Blogs and PageRank

By Deane Barker on July 15, 2004

Will the preponderance of blogs these days wreak havoc with Google’s PageRank model? It used to be that you couldn’t get a link from a big name site without having something they they wanted to link to. And if they linked to it, then they liked it, so others might as well, thus a higher PageRank. Not so anymore.

I can get a link on by posting a comment or a trackback. Ditto for Kottke. I can’t on Boing Boing, but I can on Don Park’s site. And there are a lot of other blogs out there with PageRank values of, say, seven and up that I can get a link on very easily.

This site, for instance, has a PageRank of six, and you can get a link from here by just saying some intelligent (sadly, we’ve taken steps to eliminate the PageRank value, but I may remove that because other steps have helped cure the spam problem).

So, with all these high PageRank sites out there, it’s getting easier to increase the PageRank of your own site. And you don’t even have to spam — even a dolt can come up with something intelligent to say about post. Keep it remotely relevant, you won’t get deleted, and — voila! — you just finagled a link from a site with decent PageRank.

This being the case, will PageRank’s relevance and value deteriorate over the next few years?

This begs another question — would Google ever allow you to designate links as self-service? By using a special comment or something, you could declare to the GoogleBot that you didn’t add these links yourself, instead they were added by the link’s target.

And if this happened, would you do it? Would you essentially screw your commentors? Would people be more likely to comment on blogs that advertised that they didn’t marginalize links using this method?

Who knows if Google has done this already? They could have built some detection methods into their algorithm to detect “comment-ish” links and consequently devalue them. Who knows what they’ve done already.



  1. It seems like if you’re very active across a lot of sites, not with spam but with intelligent posts, the likelihood that your own site contains some interesting material is fairly high. So, in essence, you’ve earned your PageRank. If PageRank encourages people to be intelligently active on other people’s sites and build a sense of community, then that can only be a good thing.

  2. I think speculation in this direction is almost worthless. I’d be happy to put money on Google’s Ph.D’s being perfectly capable of directing the search engine any way they see fit. Thus, neither bloggers nor commentors will have any long-term impact on the weighting mechanism.

    I personally haven’t noticed my PageRank change in either direction, regardless of my activities (or lack of them) on other websites. Perhaps Google has already established a ruleset for handling blogs?

  3. I don’t like it when sites do not directly link to users URL. I find it comes off as greedy. After all they are getting content for free if users post on their site. Google also likes comments-content, as it might contain relevant keywords. Also, “links want to be links”. And if links from a comments area on my site create a meaningful network of my blog readers and my blog, than that makes sense. That being said I’m very active in my own blog deleting all types of comments which don’t make sense to me or seem like spam. Some good-minded people even go as far as too obfuscate their URLs so it doesn’t come off as spam…

  4. It would seem unreasonable for any Tom, Dick or Harriet to be able to obtain a PR6 link, say, simply by leaving a comment. My presence here doesn’t mean that my site has any intrinsic merit (it does, naturally!) and the blog owner hasn’t ‘voted’ for me, so my presence here doesn’t really signify any merit. I’d be gobsmacked if Google couldn’t filter this stuff out from their PR rankings.

  5. Do you think trading links with other sites makes your site ‘important’ ? No. Does posting a link to your site on someone’s blog make your site important? No. Should blog owners be the one’s that decide what sites are important? No . Do webmaster in competitive niches ever give “FREE” links to other relevant sites? No

    Once in a blue moon, a webmaster links out to another site (with appropriate anchored text) because they consider that site relevant. Therefore, links shouldn’t count for crap. However, I don’t have a better solution so no complaints here.

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