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BBC follows through on promise of dofollowed links to bloggers

September 1, 2010 8 Comments

If you add "nofollow" to a link (in the HTML code), it tells search engines to ignore the link - so the site you link to gets no SEO benefit from the link. The BBC has now lived up to its promise to provide links without nofollow to people who blog about its TV programmes (Update although see the points in the comments about the redirects ...).

Last December, I pointed out that:

Shownar is a BBC site that tracks online buzz about BBC shows. Despite being paid for by the licence fee, it's pulling the wool over bloggers' eyes by claiming that, if you link to it, it will link back - but it's nofollowing the links.

The BBC replied that:

Shownar will be retired in a few weeks. The good news is the version we are creating for bbc.co.uk is going to be backed by the moderation support that means we should be able to remove nofollows for those non-commerical blog posts that are significantly about a BBC programme.

The old Shownar

The old Shownar

It's now followed through on that with its about to go live Buzz service, explained here (cheers to Martin Belam for the spot):

We've built a tool that finds where on blogs, Twitter and other online communities people are discussing BBC programmes, and presents links to them on the relevant programme page.

If people are talking about a programme, a section called 'Buzz about this programme' appears on its programme page. Clicking on the links in that section will take you to online conversations about that programme.

As to how the links work, that's explained here - the bit about nofollow reads:

We use an automated system to find our blog links which means if you link to a BBC programme page and your blog passes our external link guidelines we will usually link to it. This opens us up to possible abuse with people linking to us just to boost their page's search positioning. To counter this we add a nofollow tag to pages we've looked at and decided are not fully relevant within the context of the programme (find out how we judge relevancy here). We don't put this restriction on relevant posts, so if the post is very much about the programme and not trying to gain search positioning it does get the authority from us.

Please note we only check blog post relevancy during office hours and it may take a while to get through any backlogs that have built up. So if your blog is recent, relevant and has the nofollow tag it may just because we've not checked it yet.

Anyway (1) well done the BBC (this presumably counts as part of its promise to double monthly clickthroughs to external sites) and (2) I must go and write about some BBC programmes (don't forget this tip to get links from the BBC to your Twitter page) ...

As far as I can tell, the new service isn't live yet as I can't find it anywhere on the BBC site. Let me know if you spot it ...

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