a method of “SEO”?

  111. Dave (original)

    Correction “linking” should be “liking”.

  112. the lack of originality I’ve seen here almost hurts

  113. Harith

    @Dave (original) & MWA

    Pssssst.

    Matt is back home. Stay tuned for the next Gadget and Emmy & Oz post. Gonna be an evergreen post, may be :-)

  114. @xmcp Said:

    How did you get an authority site dedicated to black hat SEO?

  115. Well, if Twitter decides on nofollowing links, so be it because they has the ultimate decision to do so if people are mis-using their services. Building links to a single site does not necessarily mean that it will lead to high conversion, but it definitely brand a site as a spam site when links are left for the sake of a higher pagerank or better SERPs performances. Let’s think about it, what would you do if you are the owner of Twitter and people are mis-using your services? Penny for your thoughts?

  116. As pointed out this is not unique to Twitter. I recently came across a high listed site in a SERP which had many links out of bebo and others. If Google could index toilet paper, people would put their links there.

  117. My goodness, do you all realize that had this much effort been spent on ending world hunger that children probably wouldn’t be starving in Africa today?

    Now, continue discussing your petty NOFOLLOW problems while little children are dropping dead every few seconds, I dare you…

  118. Dave (original)

    While I’m sure you have an imaginary parallel between World hunger (Africa is NOT the World, BTW, its a Continent) and nofollow in your own mind, I can assure you it exists ONLY in your mind.

  119. I think you missed his point, Dave. His point was that it really doesn’t matter what we say about NOFOLLOW. It is what it is, and all the vested-interest whining, bitching, complaining, pissing, moaning, and bellyaching isn’t going to change that.

    He could have used any example of a much greater issue in the world to make his point.

  120. Dave (original)

    Bill’s post made/had a “point”?

    I thought all Bill did was supply personal details of whitehats to spammers.

  121. Dave (original)

    Besides, it’s VERY rich coming from Bill who writes random rants to keep his own ego inflated.

  122. Iv’e seen links in others bio’s only figured it was for promotion didnt know about this thanks!!

  123. @Dave (extra crispy) I’m not sure what you’re talking about cause you don’t know me whatsoever and making such accusations isn’t cool, even for you.

  124. Dave (original)

    Bill, I know enough of/about you to make the statement and you DO know what I’m talking about.

  125. He might (I doubt it), but I don’t. That’s a pretty heavy accusation to make about someone, Dave. And if you’re gonna make it, you’d better be able to back it up…otherwise 1) you look like a complete jackass and 2) you end up trashing someone who didn’t deserve it.

    The only thing I can come up with was when someone mentioned your wife’s name on here once, and that wasn’t Bill. I can’t remember who it was, but it wasn’t him.

  126. @Dave (extra crispy) You obviously have me confused with someone else. as I don’t know you, nor your information, nor do I care. I don’t spread anyone’s details except IPs and hosting details of bots, spammers, scrapers and botnets.

    If you’re one of those, bummer dude.

    You also have me confused with someone that gives a ….

  127. Dave (original)

    Bill, I know you don’t give a…, hence my reason for posting the statement and hence YOUR ability to do such a low act. And, no, I have NOT got you confused with someone else.

    As you don’t give a…,perhaps you should teach you blindly loyal puppy lap dog to do the same.

  128. Okay, Dave, I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about or referring to now. I don’t know what kind of meds they have you on, but they’re seriously starting to mess with your cognitive function.

  129. Dave (original)

    I’m corresponding to Bill (legend in his own mind), not his blindly loyal puppy lap dog. If that also confuses you…. here it is in laymen terms, butt out, you don’t know shit from clay about your bum chum Bill (legend in his own mind).

  130. Butt out because all I did was asked you to back up what you’re talking about (something any objective, neutral reader would want to hear as well)?

    I didn’t pass judgement. I didn’t take a side one way or the other. I simply asked you to back up what you said because it’s not exactly something you just say to insult someone…it’s something you say to try and discredit them. If you’re going to accuse someone of distributing personal info to spammers, you’d better have some evidence…otherwise, that’s libel. That’s just, as you like to say, common sense.

    Think about it…if someone accused someone of something on that level and you were reading, wouldn’t you want to see proof as well? Or at least some idea of what that person is talking about?

    You want me to butt out? You want to call me names (by the way, that’s damn funny since I haven’t had any contact with Bill in the last 3 months or so and it was minimal at best before that…not exactly lap dog behavior)? When you stop acting like a blackhat yourself, then I’ll butt out.

  131. @Adam, drop it, he’s obviously not right in the head because I don’t know what in the heck he’s rambling about, I don’t know anything about him nor do I care to, and this is the wrong venue to discuss such things regardless.

    I’ll just another name to the list of lurking loons to avoid.

  132. But that’s just it, Bill.

    You know he’s touched in the head.
    I know he’s touched in the head.
    But we’re intelligent people.

    Most of the world isn’t…and might actually take his bizarre, incoherent ramblings seriously.

    Scary thought, isn’t it? Dave’s insanity multiplying?

    I will drop it, though…just because I know he hasn’t got any proof. I probably know more about the guy than you do…that’s the funny part.

  133. Matt Cutts Wrote:
    “If you want to recognize and reward trustworthy contributors, you could decide to automatically or manually remove the nofollow attribute on links posted by members or users who have consistently made high-quality contributions over time.”

    If I was twitter, I would sell the service. In fact, I think as this statement is pondered around various corporate meetings there will be a considerable push to charge users an annual fee regardless of the content quality.

  134. Dave (original)

    RE: “I didn’t pass judgement. I didn’t take a side one way or the other.”

    I don’t know what kind of meds they have you on, but they’re seriously starting to mess with your cognitive function

    You know he’s touched in the head.
    I know he’s touched in the head….
    Dave’s insanity multiplying?

    Sure about that? If that’s neutral I’d rather you take Bill’s (legend is his own mind) side……..oh wait….you have already.

    Bill (legend is his own mind) knows full well where I’m coming from. Proving to your satifaction IS impossible, just as Bill (legend is his own mind) proving otherwise is. But I have all the proof I need and I am the ONLY one that I need to prove anything to.

    To date, there are only 3 people who know of which I speak and Bill (legend is his own mind) is one.

  135. Considering I don’t have a clue about this garbage of which you speak, that leaves 2.

  136. Dave (original)

    Lot of written denials for someone who does care or know of what I speak.

    I didn’t expect you would own up, as you were very sneaky when you committed the low act.

  137. The only low act I ever committed was talking to you.

  138. Dave (original)

    Funny how you have never asked for ANY details of which I speak. That’s because you DO know.

    You DO care/regret you were caught (sadly not the act istelf), that’s evident by you continued posts.

  139. I don’t ask because you cannot provide what doesn’t exist and I really don’t wish to cause you any further embarrassment than you’re already causing for yourself which is morbidly amusing.

  140. Dave (original)

    Correction, you don’t ask cause you know already.

    As you are into “morbidly amusing” (evidently) I guess that is why you did the low act to start with.

  141. Dave, if you’re going to say something, go ahead and just say it because we’re all sick of waiting on your lies. You keep chirping about me knowing something I haven’t a clue about so enjoy your delusional rant.

  142. Dave (original)

    I already have said “something” and the details…..you already know. But you are pretending to know nothing about it. Don’t worry it will be our little secret ;)

    BTW, from reading your ego inflating blog I would think “delusional rants” are YOUR specialty :)

  143. Dave (original)

    we’re all sick of waiting on your lies.”we’re” being your blindly faithful lap puppy dog and IncrediBILL(legend in his own mind).

  144. Hi Dave, What are you doing? My goodness. I do know Bill from numerous communication, and find him very refreshing. The guy tells it like it is with no BS. Why don’t you respect that in someone? I would think that you would see this better than most as that is precisely why I always liked you as well. Adam is the very same way. Why are you fighting with people who are like you in many ways? You all hate spammers. You all pretty much dislike the way the industry is right now, so please get some kind of grip, ok? You should be targeting your anger towards those who actually deserve it… the blackhats and the lovers of blackhats.

  145. http://humanorbot.com/

    BTW: To prove Adam’s point and what many of us have known for a very long time about social sites; read the above. Read along the left side of that page and what really goes on in these social sites….. including sphinn as well. We all know how SEO types and social media geeks and kids/babies exploit these types of sites for and because of Google. It’s a fact. It’s also why they will cease to give these people any benefits in the future. At least I would think so anyway. No search engine worth a blank would count these links as anything but BS….. that includes Tweeters.. whatever it’s called. How the heck can a story/article/blog post that gets voted up by friends/bots and all else be considered a quality link? It can’t.

  146. Dave (original)

    The guy tells it like it is…

    You got that right. He told a person (blackhat IMO) my personal details when I was posting on the persons blog anonymously. The person then posted my personal details on their Blog.

    Doug, Bill is NOT trustworthy. Believe it or not, I suspect the latter in your case though.

    This is WHY I left your forum and removed any personal details. Bill is NOT trustworthy.

  147. Okay…let’s assume for a minute that what you just said is true (and that seems more conjectural than anything). Do you think pulling your personal details from Doug’s forum would stop anyone who already knew the information? Hell, I could tell you the two colours on the backboard on your neighbour’s basketball net (the one approx. 6 doors down) if I wanted to. That’s just silly.

    Your personal information is in the WHOIS of your domain name, which can be crosschecked with (your country here) White Pages and pretty well anyone who wanted to could find out where you lived and do anything they wanted to you. You’ve got your wife’s name on your site. You’ve done interviews where you’ve mentioned your daughters. And you’ve managed to systematically alienate just about everyone you’ve come into contact with, both black and white hat. You’ve almost got as many people pissed off with you as Dubya. Did you not think someone would retaliate?

    And do you think that Bill (if it is true, and I seriously doubt that) would be the only one who would want to screw with you based on the way you’ve been acting over the past year? You’re lucky you’re in an area most people wouldn’t ever dream about going to, or someone probably would have done something a lot more drastic by now. You’re not only out in left field by now, but you’re somewhere up past the cheap seats on the roof.

    Besides, how do you know Bill passed anything to anyone? I could say Bill passed me your personal information, and you haven’t got any way of knowing whether it is or isn’t true (it’s not…despite your incredibly ridiculous lap dog remarks, I do think for myself and just happen to agree with Bill much of the time).

    In other words, you should be protecting your own interests. Get a P.O. box. Don’t tell the world who your family is (I wouldn’t dare tell anyone on here who my girlfriend is for her safety if no one else’s). And get a little more street smart.

  148. Dave (original)

    Viewing personal information is one thing. Handing it over (plus the names of my wife and kids) to a blackhat (who subsequently posted it on their blog) which I was debating with *anonymously* is another.

    RE: Did you not think someone would retaliate

    I would expect as much from a blackhat, but not a so called whitehat who is fighting the same cause.

    I don’t expect Bills lap dog to understand. Heck, it’s easy to tell who’s side you took after your very 1st post on the matter. Even now, you are essentially saying Bill is justified in his low life methods.

    You are simply too young and bias to understand. Stand for something else you fall for everything.

  149. Man, you can’t read anything, can you?

    I never said Bill was justified…IF he did it. What I said was that there’s next to no way that you can determine that Bill specifically did it when your information is so easily accessible that almost anyone with a bit of Internet savvy and an axe to grind could do it. Blackhats exploit things for a living…you don’t think they could use some detective/research skills to find out what at least 3 of us on here already know? Theoretically, it could have been either myself or Doug too. We both know the same information (it wasn’t either one of us, but the point’s still there).

    That’s why I don’t believe Bill did anything…he wouldn’t have to. Could he have done something like that? Yeah…but Bill would take more satisfaction out of doing it publicly himself than he would passing a note in class (at least such is my limited understanding of Bill’s M.O.) He calls out spammers. He calls out botnets. He calls out just about everything else. You don’t think he’d call you out?

    Here’s what I see (being unbiased and objective):

    1) Publicly available information.
    2) No proof whatsoever on your end (just a series of accusations). I don’t even know what blog you’re talking about.
    3) A guy who has managed to piss off almost everyone in sight.
    4) A guy who’s also pissed off because someone posted information publicly and needs to find out who did it, or at the very least have a scapegoat to point the finger at.

    There is no way that I can see that you can accuse Bill of anything when there are a number of other possibilities as to what happened…IF it even happened (and we still haven’t even seen the blog in question yet).

    No proof + wild accusation + evidence that suggests a contrary position + evidence that suggests other possibilities = flaw in the story.

  150. OK, I never did anything Dave’s accusing me of because I would have to know Dave had kids to know their names wouldn’t I?

    Dave, it’s obvious you’re obsessed with me but I’m already taken with other stalkers that are much more inventive than this.

    BTW, it was amusing when you started, but just keep running your slanderous fat mouth making false accusations and see what happens because I’m running low on tolerance about now.

  151. @Dave – if I told anyone anything, name the blog and name the person, who it is I supposedly told something to, which would require knowing something to tell in the first place, just finish your stupid story and get it over with.

  152. Geeez, iv never seen so much whingin, whining, sking and ranting in my life.

    I do SEO full time and i dont see what all the fuss is about.

    If you lost your one link from twitter, dont waste your time here crying about it, go out and find another backlink of equal value without nofollow. Im sure it would take no time at all.

    Twitter is used for building relationships and trust, selling yourself to build your buiness. All by providing up to the minute news about yourself. If you are using it striktly for backlinks your deciving your followers.

    A hyperlink was origionally created to help visitors navigate from a website to other locations on the web. This makes your bio link still very valuable.

    Spamming is so much hard work and a waste of time and i pitty the losers that do it. You will find spammers are mostly always newbies that dont know any better and are brainwashed buy these salesletters promising instant riches for little to no work and just an easy payment of $29. Its like the war against drugs, its not the users ya have to track down and punish, its the dealers and supplyers. Track down the ones selling the spamming software and shut them down.

  153. This is good info. I wanted to know if the tweet links were no follow because I never see twitter results in google searches. Thanks. Please keep us posted if things change.

  154. I don’t see what the whining about spammers on Twitter is all about. If you want followers, you’re going to get spammers, but, you don’t have to follow everybody. Go through the list you’re following, do some research and unfollow the ones that post links all the time and while you’re at it you might delete the ones that post every minute too. I use some of the tools that are available to increase my followers but I also look at the list of whom I am following. I weed out the ones that post in a language I don’t understand and I also get rid of the ones that F this an WTF that in every other post. I don’t hear anyone complaining about those people. They just quietly unfollow them.
    I find when I look at the followers lists of spammers that they have thousands. I’ve even done a search for the links that they spam and found that some of them have over 10 accounts and every account has 2000 or more followers in them. My conclusion is that the ones who want this information will follow these people and the ones who don’t should unfollow these marketers and stop complaining about spammers.

  155. m

    I’m guessing the link in the bio thing doesn’t work any more? It doesn’t seem to for me…

  156. If Twitter is going to be “no follow” then obviously there will be limits of followers,the spammers might not use it or might neglect it but typically that’s how twitter works.As for SEO they might top using this as well.

  157. hey matt, thanks for that. I feel you with spammers in though. Us guys put in the hard work while certain people just get automated comments and fake friends to get page rank.

  158. hello people, could you tell me how to know when a website uses ref “nofollow”?
    Thanks a lot

  159. Vj

    @juan install a firefox plugin named nodofollow and check it out on your own..

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