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Can a blogroll affect search rankings?

Can a blogroll affect search rankings? - answered by Matt Cutts

Summary:

Just having a blogroll will not cause a PageRank drop unless you’re linking to spammy sites or junkies, cuzzies etc. which can certainly affect your own website’s reputation. When you lose PageRank, don’t just automatically assume it was the blogroll or the links. It may be something temporary or something related to canonicalization etc. A good rule of thumb is – make sure that links within your blog roll are high value and editorial. Don’t sell links!

 

Matt's answer:

I keep a blogroll page with a link to all my friends’ blogs on my blog. Will that affect my blog’s reputation in Google? Recently my friend lost PR5 to 0 for such a page.

 

Who you link to can affect your reputation

 

If you’re linking to spammy sites, sites that we considered junkies, cuzzies, spammy, whatever – that can affect your site’s reputation. Certainly, if you’re selling links within blogroll, that can be a very high risk. But just because your friend lost PR5 to PR0, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was the blogroll, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we thought he was selling links, you know.

 

It could be a temporary thing with canonicalization. So I wouldn’t automatically assume that, “Oh, it was the blogroll that did it”. If you do have a blogroll, it’s better that it be editorial real links, not links that you’re secretly selling but you’re calling a blogroll or something like that. In general blogrolls are great things to have. I have one on my blog. So, don’t be scared to have one. But if you’re linking to spammy stuff or things that you think are really kind of low quality, be aware that that can affect how we think of the quality of your website.


by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team

 

Original video: