Is Google Treating All Bloggers Equally… Oh, really?

By | November 17, 2007

I was following an interesting thread about TechCrunch, and Michael Arrington’s discussion when I began to wonder: does TechCrunch really use no_follow in his tags? True enough, he does, sometimes. But then I looked at one post which you can find here.

TechCrunchSponsors

And I couldn’t find a no_follow anywhere in this segment. Yet each link is outbound to a sponsor… So the obvious has to be asked: Is TechCrunch passing page rank? It looks like it…

<ul>
<li><ahref=”http://www.pageflakes.com/community/?source= 34d267a2-990a-4b76-bc35-324e790b56d2″ onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.pageflakes.com’);”>PageFlakes</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><a href=”http://www.idrive.com” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.idrive.com’);”>IDrive</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><a href=”http://www.ourstage.com/go/tc” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.ourstage.com’);”>OurStage</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><ahref=”http://www.wildapricot.com/?utm_campaign= TC&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=techcrunch.com&utm_content =MM20_GYSB”?utm_campaign=”TC&utm_medium=referral&utm_source =techcrunch.com&utm_content=MM20_GYSB” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker  (‘/outbound/www.wildapricot.com’);”>Wild Apricot</a></li>
</ul>
<ul><li><ahref=”http://www.operamini.com/?source=techcrunch” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.operamini.com’);”>Opera</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>< br><li><ahref=”http://www.filitrac.com/Click.aspx?fltrid=  JCDQ8A%2fUGD%2bz2SFhEapgkjHX%2feNtLHx4VayaKBei1pw%3d&sid =tech+crunch+home” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.filitrac.com’);”>Text Link Ads</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><ahref=”http://www.ads-click.com/blogger.html?utm_source= techcrunch&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign= promo%2Bwidget%2Bblogger” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.ads-click.com’);”>Ads-Click</a></li>
</ul>
<ul>
<li><a href=”http://www.leweb3.com/leweb3/2007/08/index.html” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.leweb3.com’);”>Le Web3</a></li>
</ul>
<p>And thanks to <a href=”http://www.mediatemple.net” onclick=”javascript:urchinTracker (‘/outbound/www.mediatemple.net’);”>Media Temple</a> who handles our hosting.</p>

(ed: spaces edited to make the width better) Then Andy Beard set me thinking:

http://andybeard.eu/2007/11/wrong-reaction-from-techcrunch-on-paid-links.html

…yet many prominent bloggers post quite blatant pagerank passing links to their advertisers every chance they get.

Not only do they mention their advertisers in “Thanks To Our Advertisers” posts, but they also name drop them every chance they get as a form of disclosure.

So, thanks to Matt Coutts page, I found the reporting page on Google and filed a report promptly with the following information:

This website is blatantly abusing text linking which are paid for by sponsors, and there is no ‘no_follow’ tag in the pages anywhere. Here is a sample from the post with links included but no no_follow tag: etc etc.. Please note the details.. I have already noted, copied and photographed the page for blogging. Naturally, we expect that Google will treat ALL bloggers who don’t use no_follow equally.

It will be very interesting to see what Google does or doesn’t do… And by the way, you can download the html from the page yourself before it is changed.

While I’m not so worried about TechCrunch passing PR, I am wondering: “Does Google treat all bloggers equally? Or just some? Over to you Matt.”

[ed. some wording clarified]

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