File this one deeply under SEO. My friend Jeff Belonger asked…
Hey Mike, is this statement true? On your profile page for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ you’re able to include a link to your website. On both Facebook and Twitter this link carries no value to your website and is merely clickable. Both Facebook and Twitter have added “nofollow” tags to the links whereas Google allows for value to be passed.
That’s a great question.
WHAT DID HE JUST SAY?
Here’s what he’s wondering about (in plain english).
We know that Google looks at the content on your site when it’s determining what to show when someone looks for something. That’s called a SERP or Search Engine Results Page. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) people are concerned about the ranking of their sites on a particular SERP. We know that content is very important. We also know that Google looks at is the number (and authority) of the other sites out there linking to your site. They figure if that if a site has a number of outside sites linking to it, it probably is of higher quality and therefore they’ll rank it higher than similar sites with similar content yet no links. Links are like votes. Every time a site links to you it’s a vote for you. Remember these are links to you, not you linking to them, that would be a vote for them. Does that make sense?
There’s a few problems with links though. Remember when all the sites out there had blog roles? They were lists of links on the sidebar? What if I leave a comment on your Blog? What if I included a link to my website? I could manipulate the Google Rankings by leaving links on many different sites. I could even farm my commenting out to offshore countries. You can see where the bad guys could and did try to game the system.
The best thing about the internet is that it adapts. It created a way to have a link and have it count (or not count) in the way Google looks at it. That way, a site could better determine which links count and which ones do not. It’s called the rel= tag.
When you see a link, the HTML that creates that link may have a rel=”nofollow” tag to it. You can’t see it from the outside, it’s in the code. If it does have a nofollow Google will disregard it as a link. And THAT is what Jeff was asking about. Phew!
I have the ability to look at links and ‘see’ the difference. In the following images the dotted RED box means the link is a NOFOLLOW.
My Facebook Profile About Tab:
On first glance you would think the lack of RED would indicate these links are all “follow” links (and they are) and provide me with Google Juice. They don’t. Your Facebook Profile is NOT indexed by Google. Only Facebook Pages are indexed by Google (this is via Facebook’s Robots Text File).
My Facebook Page:
You’ll see there’s a red box! That’s a NOFOLLOW link. That link is in the short description section.
My Facebook Page About Tab:
Surprisingly, that link is a DO FOLLOW.
My Facebook Page App:
The links here (the header image, the can on the lower left and my credit link at the bottom right) are all DO FOLLOW.
My Twitter Profile:
Two links in my Twitter Profile and they are both NOFOLLOW
How about a TWEET?
And now on to Google Plus…
My Google Plus About Tab: This is going to a little different. In the section that lists LINKS there are a few areas. The top area are links that Google has found, the middle section contains links to sites that I am a “contributor’ to, and the bottom section are links that I manually placed there.
Surprise! The first 2 sections are NOFOLLOW, the 3rd section is FOLLOW.
BONUS #1: You have another section on your Google Plus Profile called Story. EVERY Link in there is a FOLLOW link!
Not only that, but those links can all be Anchor Text.
Finally, a Post in Google Plus:
No RED to be found!
BONUS #2: There’s a LINK and then there’s ANCHOR TEXT. If the do follow links leading to your site use the keywords you want to describe the site that’s a HUGE boost in Google Juice for you. Example: the bottom of the sites I build have a little credit back to me. That link goes to https://areweconnected.com/custom-wordpress-blogs/ and I could just leave it at that. Instead I use the keywords “Custom WordPress Website”. That is Anchor Text!
Hopefully that answers your question Jeff. If this helps I’d really appreciate a link back to my site. The easiest and best way to do that? Google PLUS it! 🙂