This afternoon, I ended up on ‘Bloggers didn’t Come Down in the Last Shower‘, a post by blogger Sally deriding SEOs for their approach to bloggers, PR and paid links. Sally has a problem with PR/SEO types who disguise their intentions or outright lie about the potential damage to blogger’s search engine rankings caused by paid links that don’t carry the nofollow attribute.
No problems there, I agree completely. I get several e-mails on a daily basis from link builders who’ve clearly not read my blog or contact page who make out that they can provide me with content that’s the next best thing, beneficial to my site, bla dee freakin’ bla. Yawn, delete.
Sally links to a post she wrote for Tots100 in the beginning of her post. Unless you’re a parenting blogger, you’re probably unaware that Tots100 is a “community” that ranks bloggers who’ve signed up “using a unique scoring algorithm that reflects a blog’s popularity, influence and engagement”. That’s a toplist, to those of us who’ve been around since the 90s. Sally, incidentally, is the founder of Tots100. Anyway, the post discusses nofollow and why it’s important to add the attribute to paid links. It’s not the most technically accurate but given the audience is generally non-technical, I’ll forgive it that.
What bothers me about the Tots100 post, and the “bloggers aren’t stupid!” follow-up, is that it completely fails to mention the link to the family holidays website (‘familyholidays.co.uk’) contained within the Tots100 badge that all participating bloggers must place on their website to be included and/or ranked in the toplist/index/community/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. The link to the family holidays website is provided without the nofollow attribute. Now, the bloggers adding it to their sidebar might not be paid for its placement but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Tots100 don’t include this as a friendly gesture to the company behind familyholidays.co.uk. To spell that out for you:
Tots100 will be financially compensated for their affiliation with the family holidays site. Financial compensation = it’s a bloody paid link!
So why the hypocritical double standards? Haven’t figured that one out yet…
Update @ 20:11
Sally from Tots100 has stated that they are not paid or compensated for the links to the family holidays website. The links, across hundreds of blogs, are purely there (quoting #43687):
[..] Because it’s a great company, we’re happy to be associated with them, and that’s about as far as it goes.
I would argue that they still need to be nofollowed (untrusted link) but at least this means that, apparently, Tots100 aren’t slapping dofollowed advertising on member’s sites.