W3C selling links leads to noindex tags and Matt Cutts Interviews

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Google has addressed recent complaints over the W3C selling links on its website.
Matt Cutts, told John Battelle in an interview that a controversial page that allows webmasters to pay for listings on the W3C site now had a “noindex” meta-tag applied.

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I don't know what to make of this, on one hand, I understand why this could be called a problem... on the other.. Why does Google tell people what they can or cannot sell?

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>> Why does Google tell

>> Why does Google tell people what they can or cannot sell?

I think Googles position would be that they don't - they have a set of criteria for sites that wish to appear in their index. If that conflicts with other business activites, then it's a choice for invidual site owners to make. No-one is even obliged to let Googlebot into their site, you know

leading Google to advise the

leading Google to advise the W3C consortium on how to continue to provide the links without falling foul of Google’s guidelines.

Which f'ing guideline is that then? I see nothing that says the page should be no-index'd. Wtf, you're the search engine, you decide whether its valuable or not. Why am 'I' (in this instance, the w3c) patching your search engine by removing things which might - gasp - have knock on effects?

Bah!

Google didn't 'tell' them

To quote John Battelle's blog quoting Matt Cutts:

Quote:
The W3C decided to add

So it was W3C's decision (a poor decision IMO), not something that Google forced, which is how I read your query. They could have ignored Google, and Google could manually devalue the links from that page.

The real question is why the W3C bowed to pressure from corporate Google - strictly for Google's benefit. The conspiracy theory should be focussed on W3C's unilateral actions. Anyone want to try and explain that?

I bet that

the W3C made the decision in order to avoid some of the controversy. I'd suppose that they didn't want to create the perception that sponsors could get unreasonable value out of being linked on their site.

It could also be that they felt it might be the lesser of two evils. Google has revoked voting rights from webpages or sites that sell links in the past, and perhaps W3C didn't want to lose the ability to convey PageRank to important content elsewhere.

Personally, I figure that

Personally, I figure that like a lot of webdevelopers, the W3C were pretty clueless about SEO + PageRank as issues.

So when the recent controversy suggested a possible conflict with Google's interests, they naturally sought Google's opinion on how to ensure they're not seen to be doing wrong on the web.

No conspiracy theory, no choice of evils - just resolve a distracting issue and get back to addressing web standards.

2c.

Build for People Not Engines

Funny I always thought Google said you should build pages for people not search engines. Last time I checked "no-index" tags really didn't benefit people ...

the W3C made the decision in

Quote:
the W3C made the decision in order to avoid some of the controversy. I'd suppose that they didn't want to create the perception that sponsors could get unreasonable value out of being linked on their site.

That perception has been there for quite a while already. Not only that, but some people who had made contributions and gotten links in return (no names, no accusations) have bragged about being W3C members as if it meant something more than having made a contribution.

pages for people

And how many people, average users, care if a site has unique title and descriptions for each page? There is a lot of speculation that similar titles or descriptions will lead to supplemental results, so sitting around editing your description tags is designing only for the search engine and wasting time on something that your average user will never see.

nofollow?

Surely - they should have added a nofollow tag, not a noindex tag?
There is no reason the page shouldn't appear in the index.

I don't see it

http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Member/List

I don't see a NO FOLLOW or NO INDEX or any other special instructions on this PR9 page.

Unless they mean the supporters page:

http://www.w3.org/Consortium/sup

Which includes index, nofollow.

thats it

Thanks, I couldn't remember the page address.
Yes, http://www.w3.org/Consortium/sup was the page that was the subject of the gossip.
index, nofollow makes much more sense.
Batelle's article is correct, the platinax entry is wrong. Silly misquote...

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