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Do you have rel="nofollow" on all of your external links?
sid786




msg:4361752
 6:27 am on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Okay, I've been clumsily keeping a watch on sites that are not affected by Panda, instead benefited with this new algorithm.

Me and my friend have been nofollowing 90% of the links over the last few years on our main site. I'm not talking about nofollowing sponsored or affiliate links. We nofollow links that we credit -- we credit genuine sources, that is.

But, obviously, the algorithm has gone haywire. And it decided to nudge our sites off the cliff.

After following few unaffected-Panda sites that follows similar writing pattern as we do, I figured out there's two things they do differently:
  • They don't nofollow external links
  • Some of them use _blank target to external links

I've implemented too many changes on my main site, and removing nofollow from the hundreds of older articles will open doors for more sleepless nights.

I'd like to hear from you, the affected or the unaffected Panda bunch, do you nofollow external links on your site?

Do you think the new algorithm embraces sites that link out more often, without rel=nofollow?

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:08 am (utc) on Sep 13, 2011]
[edit reason] fix formatting [/edit]

 

topr8




msg:4361775
 7:38 am on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

i've never nofollowed a link
i do not use _blank as a target for external links

i've not been affected adversely by panda

courier




msg:4361797
 7:52 am on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Like you I have been looking at this recently and my understanding of the nofollow rule, is if you are in doubt of the quality of the external site use no follow. What I think G is saying here is if the quality of another site is so poor I can not stand over it, then I should not be linking to it in the first place.

I recently put an information page on with several do follow out going links and linked this page of my home page. This site was was around #12 in G, and within days it went to #4 before dropping back to #6. This was the only thing I changed.

I looked at Matt Cutts blog, and it would appear that the links he links to are do follow.

This is just a thought, but links are after all what the internet is made from, they were there before G and will be there after G. Perhaps G is saying that if you use nofollow, in other words you cannot say if the site you are linking to has good content, then you are possibly linking to a bad source, and G will rank you down as there is a possible bad link on your page.

g1smd




msg:4361801
 8:02 am on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I pretty much never do anything "specific for Google" so I have never used the nofollow attribute.

koan




msg:4361822
 9:32 am on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

We nofollow links that we credit -- we credit genuine sources, that is.


Why would you nofollow such links? You've completely misunderstood its purpose. Hopefully Google penalizes such behavior.

ascensions




msg:4361843
 10:29 am on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

If such is the case, then they need to come out and say it. Beyond the guise of their usually ambiguity. (Unless I've missed something, and if I have, please point it out.) A lot of "box" software now includes nofollow due to Google's original implementation of it.

Last I heard was this from Matt:

There's no stigma to using nofollow, even on your own internal links; for Google, nofollow'ed links are dropped out of our link graph; we don't even use such links for discovery.


With that said, I've seen a regression on many sites that used to be strictly nofollow, that have returned to follow.

Though I personally, went from article=follow/comments=nofollow to all nofollow following Panda thinking I had triggered something bad. It's not changed. I've also not recovered. I assumed nofollow was safer. Like I say, if the opposite of such is true they need to at least give their usually nudge, nudge, wink, wink so we can implement the changes.

indyank




msg:4361874
 12:03 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

nofollowing 90% of the links is definitely not a good strategy...it is like saying that you write only on stuff that you don't trust...

indyank




msg:4361877
 12:07 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

go ahead and do follow most of them and add nofollow only in cases where you really find a need for it...

adding nofollow now wouldn't make any difference....

wheel




msg:4361883
 12:16 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

i've never nofollowed a link
i do not use _blank as a target for external links

i've not been affected adversely by panda

That's me too. I guess there's some nofollow on some of my wordpress and forum sites, by default in the software, but deliberately - never.

I doubt nofollow is a serious problem though. Look at this site for example - nofollow's everywhere. Same with most forums and busy blogs. Every Vbulletin and wordpress site would've been hit.

indyank




msg:4361888
 12:33 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

But forums are different from other sites. Adding nofollows is fine for UGC sites in general...

However, don't take wikipedia as an example since google might also be considering them as UGC, though Matt had once mentioned that he would love them to moderate links and give the credit where it is due...and wikipedia is definitely treated differently...

Panda uses some signals to distinguish a few sites from others..though I don't think this is a signal picked up by google, I would prefer not to identify myself with sites that were hit...

most article sites were hit and they use nofollow...some of them are so cheap that they add nofollow after a few days, though they initially give you the feeling that they credit you for your contribution...though you might argue that these are UGC too, i don't think G would tolerate it from them as they make the money from adsense and from such contributions without any moderation from their side...

Frost_Angel




msg:4361903
 1:06 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I was using nofollow on every affiliate link on my site. Did this for years.
Was hit by Panda in April. Still using nofollow - trying to decide whether or not to take them off. I've done so much to my site since Panda - literally torn it apart and removed a forum, article directory, blog - I just need to stop the madness at some point and move on.

indyank




msg:4361904
 1:07 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

nofollow was meant for affiliate (sponsored) links...

deadsea




msg:4361925
 1:44 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

I specifically link to my competitors. I have six such links on my home page and hundreds of such links deeper in the site. I've done this for years. If my users aren't happy with my site for any reason, I want them to find another site that works for them. I also want to be seen as "authoritative" by Google. I don't nofollow the links and I never have. This site was not hit by panda. The site keeps growing at my competitors' expense.

chrisv1963




msg:4361935
 2:06 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Most links on my pandalized site are dofollow
Most links on my non-pandalized site are nofollow

wheel




msg:4361939
 2:17 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

nofollow was meant for affiliate (sponsored) links...

OK, see, now you're just poking at me :).

Nofollow was meant for spam purposes, not affiliate links. That was for webmaster's benefit.

Using nofollow for affiliate links was a perversion introduced by Google and is for Google's benefit not the webmaster. It's a stick you're being controlled with.

sid786




msg:4361945
 2:26 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

Alright, one thing is clear: Over the past couple of years, I mingled with the wrong set of people.

My friendly competitors have been following this move, and no wonder most of these sites were hit by Panda. Thus, my site was caught in the net.

I wholeheartedly agree with all of you that trusted links shouldn't be slammed with nofollow links. The fact is, this whole show revolves around me -- it's a one-man's show, after all -- and the site "was" sailing smoothly, so I never assumed nofollowing external links was a bad move.

So here's what I did today:

I wasted... wait... I "invested" the whole day in removing nofollow links from my main site. There were 736 links, and each one of them is free from the nofollow attribute. I feel like Harry Potter reworking on his older movies. This time, however, I'm acting not to convince the audience but to please Emma Watson (Google) to marry me.

Now that changes have been made, it should take at least a few days to see if the site climbs up in the SERPs. Also, thanks for the genuine help everyone.

Also, deadsea has an interesting point: linking to a competitor. I'm totally gonna do this, not just for the heck of it but link to competitive sites whenever it's relevant. Man, this is why I love this profession: it's a never-ending learning curve.

Edit: Someone had to do it. And it was Chrisv1963 who had me contemplating. He says this:

Most links on my pandalized site are dofollow
Most links on my non-pandalized site are nofollow

indyank




msg:4361964
 2:51 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's a stick you're being controlled with.


I agree...

This time, however, I'm acting not to convince the audience but to please Emma Watson (Google) to marry me.


very funny...are you expecting this to get you out of panda? you are sounding like a kid...

sid786




msg:4361994
 3:55 pm on Sep 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

are you expecting this to get you out of panda?


This hasn't been the only changes I have done on my site, but yes, I have ignored this for a long time.

As far as recovery is concerned, I don't know. This had to be done, and let the Lords of Google decide. I will, however, keep adding useful content like I used to do before.

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