I've just noticed that if I do a search for related:www.myownsite.com, 4 out of the 11 "related links" to my own site returned by Google are from WebmasterWorld or SEW.
1. I have no links from my own site to WebmasterWorld; 2. I used to have a (now removed) link to my site in my WebmasterWorld profile, but: 3. my WebmasterWorld profile has always had a nice
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX"> tag.
...I must then argue that Googlebot followed the link in my profile.
So, while the
NOINDEX tag prevents Google from counting the incoming link from the profile page for PR calculation, it clearly does not prevent Google from following that link and establishing a theme relationship between WebmasterWorld and the member's site.
Now, I was wondering whether it would be possible to add a permanent
NOFOLLOW argument to the above tag, in order to prevent... well, let's call it "theme distortion". Members above 100 posts could then simply have the NOINDEX argument removed (as a sort of "PR bonus" for their contibutions to the forums).
What do you say, Brett?
(I do understand that SEO folks linking to their own SEO company sites from their WebmasterWorld profiles may not be too happy about this, though). ;)
Pages often appear as each others "related" links because many other pages link to both of them. The most prominent cause for this might be that both are listed in the same category of the ODP. Dunno if that is the case for your site and wmw, but that's where I'd look first.
> I was wondering whether it would be > possible to add a permanent NOFOLLOW argument
Members have complete control over whether they list their site in a profile.
There is nothing specific about "nofollow" relating to OFFSITE links. I believe NO FOLLOW is valid for insite links only. After that, it is up to the crawler to figure out what to do what it will with any found links.
"no index" only refers to the se's inclusion within it's search results. That says nothing about what it can do with any data it downloads.
Google lists a lot of URLs that it hasn't visited.
In these cases, Googlebot sees the link and includes it in the link database without following the link. I haven't seen anything to suggest that Google can't include a link from a page with NOFOLLOW in the robots meta tag.
ciml: then I must conclude that although my profile page was not included in Google's regular index (because of the <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX"> tag it had until a few days ago), the links it contained were taken into account for theme assessment (or "related links" extraction, whatever)... Right?