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Added Nofollow to Paid Links - How Long for Google to Notice?
Samanthatouch




msg:4573672
 7:52 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sixteen year old site that is regularly updated and popular with schools and non-profit groups. All white hat except one thing that we didn't realize mattered so much.

We use a popular link service that pays us to put text link ads on our site. We put them only in the left margin and it is clear to users that the links are not part of the content. There was no intent to deceive anyone.

Now we see that they need to have rel="nofollow" added to the tag so that they don't pass page ratings to computer algorithms that Google uses since they can't tell that they are ads.

We added rel="nofollow" and the company that pays us to put up the links say that they won't pay us unless we remove the nofollow stuff.

How long does it take for Google to notice that we added the nofollow and do we need to tell them somehow?

If it takes months to notice then that would be thousands of dollars lost for us because we are paid very well for the links.

Sam

 

diberry




msg:4579541
 4:49 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't think anyone's saying anything as simplistic as that Google thinks "nofollow = paid links". But what IS possible is that if a huge majority of links pointing to a particular site are nofollow, this strikes Google as unnatural. Or some pattern like that. I think Penguin in particular is looking more at *patterns* rather than individual happenings to determine where we should all rank.

Play_Bach




msg:4579542
 4:59 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

@diberry
Uh, that's exactly what atlrus implied - and with emphasis.

> Remember that using no-follow in your links simply shows Google that you sell ads.

atlrus




msg:4579558
 5:50 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yup, this is exactly what I'm saying, of course, it's not going to be true 100%, but most of the time.

If you read the examples Google gives as to when you should use nofollow, there are 2 scenarios:

1. Untrusted sites (comment spam, which could and should be prevented in many other ways, besides nofollow)

and

2. Paid Links - this is really the place google wants you to use nofollow.

Again, there should be no other reason to use nofollow, but when you are selling ads. It's purely Google-specific, no other search engine or browser uses that attribute for anything. And following the logic (pun) - when you use nofollow you tell google you have paid links. It's really that simple.

LuckyLiz




msg:4579561
 5:59 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

as to when you should use nofollow, there are 2 scenarios:


What about crosslinking between sites you personally own that are related but have different content?

atlrus




msg:4579563
 6:05 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

What about crosslinking between sites you personally own that are related but have different content?


If a website adds value to your website or offers value to your visitors - what's stopping you from linking out, no matter who owns the website?

If you think another website is good enough to send your visitors to - then you don't need nofollow. If not, then you don't need to link out. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4579564
 6:22 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

^ I agree, good philosophy to follow.

"nofollow" only came about due to UGC, mainly blog comments... allowing people to post links without the "risk" of a site getting penalised for linking out to dodgy sites.

There shouldn't be a need/requirement for this when it comes to your own decisions as to whether a link should be on your site or not.

Play_Bach




msg:4579596
 7:22 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

@atlrus
> when you use nofollow you tell google you have paid links. It's really that simple.

And what about the thousands and thousands of forums that use vbulletin? That software nofollows not only all outbound links, but site navigation as well.
<li><a href="register.php" rel="nofollow">Register</a></li>

atlrus




msg:4579678
 12:19 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

So what if vbulletin offers the option to use nofollow? I am sure they also offer the option not to use it, correct?

To strengthen my case further, here is a coincidental post today about Cutts newest video: [webmasterworld.com...]

I recommend you watch it and then think about it.

Play_Bach




msg:4579679
 12:25 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

> So what if vbulletin offers the option to use nofollow?

Ok atlrus, you win. Obviously, you seem to think that millions of pages of Wordpress, vbulletin and countless other sites using nofollow doesn't negate your view about what nofollow was designed to do. You want to believe it means paid links? So be it.

atlrus




msg:4579682
 12:27 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

You want to believe it means paid links? So be it.


Again, watch the video. In it Cutts tells you in plain English what rel=nofollow was designed for.

cabbie




msg:4579739
 6:11 am on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I see evidence that Google is penalising for linking to your own sites, even when those links are relevant.
It is obvious they are connected by having same the adsense code but they are getting unnatural link penalties

diberry




msg:4579921
 3:25 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

I misunderstood. Altrus, you ARE somewhat incorrect.

Wordpress does NOT offer an option to "dofollow" the comment links. All those links are nofollow by design. You can install plugins to change this, but most bloggers are not SEO people and even if they were, assume WP works as it does for a reason and don't change it.

That's a huge chunk of nofollow links on the web right there, and WP isn't the only CMS that does this. So no, I don't believe for one second Google is thinking "nofollow almost always = paid link". They know how these CMSs work.

I do believe Google might look for *patterns* of nofollow links, however, because I get a ton of comments in my spam filter linking people's LuxuryBrandKnockoff.info type sites. Chances are these sites ONLY get nofollow links from CMS owners who let them through, so having virtually nothing BUT nofollow pointing to your site probably does = paid links.

I don't know if Google can distinguish nofollows in a CMS comment section from nofollows in its body. If they can, then they probably could assume most nofollows in the body are affiliate or paid links. But if you're doing that - as I do in some sites - you have a bigger issue: certain government agencies want you to make it very, very clear to your READERS (forget Google!) that you're doing this. I'm longing for some way of tagging links so they look different to readers, but until then I've started adding asides to pages that use affiliate links, thereby alerting visitors very, very clearly.

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