SEO

Business.com’s redirected links

Note – Please see update at the bottom of this post.

For any of you contemplating a listing in Business.com as a part of your overall SEO campaign, think again. Business.com has gone the way of redirecting links in the directory, probably negating any backlink juice that you might be expecting. And, they are doing it in kind of a sneaky manner.

If you look at a Business.com listing page and hover over a listing link, you’ll see the URL for the site in your status bar, which would make you think that it is a direct link. However, if you click on the link, a new window opens and if you look quickly, you’ll catch a glimpse of the redirection taking place.

Business.com tells me that their standard listings, which are still javascript redirects but with an href component, are seen as real links by search engine spiders. I haven’t been able to confirm that this is actually true, though the code looks like it could possibly work. I tried running a Business.com directory page through some spider simulators, though, and all they saw were redirected links.

So, based on this and a history of mid-course changes in the past (at one point they used nofollow tags), I can’t recommend paying for a listing with them.

At one time I recommended a listing in Business.com. If you honestly believe that you will get enough traffic and business for the hefty $199 per year fee, then that’s another story. But, if you thought a listing in Business.com would be a part of your SEO strategy, move on. Right now, it’s just not that clear that it would be worth it.

UPDATE – I contacted Planet Ocean (who puts out Search Engine News) about this issue a few months ago and they they put Business.com’s linking structure to the test. They are now recommending a Standard listing in Business.com again. Here’s what Search Engine News has to say as of Sept. 2007:

As to whether their links are passing link equity: the Standard Listings section on their directory pages does have direct links—although they use JavaScript to generate a redirected tracking link on the fly after the link is clicked. This gives the impression that the link is redirected. But the fact that the full URL is present in the code means that search engines are seeing it and crediting the link juice.

The bottom line is that we are back on the Business.com bandwagon—although we recommend that you zero in on the Standard listing if you’re using them for link building.

So, I’ll be adding Business.com back to my recommended directories. Thanks Search Engine News!

Read more in my post Best Directories – A Work in Progress .

Standard

7 thoughts on “Business.com’s redirected links

  1. Right, but until recently even Search Engine News had them listed as one of the top directories to get listed in and face it, most people outside of the SEO world won’t know a redirect from a rerun. And, actually I think Business.com used no-follow on the links for a while instead of this convoluted, and in my opinion, sneaky, redirect.

    The other point is that Business.com is trying to convince me that their links DO provide backlink juice, despite the redirects. After my post went up, I got an e-mail from an SEO at Business.com explaining that the redirect works in such a way that the search bots will actually see the non-redirected URL.

    According to their SEO, the link is clean, but if javascript is turned on (and most of us have it turned on), the browser goes through the redirector, but a bot wouldn’t.

    I looked over the code and still have my doubts. Just to get an idea of what a spider would see, I’ve run a sample directory page at Business.com through several spider simulators and all they see are redirect links.

    I don’t know about you, but I think they’re blowing smoke.

  2. I’ve been in touch with Planet Ocean and they are going to run some tests to see what’s going on with these. Hopefully we’ll have some definite answers on whether these links do what Business.com says they do or not. If they do, I’ll be the first to congratulate them for coming up with something so clever.

  3. Pingback: Business.com a Best Directory again | Their redirected links to pass link juice for SEO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s