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Links with rel="nofollow"

 12:49 am on Mar 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

Do these hold any indexing / scoring / ranking benefit when placed legitimately in popular forums , Q&A's etc for any authority / trust purpose etc ?

They appear in Google's webmaster tools link section. Just made me question it.



 2:56 am on Mar 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

If I understand the question correctly, absolutely!

Each nofollow link on a page makes the remaining clean links carry more link juice to their destination, which helps. Some nofollow pages tend to be off-topic to the theme of the site, e.g. Terms & Conditions, Contact Us, Disclaimer, Privacy etc.

Forums also use other means, e.g. robots.txt, to block some dupe content, or they could use nofollow.


 3:28 am on Mar 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

OK - this is an interesting aspect , which i hadn't thought of.

But , just to clarify , what i meant was, is the link/s with a rel="nofollow" from a popular Q&A section on say Yahoo answers going to provide any benefit to the target page ?

[edited by: Whitey at 3:30 am (utc) on Mar. 1, 2009]


 9:32 am on Mar 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

No benefit from inbounds tagged with rel="nofollow" .

See also:
[webmasterworld.com...] - A bit long but really worthwhile

[webmasterworld.com...] - Techniques and ethics

[webmasterworld.com...] - Potential limitation


 9:58 am on Mar 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Don't forget Piggyback SEO value. That's when you get a traffic producing link from a site that ranks for a keyword phrase. Even better when you already rank for the phrase.


 9:49 pm on Mar 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hmmm ... that's another one I'd not thought of : "Piggyback SEO value"

I'm going to persist a little further ... Since Google records these "no follow" links [ as shown in WMT ] what value to the recipient site might there be in the algo ?

Value by some sort of association maybe in the overall credibilty of the recipient site ?


 1:10 am on Mar 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

About the rel="nofollow" links:

* If this is added to a link pointing towards your website, you will not benefit at all from a PR value; simply because this piece of code tells the search engines crawlers not to follow or index or relate this page to the one the link is currently placed on.

* If you use it on your own website to "remove" access to unrelated pages such as contact, policies, etc... you will benefit from it as there will be less non-relevant page on your site and each indexed page will carry a higher PR weight.

* Finally, remember that the main purpose of SEO is to generate targeted traffic, not high PR alone. Even with a rel="nofollow" if the link is well located, it will generate targeted traffic for your site, which in the end is really what you are looking for!

Good luck!

Nicolas Prudhon


 8:28 am on Mar 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

An added advantage can be name recognition. Provided that you have a brandable name, that you use the URL in the links and that the links are visible to your target audience.


 7:25 pm on Mar 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google officially states that they totally disregard nofollow links. However the fact that they show up in Webmaster Tools lists proves that this isn't true. Here are some other things to consider:

1. Even if Google doesn't count them, some other search engines might.

2. Google could change its policy and count them in the future.

3. In some cases, Google Webmaster Tools list of anchor texts includes phrases from nofollow links, another indication that they aren't totally disregarded. Question: If Google doesn't use this information, then why does it collect it?

4. Having some nofollow links to your site will make its overall link profile look more natural, which is good.


 7:49 am on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

When rel="nofollow" is used in anchor tags it specifically tells search engines not to give any relevance to the the link. This is how google and other search engine cut down on the overheard of parsing useless links specified by the spammers.

Moreover, it will not give any credit in terms of page rank to the linked site. You can safely assume that crawler will ignore the link if there is rel="nofollow" attribute associated.


 4:27 pm on Mar 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

i have used it to funnel page rank to a home page ensuring all pages only link back to the homepage while the homepage links to everything. it did help that page go from a 3 to a 5 without me having to go get 3rd party links pointing to the site; unless they increased naturally without me adding any pages to the site.

I'm going to persist a little further ... Since Google records these "no follow" links [ as shown in WMT ] what value to the recipient site might there be in the algo ?

i am guessing that google is just trying to give you an accurate count of all the links pointing back to your site. you may miss some through your analytic suite if traffic is not driven through them.

i am sure you can find something to do with that information; such as leverage those links to evangelize your site when you want to get more links in the future.


 7:01 am on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts on a recent post to his blog answers "Two questions about no follow"


Some interesting & expansive comments here with regards to Wiki type links [ ie potential authority sites ] and the proportion of sites with nofollows.


 5:38 pm on Apr 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I provide a number of outbound links which are not nofollowed in my website's content. However I have included a 'summary of links' box after the content that lists them in order. (I thought this would be quite useful in that it makes the links easier to see when separated from the text)

Is it OK to put a nofollow on the outbounds in the 'summary of links' box or might this might pass conflicting messages to Google? Some advice would be appreciated.



 6:01 pm on Apr 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Is it OK to put a nofollow on the outbounds in the 'summary of links' box or might this might pass conflicting messages to Google? Some advice would be appreciated.

That basically depends on if you believe that PR is passed from more than one link [to the same destination] on a page or not. That's a whole other debate. If I were going to nofollow them I'd put it on both links on the page.

But if you want to be a nice webmaster I'd not nofollow any of the links, especially since it sounds like you're pointing them out as being useful resources.


 2:24 pm on Apr 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ok great, thanks for the advice BradleyT. I think I'll try and be nice - I need to get over the paranoia of losing PR!

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