Skip to main content
Instapage

Web users think most outbound links are commercial [study]

The majority of links are considered to be commercial in nature, according to a new research.

Dan Petrovic, aka @DejanSEO, has just published the results of a quantitative study of 2,000 web users in the US and Australia. It was set up to discover perceptions about why web publishers link out.

Accordingly to the research, more than 40% of users think that outbound links from one web page to another are there because they generate revenue for the publisher.

‘Marketing Advertising & Revenue’ was seen to be the number one reason why a link exists, with almost a third of users expecting there to be some kind of commercial arrangement in place.

‘Promotion, Relationship & Sponsorship’ was chosen by a further 9% of respondents. Money, money, money.

Meanwhile, just one in five people recognised links as organic citations to help stand up the information on a web page.

outbound links study 2016

All in all, the analysis of the results found that more than half of links exist for commercial reasons, with only 34% seen to be non-commercial.

Classifying the different types of link

I really like Dan’s classification of links, which now straddles 10 distinct areas (though there is a good amount of cross-over). They are as follows:

  1. Attribution
  2. Citation
  3. Definition
  4. Expansion
  5. Identification
  6. Example
  7. Action
  8. Relationship
  9. Proof
  10. Promotion

Further details on each of these link types can be found here. For example, you might file that outbound link under ‘expansion’, because it’s there for further reading and insight into this topic.

Dan makes the point that since many of these link types overlap, it can be hard to spot the true intent as to why a link exists.

Some links that look natural – and which are genuinely useful – might actually be there because of some business or personal relationship. That doesn’t automatically make them sketchy. It’s just human nature.

Of course Google doesn’t necessarily see it that way. Many people fear the dreaded manual penalty and go the extra mile to neuter links, even when they have perfectly valid reasons to point visitors to their friends and siblings.

Dan says:

“I see a lot of websites nofollow links to their partner websites, sister companies and various other forms of affiliation because they were told to do so by their SEO or even someone in Google’s webspam team.

“This sort of madness has to stop. If commercially-driven links exist on the web organically then they’re organic in nature and shouldn’t be treated as ‘clean-up material’ nor should those links be penalty-yielding.”

Hear, hear.

I’d love to know the gap between how users perceive links and the actual reasons why the author / publisher put them in place. Presumably it is quite large…

What do you think?



via Search Engine Watch

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

6 types of negative SEO to watch out for

The threat of negative SEO is remote but daunting. How easy is it to for a competitor to ruin your rankings, and how do you protect your site? But before we start, let’s make sure we’re clear on what negative SEO is, and what it definitely isn’t.Negative SEO is a set of activities aimed at lowering a competitor’s rankings in search results. These activities are more often off-page (e.g., building unnatural links to the site or scraping and reposting its content); but in some cases, they may also involve hacking the site and modifying its content.Negative SEO isn’t the most likely explanation for a sudden ranking drop. Before you decide someone may be deliberately hurting your rankings, factor out the more common reasons for ranking drops. You’ll find a comprehensive list here.Negative off-page SEOThis kind of negative SEO targets the site without internally interfering with it. Here are the most common shapes negative off-page SEO can take.Link farmsOne or two spammy links likely won’…

Another SEO tool drops the word “SEO”

This guest post is by Majestic’s Marketing Director, Dixon Jones, who explains the reasons for their recent name change.
Majestic, the link intelligence database that many SEOs have come to use on a daily basis, has dropped the “SEO” from it’s brand and from its domain name, to become majestic.com. Since most people won’t have used Google’s site migration tool before, here’s what it looks like once you press the “go” button:

In actual fact – there’s a minor bug in the tool. The address change is to the https version of majestic.com (which GWT makes us register as a separate site) but that message incorrectly omits that. Fortunately, elsewhere in GWT its clear the omission is on Google’s side, not a typo from the SEO. It is most likely that the migration tool was developed before the need for Google to have separate verification codes for http and https versions of the site.
The hidden costs of a name change
There were a few “nay sayers” on Twitter upset that Majestic might be deserting it…

Software Review Site TrustRadius Has A New Way to Treat Reviews Obtained Through Vendors

Online user reviews are the most powerful marketing technique for influencing purchase decisions. But do they accurately represent the views of most users?Today, business software review platform TrustRadius is announcing a new way — called trScore — to handle the bias introduced in reviews by users obtained through the vendor of the reviewed software product. The site says more than two million software buyers visit each year to check out its product reviews.To understand trScore, let’s first look at TrustRadius’ approach.The site says it authenticates all users through their LinkedIn profiles. It also requires users to answer eight to ten questions about the product, in order to weed out users having no familiarity. Additionally, a staff person reads every review before it is posted, and the site says about three percent of reviews are rejected for not meeting guidelines.As for the reviews themselves, TrustRadius puts them into two main buckets: independently-sourced reviews and ven…