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Will Google obey rel="no follow"

 11:27 pm on Mar 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

A company contacted me, asking if they can use my content if they give me credit for the content via a link to the download. I agreed.

They have added rel="no follow" to the links, rather than rel="nofollow"

I'm wondering whether Google is likely to obey it, despite the typo.

Anybody any experience with this?




 6:21 am on Mar 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

Try to find if they give your site/page the backlink via yahoo search or google webmaster tool, so that you could verify it by yourselft.

IMO, they just made a mistake:) Google will ignore it!

And waiting for your verification!



 9:53 am on Mar 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

This might be useful.


Q: Will Google recognize the 'nofollow' keyword when it's part of a space separated list? According to the HTML spec, the value of the 'rel' attribute is a space separated list of link types.
A: Absolutely. We'll practice the "be liberal in what you accept" philosophy, which means recognizing spaces, commas and, in fact, most punctuation. But we strongly recommend using spaces as separators to follow the specification.


 3:03 am on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I realize that you are not trying to get a space separated list of attributes to work. Still, the line that might apply in this situation is "We'll practice the 'be liberal in what you accept' philosophy".

I'd say there IS a chance, but just a chance, that Google will treat this as "nofollow" without the space. I seem to remember a post from a Google employee soon after the attribute was introduced discussing this exact syntax error.

I would assume that you are better off if the nofollow is NOT obeyed and you get some link juice and PR here, right?


 3:07 am on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Realmaverick, am i reading correctly that they are using your content and linking back to you with a "nofollow"? How are you benefiting from this?

Robert Charlton

 5:38 pm on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Prompted by this thread, Barry Schwartz discussed the syntax error question with Google's Matt Cutts and JohnMu. He reports their responses in this discussion at Search Engine Roundtable [seroundtable.com]. Their responses...

The microformat is explicitly defined as rel="nofollow". I would not count on other rel-attributes having the same effect, even if they look similar at first glance.

Matt Cutts
I'll have to check whether we flow PageRank through links specified with a space such as "no follow". You can bet that we'll run a test and consider adding support for it. We often add support for when webmasters appear to mess up their meta tags or robots.txt, but we think the intent is pretty clear. The idea is to help webmasters achieve their goals, not be nitpicky about syntax.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:40 pm (utc) on Mar. 13, 2009]


 7:47 pm on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'll echo and expand on what youfoundjake said. Unless these guys are paying for the use of your content or providing a link, what's the point of letting them use it? At the very least, you should insist that they exclude it from search crawlers so you won't be competing with another site's "reprints" of your own material.


 1:00 am on Mar 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

The idea is to help webmasters achieve their goals, not be nitpicky about syntax.

not sure i agree with this sentiment.
that's what GWT is for.

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