Here I am, being a good Yahoo, checking up to see what people are saying about our new Desktop Search with Thunderbird support. And I run across this story on SearchEngineJournal.

Do you see what I see? They quote more than 50% of Duke's post on the Yahoo! Search blog, yet they never provide a link to it. And this on a site that's pimping an SEO Book?

Here's a hint. I expected a link in this text:

Duke Fan, Sr Product Manager, Search Client Team, posted about the update on the Yahoo! Search Blog

I'd suggest linking the phrase "posted about the update" or maybe "on the Yahoo! Search Blog". But being in the Search business, you know all about choosing good anchor text, right?

WTF?! Is there not enough room for a little link with that massive AdSense unit smashing their content into a small space above the "fold"?

No, that can't be it. Links don't really take up visual space. So what is it? I know they understand links--their page is full of links to their own content. Just scroll down on that page.

Posted by jzawodn at July 12, 2005 08:17 PM

Reader Comments
# Justin Gardner said:

It's just a link Jeremy. Calm down.

on July 12, 2005 09:02 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

I'm in a bad mood and blowing some of it off here. Or is that not obvious? ;-)

on July 12, 2005 09:07 PM
# DeWitt Clinton said:

Just playing a hunch here -- the site in question is in the SEO business, right? They are optimizing for better rankings.

(I apologize if this is pedantic -- I know you already know this stuff.)

If you take the published PageRank algorithm:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + ... + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))

The "C(Tn)" represents the number of outbound links from a given page Tn. So every time they link out to another site (such as to Yahoo Search Blog) in their citations they are potentially reducing their total PageRank.

Of course Google doesn't use pure PageRank any longer and clearly hasn't for a while. And neither do Yahoo or any of the other sites. But I suspect that nearly all search engines use some form of link graph to help globally weight documents.

So this site doesn't do a proper web citation via "href" because they would like to boost their search engine rankings. Which may ultimately be counter-productive in terms of a loss of goodwill and fewer inbound links... But then again, you linked to them, now didn't you?



on July 12, 2005 10:01 PM
# Amit Agarwal said:


Loren might have missed it this time but generally he always provides a link to the original author.

That's my personal exp.


on July 12, 2005 10:25 PM
# aaron wall said:

a site that's pimping an SEO Book?
Not an SEO Book, the SEO Book. Big difference, IMHO.

Your flame threads are always cooler when they are not about friend's sites and / or my stuff, especially the one with the images of the big hand with the middle finger up.

You have what I would consider one of the 5 most important voices in the blog world. If you want to take a peak at my ebook I would gladly give you a free copy and take any feedback you would be willing to give. Heck, I would even be willing to pay you for your time to review it (although I am guessing your time is worth far more than money with all the activities you are engaged in at Yahoo! and outside of work, plus a hunch tells me you would not want to be seen as a shill blogger).

If you post that my ebook is crap I can respect your opinion, but it would mean more if you looked at it first.

There are good people in the SEO industry just like in the public relations industry. The lack of clarity in services and lure of quick profits has also brought it many not so good people as well.

It does get old reading blog post after blog post how someone is instantly shady because their dogs third cousins uncle once had a friend who knew an SEO.

I think the problem of not linking comes from a variety of factors. A couple of them are:
there are a ton of SEO blogs and it is hard to be one of the first ones with a story, so many posts are a bit rushed
we are all humans and forget / make mistakes
You also are forgetting that him quoting your product developments is giving Yahoo! Search free marketing for your new services. I have sold a good number of ebooks from ads on that site and personally have been contacted from people working at firms like JupiterResearch because I was mentioned on that site, so many people are seeing your mentions of your new product launches, and if he forgets to link sometimes it is probably still a net gain to have another channel discussing your new products.

as far as this goes
Just playing a hunch here -- the site in question is in the SEO business, right? They are optimizing for better rankings.
In some algorithms outbound links can be nearly as important as inbound links. As you stated, not linking hurts on the goodwill front, but probably also stands a good chance of hurting on the relevancy front as well.

on July 12, 2005 11:22 PM
# aaron wall said:

Hi Jeremy
sorry if my last post was a bit over the top.

Based on some of your past posts about some SEO stuff being shady I took it as though you were saying the site was shady for being related to SEO stuff, but a friend just told me they think I am all hosed up and that you were saying anyone promoting SEO stuff should know how important links are

sorry on that

on July 12, 2005 11:36 PM
# James Day said:

Not necessarily even when doing pagerank hoarding, since they could presumably use a link tagged with nofollow.

on July 12, 2005 11:55 PM
# Someone who prefers to remain nameless said:

SearchEngineJournal does this *all the time*. I have emailed with people there in the past, and they've told me that because the content is "publicly available" there's no reason for them to link. Since then I've stopped linking to their site completely, and no longer trust the content they provide.

on July 13, 2005 01:18 AM
# Me said:

If you look at SEJ's articles in its main page, you'll find plenty of links. They missed an evident spot to place a link, so what? If we sift through most archives in most blogs, yours included, we'll find similar occurrences. Ah, but if it's SEO-related it must be some evil scheme. Bah. FYI, most current SEO theories think that outbound link to authoritative resources are positive -- thinking in terms of PR leakage is sooo 2002.

on July 13, 2005 01:47 AM
# Andy said:

That site is annoying as hell. Notice they don't have a real blogroll? linking to SEW blog or SERoundtable or anything like that... instead they link to their friends and sites they own. which is their perogative, but sites out of the loop like that, stingy with links, annoy me. blah

on July 13, 2005 06:25 AM
# Loren Baker said:

Jeremy, this was a mistake, I was checking my email last night after fixing a lawnmower which broke while I was trying to chop down an acre of overgrown weeds and stumps under the blazing sun and steaming humidity and wanted to get a post on Y!DSís update before passing out.

I've addressed this on the post.

Fleishman sent me over the release and I really wanted to get something out there. Aaron and Amit, thanks for the defense. I don't know who posted that thing about public material, but you may be getting your lines crossed - I'm pretty good about pointing back to my sources.

Hey "Someone who prefers to remain nameless", email me at if you have a problem with this and I'll address any concerns. Be sure to use your real name in the sender field and not "Someone who prefers to remain nameless"

Point taken on the lacks of links Jeremy and Iíll address this in future posts.

Thank you for the concern and the link :)


on July 13, 2005 06:27 AM
# Loren Baker said:

Oh, the Blogroll... well, I had one going until my site was messed up and then I had to go back to an older template. Added the SEO by the SEA blog roll for the time being.... any other constructive complaints?

on July 13, 2005 07:02 AM
# Sushubh said:

Hmm... linking to the source. that is important. But once in a while anyone can make a mistake. I do that too. a reminder is better than an attack :)

on July 13, 2005 07:35 AM
# Lisa said:

I'm sure it was just a mistake, let's give Loren a break. I enjoy SearchEngineJournal, I've never had a problem reaching Loren if I had any questions about any of his postings and I hate to see someone raked over the coals for an oversight that any of us could make at any time. That's what the "edit" button is for.

on July 13, 2005 07:50 AM
# NFFC said:

Lets get a few things straight.

Writing a book is called writing.

Making it available for others to read is called publishing.

Placing advertisements on web sites whose readers have a high likelyhood of being interested in such a product is called smart marketing.

Pimping etc according to our friends at wordnet is;

"someone who procures customers for whores"

An example of pimping can be found here

I think somebody should say sorry.

on July 13, 2005 11:05 AM
# Andy said:

Loren, props to you for taking constructive criticism well and acting on it.

on July 13, 2005 08:13 PM
# dave said:

"Pimping etc according to our friends at wordnet is;

'someone who procures customers for whores'"

Yes, but if we look in the urban dictionary,,
we find out pimping can also mean "To strongly promote and support a certain thing."

on July 14, 2005 08:52 AM
# Marcia said:

Aside from SEO factors, why should "fair use" and providing a link to the source not apply, even for blogs, if only out of common courtesy? Oversights can happen, but unfortunately anyone connected to/with/around SEO is automatically suspect so it's probably a good idea to exercise care.

I haven't read The SEO Book, I don't pay retail for anything unless there's a rebate offer. ;)

on August 31, 2005 06:29 AM
# Web standards said:

It's now 2007, and the link wars rage on!

on June 2, 2007 03:41 PM
# Igor The Troll said:

I had an issue with Loren before, but he fixed it right a way, so cannot say anything bad about SEJ.

Actually now that SEL is biased by Sphinn and SEW you are not alllowed to comment, I hope SEJ under Loren will address SEO journalism head on..

on December 21, 2007 01:06 PM
# Igor The Troll said:

Just when I thought it was safe to go in to the water!

Loren, you must be a very unlucky guy! You should start SEJ blog SOS, CPR, or Emergency care post on you blog, so we can all go there and comment on what is wrong with SEJ and how it can be improved!

Open feedback is very important for the brand, it shows that you care for your readers.

Anyway, the problem I encounterd is that when I tried to submit the post I was told my math is bad. Well three years of calculus I think I know how to add 5+6=11 maybe your server is just tired and missed a bite..:)

Well I'll grant you this one, I could have been thinking of something very interesting when I submited the comments, but give me a break, let me go back and try again not Nuke my post before it is even must really hate Spam!

Even Jeremy's blog is user friendly to allow you to try again, if you forget his name...

on December 21, 2007 01:50 PM
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on June 23, 2010 02:06 AM
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