WordPress.com owners Automattic, working in conjunction with Answers.com and former WordPress core developer Alex King have just released a new plugin which allows WordPress.com users, and WordPress.org users to easily link to topics and definitions on Answers.com.
There are literally hundreds of such plugins for linking to various Wikis and shopping sites, but for some strange reason those haven’t been included on WordPress.com
Users on WordPress.com aren’t really very SEO savvy and thus are most likely to be “link happy” and of course with the plugin being so convenient, they are more likely to link to Answers.com now than rival sites.
A deal such as this if you were a link broker would be a 7 or even 8 figure deal – especially if there was some level of exclusivity.
If Automattic are being paid for including the plugin, surely they should let their user base know that they are receiving compensation for the links.
Whilst such links are being provided editorially by bloggers, the plugin is like doing the decorating, and then giving a baby a box of crayons to play with.
I am sure they would like the option to nofollow the links, after all much of the material sourced from Wikipedia is user generated content.
If I was an investor in Automattic, and they didn’t receive significant financial compensation, I would be extremely upset. Not only for the lost income, but also the lost leverage and link equity.
If Answers.com were ever in the market to buy WordPress.com, the value to them is vastly reduced. They already have the link juice.
For a competitor to Answers looking for link juice, the value is also vastly reduced, because they will be sharing links, and it would be very hard to tell users…. “Sorry, you can’t link to Answers now, you have to link to XYZ instead”
At a guess, this might knock at least 50% off the value of WordPress.com – it is like damaged merchandise, deflowered.
Then of course Automattic are so against webspam, they wouldn’t dream of handing a stick of dynamite to a baby along with a box of matches and of course they would do it out of the goodness of their heart.