Hi Bozana and all,
as you know we've taken up this problem and are researching it in different directions as we believe that it could have serious impact on many within the PKP community, authors and publishers alike.
We believe that there might
exist two mostly unrelated problems with link resolvers, scholarly citation standards and search engine rankings:
1) The 302 redirect (temporary redirect) most popular link resolvers (including DOI and URN) employ might lead search engines to (partially or fully) attribute link credit to the link resolver domain rather than to the target article, it's author and/or publisher.
2) All common citation standards ask authors to link to the original article using it's URL as anchor text and not the title and/or the authors. Search engines use anchor text as one of the most important sources for keywords, though.
The first suspicion is somewhat supported by the fact that we didn't find any backlink from a site that used URNs to FQS (one of the journals Bozana's organization operates). We tried it in both, Google's webmaster tools and Yahoo!'s site explorer. Both, Yahoo! and Google, only find non-redirected links or links that FQS themselves redirect with a 301 response code (permanent redirect). We found several articles on the web that confirm that 302 redirects may leave all or part of the link credit (="link juice" in SEO jargon) with the redirecting page rather than with the target page. According to these sources 301 redirects (permanent redirects) should solve that problem which coincides with our own observation.
The second problem is very obvious. The impact of anchor texts on search results is well known and proven. (The most popular proof being that "Acrobat Reader" ranks very high for the keywords "here" or "click here" in many languages although this word has no semantic connection with Acrobat's software just because so many sites link to the reader with the word "here" in the anchor text.) Unfortunately there's no easy solution to this problem unless citation standards change or search engines learn how to recognize and parse citation standards. Maybe they already do?
Let me quickly summarize the activities that we've initiated so far:
1) We've done preliminary research about the impact of 302 redirects (see results above)
2) We've checked the backlinks for re-directed links in the case of FQS (see results above)
3) We've contacted CrossRef support and asked them about their opinion (no answer yet)
4) We've posted a question on Google's search forum (see http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/W ... 088a&hl=en
, no response by the time I write this)
5) Today we also contacted the German National Library who manages the URN standard for Germany and asked them to temporarily switch FQS links to 301 redirects so that we can test our backlink hypothesis.
If any of you observes similar behavior then please tell us. If you use a link resolver scheme like DOI, PURL, etc. please try out whether you can find backlinks in Google's webmaster tools and Yahoo!'s site explorer from pages that contain nothing but a DOI, PURL, etc. link. If you need further assistance, then tell me. I'm happy to help.