Follow & No Follow Links & Why They Do Matter After All
Brit Mums Live was a bit of an eye opener for me. I hadn’t realised how seriously people took their blogs or even how seriously I took my own. Actually, that’s not 100% accurate, what was striking was how protective we all were. Once you’ve put your words and pictures out there, your blog becomes a very personal thing indeed and once people start to read it and the giant that is Google sees it, you feel like you’ve achieved a little something.
The conference was made up of a number of classes/talks about everything from feminism to how to make a you tube video with a smart phone. One of the talks I attended was about reviews. I was shocked at my own naivety. My blogs whether they be reviews, crafts, recipes or just ramblings, contain links. I link to websites because I think they will be helpful to the reader: ‘You can buy this here’ or ‘read more about that here’. Sometimes I link to things to say thank you, such as when my lovely friends at the Buttonhole made me a gorgeous polka dot dress, or when crafters from around the World made bunting for my wedding. I hadn’t realised that this could be problematic.
Websites, all websites are given a page rank by Google. This is basically a score, judged by lots of factors including the frequency of updates, visitors, design and even the morality of the site it seems. Scores go from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest and my Husband very proudly announced to me recently that I had a page rank of 5 which is apparently very good indeed. I had 6 site links on Google (those little drop down boxes that come up on a search list) and apparently this is very good too. I didn’t think any of this mattered to me…..until I lost it.
Despite the fact that Vintage Folly is more popular than ever, I now have no site links and a Google page rank of 1 and why? Because of links and it seems, the word sponsorship.
What I learnt from the talk on reviews etc was that there are two types of links (apparently most people knew this), follow and no follow links. A no follow link, includes a teensy bit of coding at the end. A reader can still click on the link and go to the website, but Google doesn’t see you as ‘getting into bed with them’, if you like. Basically if you are seen to be cozying up to another website and something in your posts suggests that they are compensating you for doing so i.e. the word sponsored….then Google smacks you in the face, scribbles on your sofa and throws all your tea bags out of the window.
I have been linking to sites as usual, but ironically as I was sponsored to attend Britmums (someone bought my ticket) and of course I fully disclosed that on Vintage Folly (like an honest person duh!) I’ve suffered their wrath.
So Google, consider me well and truly pooped on and chastened!!!
To turn a follow link into a no follow link you need to add rel=”nofollow” to the end of your link, which is what I’ll be doing from now on.
I can forgive…but I’ll never forget *shakes fist*