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SuperPages New Profile Pages Not Doing Advertisers Any SEO Favors

May 24th, 2010
24 Comments


Mr. Greg Sterling has informed us that SuperPages has updated the design of their advertiser profile pages with “enhanced content and a cleaner look”.

Unfortunately for their advertisers’ SEO efforts they still haven’t taken the NoFollow tags off the links to advertisers’ websites.

Of course these links are paid for so this is within Google’s guidelines, but something tells me GOOG wouldn’t care a bit if they removed the nofollow tags. And it might benefit the advertisers too. C’mon SuperPages show these guys a little SEO love.

Reminds me of one of my first posts many moons ago.


Tags: Superpages

24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michael D

    No way any of these big YP companies will pull the nofollow tags, I think that’s a normal thing to expect from them.

  • 2 Mike Stewart

    Come on Andrew! They have no Internet President to speak of, the stock is down 10% Today, the CEO is padding his pockets, and because my former soon to be business partner is pissed about not getting credit for websites to his clients, I have to remove a tag out of the bottom of all my client sites for him to give me my domain http://www.YellowCrooks.com back!

    What a great start to the week for them and for me.

    Back on topic, yeah…. SuperPages.com somehow managed to go from 20 million UVs to 8 million UVs in a very short period of time.

    The SuperGimmick is not working. So much for doing things the hard way…. being innovative and creating content that consumers and clients want!

  • 3 Mike Mueller

    AT&T has the same policies for yp.com. As a search engine marketing manager for them, I–along with other SEMs–tried to convince them that dropping the nofollow tags made good SEO sense and would benefit their customers. What a great value proposition when pitching yp.com! But no…our requests we’re ignored. Eventually, the IYPs will have to give in…but who knows when.

  • 4 Mike Stewart

    It makes too much sense to pass on the link juice to the client. Heck, removing the “no follow” tags will also help the company retain ranking. Instead, like the Newspaper companies who somehow must have thought that by not putting a no-follow on links they were somehow selling links or the client was buying links?

    Clients, if your IYP company uses no follow… they are telling Google that they don’t want YOUR BUSINESS INFORMATION to be used for Discovery and they want the bots to send this information back to Google as of no importance.

    What makes a directory important are the client links, juice, and great information. Instead, all they have is a name. Even the phone number requires a click these days.

    They are more concerned with tracking than value. Remember when they removed the phone numbers off the page and wanted to monetize the traffic to a clients number? This had a huge impact on usability.

    Who made this decision? The internet marketing department or the finance department?

    Why do these antiquated companies rely on uneducated bean counters to make decisions instead of a group of creative and knowledgeable search engine marketers?

    Just sayin!

    (btw, why is it so easy to rank on Google with article (spam) yet the same cannot be said for Bing?)

  • 5 Chris Silver Smith

    From an IYP company’s perspective, there are pros and cons to using the Nofollows.

    Andrew, I believe you can obtain a link for your business profile, regardless of whether you’re a paying customer or not, so this would not be a paid link in Google’s eyes, IMHO. There’s some level of editorial checking of links as well, to try to weed out malfunctioning, malicious or illegal links, too.

    From the “pros” of nofollowing links, it reduces a site from being as much of a spam target. Some would say that it also helps a site’s own page rankings to retain PageRank by nofollowing — although Google and other search engines retain discretion as to whether they’ll continue to use the links as a ranking signal or not. For really large, good directories, one might suspect Google would choose to use the link signal and ignore the Nofollow.

    From the “cons” of nofollowing, I think it reduces the attractiveness/value of the site to advertisers some. Also, search engineers have sometimes said that it’s a bit suspicious when a site doesn’t link out. I think that to be considered a directory in the Information Retrieval sense, linking out plainly is a good signal. Finally, being linked-to, and linking-from your site in a healthy way makes your site a valuable part of the internet ecosystem — which may be healthy from a ranking POV.

    For the decision-makers, it’s a difficult choice. If the IYP’s pages rank well, the advertisers and freely listed businesses benefit.

  • 6 Jozef Foerch

    Thanks for the insight Chris!

  • 7 Andrew Shotland

    As usual Chris is the Abbott to my Costello. Well put!

  • 8 SearchCap: The Day In Search, May 25, 2010

    [...] SuperPages New Profile Pages Not Doing Advertisers Any SEO Favors, localseoguide.com [...]

  • 9 ConradJohnson

    Hey Andrew and Chris,
    I’ll get the team to review this.

    Personally I’m convinced that it doesn’t really matter for links anymore to be followed or nofollowed, just depends on the quality of the site itself linking out.

    If our site links to a quality site from our business profile, search engines will still use that link for discovery and trust. Plus the PR from that level (business profile) is greatly diminished, so I’m not sure the benefit you’re expecting is really that significant. But I guess that’s an argument for and against at the same time.

    Will post back what we come up with.

  • 10 Andrew Shotland

    Thanks Conrad. You are probably right in that the benefit to advertisers is likely small but the downside to Supermedia is also likely small.

    And while most of your advertisers probably won’t get it or care, I do believe you will earn the goodwill of those who do.

    Really appreciate you stopping by.

  • 11 Mike Stewart

    What it comes down to is avoiding these sort of thing:

    http://maps.google.com/places/us/tx/rowlett/brookhaven-dr/7413/-jerry's-carpet-services?hl=en&gl=us

    Call tracking lines from being indexed by Google and or used for Local Business Ads etc.

    This number rings to a Auto Dealer and not a Dallas Carpet Cleaner.

  • 12 Marcus | ADMAX

    Unfortunately, that darling-of-darlings, MerchantCircle, is now also putting no-follows on virtually every possible link/page, including their members blogs while warmly cheering for the members who enthusiastically espouse the wonder of creating backlinks via MC.

    BTW, Andrew – HOW did you and Greg Sterling and others miss and fail to write about MC’s settlement last week, for $900,000, the criminal enforcement consumer case with the Santa Clara County’s District Attorney, for nearly three years of “illegal” robo-calling?

  • 13 Marcus | ADMAX

    Someone should do a no-follow analysis of all of the primary directories… Speaking of which – suddenly our clients in Brownbook are each showing HUNDREDS of follow links from that source – some sort of big experiment there – giving away all of the juice?

  • 14 Mike Stewart

    I love Brownbook! It is in our optimized local search marketing package “Pick 14″….. http://www.smbseo.com/optimized-local-search-service/comment-page-1

    Merchant Circle dropped from importance sometime ago. Never noticed the “nofollow” but I did see the decline in Google Serps for Local terms for MerchantCircle and an increase from BrownBook, Kudzu, Yelp, etc…..

    Have you guys seen ChoiceVender.com? What do you think? Review anyone?

  • 15 Andrew Shotland

    Thanks for the heads up Marcus. Tres interesting

  • 16 Marcus | ADMAX

    Well, there goes my 200 visits per day MC site! :)

  • 17 ConradJohnson

    Hey there.

    Ok, we have this in our development queue. We have some pretty cool stuff for our clients that we’re working on ahead of this enhancement, a little bit of which I’ll plug below.

    Currently this link goes through a tracking mechanism and not directly to the domain itself, so just removing the nofollow to a business’s link currently on the business profile will not have the benefit you’re implying. We will follow the link from the business profile’s verified domain to aid in search engine discovery of all of our clients who have a website.

    We will do this for advertisers and not just any business profile. The reason why is this: These are businesses that we have an established realtionship with, have had some contact with, and have therefore had the opportunity to review the business’s website, information and content. It’s simply a good quality check for us to make sure we’re not linking to just anything and to avoid any increase in spam to the business profile setup here: http://www.supermedia.com/spportal/landingpages.do?splash=74&campaignId=cjbr

    Businesses wanting to review their internet packages should call: (866) 311-4186

    For businesses and their webmasters wanting a shorter click path from the homepage of Superpages.com to their business profile, they should enhance the content on their business profiles. It’s important to add as much content as possible for users of Superpages.com like enhancing the description, adding MULTIPLE pictures, adding the company’s logo, and getting their customer reviews on their business profile. Add content from the ‘Claim this Listing’ link on the business profile itself (just below the ‘info’ tab), or simply go here to get started: http://www.supermedia.com/spportal/landingpages.do?splash=74&campaignId=cjbr

    The more content, the better for businesses. We use this content in MANY different ways and it is very much a part of our own ranking algorithm for users of Superpages.com, Switchboard.com and Localsearch.com ( http://blog.kelseygroup.com/index.php/2010/03/19/supermedia-debuts-relevancy-based-search/ ) and content amount and quality also factors into how we choose businesses to feature.

    We’re also a trusted source for this information for Google local (including maps and pages), Yahoo local, Bing and MANY other outlets on the Internet and in a mobile environment. So distribution of your information to those sources and many others from Superpages.com is already taken care of, advertiser or not.

    While ALL pieces of business profile content are extremely valuable for the business’s marketing campaign, here’s a tip – add coupons to your business profiles. We’re doing fun stuff with these:
    ( http://twitter.com/sp_dallashttp://www.bing.com/maps/explore/?org=aj#5003/0.40326=k:coupon&o=&a=0/5872/style=auto&lat=32.799999&lon=-96.787003&z=11&pid=5874 )

    and we are greatly expanding the distribution points and partners of coupons, so make sure when adding content to your business profiles, to include a promotion through coupon creation and we’ll include it in our current and yet to be released distribution channels. You can quickly set those up here: http://www.supermedia.com/spportal/business-listings/coupons and we’ll review it before distributing.

    Will post back once this enhancement is live.

    Cheers.

  • 18 SuperPages Listens & Gives Advertisers Some SEO Love

    [...] cheeky post – SuperPages New Profile Pages Not Doing Advertisers Any SEO Favors – caught the attention of James Johnson, Group Manager of Skunk Works (great title btw) over at [...]

  • 19 SearchCap: The Day In Search, May 25, 2010 | 123-sale.com Blogs

    [...] SuperPages New Profile Pages Not Doing Advertisers Any SEO Favors, localseoguide.com [...]

  • 20 Weekly Search & Social News: 06/01/2010 | Search Engine Journal

    [...] SuperPages New Profile Pages Not Doing Advertisers Any SEO Favors – Local SEO Guide [...]

  • 21 John Wood

    Ref: comments 13 and 14, (Marcus | ADMAX and Mike Stewart), added your comments to the Brownbook blog – hope you don’t mind. http://blog.brownbook.net/2010/06/brownbooks-decision-not-to-use-nofollow-links-is-appeciated-by-search-engine-marketers/

  • 22 Marcus | ADMAX

    Thanks for adding the comments, John, BUT… where are our…

    DO FOLLOW BACKLINKS!!!!!!!

  • 23 Kerrie

    I know localpages.com also allows their premium profile members to have link that doesn’t include the nofollow attribute

  • 24 Mike Stewart

    Kerrie, fix this kind of stuff and webmasters might consider it!

    http://www.localpages.com/resultshome1.php?search=bail+bonds+&place=dallas+tx&button.x=0&button.y=0&distance=10&start=0&a=r

    btw, what is your # of UV’s?

    Cheers,
    Mike

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