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Contact Us Page Examples: 44 Designs For Inspiration

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Contact Us Page Examples: 44 Designs For Inspiration

A Contact Us page is essential to building a brand’s website as it allows visitors to contact you easily without leaving their browser.

They also give you the opportunity to capture leads and improve customer service.

Generally, visitors can also leave feedback or ask questions through these channels. You’ll receive valuable information about your customers’ preferences and expectations if done correctly.

This article will explain what you need to know to create a compelling Contact Us page and over 40 examples for inspiration.

Essential Elements Of A Great Contact Us Page

The essential elements of an excellent Contact Us page include a clear call to action, easy navigation, and a message that resonates with visitors.

Keep these things in mind when designing a Contact Us page: Don’t overload visitors with too much information, use readable text, and create a landing page that converts.

A well-designed contact page should include several elements, such as a phone number, email address, and social media links.

In addition, a Contact Us page must be easily visible on your navigation bar. It can be frustrating for a consumer to hunt through a website to find out how to contact a company.

Inspiring Contact Us Page Examples

There’s a lot we can learn from small and large brands alike. So, here are examples of effective Contact Us pages from various industries.

1. Search Engine Journal

We couldn’t start the list without talking about our Contact Us page. As we’ll note in other Contact Us pages, we begin with an engaging heading, “Have questions? Shoot us an Email.”

And then simplify the page with easy buttons that adjust the topic for the contact form on the page.

Screenshot from searchenginejournal.com, August 2022

2. IMPACT

This Contact Us page from IMPACT is unique since it includes a video with a personal and helpful message with a clear CTA written out under the video.

They also have a standard but useful contact form for customers to contact them.

Impact contact us pageScreenshot from impactplus.com, August 2022

3. Asana

Asana has a visually appealing and simple form, so you can get the answers to any questions you may have and mention their FAQ page to find further information on your own.

Asana contact us pageScreenshot from asana.com, August 2022

4. Netflix

If you already have an account and are signed in, Netflix personalizes its Contact Us page by greeting the user at the beginning with their name, like “Hi, Samantha.”

And then, they provide recommendations of what answers you might be looking for, as well as top categories and topics.

They also have buttons for a live chat and a phone number that gives you a personal code so the customer service representative can easily pull up your account.

Netflix is an excellent example of personalized customer service.

Netflix contact us pageScreenshot from netflix.com, August 2022

5. Peloton

The combination of images and text on their Contact Us page is helpful, direct, and organized.

For example, you have two routes you can take: “Need help with your hardware or order?” or “Have questions before making a purchase?”.

And each has a button connecting you to the correct department.

Peloton contact us pageScreenshot from onepeloton.com, August 2022

6. Freehand Goods

This is an example of a small business doing it right. They have an easy form to fill out if you have any questions.

And all the contact points where people can find them are clearly listed: their address with the hours, a map, and clickable icons for their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Freehand Goods contact us pageScreenshot from freehandgoods.com, August 2022

7. Terminix

This excellent multidimensional Contact Us page begins with a statement to build trust and empathy. And they provide four options for people to get in touch with them.

This company’s Contact Us page covers all their bases.

Terminix contact us pageScreenshot from terminix.com, August 2022

8. Kohl’s

Kohls’s has a unique interpretation of a Contact Us page where people can search for a specific question or find a frequently asked one from a category. But it highlights the search bar with the “How can we help” question.

They also have a live chat button that can direct you to a human representative, so you don’t have to wait on a phone call, and it gives you updates on where you are in the queue.

There is also a Track Order Status button for customers to get updates on their orders.

Kohl's contact us pageScreenshot from kohls.com, August 2022

9. Costco

Costco maximizes its use of buttons to direct customers to top inquiries, such as the Order page and Membership Auto-Renewal.

They also list their quick self-service options and a directory so you can get connected with the right department.

Costco contact us pageScreenshot from costco.com, August 2022

10. Amazon

Amazon also utilizes buttons under their Quick Solutions sections so customers can problem-solve quickly without having to wait on the phone.

Amazon contact us pageScreenshot from amazon.com, August 2022

11. Spotify

If your brand doesn’t have a phone number to contact customer support, Spotify offers a solution.

They offer a form for users to contact them and have a shout-out to Tweet them if you’re running into problems with Spotify.

They also have a Help Site and Spotify Community section where users can find answers to their questions.

Spotify contact us pageScreenshot from spotify.com, August 2022

12. Nintendo

Nintendo organizes its Contact Us page into four manageable sections so customers can quickly contact them during business hours.

They also have a live section that shows their current hours and updates to say they are closed when customers visit the page outside operating hours.

Nintendo contact us pageScreenshot from nintendo.com, August 2022

13. Uniqlo

Another organized and easy-to-navigate Contact Us page is Uniqlo, where you can effortlessly search for any question or utilize their buttons for the primary services you might need.

Uniqlo contact us pageScreenshot from uniqlo.com, August 2022

14. Union Bank & Trust

The page begins with a supportive statement, “We’re here to help,” putting the customer in a more relaxed mindset.

Then it clearly and boldly states the main ways to contact them and their business hours.

It’s also helpful that they note the different phone numbers for various departments so you can get to the right representative.

Union Bank & Trust contact us pageScreenshot from ubt.com, August 2022

15. Delta

Delta has a drop-down menu on its Contact Us page titled “Need Help?” where customers can click and find answers to major inquiries.

Or they can scroll through different, well-broken-up sections to find information.

Delta contact us pageScreenshot from delta.com, August 2022

16. Unbounce

Some Contact Us pages can have an overload of information which can end up confusing the customer, but Unbounce’s Contact Us page arranges the contact sections well.

Unbounce contact us pageScreenshot from unbounce.com, August 2022

17. Fortnight

As we mentioned, a welcoming heading can help amplify your Contact Us page, and Fortnight does that well by stating, “Let’s build something great together.”

Additionally, they have all the ways to contact them clearly stated and an easy form to fill out.

Fortnight contact us pageScreenshot from fortnight.com, August 2022

18. TUNE

TUNE represents an excellent example of breaking up the page into frequently asked questions with links directing the user to the right page.

They also include the emails of departments customers might want to reach out to directly.

Tune contact us pageScreenshot from tune.com, August 2022

19. Frida

Contact Us pages don’t always need to be serious. Frida is an example of including some humor on your page, with their “What The FAQS” and “What’s the fuss?” headings.

Frida contact us pageScreenshot from fridacustomersupport.zendesk.com, August 2022

20. Pixpa

Pixpa has all the information you need to contact them, plus an important note. They mention their free trial and that you don’t need a credit card to access it.

Sometimes reminding customers of the benefits of your service or the free services you offer can help entice people to give it a try before reaching out.

Pixpa contact us pageScreenshot from fixpa.com, August 2022

21. Sleeknote

Like their name, their Contact Us page is sleek and, not to mention simple. They also include an emoji making it more friendly. Sometimes direct and simple is best.

Sleeknote contact us pageScreenshot from sleeknote.com, August 2022

22. Choice Screening

Conversational copy is always a great way to start a Contact Us page. Choice Screening has a well-organized page with copy that engages its readers.

Choice Screening contact us pageScreenshot from choicescreening.com, August 2022

23. Glossier

Glossier makes a meaningful impact by mentioning their team, the gTEAM. This gives the feeling that their company culture and customer service are important to them.

Glossier contact us pageScreenshot from glossier.com, August 2022

24. In Good Taste

In Good Taste has a very clear and valuable contact form. They know how to keep it simple for their customers.

In Good Taste contact us pageScreenshot from ingoodtaste.com, August 2022

25. Canva

Canva’s Contact Us page is simple but useful.

Additionally, creating a box with a different color background from the rest of the page helps to highlight important info about their response rate.

Canva contact us pageScreenshot from canva.com, August 2022

26. Target

Target has a simplified Contact Us page. Their drop-down menu gives you clear contact information and resources for various topics customers may need.

Target contact us pageScreenshot from target.com, August 2022

27. AT&T

The use of clear buttons and information on AT&T’s Contact Us page allow for easy navigation.

They also include a helpful search bar for questions and a way to talk with other AT&T customers from their page.

AT&T contact us pageScreenshot from att.com, August 2022

28. Active Network

On Active Network’s page, they have a straightforward form with contact information.

In addition, the simplified color palette makes it easy to view and understand.

Active Network contact us pageScreenshot from activenetwork.com, August 2022

29. Tiff’s Treats

Tiff’s Treats has another simplified contact form page that’s easy to use.

Tiff's Treats contact us pageScreenshot from cookiedelivery.com, August 2022

30. Website.com

Breaking up the background color into two different hues is visually pleasing to the eye. They also keep the information clean and clear.

Website.com contact us pageScreenshot from website.com, August 2022

31. Dropbox

While Dropbox has a lot of information on its Contact Us page, it is organized.

They also use two colors on the central portion of their page to not overwhelm the eye when scanning it.

Dropbox contact us pageScreenshot from dropbox.com, August 2022

32. Red Lobster

Even large restaurant chains need Contact Us pages, too. They begin with engaging copy and offer several ways to find information and contact them.

Red Lobster contact us pageScreenshot from redlobster.com, August 2022

33. Philo

Minimal colors and information with blocked-off sections help customers quickly find information on Philo’s Contact Us page.

Philo contact us pageScreenshot from philo.com, August 2022

34. Slack

Slack uses buttons to navigate customers to FAQs and a search bar for custom questions.

It’s vital to pay attention to the little detail where even the submit button for the search bar is labeled “Get Help” over something like “Submit.”

Slack contact us pageScreenshot from slack.com, August 2022

35. Disney

With a classic picture of the founder to engage the audience, Disney’s Contact Us page sets the right tone while providing all the information someone may need.

It’s an excellent reminder to select your images for your Contact Us page carefully.

Disney contact us pageScreenshot from thewaltdisneycompany.com, August 2022

36. Rescue

Rescue keeps its Contact Us page simple while still incorporating engaging copy such as “We’d love to discuss how we can apply our approach to improve the health of your community.”

In addition, they include a unique section at the bottom of the page showcasing relevant case studies.

Rescue Agency contact us pageScreenshot from rescueagency.com, August 2022

37. Zelle

With three categories of support options and simple colors, Zelle makes its Contact Us page easy to use.

Zelle contact us pageScreenshot from zellepay.com, August 2022

38. Grammarly

A calm, clean color palette and simplified Contact Us page make Grammarly a superb example of a Contact Us page.

Grammarly contact us pageScreenshot from grammarly.com, August 2022

39. Hello Fresh

While their Contact Us page is simple and concise, Hello Fresh incorporates images to help break up the different sections on their page.

Hello FreshScreenshot from hellofresh.com, August 2022

40. Brandaffair

Another way to go with Contact Us pages is to make them artsy, incorporating unique designs, and Brandaffair does that well.

Brand Affair contact us pageScreenshot from brandaffair.com, August 2022

41. Harry’s

Harry’s keeps the pertinent information at the top, such as their email and phone number, so if a customer wants that information, it’s readily available.

They also complete the page by filling it out with FAQs.

Harry's contact us pageScreenshot from harrys.com, August 2022

42. PeopleMetrics

With a minimalist Contact Us page, customers aren’t overburdened by too many options and just have to fill out simple information.

PeopleMetrics contact us pageScreenshot from peoplemetrics.com, August 2022

43. Media Proper

This Contact Us Page is both conversational and incorporates the brand voice well throughout the text.

Media Proper contact us pageScreenshot from mediaproper.com, August 2022

44. Facebook

Finally, as another excellent example of mixing images and text while keeping the information simple, Facebook’s Contact Us page perfectly illustrates how to organize consumer resources.

Facebook contact us pageScreenshot from facebook.com, August 2022

Conclusion

Whether you’re building a new website, redesigning an old one, or simply updating your current site, hopefully, these pages provide a wealth of information and design elements to help inspire you.

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Featured Image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock



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SEO

13 Best High Ticket Affiliate Marketing Programs 2023

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13 Best High Ticket Affiliate Marketing Programs 2023

Are you looking for more ways to generate income for yourself or your business this year?

With high-ticket affiliate marketing programs, you earn money by recommending your favorite products or services to those who need them.

Affiliate marketers promote products through emails, blog posts, social media updates, YouTube videos, podcasts, and other forms of content with proper disclosure.

While not all affiliate marketers make enough to quit their 9-to-5, any additional income in the current economy can come in handy for individuals and businesses.

How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing

Here’s a simple summary of how to get started with affiliate marketing.

  • Build an audience. You need websites with traffic, email lists with subscribers, or social media accounts with followers to promote a product – or ideally, a combination of all three.
  • Find products and services you can passionately promote to the audience you have built. The more you love something and believe in its efficacy, the easier it will be to convince someone else to buy it.
  • Sign up for affiliate and referral programs. These will be offered directly through the company selling the product or service, or a third-party affiliate platform.
  • Fill out your application and affiliate profile completely. Include your niche, monthly website traffic, number of email subscribers, and social media audience size. Companies will use that information to approve or reject your application.
  • Get your custom affiliate or referral link and share it with your audience, or the segment of your audience that would benefit most from the product you are promoting.
  • Look for opportunities to recommend products to new people. You can be helpful, make a new acquaintance, and earn a commission.
  • Monitor your affiliate dashboard and website analytics for insights into your clicks and commissions.
  • Adjust your affiliate marketing tactics based on the promotions that generate the most revenue.

Now, continue reading about the best high-ticket affiliate programs you can sign up for in 2023. They offer a high one-time payout, recurring commissions, or both.

The Best High-Ticket Affiliate Marketing Programs

What makes them these affiliate marketing programs the “best” is subjective, but I chose these programs based on their payout amounts, number of customers, and average customer ratings. Customer ratings help determine whether a product is worth recommending. You can also use customer reviews to help you market the products or services when you highlight impressive results customers gain from using the product or service, and the features customers love most.

1. Smartproxy

Smartproxy allows customers to access business data worldwide for competitor research, search engine results page (SERP) scraping, price aggregation, and ad verification.

836 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.7 out of five stars.

Earn up to $2,000 per customer that you refer to Smartproxy using its affiliate program.

2. Thinkific

Thinkific is an online course creation platform used by over 50,000 instructors in over 100 million courses.

669 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.6 out of five stars.

Earn up to $1,700 per referral per year through the Thinkific affiliate program.

3. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is an ecommerce provider with open SaaS, headless integrations, omnichannel, B2B, and offline-to-online solutions.

648 reviewers gave it an average rating of 8.1 out of ten stars.

Earn up to $1,500 for new enterprise customers, or 200% of the customer’s first payment by signing up for the BigCommerce affiliate program.

4. Teamwork

Teamwork, project management software focused on maximizing billable hours, helps everyone in your organization become more efficient – from the founder to the project managers.

1,022 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.4 out of five stars.

Earn up to $1,000 per new customer referral with the Teamwork affiliate program.

5. Flywheel

Flywheel provides managed WordPress hosting geared towards agencies, ecommerce, and high-traffic websites.

36 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.4 out of five stars.

Earn up to $500 per new referral from the Flywheel affiliate program.

6. Teachable

Teachable is an online course platform used by over 100,000 entrepreneurs, creators, and businesses of all sizes to create engaging online courses and coaching businesses.

150 reviewers gave it a 4.4 out of five stars.

Earn up to $450 (average partner earnings) per month by joining the Teachable affiliate program.

7. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a global marketplace for sourcing stock photographs, vectors, illustrations, videos, and music.

507 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.4 out of five stars.

Earn up to $300 for new customers by signing up for the Shutterstock affiliate program.

8. HubSpot

HubSpot provides a CRM platform to manage your organization’s marketing, sales, content management, and customer service.

3,616 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars.

Earn an average payout of $264 per month (based on current affiliate earnings) with the HubSpot affiliate program, or more as a solutions partner.

9. Sucuri

Sucuri is a cloud-based security platform with experienced security analysts offering malware scanning and removal, protection from hacks and attacks, and better site performance.

251 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.6 out of five stars.

Earn up to $210 per new sale by joining Sucuri referral programs for the platform, firewall, and agency products.

10. ADT

ADT is a security systems provider for residences and businesses.

588 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars.

Earn up to $200 per new customer that you refer through the ADT rewards program.

11. DreamHost

DreamHost web hosting supports WordPress and WooCommerce websites with basic, managed, and VPS solutions.

3,748 reviewers gave it an average rating of 4.7 out of five stars.

Earn up to $200 per referral and recurring monthly commissions with the DreamHost affiliate program.

12. Shopify

Shopify, a top ecommerce solution provider, encourages educators, influencers, review sites, and content creators to participate in its affiliate program. Affiliates can teach others about entrepreneurship and earn a commission for recommending Shopify.

Earn up to $150 per referral and grow your brand as a part of the Shopify affiliate program.

13. Kinsta

Kinsta is a web hosting provider that offers managed WordPress, application, and database hosting.

529 reviewers gave it a 4.3 out of five stars.

Earn $50 – $100 per new customer, plus recurring revenue via the Kinsta affiliate program.

Even More Affiliate Marketing Programs

In addition to the high-ticket affiliate programs listed above, you can find more programs to join with a little research.

  • Search for affiliate or referral programs for all of the products or services you have a positive experience with, personally or professionally.
  • Search for affiliate or referral programs for all of the places you shop online.
  • Search for partner programs for products and services your organization uses or recommends to others.
  • Search for products and services that match your audience’s needs on affiliate platforms like Shareasale, Awin, and CJ.
  • Follow influencers in your niche to see what products and services they recommend. They may have affiliate or referral programs as well.

A key to affiliate marketing success is to diversify the affiliate marketing programs you join.

It will ensure that you continue to generate an affiliate income, regardless of if one company changes or shutters its program.

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The Current State of Google PageRank & How It Evolved

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The Current State of Google PageRank & How It Evolved

PageRank (PR) is an algorithm that improves the quality of search results by using links to measure the importance of a page. It considers links as votes, with the underlying assumption being that more important pages are likely to receive more links.

PageRank was created by Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page in 1997 when they were at Stanford University, and the name is a reference to both Larry Page and the term “webpage.” 

In many ways, it’s similar to a metric called “impact factor” for journals, where more cited = more important. It differs a bit in that PageRank considers some votes more important than others. 

By using links along with content to rank pages, Google’s results were better than competitors. Links became the currency of the web.

Want to know more about PageRank? Let’s dive in.

Google still uses PageRank

In terms of modern SEO, PageRank is one of the algorithms comprising Experience Expertise Authoritativeness Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

Google’s algorithms identify signals about pages that correlate with trustworthiness and authoritativeness. The best known of these signals is PageRank, which uses links on the web to understand authoritativeness.

Source: How Google Fights Disinformation

We’ve also had confirmation from Google reps like Gary Illyes, who said that Google still uses PageRank and that links are used for E-A-T (now E-E-A-T).

When I ran a study to measure the impact of links and effectively removed the links using the disavow tool, the drop was obvious. Links still matter for rankings.

PageRank has also been a confirmed factor when it comes to crawl budget. It makes sense that Google wants to crawl important pages more often.

Fun math, why the PageRank formula was wrong 

Crazy fact: The formula published in the original PageRank paper was wrong. Let’s look at why. 

PageRank was described in the original paper as a probability distribution—or how likely you were to be on any given page on the web. This means that if you sum up the PageRank for every page on the web together, you should get a total of 1.

Here’s the full PageRank formula from the original paper published in 1997:

PR(A) = (1-d) + d (PR(T1)/C(T1) + … + PR(Tn)/C(Tn))

Simplified a bit and assuming the damping factor (d) is 0.85 as Google mentioned in the paper (I’ll explain what the damping factor is shortly), it’s:

PageRank for a page = 0.15 + 0.85 (a portion of the PageRank of each linking page split across its outbound links)

In the paper, they said that the sum of the PageRank for every page should equal 1. But that’s not possible if you use the formula in the paper. Each page would have a minimum PageRank of 0.15 (1-d). Just a few pages would put the total at greater than 1. You can’t have a probability greater than 100%. Something is wrong!

The formula should actually divide that (1-d) by the number of pages on the internet for it to work as described. It would be:

PageRank for a page = (0.15/number of pages on the internet) + 0.85 (a portion of the PageRank of each linking page split across its outbound links)

It’s still complicated, so let’s see if I can explain it with some visuals.

1. A page is given an initial PageRank score based on the links pointing to it. Let’s say I have five pages with no links. Each gets a PageRank of (1/5) or 0.2.

PageRank example of five pages with no links yet

2. This score is then distributed to other pages through the links on the page. If I add some links to the five pages above and calculate the new PageRank for each, then I end up with this: 

PageRank example of five pages after one iteration

You’ll notice that the scores are favoring the pages with more links to them.

3. This calculation is repeated as Google crawls the web. If I calculate the PageRank again (called an iteration), you’ll see that the scores change. It’s the same pages with the same links, but the base PageRank for each page has changed, so the resulting PageRank is different.

PageRank example of five pages after two iterations

The PageRank formula also has a so-called “damping factor,” the “d” in the formula, which simulates the probability of a random user continuing to click on links as they browse the web. 

Think of it like this: The probability of you clicking a link on the first page you visit is reasonably high. But the likelihood of you then clicking a link on the next page is slightly lower, and so on and so forth.

If a strong page links directly to another page, it’s going to pass a lot of value. If the link is four clicks away, the value transferred from that strong page will be a lot less because of the damping factor.

Example showing PageRank damping factor
History of PageRank

The first PageRank patent was filed on January 9, 1998. It was titled “Method for node ranking in a linked database.” This patent expired on January 9, 2018, and was not renewed. 

Google first made PageRank public when the Google Directory launched on March 15, 2000. This was a version of the Open Directory Project but sorted by PageRank. The directory was shut down on July 25, 2011.

It was December 11, 2000, when Google launched PageRank in the Google toolbar, which was the version most SEOs obsessed over.

This is how it looked when PageRank was included in Google’s toolbar. 

PageRank 8/10 in Google's old toolbar

PageRank in the toolbar was last updated on December 6, 2013, and was finally removed on March 7, 2016.

The PageRank shown in the toolbar was a little different. It used a simple 0–10 numbering system to represent the PageRank. But PageRank itself is a logarithmic scale where achieving each higher number becomes increasingly difficult.

PageRank even made its way into Google Sitemaps (now known as Google Search Console) on November 17, 2005. It was shown in categories of high, medium, low, or N/A. This feature was removed on October 15, 2009.

Link spam

Over the years, there have been a lot of different ways SEOs have abused the system in the search for more PageRank and better rankings. Google has a whole list of link schemes that include:

  • Buying or selling links—exchanging links for money, goods, products, or services.
  • Excessive link exchanges.
  • Using software to automatically create links.
  • Requiring links as part of a terms of service, contract, or other agreement.
  • Text ads that don’t use nofollow or sponsored attributes.
  • Advertorials or native advertising that includes links that pass ranking credit.
  • Articles, guest posts, or blogs with optimized anchor text links.
  • Low-quality directories or social bookmark links.
  • Keyword-rich, hidden, or low-quality links embedded in widgets that get put on other websites.
  • Widely distributed links in footers or templates. For example, hard-coding a link to your website into the WP Theme that you sell or give away for free.
  • Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature.

The systems to combat link spam have evolved over the years. Let’s look at some of the major updates.

Nofollow

On January 18, 2005, Google announced it had partnered with other major search engines to introduce the rel=“nofollow” attribute. It encouraged users to add the nofollow attribute to blog comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists to help combat spam.

Here’s an excerpt from Google’s official statement on the introduction of nofollow:

If you’re a blogger (or a blog reader), you’re painfully familiar with people who try to raise their own websites’ search engine rankings by submitting linked blog comments like “Visit my discount pharmaceuticals site.” This is called comment spam, we don’t like it either, and we’ve been testing a new tag that blocks it. From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel=“nofollow”) on hyperlinks, those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results. 

Almost all modern systems use the nofollow attribute on blog comment links. 

SEOs even began to abuse nofollow—because of course we did. Nofollow was used for PageRank sculpting, where people would nofollow some links on their pages to make other links stronger. Google eventually changed the system to prevent this abuse.

In 2009, Google’s Matt Cutts confirmed that this would no longer work and that PageRank would be distributed across links even if a nofollow attribute was present (but only passed through the followed link).

Google added a couple more link attributes that are more specific versions of the nofollow attribute on September 10, 2019. These included rel=“ugc” meant to identify user-generated content and rel=“sponsored” meant to identify links that were paid or affiliate.

Algorithms targeting link spam

As SEOs found new ways to game links, Google worked on new algorithms to detect this spam. 

When the original Penguin algorithm launched on April 24, 2012, it hurt a lot of websites and website owners. Google gave site owners a way to recover later that year by introducing the disavow tool on October 16, 2012.

When Penguin 4.0 launched on September 23, 2016, it brought a welcome change to how link spam was handled by Google. Instead of hurting websites, it began devaluing spam links. This also meant that most sites no longer needed to use the disavow tool. 

Google launched its first Link Spam Update on July 26, 2021. This recently evolved, and a Link Spam Update on December 14, 2022, announced the use of an AI-based detection system called SpamBrain to neutralize the value of unnatural links. 

The original version of PageRank hasn’t been used since 2006, according to a former Google employee. The employee said it was replaced with another less resource-intensive algorithm.

They replaced it in 2006 with an algorithm that gives approximately-similar results but is significantly faster to compute. The replacement algorithm is the number that’s been reported in the toolbar, and what Google claims as PageRank (it even has a similar name, and so Google’s claim isn’t technically incorrect). Both algorithms are O(N log N) but the replacement has a much smaller constant on the log N factor, because it does away with the need to iterate until the algorithm converges. That’s fairly important as the web grew from ~1-10M pages to 150B+.

Remember those iterations and how PageRank kept changing with each iteration? It sounds like Google simplified that system.

What else has changed?

Some links are worth more than others

Rather than splitting the PageRank equally between all links on a page, some links are valued more than others. There’s speculation from patents that Google switched from a random surfer model (where a user may go to any link) to a reasonable surfer model (where some links are more likely to be clicked than others so they carry more weight).

Some links are ignored

There have been several systems put in place to ignore the value of certain links. We’ve already talked about a few of them, including:

  • Nofollow, UGC, and sponsored attributes.
  • Google’s Penguin algorithm.
  • The disavow tool.
  • Link Spam updates.

Google also won’t count any links on pages that are blocked by robots.txt. It won’t be able to crawl these pages to see any of the links. This system was likely in place from the start.

Some links are consolidated

Google has a canonicalization system that helps it determine what version of a page should be indexed and to consolidate signals from duplicate pages to that main version.

Canonicalization signals

Canonical link elements were introduced on February 12, 2009, and allow users to specify their preferred version.

Redirects were originally said to pass the same amount of PageRank as a link. But at some point, this system changed and no PageRank is currently lost.

A bit is still unknown

When pages are marked as noindex, we don’t exactly know how Google treats the links. Even Googlers have conflicting statements.

According to John Mueller, pages that are marked noindex will eventually be treated as noindex, nofollow. This means that the links eventually stop passing any value.

According to Gary, Googlebot will discover and follow the links as long as a page still has links to it.

These aren’t necessarily contradictory. But if you go by Gary’s statement, it could be a very long time before Google stops crawling and counting links—perhaps never.

Can you still check your PageRank?

There’s currently no way to see Google’s PageRank.

URL Rating (UR) is a good replacement metric for PageRank because it has a lot in common with the PageRank formula. It shows the strength of a page’s link profile on a 100-point scale. The bigger the number, the stronger the link profile.

Screenshot showing UR score from Ahrefs overview 2.0

Both PageRank and UR account for internal and external links when being calculated. Many of the other strength metrics used in the industry completely ignore internal links. I’d argue link builders should be looking more at UR than metrics like DR, which only accounts for links from other sites.

However, it’s not exactly the same. UR does ignore the value of some links and doesn’t count nofollow links. We don’t know exactly what links Google ignores and don’t know what links users may have disavowed, which will impact Google’s PageRank calculation. We also may make different decisions on how we treat some of the canonicalization signals like canonical link elements and redirects.

So our advice is to use it but know that it may not be exactly like Google’s system.

We also have Page Rating (PR) in Site Audit’s Page Explorer. This is similar to an internal PageRank calculation and can be useful to see what the strongest pages on your site are based on your internal link structure.

Page rating in Ahrefs' Site Audit

How to improve your PageRank

Since PageRank is based on links, to increase your PageRank, you need better links. Let’s look at your options.

Redirect broken pages

Redirecting old pages on your site to relevant new pages can help reclaim and consolidate signals like PageRank. Websites change over time, and people don’t seem to like to implement proper redirects. This may be the easiest win, since those links already point to you but currently don’t count for you.

Here’s how to find those opportunities:

I usually sort this by “Referring domains.”

Best by links report filtered to 404 status code to show pages you may want to redirect

Take those pages and redirect them to the current pages on your site. If you don’t know exactly where they go or don’t have the time, I have an automated redirect script that may help. It looks at the old content from archive.org and matches it with the closest current content on your site. This is where you likely want to redirect the pages.

Internal links

Backlinks aren’t always within your control. People can link to any page on your site they choose, and they can use whatever anchor text they like.

Internal links are different. You have full control over them.

Internally link where it makes sense. For instance, you may want to link more to pages that are more important to you.

We have a tool within Site Audit called Internal Link Opportunities that helps you quickly locate these opportunities. 

This tool works by looking for mentions of keywords that you already rank for on your site. Then it suggests them as contextual internal link opportunities.

For example, the tool shows a mention of “faceted navigation” in our guide to duplicate content. As Site Audit knows we have a page about faceted navigation, it suggests we add an internal link to that page.

Example of an internal link opportunity

External links

You can also get more links from other sites to your own to increase your PageRank. We have a lot of guides around link building already. Some of my favorites are:

Final thoughts

Even though PageRank has changed, we know that Google still uses it. We may not know all the details or everything involved, but it’s still easy to see the impact of links.

Also, Google just can’t seem to get away from using links and PageRank. It once experimented with not using links in its algorithm and decided against it.

So we don’t have a version like that that is exposed to the public but we have our own experiments like that internally and the quality looks much much worse. It turns out backlinks, even though there is some noise and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really really big win in terms of quality of search results.

We played around with the idea of turning off backlink relevance and at least for now backlinks relevance still really helps in terms of making sure that we turn the best, most relevant, most topical set of search results.

Source: YouTube (Google Search Central)

If you have any questions, message me on Twitter.



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Chrome 110 Changes How Web Share API Embeds Third Party Content

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Chrome 110 Changes How Web Share API Embeds Third Party Content

Chrome 110, scheduled to roll out on February 7, 2023, contains a change to how it handles the Web Share API that improves privacy and security by requiring a the Web Share API to explicitly allow third-party content.

This might not be something that an individual publisher needs to act on.

It’s probably more relevant on the developer side where they are making things like web apps that use the Web Share API.

Nevertheless, it’s good to know what it is for the rare situation when it might be useful for diagnosing why a webpage doesn’t work.

The Mozilla developer page describes the Web Share API:

“The Web Share API allows a site to share text, links, files, and other content to user-selected share targets, utilizing the sharing mechanisms of the underlying operating system.

These share targets typically include the system clipboard, email, contacts or messaging applications, and Bluetooth or Wi-Fi channels.

…Note: This API should not be confused with the Web Share Target API, which allows a website to specify itself as a share target”

allow=”web-share” Attribute

An attribute is an HTML markup that modifies an HTML element in some way.

For example, the nofollow attribute modifies the <a> anchor element, by signaling the search engines that the link is not trusted.

The <iframe> is an HTML element and it can be modified with the allow=”web-share” attribute

An <iframe> allows a webpage to embed HTML, usually from another website.

Iframes are everywhere, such as in advertisements and embedded videos.

The problem with an iframe that contains content from another site is that it creates the possibility of showing unwanted content or allow malicious activities.

And that’s the problem that the allow=”web-share” attribute solves by setting a permission policy for the iframe.

This specific permission policy (allow=”web-share”) tells the browser that it’s okay to display 3rd party content from within an iframe.

Google’s announcement uses this example of the attribute in use:

<iframe allow="web-share" src="https://third-party.example.com/iframe.html"></iframe>

Google calls this a “a potentially breaking change in the Web Share API.

The announcement warns:

“If a sharing action needs to happen in a third-party iframe, a recent spec change requires you to explicitly allow the operation.

Do this by adding an allow attribute to the <iframe> tag with a value of web-share.

This tells the browser that the embedding site allows the embedded third-party iframe to trigger the share action.”

Read the announcement at Google’s Chrome webpage:

New requirements for the Web Share API in third-party iframes

Featured image by Shutterstock/Krakenimages.com



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