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    Signature Links


    Just a reminder about exercising care when adding links to your signature. I've had a new domain underperforming for a few months now and decided to check the link profile. I found the majority of my links originated from my signature here in SEO Chat. Three days after removing it, I landed on the 2nd page in Google for the keyword I had embedded in the link.
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    FTR I reported on similar effects about 12 years ago, but back then there didn't seem to be an actual ranking drop.
    Only a Pagerank drop (remember Pagerank? :--) I haven't tested this recently (as in: less than 8 years ago LOL), sorry...
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    Right after Penguin, it was said that if more than 15% of IBLs used the same link text, that you were risking penalty. I did find that to be true, and because in this case it was a new domain, I probably had twice that percentage.
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    @DirectHits..I removed signature links from one forum and after few days my ranking went 4 positions up and I was thinking it is normal ranking fluctuation but now I guess may be this could be because of that. Good Point.
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    Originally Posted by DirectHits
    Three days after removing it, I landed on the 2nd page in Google for the keyword I had embedded in the link.
    Originally Posted by jandesigner01
    To me this sounds like Penguin pecking at the back links. So I am of the opinion that Penguin not only discounts or devalues links as in the Sept 2016 update, but also sees certain links, ie forum sig links as direct manipulation and pushes the site down.

    I am curious DirectHits, was it the pages the links pointed to or was it the whole site that was pushed down for the keyword. That would shed more light on how Penguin deals with certain links.
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    Lot of interesting comments..

    I am a little surprised by these results, though the possibility was in the back of my mind. I have wondered how Google would react to forum links, particularly an SEO forum. Other SEOs in a different forum were of the belief that Google manages link juice differently than their patent states, for forum signatures.

    But I have launched a LOT of new sites and this one really stumped me. It has still not yet done well in Google. (Domain is almost 4 months old). I think it has about five results, all the second to fourth page back, with one recent first page result for a long tail. I get some traffic from Yahoo/Bong (9 first page results), but nothing from Google.

    But pretty much as soon as I removed the keyword embedded link, I landed on the 2nd for a competitive phrase - the same phrase in the link text. So far, it seems, the changes are limited to that keyword.

    And no negative results from removing the sig link.
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    Thank you for reminding us.

    As for now I did not put any signature links on my profile. I think there are required posts before I can put signature links.
    Is there anyone remebered how many post required inorder to avail signatue links?

    Thank you.
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    Originally Posted by matchmaker
    I think there are required posts before I can put signature links.
    Is there anyone remebered how many post required inorder to avail signatue links?
    You are correct. It's quite a few - we hold signature links back because they have a history of being abused. You also require reputation points, which are given by members, to members. We use that as a way to allow established members to vet new members.
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    Thank you.
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    Originally Posted by DirectHits
    Just a reminder about exercising care when adding links to your signature. I've had a new domain underperforming for a few months now and decided to check the link profile. I found the majority of my links originated from my signature here in SEO Chat. Three days after removing it, I landed on the 2nd page in Google for the keyword I had embedded in the link.
    Where did you see all the links? Were you looking at Google tools? Only reason I ask is the Sig links here are no follow and shouldnt affect anything.

    Comments on this post

    • JohnAimit agrees : "no-follow" links will not impact your ranking in G
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    If the link does not show, type the coding into the box rather than copying/pasting as sometimes extra characters can get attached with the cut and paste process.
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    This is something new. I am still not qualified to have a signature, so it can wait. Interesting heads up though.
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    I wouldn't risk my rankings adding signature links, instead put anchored text in forum comment but be relevant to that question.
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    Video from Google's Matt Cutts advising that nofollw links won't hurt your ranking.

    Sep 2013: Google’s Matt Cutts: Nofollow Links Won’t Hurt You Unless You Are Spamming At A Huge Scale

    It's also why so many social media sites, business directories and guest blog links have no impact on rankings.

    If you are posting on external sites for links to improve your rankings, first check whether they are "nofollow". If so, they may attract some click-through traffic but they will have no impact on your G. ranking.

    "Nofollow" means that Googlebot will follow the link for web indexing purposes but it will not pass any PageRank.
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