WordPress.com linking structure

In the comments discussing my objections to the current implementation of Google Reader on Robert Scobles blog, something very interesting cropped up.

Robert was vehemently questioning the morals of people in a blogging network.

Hey, you all work for B5 Media, don’t you? You’re gaming Google by linking all your blogs together which puts people who don’t join a network at a disadvantage. But no one calls YOU on that! Maybe THAT is the reason you don’t like linkblogging. It lets the rest of us gain the same traffic advantage that you have by being part of a network. In fact, on your home page you even reprint headlines, but only from those people inside your network. How convenient of you to take advantage of Google that way! I see it now, you just don’t want any competition.

Now that is a pretty big accusation. Robert is by inferrance also suggesting he has no such benefit.

He later went on to also comment about Duncan’s use of Video

So I went snooping around WordPress.com

All categories on WordPress.com blogs are connected together in a tag system. Even people who pay the guys at Automattic $250 per month for their VIP host have to be connected to the tagging system.

  • The tag links from each blog page are live links, they do not include “nofollow”
  • The links from the tag pages to other blogs posting on the same subject also do not include the “nofollow” tag

Thus all you have to do is make posts with lots of tags, and get lots of high PR incoming links from a different domain, and depending on how the servers are setup serving content, maybe even multiple different C blocks depending on which server is serving the data for each tag.

Robert didn’t know about this?

WordPress.com is effectively one massive blogging network, heavily interlinked.

The blogs have very few external links compared to all the internal links on every page. All comments and trackbacks contain “nofollow”

Why do you think Robert Scoble has a PR of 8, the same as a giant like YouTube?

As another example, Techcrunch only has PR7

Honestly I have done things that are naughtier

The big problem is that any new blogger who uses lots of tags is going to gain a massive amount of backlinks from WordPress.com link pages.

Those links do not relate to the quality of the blog, and depending on the popularity of the keyword, can remain quite high PR for a long time.

I checked Robert’s 27k+ backlinks on Google. The most influential appear first.

The 4th position in the SERPS was a wordpress.com tag for Dell.

Should Robert Scoble have a PR8 and Techcrunch PR7?

Robert does have more backlinks, but how many are them are from within WordPress.com? I honestly didn’t delve into all the 27K backlinks, and Google wouldn’t show me all of them anyway.

Is this naughty or just smart SEO?

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  1. says

    I guess it’s up to Google to stop weighting all those tag links so heavily. I’m sure that if someone reported the situation to Google, they would probably change the way their googlebot treats WordPress.com.

  2. Bert Colijn says

    This is a test message.

    Here is my experiment, a little research project.

    I finished the creation of this webpage, it is a completely new idea where I combined advertisements and articles on airlinetickets in one website:
    [Junk Spam Link] airline-tickets-com.info

    If, when and how will Google index it. It has ads, it has duplicate content (from the article directories).

    Please feel free to comment you appreciated thoughts.

  3. says

    Bert Colijn that is the kind of junk spam link that gets you permanently shamed and reported to Sedo. Live links moderated and you are in the sin bin.

  4. Anchor text abuser from London says

    Call me slow but… i’m not sure i follow the bit about tagging. What tag links are you refering to? And how does someone else’s blog post tagging end up linking to Scoble’s blog?

    Please explain :-)

    • says

      One of an SEO’s jobs is to evaluate a client’s site.

      It isn’t hard to evaluate both Robert Scoble’s blog and WordPress.com and see how clearly they are interconnected with the tagging system and all the followed links.

      As an SEO with enough bad sense to abuse my comment policy on your first visit, you must also have enough skill to spot what Automattic are up to on WordPress.com – one of the largest link farms on the ‘net.

      At least I interconnect sites which I own and have editorial control over.

  5. London SEO says

    That was a genuine question, which i got the answer to by reading some other posts in your own blog. But thanks for the unduly-defensive retort.

    As for your worries about me trying to spam your blog, that’s the nickname i use on many other blogs that include a “nofollow” attribute, and if you look around the SERPs a bit, you’ll see that it makes as much sense for me to try and spam your comments using anchore text “SEO London” or “London SEO” as it does for Matt Cutts to use the nickname “Google Guy”.

    I can understand the over-protectiveness you’ve obviously engendered for your blog since you’ve dropped the “nofollow” bit, but you could have at least given me the benefit of the doubt!

  6. says

    Interesting stuff Andy, had wondered a few times how some WP blogs end up with seemingly unrealistically large PRs considering their links and content but not yet delved deeper to find out.

    WordPress are just one big link farm eh? lol.

  7. says


    Out of curiosity, any changes since you made this post? Has Google limited the link juice power within the WordPress tagging system or has WordPress made No Follow changes? Wonder to what extent they were hit with last fall’s Google attack against blogs?


  1. […] WordPress.com linking structure åŸºé‡‘份额申购价格=基金份额净值×(1+申购费率) 申购份额=申购金额/基金份额申购价格 赎回费=基金份额净值×赎回份额×赎回费率 赎回金额= 基金份额净值×赎回份额-赎回费…>> […]

  2. […] Just a simple example would be Technorati. They provide a useful tool for bloggers with a website full of 100% duplicate content. It is made unique by mixing the duplicate content up and niching it. You can do the same on your own blog by using extensive internal tagging and customising the different archives to look different (I still need to do the second part). WordPress.com take this a stage further and offer followable links from their tag indexes. […]

  3. […] The only exception to this rule makes Andy Beard, who for the several times questioned Automattic’s spamdexing peculiar linking practice since the very inception of this link farm on WordPress.com. […]