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Why should I use dofollow at all?
rag_gupta




msg:4642264
 4:14 am on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

I am asking the most basic question.

I build CMS based sites and for safety I configure them to use "nofollow" for all the external links. Now if I leave by mistake dofollow settings, it could be misused and my sites could be penalized. Secondly maintaining each site in the CMS whether it should be linked as dofollow or nofollow is a headache for sure.

Similarly Wikipedia is linking only by nofollow.


In my country there 1000's of government sites. Some with PR of 10 and 9. Now they link with dofollow just because they don't know about nofollow or are interested in doing extra bit of work.


What do big sites like BBC, Nytimes etc get to use dofollow? Will their technical writers have training to distinguish between dofollow/nofollow links. Why'd they care ?

So finally what do I get to use dofollow to link other sites?

 

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4642265
 4:22 am on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

You could look at it this way. If the link doesn't deliver targeted traffic to its destination and is totally inert when it comes to link juice, then why bother linking at all?

There is the possibility that nofollow does have some kind of algorithmic impact as some people believe.

I'd like to think if people know what they're talking about on their own website, then they'll know who to link to too. Maybe that's too idealistic though.

I understand why you ask the question, why would you want to worry about other people's SEO campaigns which could end up making your link poisonous to your own site? It's really a question of preference, I'm quite sure a lot of people still 'dofollow' out of principle...

rag_gupta




msg:4642267
 4:32 am on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

brotherhood of LAN .. ordinary editors aren't interested in dofollow/nofollow only webmasters are.

Why not use nofollow for all for simplicity. What do I get in return for using dofollow except for some added risk of G's penalty?

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4642270
 4:51 am on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Use them for simplicity if you like.

>Now they link with dofollow just because they don't know about nofollow or are interested in doing extra bit of work
>ordinary editors aren't interested in dofollow/nofollow only webmasters are.

I think these are generalisations to suit the argument of using nofollow all the time.

'dofollow' links vastly outnumber 'nofollow' links on the link graph, yet strangely only a tiny minority are penalised, or perhaps it's the majority?

Perhaps if 'nofollow' becomes the norm, someone should keep an index of which domains don't freely link out, so that they aren't given links back, a kind of protectionism if you will.

Using nofollow seems a little Google-centric for my liking, but each to their own.

rag_gupta




msg:4642275
 5:01 am on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

So do you agree that ratio of dofollow/nofollow links is reducing day by day in the internet?

There'll be a day when opposite could be true in which only 2% of links are dofollow and rest all nofollow in the internet.

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4642279
 5:11 am on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

>2% of links are dofollow and rest all nofollow in the internet.

If that were the case then maybe you can see the irony of using nofollow, or suggesting it's sound that everyone should.

Programmatically 'disavowing' your editorial choices to link out to other websites isn't a great position to be in, in my opinion. It could be argued that it's a bad signal in itself. Let people continue to 'vote' what their readers might be interested in, rather than trying to disown your choice in links. The only practical use I've seen for nofollow is in UGC, comments sections mostly.

I'll leave it at that. My vote is 'no', don't disavow everything with impunity.

EditorialGuy




msg:4642390
 4:29 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm with Brotherhood of LAN. Think about it:

1) Linking is the most fundamental principle of the World Wide Web.

2) Links are the basis of PageRank, the core element in Google's search algorithm.

3) Following links is how search crawlers discover and digest new Web content.

If and when "nofollow abuse" becomes an epidemic, wouldn't you expect Google to look askance at site owners who "nofollow' every outbound link?

LifeinAsia




msg:4642393
 4:42 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

wouldn't you expect Google to look askance at site owners who "nofollow' every outbound link?

I can't quote anything specific (or if it was just opinion), but I seem to remember that Google indicated that nofollowing every outbound link would indicate PR hoarding and would be frowned upon.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4642394
 4:58 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

@LifeinAsia

I thought if you linked with nofollow the PR would still leave your site (vanish) but it just would not be passed onto the linked site?

LifeinAsia




msg:4642395
 5:09 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

My understaning was that the Google algo change was in reaction to all the webmasters who were nofollowing all outbound links (to try to hoard their link juice). Before that, nofollow links weren't counted for PR flow calculation.

mrengine




msg:4642398
 5:41 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Use nofollow on all user generated content and not on content entirely within your control. That's a safe way to do things now, but I understand why some don't. For example, running outbound link checks on large sites can be difficult in a time where domains expire or are sold and are purchased by spammers. Automated link checks make identifying these types of outbound links extremely difficult.

With Google penalizing so many sites with manual actions, I believe they are having a very difficult time algorithmically dealing with links. Though we have all known about this weakness in Google's algorithm, we don't know how they will deal with it in the future. You may be safer keeping all external links nofollow in the long run as you have configured now. Go with your gut.

7_Driver




msg:4642415
 7:40 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

I think it makes sense to NoFollow all outbound links right now. NoFollowed links work just as well for humans as followed links do. I'm creating my website for my human visitors - not as an unpaid volunteer to help Google rank sites in their SERPS.

There may come a day when so many links on the web are NoFollowed that Google starts to penalise it - but until that day, NoFollow is the safest bet.


Programmatically 'disavowing' your editorial choices to link out to other websites isn't a great position to be in, in my opinion.


Doesn't seem to be doing Wikipedia any harm. (You can argue that's UGC - but it still indicates that there's currently no significant penalty for NoFollowing all your outbound links).

I seem to remember that Google indicated that NoFollowing every outbound link would indicate PR hoarding and would be frowned upon.


PR Hoarding using NoFollow hasn't worked for years.

FranticFish




msg:4642426
 8:07 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google have said that 'PR sculpting' with nofollow won't work as far back as 2009, and they were referring to a change made in 2008: [mattcutts.com...]

If you use nofollow, so Google say, you don't save any PR - it just disappears into a black hole.

According to Matt Cutts in 2011, there was no loss of trust for nofollowing everything as standard - see [youtube.com...]

EditorialGuy




msg:4642429
 8:44 pm on Feb 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

Doesn't seem to be doing Wikipedia any harm. (You can argue that's UGC - but it still indicates that there's currently no significant penalty for NoFollowing all your outbound links).


"Nofollow" was created for user-generated content (more specifically, as a way to neutralize comment spam on blogs). So it stands to reason that Google and other search engines wouldn't have a problem with the default use of nofollow for UGC links.

For the moment, Google and other SEs may not care if all of a site's links are nofollowed, but it seems to me that such brute-force nofollowing sends a negative message about a site's editorial quality. (Are all of the site's links purchased or untrustworthy?)

Down the line, if it appears that the SEs do become peeved by the cavalier or sloppy use of rel="nofollow," it will be a nuisance to go back and figure out which links should have that attribute removed.

Different strokes for different folks, but I'd prefer to be sensible and use rel="nofollow" for its intended purpose.

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