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If People Don't Link to Porn Sites, How Does Google Rank Porn?

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Overton (not verified)
Apr 02, 2014

Google gave up on indexing the web almost 10 years ago. They mostly link sites similar to that which

you've linked to before, or better yet +1'd. After that they shove a wikipedia link as chances are it won't be complete

nonsense. The result is that people think they are getting relevant results when in reality they are being gamed.

 

Elisa Gabbert
Apr 02, 2014

Ha!

I have worked with a few if the big porn sites and I can tell you that links are very much still the main signal for ranking. There's no secret. it's true that people don't link to porn sites, so what do you do if no one will link to you? Go get artificial links of course! porn is dominated by who can build the most "natural looking" artificial link graph. Just another vertical that undermines the existing Google ranking paradigm.

Elisa Gabbert
Apr 02, 2014

Yeah I think what Google really meant is that HIGH-AUTHORITY sites don't like to porn sites. I'm sure they have plenty of paid links! The question is, does Google care at all about ranking "quality" porn? Are they looking for real signals, like time on page, bounce rate, etc.?

I think we both know the answer to that. There are HIGH-AUTHORITY porn sites and they rank, I'm sure you can name a few production companies yourself. 

I don't think Google looks at anything else other than links for porn and payday loans. They just are more severe when they catch something unnatural. 

Paid links and spam still win most of the time in non-porn verticals if you just make sure they remain natural looking. 

this seems to be the most legitimate answer

Apr 02, 2014

Well porn is one of the most lucrative business in the net. So owners have the luxury to buy the links they want to get.  Bounce rate is and CTR rates is not a problem in porn sites. Users usually stays in that kind of site. So links would be the determining factor who ranks first. I have not yet work on optimizing porn sites but you can check out some jobs sites and there are a lot of people who are looking for specialist to help them rank their site in search engines.

Elisa Gabbert
Apr 02, 2014

Well if that's true then Google knows the difference between paid links and "natural" links because when Cutts says porn sites don't get links, he is basically admitting that all porn links are paid links. But they're counting/using them anyway? Something is fishy. I stlil think Google will eventually move away from links. I'm sure plenty of big brands act like porn sites -- they buy links and get away with it because people want what they're offering, so Google has to rank them.

Apr 03, 2014

Eventually. But I guess Google still have to rely in links to crawl websites in order to gather more relevant pages. Maybe Google uses a special algorithm for porn sites (maybe!), 

Do porn sites really rank that well? If you search for the term "sex", there's not a single porn site that appears in the top ten.

 

I'm guessing that they rely more on people searching for their brand name. Facebook doesn't have to rank high for the term "social network". People type in "Facebook".

 

Porn sites only seem to rank for very specific search terms where only other porn sites will be competing with them. 

Elisa Gabbert
Apr 03, 2014

People searching for "sex" aren't necessarily looking for porn. But use your imagination. There are many queries that a porn site would want to rank for, and Google has to rank them somehow. It would be absurd for them to only want to rank for their own brand search.

Apr 03, 2014

There is a thin line between popularity and authority when it comes to Google's rankings. The examples on pornography and government websites are quite revealing. A lot of people would contest Google's take on where best to link and rank between these two options. However, I still think that vertical links should not be ignored!

AnonymousEmerge... (not verified)
Apr 03, 2014

The premise is flawed. People absolutely link, and link copiously to porn sites. They just don't share them on Google+.

Megan Marrs
Apr 08, 2014

I agree, I think it's unlikely that porn sites are never linked to - we probably just don't witness much linkage because the links are happening in some seedy web spaces that we don't frequent (giving the collective "we" here a lot of credit : P )

Spot on analysis with popularity based ranking for special industries.  I see it all the time for insurance as well as heavily spammed industries like diet and viagra.  Google is looking at social trends and measuring signals more than ever and I think as long as the results are consitantly relevant they wont be looking to change this trend.

Anonymous (not verified)
Apr 22, 2014

Simply throw a big porn site into majestic and tell me links don't matter, you could probably bring down half of the webs largest private networks with the top ten alone.

Ian (not verified)
May 19, 2014

Its easy to rate.

I run a adult site and I think being popular must rank higher than any links, so i agree with your article about links over popularity. If more go to porn sites then this should rank higher than even non porn websites. Google go on about being popular is a good way to increase your rank, but they pick and choose what ones are popular in the non porn sense, so add this all up and you get double standards. Porn is very popular but Google don't rate this high, but the visitors to  these sites do, and if your going to rank popular sites you have to rank the porn sites to, if not Google or matt your talking rubbish

If I had a porn site this is what I'd do to get my links.. I'd find the least offensive page on my site and then find other sites to link from in the form of comments etc. Because I think as porn sites want to rank, and they are big business, they would allow linking to each other. The links might not be in obvious places, but I'm sure if a porn site was run through backlink watch we'd find links. There are heaps of forums out there that porn consumers would link from and although consumers may not publicly link from to them, I bet they have a heck of a lot of social signals from social groups.  It probably wouldn't take a lot of links to rank a porn site, just ones in the right place, and as they would be industry specific, they would carry more weight?

And if links aren't important, and aren't used to rank these sites... That only leaves keywords, and aren't they dead as well?

And I have no idea how I got here talking about porn and ranking a porn site... Such is the power of social sharing x

 

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