The Google social api is sneaking up on us and I think its going to become a very good tool that we need to take advantage of. Google is hunting for suspicious links and the easier you can associate what the link is for the better. Its kind of been queit but here is basically how it works.

In your link include a rel=. The rel (relationship) tag is not new to most people but unfortunately people know it ONLY as rel=”nofollow”.

If you want to embrace this new social api (which imo will start to influence search results) then you need to know about some of these relationship tags.

me – For any of your social profiles give them a rel=me. This is important because you are the authority for you.

I will give you an example. I am the authority of shoemoney (for now anyway). But someone else owns the shoemoney aim, msn, myspace and other profiles. So how does google know which one is truly mine and how to rank them when someone searches for “shoemoney” ????

Well in using the rel=”me” tag in your link IE:


You get the point.

This tells Google and anyone using the social API that not only am I linking to this twitter profile but I am saying it is me. (duh).

There is a lot of other relationship tags you can use but I think the “me” one is probably the most important for most people. Especially bloggers.

If you want to learn more about the Google Social API watch this video from Google here:

By Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of ShoeMoney Media Group, and to date has sold 6 companies and done over 10 million in affiliate revenue. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 International Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. You can read more about Jeremy on his wikipedia page here.

68 thoughts on “Looking At Link Relationships”
  1. […] Read more of this article at […]

  2. I see so google is using the rel=”” to see who it is that you are linking to, like friend or me.

  3. Yup, I agree most people only pay attention to the rel=”nofollow” tag, myself included. Nice post, I’m going to look into the relationship tags a little more.

  4. yup i agree .. there are alot if you use wordpress to add the sidebar links … it will show Friend, Me, Acquaintance etc etc.

  5. I personally hadn’t heard of using the rel=me tag could be used, thanks for this Shoemoney. I am already learning new and interesting stuff from reading this blog. 🙂 Soon I am sending you ExMafia Hoodie so make sure to save me a spot I am getting the shirts and sweaters printed this week 🙂

  6. Seems like a minor step for many of us who’s been educated and somewhat aware of the Internet social marketing evolution. However, it should be a while before the many other bloggers who write for the sake of writing catch up.

  7. you know, Google would be much better off getting rid of how they track loinks for page rank and find a new system to get sites ranked. They are waisting millions trying to police a system they screwed up on in the first place.

  8. This is great information. Most people focus on the anchor text for a link and even I haven’t paid attention to the rel= part of a link. That’s what’s good about blogs like this and it’s what keeps me coming back. It’s like I learn something new everyday.

    I guess doing a quick google search on link relationships will help me find some more information on it and how to use them properly.


  9. It’s funny that you posted this. I just found out about it like 2 days ago.

  10. I haven’t even really been paying attention to this. Thanks for the heads up.

  11. This is so awesome! I can’t believe you can do that. I am going to be doing some serious HTML editing this weekend….

  12. Good post. I have never really paid attention to this either. Guess I will now.

  13. What happens if someone else uses the rel=”me” to link to you? For example, a spammer sets up a splog and links to your other sites with the rel=”me” in the links. Won’t that make Google think that the spam site might be yours? While it’s true that none of your sites would be linking back to the spammer’s site with a rel=”me” tag, but still wouldn’t it have an effect of muddying the waters?

  14. S’funny, but if you try searching for: rel= on Google the “=” isn’t seen, it’s ignored. Ask and Gigabalst seem to recognise it, but not MSN Search or Yahoo!

  15. This seems like it could be a very useful tool; but I agree with dcr – it seems like spammers will definitely figure out ways to take advantage of this, too. I can see how they could create just endless loops which results in endless spam at the social sites.

    On the other hand it will open tons of opportunity to make money, because this will bring to life the SAPIOs – the Social API optimizer!!

    As usual, Google, we love you and we hate you 🙂

  16., anyone? Yeah, no one else was paranoid enough so I took one for the team.

  17. Wow. That is something interesting and something new I learnt ofcourse. Rel = me. I never knew that any such thing exist. Thanks!

  18. Myself too. But even then I never tried to use a no follow tag ever. I don’t link to sites I want with no follow :p

  19. Yeah, this rel (relationship) tag as explained comes in handy for us bloggers. Also like the video you attached! The Google Social API becomes an important tool.

  20. I tried this API when it was released and it couldn’t connect anything with me or the persons I tried. Does anyone has a good example where you can truly see how the demos should look like?

  21. I never knew there was so much going on behind the scenes when it came to the little old links!

    I need to investigate more as I still don’t really understand the “nofollow” bit either.


  22. Basically rel=”nofollow” tells the search engines, more specifically Google since it was created by Google’s spam department, that a link shouldn’t influence it’s index ranking. It was created to prevent search engine spamming. Which is when bots, and the like, are spamming comments to get as many links on different sites as possible.

  23. Old news. Old spam. Hmm.. now I wonder who’s authoritative for me ?
    Hey, I know ! I’ll put a Google generated string on my forehead to validate my existance..

    Sorry, but it just means more spam, and an excellent way to contextualize a network of garbage spinners.

    Here comes a new angle on ‘Dismal Failure’..

  24. This is Great piece of news from your end Shoe ..truly appreciate it for sure. Very Useful information, keep them coming for sure

  25. I knew it from the Pownce. They include rel=”me” tag on social link, so I researched what exactly was it for.

  26. Great, now what is Google going to do to people that game this? I’m sure they’re “looking forward” to that too.

  27. The way the “rel=” attribute is being used is such a horrible, nasty hack, that anyone advising you to use if *for anything* clearly does not understand the implications.

    I’d also like to ask why the hell anyone would want Google to know even *more* information about them? Don’t they know enough about you already?

    Let’s also not forget that there’s no authority to this. I could quite easily use a “rel=” attribute to tell Google that is my home page.

    The only people that benefit from the “Google Social API” are Google. It simply allows them to gather and aggregate more data about you. It’s a horrible, broken idea and should be avoided.

  28. Dorn, Dude tell us how you feel will yah.

    Very interesting post. Has it improved anyones page rank????

  29. I thought I just did.

    BTW, I’m a developer and wrote a FOAF web crawler and search engine a few years ago.. but shut it down because of constant complaints – many people don’t know that sites are generating this (often inaccurate) data about them. It’s a huge privacy mess.

  30. Are there any good search tools that index XFN yet? I haven’t found one that’s spectacular or anything. Just some startups. Does Google have an index in the pipe? is there a product already out?

  31. […] in realtà nuovo non è. Lo scopro grazie ad un post che mi colpisce subito a causa del titolo: Looking At Link Relationships (che tradurrei in “uno sguardo alle relazioni fra i link”). Indago un pò e scopro che […]

  32. That is pretty cool, but what exactly is the benefit of all this? Just more power brought to your original site?

  33. Never heard of the me tag, but I don’t get why someone else still couldn’t imitate you.

  34. Oops ..the link (better example)
    rel=”me” – href=”http:// “>myspace

  35. Despite a lot of people missing the point in the comments here, this is an extremely valuable blog entry. Thanks for sharing Shoe. Does anyone know of any sites currently utilizing the API? Is there a list of them somewhere?

  36. […] blogging job is a lot harder then I thought so I give props to John Chow, Shoe Money and Michael Arrington who make it look so […]

  37. I forwarded this write up to a friend I have. He works with Hubpages and mybloglog. So I thought this would be a great way for him to link everything together and point to his blogs. Thanks for the great info, besides it may have got you another reader. Not that you need it. Thanks for all the tips and keep up the good work.

  38. The XFN Network and Microformats, including hCard, will be the future of semantic relationships through code relationships.

  39. Wow. I was unaware of this. If I begin doing this, what exactly will it do for me? What’s my benefit. This was not clearly identified in this post.

  40. […] Looking At Link Relationships, ShoeMoney […]

  41. Does one have to be a programmer, a techie to understand codes like rel and how to use it, where to use it?

  42. […] People is search an up and coming space – Aside: I’ve already had a look at the people search engine Spock after reading this very good quality article about link relationships and social API’s by Shoemoney […]

  43. […] People is search an up and coming space – Aside: I’ve already had a look at the people search engine Spock after reading this very good quality article about link relationships and social API’s by Shoemoney […]

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