Great HOA from John Mueller this morning & I asked some questions about the new hyperlink embedded images feature here in Google+, as a few people had been asking me about this. As he mentions, I wouldn't look at [the links] mainly from an authority point of view.

There are more important aspects about and bigger designs for how your profile authority effectively works & next week I should be publishing the exciting story on that. Anyway, here's my question from Webmaster Central's HOA...

Joshua Berg:

We have a great new feature in Google+ with the embedded links that turn into a large image, which is very nice.

The first & second link, which is the image link & the title link are nofollow, and the third link is not nofollow, but it's closed off. So might this still be an authority passing link, or something like that?

John Mueller:

I don't know, I haven't looked at it in that detail. I can take a look at what's happening there, but I don't know.

Joshua Berg:

I mean I was wondering if it was uh, I guess it would be intentionally there, but it seems funny cause it was closed off. I mean it's a href link & then it's got the /a closing mark without anything in between.

So let's say on a regularly indexed page, would a link that doesn't have any title text in it, provide any kind of either authority or index following value to that link.

John Mueller:

I wouldn't look at it from an authority point of view, but generally if it's a normal link that does not have a nofollow we'll pass PageRank to that. So that's something that might be happening there.

I think it's always a bit tricky for us when we can recognize that it's a user generated content site & we're not really sure how to trust those links within there, but generally speaking if it's a link that doesn't have any anchor text in it, we'll still treat that as a link.

Sometimes we see that for example with images where an image is actually the link anchor & if the image doesn't have any alt text on there, then we don't have any text really associated with that link, but it's still a very visible link on a page. So that's something where we would still pass PageRank.


So for the time being, I'll let you make your own conclusions about that, but please remember what I keep saying here...

The real authority from Google+ comes from the people. What's effective here is never going to be about gaming the system, or turning your Google+ profiles into link farm wastelands.

You need to build real reputation & authority here by providing genuine value, interesting content & engagement. If the user likes it well... you can bet Google will like it too.


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