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NoFollow or DoFollow, That is the question.

Sep15

Written by:
2009/09/15 10:23 AM RssIcon

nofollow Website Pagerank, SEO, Search Engine Results Page, Google are terms that are being given a lot of attention of late. If you're a blogger (or a blog reader), you're painfully familiar with Comment Spam.

People 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. Google, actually Matt Cuts, introduced a new tag back in 2005, (rel="nofollow") on hyperlinks, in an effort to address the spam problem.

Comment Spam.

The problem is, that it did not stem the flow of comment spam. The theory is that if spammers are spamming in blog comments to get better SEO and anchored links for their sites, NoFollow would render such spam useless. Problem is, spammers still spam.

Now, NoFollow has been adopted beyond blog comments. Bloggers and Social Networking sites are making all or most of their external, and even internal links “nofollow” links.

If you want to stop spam, there are probably many more effective ways of doing so. None more effective than human intervention, moderation.

There are two types of nofollow attributes. One is the nofollow link attribute and the other is the nofollow HTML attribute.

The NoFollow HTML Attribute

Originally this was created by Matt Cutts and Jason Shellen from Google and Blogger to prevent people from spamming the comments of blogs so that spammers could not pick up PageRank, Link Juice or Anchor Text Value from a link posted in someone's comments.

<meta name="robots" content="nofollow" />

The above attribute tells some search engines like Google and Bing not to crawl any of the outgoing links on the page.

The NoFollow Link Attribute

Later on Matt and his team came up with the rel="nofollow" link attribute that allowed you to target which links in your site you wanted to transfer PageRank and link juice.

This link will not be followed

Qualified and Targeted Traffic

The traditional view is that DoFollow link’s are the only ones you should worry about and that NoFollow links offer no value to your search engine optimization efforts. The thing is that there is no such thing as a DoFollow link. It is just a term given to links that lack the “nofollow” attribute. It is simply not true, because links back to a website have more value than just link juice or pagerank.

It is widely known that Google has an 80% market share in terms of search engine result pages or SERPS.  Back linking is a very important part of the entire process and any valid link to your website does count as a vote. It is also true that a link without the NoFollow tag is a stronger vote for your website and thus will help you overrule ranking in the long-term. However many people forget that Google is not the only game in town. Many of the other search engines pay little or no attention to the nofollow tag.

Even if there are many NoFollow links back to your site or blog, you can still get a lot of highly qualified and targeted traffic from places where you have these links. After all it is people that you are more concerned about than search engines, right.  People will visit the sites,  find your link and visit your website regardless of the back link SEO value.

Pagerank Junkies

Many SEO professional lose site of this. Concentrating more on Google Pagerank and using that as a measure of success. This is simply not true. You can be very successful and rank well in SERP or Search Engine Results pages without high page rank. It’s content that gets you there. Remember Content is King.

These so called SEO experts are what we call PR Junkies. They have no real long term goal or idea of broad Search Engine Optimisation. This can, in the long term, be detrimental to your SEO efforts.

Adding too many nofollow links to your site can actually hurt your site. It is a sure way to show to the rest of the world that you are not interested in sharing link love, that all you are about is your own pagerank, that you’re selfish and self centred.

Now if everyone adopts the idea of nofollow, then there will be no link love going around, nor sharing of pagerank. This in itself is counterproductive, as eventually, pagerank will be meaningless, because there is none going around.

Pagerank Sculpting.

Using the nofollow tag in your links is known as PageRank Sculpting. PageRank sculpting is the attempt to control the link power of one website page to another page. Traditionally this was intended to act on pages of the of the same website. For example, there is no reason to give high pagerank to your “Terms of Service”, rather save that PageRank for other pages. But this has gone beyond same website pages, Now people are using this for external pages. In so doing, they are in fact stopping their PageRank from being shared. Bad boy.

Matt Cuts says: “But in general, I wouldn’t recommend PageRank sculpting.” Read the rest of this post on Matt Cuts blog post on PageRank Sculpting.

Also check out PageRank sculpting: does it still help you to get higher Google rankings

Don’t be Shy with the Pagerank

Don’t be shy in sharing some of your page rank. Give and it will be given unto you. Share and share alike. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. How do you expect to get Pagerank and link love from other sites if you do not offer the same?

I do understand that some blogging software have nofollow tags built in. This is sometimes difficult to change. Most of the time this only affects their comment sections. Nevertheless, when creating a blog post, don’t be drawn into adding nofollow attributes to your links within your post. It just isn't cricket anymore.

Check out this blog post on 13 reasons why nofollow sucks.

 

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8 comment(s) so far...


NoFollow or DoFollow, That is the question.

Website Pagerank, SEO, Search Engine Results Page, Google are terms that are being given a lot of attention of late. If you're a blogger (or a blog reader), you're painfully familiar with Comment Spam. People 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. Google, actually Matt Cuts, introduced a new tag back in 2005, (rel="nofollow") on hyperlinks, in an effort to address the spam problem.
# ZillionsB.com

By TrackBack on  2009/09/15 11:02 AM
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Re: NoFollow or DoFollow, That is the question.

Finally! An explanation of no follow that I understand. Thanks Robert!

By Mike CJ on  2009/09/15 11:03 AM
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Re: NoFollow or DoFollow, That is the question.

@MikeCJ,

You most welcome mate.

By Robert Bravery on  2009/09/15 11:07 AM
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Re: NoFollow or DoFollow, That is the question.

I considered to use DOfollow for a while, but then decided against it, as I felt that it would bring more trouble and it would be useful. If I do something DOfollow, I'll probably do it to "reward" the top commenters from the front page. If I go that way, time will tell whether or not that attracts unwanted comments or not.

By Antti Kokkonen - Zemalf.com on  2009/09/15 01:13 PM
Gravatar

Excellent and well written

Once again you have explained this topic well Robert, I just wrote on the same topic 2 days ago as I was getting annoyed with SEO professionals (so to speak) always trying to push the nofollow tag and pageRank. I really hope they move forward on this topic and get a better understanding that page sculpting is not always a good thing

By Bryan Casson on  2009/09/16 08:46 AM
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Re: NoFollow or DoFollow, That is the question.

@Bryan

Just read your post, yes nice and well said. Tho your post covers wordpress, mine doesn't.

By Robert Bravery on  2009/09/16 09:12 AM
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Re: NoFollow or DoFollow, That is the question.

Hello, I read your article about nofollows and was surprised to see you have nofollows in your comment sections you said "Now if everyone adopts the idea of nofollow, then there will be no link love going around, nor sharing of pagerank. This in itself is counterproductive, as eventually, pagerank will be meaningless, because there is none going around." I am just learning the art of seo and am thankful for the good read though. Jerry.

By Jerry on  2009/09/16 06:11 PM
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Re: NoFollow or DoFollow, That is the question.

@Jerry,

You're absolutely correct. This is the product of the Blog software I use. It is also a anti-spamming. If you notice my last paragraph where I state that this does happen in comments, but one should not be drawn to do so in the actual posts. THis is where most of the problem list
"I do understand that some blogging software have nofollow tags built in. This is sometimes difficult to change. Most of the time this only affects their comment sections. Nevertheless, when creating a blog post, don’t be drawn into adding nofollow attributes to your links within your post."

By Robert Bravery on  2009/09/26 02:09 PM
 
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