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Nearly half of links to me are nofollow
internetheaven

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 10:42 am on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have a site with over 3000 links that still struggles. I decided to research the strength of the links I was receiving. I ran a program to check the source code for each and it turns out that almost half of them have a rel=nofollow or rel=external nofollow in the linking code.

I checked many of the pages in question and they are just regular sites, articles and blogs linking in the regular way they always have. Only problem is, they seem to be too scared to link to anything anymore without nofollow in the link.

I emailed a dozen of them and only two responded. Both said they were aware that PR is still lost through the nofollow link. Both said "better safe than sorry" somewhere in the email.

Remind me ... how was this nofollow threat from Google supposed to help matters?

 

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 7:29 pm on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

just regular sites, articles and blogs linking in the regular way they always have

Natural linking destroyed by a short-sighted, lazy solution. Nofollow does not stop spam and fluff, bots and idiots post regardless. As your post illustrates perfectly, it increasingly means that providing content that gets cited freely is of little consequence now. You HAVE to engage in marketing.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 7:37 pm on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

The worry is that websites can be penalized for linking to a bad neighborhood - and the nofollow stops that worry. No one can control what happens at the other end of a link and even though the site is fine when the link is first put in place, it takes vigilance to police your outbound dofollow links. Not every website is up to that - especially those that allow user generated content.

Still, the whole thing started with a Google penalty threat, and was designed to help sites dodge Google bullets.

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 11:56 am on Nov 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

The point of nofollow is to make spam UGC less effective, but what internetheaven seems to be talking about are sites that nofollow their own content. If you sourced it yourself you should not have to worry too much about linking to bad neighbourhoods.

I have seen one or two sites that just nofollow everything - but I would have thought that they are too rare to account for half of anyone's inlinks.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 6:44 pm on Nov 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

It still takes vigilance (resources) even if you originally sourced the link yourself. Sometimes the businesses you link to drop their domain for various reasons - and someone grabs it as part of a spam scheme. Rather than apply those resources, some websites just use nofollow.

I'm not saying I like this - not one bit. But I do understand it.

Andem

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 7:52 pm on Nov 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would estimate that even more than 70% of our links are nofollow. It's unfortunate, but the reality of the web today. The highest value links we have date back to the early 2000's or earlier which haven't updated their back-end. Now-a-days, most sites linking to us are relatively worthless in terms of Pagerank;

One thing that gets on my nerves is Wikipedia articles taking paragraphs and quotes from us and then if they do link back, we get a nofollow which gives us no algorithmic credit for our own work and research, then ranking several positions above us -- followed by scrapers -- for our work.

It's a little bit of a rant, but the original idea of PageRank was a democratic web. Right now, the majority of platforms which people use to post content to the web automatically nofollow: YouTube, WordPress, Wikipedia, Twitter, Blogger, Blogspot, Facebook and usually scrapers will nofollow links.

"It's a rat race and it sucks." You can create quality, original content but you're most likely not going to benefit much from it. It's a flawed system which most likely requires a completely revised algorithm on Google/Bing's part. I'm a little bit cynical on that point, especially when it comes to Wikipedia.

If there weren't so many unethical "web publishers", the rest of us would be at the very minimum, 200% better off.

internetheaven

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 8:04 pm on Nov 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

The worry is that websites can be penalized for linking to a bad neighborhood


It shouldn't be a penalty though. Penalties are stupid. Things should be ignored.

If there weren't so many unethical "web publishers", the rest of us would be at the very minimum, 200% better off.


I'm saying that Google's solution to a problem has simply made it worse. Ethical, quality sites don't point out the good resources any more, only bought links and other artificially created links get you anywhere now.

I'm not saying I like this - not one bit. But I do understand it.


I understand it too. Google says you could be penalised for linking to someone, 99.9% of webmasters will stop linking to anyone without using a nofollow. It was a stupid idea to begin with ... just like all of their other great scare-tactics.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 9:25 pm on Nov 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

And the shame of it is that a few links gone bad will NOT cause a penalty on the linking site. I have a client who maintains a large set of references and we review it quarterly. This used to be called a "hub", although I don't hear that word much anymore.

Every quarter we find several links at review time whose target URL has gone bad and we fix them - this has never caused a ranking problem as far as I can see.

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 2:44 am on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

what tedster says is exactly what I expected (though I did not make it clear in my comment). All sites of any size have some bad links.

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 11:55 am on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I doubt Google give a damn about any of this right now; they've partnered with eHow who are flooding the SERPs with 'information' pages for millions of topics, and if you can't find an 'answer' there then there's Wikipedia. Everyone else can buy AdWords.

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 12:58 pm on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

How have Google partnered with eHow? I have not heard about that before?

pageoneresults

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 1:10 pm on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I emailed a dozen of them and only two responded. Both said they were aware that PR is still lost through the nofollow link. Both said "better safe than sorry" somewhere in the email.


Were these naturally occurring links to begin with? Or, were they solicited? I ask because it is all relative in this instance. Certain industries are going to have a much higher rate of this type of stuff because they are SEO saturated. Other industries have no clue what nofollow is.

If half the sites linking to you have the nofollow attribute, I'd guess you were soliciting the wrong type folks for links - if that is the case.

If the links are naturally occurring, I wouldn't worry about what percentage is nofollow vs dofollow.

After almost 15 years in this industry, I'm still surprised at the amount of time and effort spent on link development. If I told you I've managed one site now for 6+ years and we've never, ever, solicited a link, what would you say? And, we rank 1-3 for our most popular single word search terms, without all the damn links! All the competitors around us are constantly caught up in the link chasing game.

We have better things to do with our time instead of chasing fake currency. ;)

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 1:34 pm on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Re: Google / eHow

Found the article I read before, was posted here last month, but is over a year old. My recollection is wrong; the partnership is with YouTube rather than directly with Google.

[wired.com...]

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 2:58 pm on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Demand Studios is just another content supplier to YouTube. Not a big deal, and not worth Google worsening their search results for.

The real problem seems to be that Google's algo (or Bing's for that matter) is not longer up to filtering low quality crap from big, well established sites.

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 4:42 pm on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

They appear to be more than that according to the third page of the article.
YouTube executives approached Demand...
YouTube's Hoffner called up Demand...
"I know we do deals with the ESPNs and ABCs of the world, but Demand is incredibly important to us," says Hoffner...

Glynn



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 9:36 pm on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you think about this, this is stupid - a site links to a spam site accidentally (well not realizing it), gets into trouble; a site then uses nofollow to a good site, no credit gets given. For the site it seems best to go the nofollow route, but this means that other sites end up with less valued links pointing to it. It all looks like a lose-lose situation in the future - you get a link and it is worth nothing. Where do we go from here?

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 4:52 am on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am not sure whether google is really devaluing nofollow links...

If a site links to a genuine site (not a spam according to google records) with a nofollow, i guess it does pass on some credit to the linked site, while if the nofollow link is to a spammy site (in google's eyes), it doesn't pass on the credit.

If this observation of mine is what is really happening, then I guess it is good...

Well, i know that google can do the same thing without a nofollow attribute...it may have to do with the amount of credit that is passed on...

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 5:06 am on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google has never said they do that. In fact they've publicly said the exact opposite. A nofollow means no PageRank is transferred.

They do have the ability to turn off PR transfer anyway. They developed that even before the nofollow attribute was proposed.

Now if by "credit" you don't mean Page Rank in the strict sense of the term, then that is something else and very much open to speculation.

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 5:21 am on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Tedster, it is just my observation and yes google has never said that...

A nofollow means no PageRank is transferred.


Tedster, I am seeing a lot of hesitation in people linking naturally these days. Google's method of passing on PR and the fear of getting penalized for bad neighborhood, may have to with it..

I am just thinking aloud the following algorithm.Do you see anything going wrong with this kind of algorithm in place?

A page with a certain PR passes on PR to all the dofollow links on that page.These links could be both internal and external.Now, if they pass on equal PR value to internal links and the external links, instead of distributing them, wouldn't it be good?

Say if PR 4 is distributed between internal and external links now, what if they pass on PR 4 to internal links (put together) and another PR 4 to all external links (put together).

Of-course they could filter out PR transfer to bad neighborhood.Won't the above help in people linking out to pages that deserve the credit? Now, people do link to pages that they feel are good to their readers but they do a nofollow simply because of how google is transferring PR....

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 5:45 am on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Now if by "credit" you don't mean Page Rank in the strict sense of the term, then that is something else and very much open to speculation.


It may be PR or it could be adding up to the traffic count or authority of the page linked.

I do believe that google keeps a tab on the traffic that clicks through to the no-followed link and this does help the landing page to rank better.

Hence, some value does get transferred when you are linked from a high PR page, even if it carries a no-follow tag.

For example, say, if a site is linked from wikipedia or ehow, I do see it helping the page linked.

All the above are my own thoughts/observations and google has never said that.

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 5:22 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Why I am not seeing anyone commenting on this? Am I sounding too lame :)

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 6:03 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is it just your opinion about Wikipedia links, or do you have research data to share?

driller41

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 6:14 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I thought the whole point of linking was to provide a link to some related content that was of interest to your readers and was purely altruistic.

In that case why are you complaining about nofollow links.

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 6:24 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Because they make it more likely that the content in a SERP near you is not great content that has been discovered and cited naturally, but content that has been put infront of people and cited by or on behalf of the business artificially.

indyank

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 5:18 am on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Tedster, though I am not in a position to share this one...I guess you do have a lot of clues on it through your own new post today, though it is on social media - [webmasterworld.com...]

internetheaven

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 11:19 pm on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Were these naturally occurring links to begin with? Or, were they solicited?


Natural ... but don't see how that is relevant?

My problem is that Google comes up with these sweeping policing moves with hefty penalities and they can generally only do more harm than good.

ESPECIALLY with natural link building. If natural links are no longer registered by Google because natural linkers tend to be cautious and use the threatening nofollow attribute, then only spam and SEO generated links will count.

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 1:23 am on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just finished auditing a site where 90% of their backlinks are nofollow. I never saw anything quite like it. And yet, these are all apparently honest social media links and not company "plants". It's just that this is the way their market works and they've put little to no effort into attracting in-content links.

And though they could be ranking better, they do have a significant number of page 1 rankings, even position 1-2-3 for generic query terms.

graeme_p

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4235605 posted 9:10 am on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

If natural links are no longer registered by Google because natural linkers tend to be cautious and use the threatening nofollow attribute


Assuming you belive that they are ignoring no follow links. There is a page on my site that has that ranks reasonably well, has the same toolbar PR as the home page, is not strongly linked to internally, and has no external links I know of apart from Wikipedia (which is no followed).

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