For a while now I have been wanting to just throw down some ideas, thoughts and facts on linkage, so here goes. You can decide what category they fall into:
Google is more a Citation engine than a link based search engine, for a long time I have mulled over the fact that humans just get it wrong, on the flip side so do search engines. So why would a citation (mention) carry any weight, if I was to give a clean followed link to http://www.tradebit.com/channels/ for no other reason than he was kind enough to bring me a glass of water while I was speaking at A4UExpo in Amsterdam, should that carry more weight than the BBC just mentioning a URL in the body of a news article or even linking via a JS tracking link ( we know Google follow those). My gut feeling is that Google should and will count the citation.
The issues I have is “it just makes sense for Google to give a trust value to a domain” and no matter what you’re doing to hide the fact that you don’t want to pass any link juice to someone by using Nofollow Links, JS links or even just mentioning the URL maybe you just can’t help it. That’s why I have always told clients at least mention the the straight url in your press releases signature David Naylor – www.davidnaylor.co.uk ( actually I say add the http:// most press distribution services will render it or remove it )
So what makes your site authoritative in Google or not as the case maybe. At one time places like ezinearticles and the more common free press release services seemed all you needed to rank for low hanging fruit terms. They passed just enough authority. Recently I have seen some companies pushing this method and for the target terms move backwards lol..
Another thought could be your out bound links or the sites you allow your users to link to having a bigger play in authority, I’m still trying to control what I would to like my users to link out to but have seen unmoderated sites which had authority, lose rankings when they are linking with nofollow to lets say unsavoury sites.
But I’m still going to bang the drum for building websites of users not search engines, well at least blind users. Keep your titles keyword rich with a human call to action, again use keywords in your alt tags but be descriptive, control your h1′s and h2′s like your life depended on it and make sure your body text original.
So Dave’s big stupid idea