Last edited by weegillis; 05-12-2012 at 01:33 PM. Reason: Topic flow and continuity
- Divide PR of page by total no. of links on page;
- Discard "nofollow" link, without redistributing its share of PR; then,
- Discard all but the first occurrence of multiple links pointing to same target, without redistributing its share of PR.
Difficult to say, as that would depend on those who engage in such practice following up to learn the results of their handicraft.
Here at WPW, such Profiles are, to the best of my knowledge, not removed, but simply banned - this prevents the Alias from being reused - when reported to or other wise noticed by an Admin. or Mod..
I'm afraid the answer to the OP is a simple, We Don't Know.
I think the best answer you've gotten went something like: as long as the link profile is balanced, it should not be a problem to have some sig links from a webmaster forum. Are they truly irrelevant? I don't think so. It is logical for a webmaster to spend time on a forum like this and it follows (no pun intended) that signature links would be from a broad range of themes. Therefore all topics are relevant, IMO. Are they of particular value? The jury is out on whether Google has any ability to judge relevance. The English language is relatively complicated and there are too many synonyms and related terms for the current sophistication of Artificial Intelligence to truly grasp, as far as I can tell.
It is also my impression that one link from a forum is not as valuable as multiple links, but I think that's because a single link is going to go 'stale' as the traffic to a thread dies and the page is crawled less and less often.
Way back in 2005, Matt Cutts was talking about relevancy (it was specifically in terms of reciprocal links but I think it perhaps applies generally as well) and said of irrelevant links to a real estate site:
"This time, I’m seeing links to mortgages sites, credit card sites, and exercise equipment." Accepting that the last two examples are not directly relevant, what about the first? Is there no connection between mortgages and real estate?
That to me confirms your doubts over their ability to judge relevance, and to give a personal example travel sites and those that deal with retirement issues are relevant to my particular business but they cannot know that.
Although my concern remains that Google perhaps does make unqualified decisions concerning relevancy, even if that is correct there isn't really anything to be done about it.
Of course, mortgage sites are relevant to real estate agent sites ... the best argument for relevance is traffic. If we take the wise route, we will only seek links that should bring targeted traffic; if they help with the search engines, that's icing on the cake.