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?