Thursday, August 07, 2008

Poker SEO - rel="nofollow" For Poker Bloggers

Time to continue my previous post which introduced Google PageRank for poker bloggers... to summarise, I see pagerank as a rough indication of the 'authority' given by Google at a fixed date (the last pagerank update) and one of many factors contributing to your search rankings.

Before I go into the basics of the some other ranking factors I'd like to introduce the concept of links containing anchor texts and then the nofollow attribute.

Right, you want to rank for a term... lets use 'Poker Banana' as a made up example. SEO for that term can be divided neatly into 'on page' (the things you do to your own site / blog) and 'off page' (which covers the links coming in from other sites / directories etc).

A quick way to rank for your term is to procure links with this term in them... this is exactly what the advertisers on many of your blogs are doing... buying 'authority' links with 'full-tilt-poker-bonus-code' for example from many places to try ranking for this term... it works (at least for those sites who did not get caught overdoing it).

Now, any time you link to someone from your blog you are 'voting' for them in the eyes of google... passing them some 'juice' either with or without their preferred text.

As bloggers we often have adverts for poker sites - and if you look at these (not here at Plan3t Gong... i removed them already... try elsewhere) you will notice that the sites add a text link to the bottom of their banners for all affiliates 'play poker online' for example... the cheeky bastards are taking your authority guys and gals - they are using you to rank for their chosen terms - often beating 'legitimate' quality sites to the top slots simply by virtue of having a ton of links from their affiliates.

Here is where the rel="nofollow" tag comes in.

If you would like to link to a site but do not want to 'vote' or 'pass authority' to that site then using this tag will ensure that Google does not pass rank - simple.

The added advantage of 'nofollow' is that your authority is finite... the less you pass out to the poker sites the more you have to point to fellow bloggers, your own internal pages and those sites which you deem to be quality resources.

Here is how it works in practice (will stick in 3 stars in strategic places else this will just look like a link - so just ignore the stars!)

<***a rel="nofollow" href***="http://plan3tgongpoker.blogspot.com/" Online Poker Blog /a>

So, I have linked to plan3t gong using the words 'online poker blog', but nofollow will ensure my pagerank-based 'authority' does not get passed.

Practical Applications:

Immediate Action: Go through all the links to poker sites and nofollow them right now... no point wasting your link juice! Your affiliate click-throughs will not be affected.

Secondary Action: When you link to a page or thread out there but do not wish your link to make that site rank better (for example a 2+2 thread) then just pop the rel="nofollow" into the link. This can apply to all sorts on links in your sidebar as well as in posts - basically once you have the knowledge you have the control over who you 'vote' for.

3rd: Spread the word... those people who know about this are using it, let us strive to make poker bloggers aware so that they have the choice.

Not Forgetting: Since Mark from plan3t Gong was kind enough to share this knowledge with you then linking to any one of his quality sites without a single nofollow tag in sight would be greatly appreciated - after all, you just saved 10 outbound links... so one more would not hurt! (linking to http://www.sitandgoplanet.com/ with the text 'Online Poker Tournaments' would be ideal!)

Any questions then let me know - will carry on this theme intermittently - so stay tuned.

GL at the tables, Mark

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