[uf-discuss] Re: Precise Expansion Patterns

Martin McEvoy martin at weborganics.co.uk
Sun Dec 16 04:55:13 PST 2007

On Sun, 2007-12-16 at 00:30 -0500, Sarven Capadisli wrote:
> This is to address "SEO" and anchors (<a>) in documents.
> Fortunately, good SEO is more complex then boiling down well-ranking
> in SERPs into how the anchors are set in a document.
> Regarding: http://microformats.org/wiki/anti-patterns#empty_hyperlinks
> point A) if there is no href attribute and value set then the current
> document is not pointing to any resource, therefore there is no impact
> on PR as there is no weight to distribute between documents.

the suggestion was we do this:

<a class="duration" title="PT2M23S">2:23</a>


<a class="duration" title="PT2M23S"></a>2:23

now unfortunatly on both occasions the "a" is NOT empty @title has a
value and thus robots crawling your site will be expecting a href
attribute for which there is NONE.

> point B) Google or any other search engine will not simply ban a Web
> site from the left-field if there are no obvious indicators ("bad
> intentions") to be delisted from SERPs. Needless to say, getting
> banned is not a quick automated action and "spamming" goes much
> further then that.

No you are probably right average joe probably wont get banned it would
depend on if an unscrupulus SEO decided to exploit this pattern
(stuffing the @title with keywords springs to mind), that would be a
worse case scenario, but even so the consequences of doing such things
are way to risky and have little or no benefit to the web itself. As
Tantek says we should avoid promoting such Anti patterns.

> Moreover this is like suggesting using URL fragments (internal link
> anchors) in href is bad for SEO.

No Im not links that go somewhere:

<a id="here" href="#here" class="duration" title="PT2M23S">2:23</a>

Is acceptable because there is an href value and it goes somewhere, no
confusing the bots

> In addition to all this, I do not think that microformats should be
> concerned with the SEO practices as there are many guidelines out
> there and which method works well for one site today on a particular
> engine may not necessarily work tomorrow. Therefore, I strongly think
> that we move away from these sort of practices.

Microformats are "on page" SEO they are good for the web, and good for
users, lets not spoil things for our respected community by presenting
half baked solutions that are at best a hack.



> I've written about good SEO practices (read: good Web development
> practices) if anyone would like to give it a read:
> http://www.csarven.ca/internal-seo-guidelines
> By mentioning all this I am not suggesting the usage of empty anchors
> (no href attribute/value).
> -Sarven
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