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nofollow is out of contrl
nofollow on links to their own sites
graeme_p




msg:4341612
 10:59 am on Jul 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

I just noticed that the website of a large British building society (essentially a bank under mutual type ownership) has rel=nofollow on links to websites operated by their own divisions - i.e. other parts of the same organisation.

They also have a links page that has external links that are not nofollowed

Finally they have this gem: a link of the form example.co.uk/?rel=nofollow where example.co.uk is a separate site they have for recruitment. They also have an actual nofollowed link to an internal page on that site.

Then there is the reason I was on their site: a link I had to them was returning a 404 and the site was reorganised, and not only is my existing link broken, but I cannot find the (fairly important) information on the new site.

 

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4342969
 3:21 am on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

yes, nofollow is out of hand and I'm not even sure Google obeys it anymore. In fact I am willing to bet that nofollow links have no positive role in your rankings at all besides protecting your bacon if the site being linked to gets all spammy on you. That's just a hunch though.

IMO there isn't a good reason to use nofollow from your own pages to other pages on the same site anymore, or even to your 'other' sites. If the link is going to be there you may as well hope it passes some rank, if it doesn't it's not a big deal. The bottom line is that you can vouch for your own sites.

Some will argue that you should add nofollow to links that pass through a redirect page to 3rd party sites, such as affiliate links etc. My feeling about that is that you shouldn't use nofollow even to pages redirecting out to 3rd party sites, those need to be excluded via robots.txt instead.

A simple test as proof.
#1 - Set up a single independent page with adsense on it and link to it with nofollow.
#2 - Set up a second page with adsense on it and link to it normally, without nofollow, and instead exclude the page via robots.txt.

Only one of those pages will display adsense and it's not the one with all links pointing at it with nofollow.

P.S. I'm a recovering internal link sculptor, I should know :-)

koan




msg:4342981
 5:24 am on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

When people mess up their own sites with nofollow, it's their loss, and I think to myself, the webmaster must be an idiot.

But when I see one of my sites linked in some external article about "top ten sites for XYZ" and the link is nofollowed, I think, really, here you have a list of the best sites that you recommend on a subject but you can't even use a normal link? Seesh. I don't know if it's greed, ignorance or fear...

graeme_p




msg:4342995
 6:59 am on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

yes, nofollow is out of hand and I'm not even sure Google obeys it anymore. In fact I am willing to bet that nofollow links have no positive role in your rankings at all besides protecting your bacon if the site being linked to gets all spammy on you.


I am pretty sure that nofollow can pass rank in some circumstances. PR from Wikipedia (all external links nofollowed) is the only way I can explain the high toolbar PR of one of my internal pages.

I agree about using robots.txt on redirects, rather than nofollow on the links. It is easier to manage for a start, and you can be sure what the effect is.

@koan, I think some people may be worried about sites changing. I just checked all my external links and at least one domain now had a very low quality site on it. Of course the right way to do this is to check your external links.

lucy24




msg:4343023
 9:48 am on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

I use it on the belt-and-suspenders principle. If any directory is roboted out, then internal links to that directory are also no-followed. Mind-boggling but true: just days ago I was visited by an unknown robot who did not have time to read robots.txt because their shopping list was too long-- it was not one of those "grab the front page and run" robots-- but they faithfully obeyed all "nofollow" directives.

So there ;)

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4343371
 12:20 am on Jul 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

My new policy - Nofollow all external links and let google sort it out.

Why? because nofollow is THEIR creation and so is pagerank, trustrank etc. I have enough to worry about already without stressing on nofollow or getting penalized because a machine thinks I'm up to no good when I'm not. Ya know?

koan




msg:4343421
 4:34 am on Jul 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have enough to worry about already without stressing on nofollow or getting penalized


What if Google penalyzes sites that nofollow all external links?

graeme_p




msg:4343449
 7:34 am on Jul 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Putting nofollow on everything seems on obviously bad idea to me. You are not using nofollow the way they ask you to, and it will be obvious to the algorithm.

We do not know exactly how Google (or other search engines) treats nofollow in all. Here are a few possibilities:

1) Having good external links is regarded as a sign of good content, and nofollow kills this.
2) If you nofollow everything it is ignored.
3) As koan suggests, you get directly penalised for overusing nofollow
4) nofollow gets ignored in some circumstances - e.g. old links (that you should been able to clean up), links in what the algo thinks is editorial content, ?

Now I am not saying Google do any of this, but they might.

The other alternative is to use nofollow only on ads (so you do not get classified as a link seller) and do everything else the old fashioned way (checking your links for both bad links in UGC and changes to the linked sites in your own content).

viggen




msg:4343452
 7:41 am on Jul 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

I never use nofollow, if i link i have a reason i link... and yes if i link to an ad i vouch for it too, or it wouldnt be there...

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