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NoFollow - Is another policy change also required?
kaled




msg:749866
 11:33 am on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some time ago, I posted a suggestion that a new robots attribute should be introduced with values such as nofollow. This suggestion was welcomed by GG who said he'd pass it on.

However, my intention was that this should be used with dynamic pages, and had nothing to do with PR.

If nofollow can be used to stop so-called PR-leak, eventually, all professional webmasters will use it and the whole PR system will either have to be scrapped or the nofollow policy recinded.

In the past, I have suggested here that internal and external links should be counted separately for PR calculations. (People around here are convinced this doesn't happen.) If this policy were introduced AND/OR PUBLICISED there would be no need for webmasters to use nofollow to conserve PR.

If Google (and others) wish to discontinue the use of PR, they are, of course, free to do so, but if they wish to continue to use it, a change of policy is essential.

1) Google (and others) must start counting internal and external links separately for PR calculations (if they are not doing so already).
2) They MUST announce that this is the case.

Here's a comment from another thread that typifies webmaster attitudes
I'm VERY cautious w/ my PR 6 (at one point it was a PR 7) main website - and don't have any outbound links on my homepage going to any of my other sites. Out of 600 or 700 pages, I'd say less than 10 links are going to other sites in my network from that main site.
from a discussion on cross-linking of sites so it's slightly off-topic

Kaled.

PS I don't want to hear comments along the lines of "external links do not cause a page's PR to drop". I know all about that, etc.

 

webnewton




msg:749867
 8:12 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

1) Google (and others) must start counting internal and external links separately for PR calculations (if they are not doing so already).

You've my vote for this Kaled.
2) They MUST announce that this is the case.

you think google has already implemente it?

Sue_uk




msg:749868
 10:08 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does the rel=nofollow actually stop PR leak? I thought it just stopped the page you where linking to from getting the PR?...

trillianjedi




msg:749869
 11:05 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Their job (as a search engine) is to produce decent SERPS to their users and decent traffic for their advertisers. That's what they need to concentrate on.

It is up to us to guess/reverse-engineer and seek to manipulate the algo and/or find a set of criteria for building pages that is known to be OK for google. That's what we need to concentrate on.

1) Google (and others) must start counting internal and external links separately for PR calculations (if they are not doing so already).

That's up to them. Whatever they feel is going to produce the best SERPS for their users/advertisers/profits.

2) They MUST announce that this is the case

Why? For who's benefit? Does the average surfer/advertiser care?

TJ

kaled




msg:749870
 11:23 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

The logic of my argument is that the PR system will become worthless if the actions I've outlined are not taken. Now, it is entirely possible that search engines are moving away from PR but if that were the case, they would not have bothered implementing nofollow for links.

Incidentally, such an announcement would not be breaking precedents - there have been definitive statements on other matters such as hidden text.

Kaled.

trillianjedi




msg:749871
 11:40 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

The logic of my argument is that the PR system will become worthless if the actions I've outlined are not taken.

Sure - I do see your point and your argument, but who cares whether PR becomes worthless or not?

It doesn't actually make any difference - Google need to produce good quality SERPS - that's their business model. That's why they have market share and consequently why they have advertisers.

How they do that is up to them. They don't need to make any announcements or changes in policy, they simply need to produce good SERPS.

TJ

webnewton




msg:749872
 11:59 am on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Their job (as a search engine) is to produce decent SERPS to their users and decent traffic for their advertisers. That's what they need to concentrate on.

You are absolutly right in principle Trillianjedi. But even they've these concerns. Why do you think blogspot.com or any of the official site of the google group send out links with redirects. To avoid the PR leaks!
PR of late has lost all its relavence. Its measure only ensures how many powerful pages link to your page and thats it. But it still is not relavent enough to take a site to the top of the SERPS. So in a sense PAGE RANK is no more relavent for the casue it was intially devised for.
You can always help Google Engineers by giving suggestions which could help them judge and arrange the sites in the SERPS as per their quality.
i think this is what kaled is trying to do.

trillianjedi




msg:749873
 12:45 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

You can always help Google Engineers by giving suggestions which could help them judge and arrange the sites in the SERPS as per their quality.

Yes, I absolutely agree.

i think this is what kaled is trying to do.

I may have mis-read Kaled's original post, but the impression I had was that he was calling for not only a change in how the algo works in terms of link structure and no-follow, but also an announcement about it.

Google have been telling us to build pages for users for years. Overuse of nofollow in order to hoarde PR is simply building pages for search engines and not users. What's to announce? I'd love it if all my competition implemented nofollow sitewide en masse.

GoogleGuy from 2002:-

Of course, folks never know when we're going to adjust our scoring. It's pretty easy to spot domains that are hoarding PageRank; that can be just another factor in scoring. If you work really hard to boost your authority-like score while trying to minimize your hub-like score, that sets your site apart from most domains. Just something to bear in mind...

Read : "spotting a PR hoarding domain is easy".

[webmasterworld.com...]

This is what Google have said about the new nofollow tag:-

Q: What types of links should get this attribute?
A: We encourage you to use the rel="nofollow" attribute anywhere that users can add links by themselves, including within comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists. Comment areas receive the most attention, but securing every location where someone can add a link is the way to keep spammers at bay.

Note the add links by themselves part.

If webmasters want to implement nofollow sitewide in a crazy attempt to actually boost their rankings, let them learn the hard way.

TJ

Just Guessing




msg:749874
 1:05 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google MUST do what we tell them. This is WW, after all ;)

kaled




msg:749875
 2:23 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I may have mis-read Kaled's original post, but the impression I had was that he was calling for not only a change in how the algo works in terms of link structure and no-follow, but also an announcement about it.

Making such an algo change would be largely pointless unless it were announced. Devaluation of PR as a whole will occur if webmasters believe that they can stop leaks by using nofollow in the outward links. In this instance, it is belief that counts, not reality - hence a change in link counting must be announced, not just implemented.

In addition, I imagine some webmasters will look at the possibility of using nofollow on internal links to maximize PR on key pages. For whatever reason, this may be a pointless exercise, but I bet the experiments have already begun.

Kaled.

trillianjedi




msg:749876
 3:08 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Making such an algo change would be largely pointless unless it were announced.

That's the part I disagree with you on.

if webmasters believe that they can stop leaks by using nofollow in the outward links....

.... and they do so then they will most likely vanish from the index - that's the webmasters fault, not Googles. Google don't owe anyone an announcement - they've already been saying it for years:-

"Build sites for users not search engines".

People have been falling foul to that one also for years, with or without announcements.

They've also told people exactly what it's there for. See the "Q: What types of links should get this attribute?" question in their FAQ (copy/pasted in my post above).

Maybe more webmasters will fall foul of this by using nofollow all over the shop. Frankly, for you and me, that's a good thing.

Let the competition cull themselves. They'll write to google asking why their site is suddenly nowhere in the SERPS. Google will reply with stock response pointing to their webmaster guidelines and, as usual, the answer is right there.

TJ

kaled




msg:749877
 5:51 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

If Google are able to detect legitimate use of nofollow it can only be because they can detect sites that should be using it and distinguish them from those that should not. If Google is able to make such a distinction, why on earth did they feel the need to implement nofollow. If they can detect sites that should be using nofollow then its existence is utterly pointless.

On a slightly different note - it has often been said that anchor text is important. If it were simply anchor text that was disregarded rather than PR then I don't think there would be a problem. However, since I have no interest whatsoever in blogs, I don't know whether this is relevant or not.

Kaled.

caveman




msg:749878
 6:14 pm on Feb 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't get all the debate and confusion about this.

Has G always used every tool at their disposal to identify sites that try to artificially inflate PR?
Yes.

Will use of this tag beyond user inserted comments create red flags that are easy to identify (both by existence of the tag itself, and the resulting page profiles)?
Yes.

Are webmasters who use this tag in ways beyond what the SE's intended running the risk of shooting themselves in the foot?
Yes.

People might make better use of their time than trying to game the SE's using this tactic. Might as well put a little text box on top of each page stating "This page being manipulated to enhance its standing in the SERP's."

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