- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
Calacanis Wants to Ban Affiliate Links; What About Banning Employee Linking?
Jason Calacanis, CEO of Weblogs 2.0 service Mahalo, has apparently left the world of pissing off SEO folk and is now pissing off affiliate folk. This time he wonders if the search engines (including Google, Yahoo and Mahalo) should ban affiliate links from being indexed. First, how would anyone even know it’s an affiliate link? I don’t have a reaction here though if a gun was held to me, I would say that they should be banned or if they are indexed, it should be noted that it’s an affiliate link.
However, after reading Jason’s article about the potential banning of affiliate links it got me wondering about the way Jason links to Mahalo on his blog and the way he pushes his employees to also blog and spread the word of Mahalo.
On calacanis.com, nearly every single post has a link to Mahalo which is competely acceptable seeing as Calacanis is the CEO. But should these links have the nofollow attribute on them? Aren’t they paid links? Sure, there’s no direct payment but seeing as calacanis.com has a pagerank of 6, each time Jason links to a Mahalo page, he is passing the page some very heavy weight. In fact, it’s been reported that 76% of Mahalo’s traffic is coming from Google so naturally this type of linking is helping push Mahalo up the ranks in Google. In my opinion, he should nofollow every one of the Mahalo links.
In fact, employee links might actually be worse than affiliate links as they provide a direct benefit to the company whereas affiliate links only provide a true benefit when the user completes some action.
Furthermore, on the Greenhouse mailing list (that is the list for part-time Mahalo page creators), the executives from Mahalo constantly ask the list to push out the pages to their blogs and their social services. Should these links be labeled? Here is an example of the employee push on Mahalo:
everyone go ahead and share this with Mahalo Share!
Mahalo is just one example, this happens across the Web with employees pushing products or services of the companies they are employed by. What do you think? Should employees of sites be able to “push” their sites and pass the juicy search credit or is this just as bad as any other paid link?
This will be my question for him at next week’s SES in NYC.