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Nofollow-let them or take them out?

 2:28 pm on Jul 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi fellows!

Id like a specific opinion of you.

Im more a reader than a writer here, but now Id like to know your opinion about nofollow. I manage a website where there are many nofollows applyied to some internal links, made to Page Rank sculpting atempt.

Now, with the new nofollow directives by Google, what do you recomend? Take away all of them or leave them as they are?

Thanks in advance!




 3:31 pm on Jul 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

From Matt Cuts [mattcutts.com...] blog entry:
"So what happens when you have a page with ten PageRank points and ten outgoing links, and five of those links are nofollowed? Lets leave aside the decay factor to focus on the core part of the question. Originally, the five links without nofollow would have flowed two points of PageRank each (in essence, the nofollowed links didnt count toward the denominator when dividing PageRank by the outdegree of the page). More than a year ago, Google changed how the PageRank flows so that the five links without nofollow would flow one point of PageRank each."

The way I understand this, it is absolutely no use anymore trying to direct pagerank within a site. The no-follow links "eat" pagerank so-to-speak anyway, so actually you loose pagerank. Or do I understand wrong?


 5:08 pm on Jul 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

The no follows are more likely to discourage other sites to link to you. Link builders do watch for the use of no follow when considering who to link with. Therefore I would suggest you get rid of the no follow chicanery and simply go back to basics - get links from relevant sites and link out to relevant sites, reciprocating if necessary. Noone is going to link to a site that reeks of gamesmanship.


 5:15 pm on Jul 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks a lot! I also support the same idea. I just would like to know what other SEOs thoght about. Thanks!


 10:25 am on Jul 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would not change something that already works ok in a site. For sure i will not use this method in new pages. You can use other means to do pagerank sculpting such as obfuscated externally loaded javascript, flash and MAYBE iframes.

[edited by: jatar_k at 12:58 pm (utc) on July 14, 2009]


 12:41 pm on Jul 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi bbriniotis,

Thanks for the answer!


[edited by: jatar_k at 12:59 pm (utc) on July 14, 2009]


 3:31 am on Jul 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Don't bother with pagerank sculpting.

It's simple to decide what really shouldn't receive any PR.

Login pages, terms of user/service, privacy policies...things of this nature should absolutely contain the relative nofollow attribute.

Let the page rank flow internally. (except to pages that serve relevant content)

If you have a blog, and you are wondering whether or not you should allow comment posters to include a dofollow link, it really depends on what you are trying to do.

If you do allow visitors to post dofollow links, it will definitely increase traffic. But, also realize that you will need to moderate the posts, as many link spammers will attempt to take advantage.


 12:30 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have never used nofollow on my blog. I was against it from the beginning.


 12:49 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys.

In fact, Im not a fan of nofollow as well, but the website I was talking about was let on my supervision with this situation. Id not use this technique in a brand new website or even on a non optimized one.

But, in this specific case, the situation is different. The nofollow are there and I was wondering if Id get them out or not. Ill not take any action by now, but in any major website update, Ill let it withouth the attribute.

Thanks and all the best!


 1:03 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

By the way.. an SEO Roundtable poll:



 3:55 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

never used it myself. probobly wont.

PR really means nothing to me so i dont see what the hype is about. i think its a meaningless tag.

something for so called "SEOptmizers" to claim they know all about...

its like zombie trying to eat your brains... just jog a bit and you can avoid them... ? what ?


 4:12 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Interesting discussion, I have made a conscious decision to remove outgoing links from comments made on my blog. From what I can tell, it's helping.


 4:26 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

"Interesting discussion, I have made a conscious decision to remove outgoing links from comments made on my blog. From what I can tell, it's helping."


This is one of the only reasons to keep looking at the nofollow strategies - on comments.

Inside the website, on the onther hand, to sculpting PR juice, as many coleagues has stated, its useless... in my humble opinion, of course :)



 5:03 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

There is a distinction to be made here, it would seem.

Internal "nofollows" seem to be a dead end.

On the other hand, external nofollows are still a question. I have seen many major sites rated #1 for their keywords who use "nofollow" on ALL their external links. Does this not shoot a hole in the value of the "vote?" Should all external links be "do follows?" in order to validate the notion of an external link as a "vote?" This seems unclear to me.

Finally, Google insists on the use of "nofollow" for paid links, and so this rule should followed.


 5:50 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Leave at least one nofollow. It tells Google you care about who you link to.

Remove the other nofollows. You want the spider to view relevant pages you link to as an extension of your content and site.


 5:58 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I still use nofollow on login pages and that sort of thing - pages that you don't want to be indexed anyways. Regardless, there are still other ways to keep these pages out of the index.

It is still useful for placing it on links which you may otherwise feel uncomfortable linking to.


 7:22 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I own a site that was heavily sculpted. I removed the nofollow attributes completely and watched the site plummet in the rankings, in replacing them the site returned to its former positioning.

If you have a site that already has nofollow sculpting i'd leave it alone. If you plan on sculpting on a new site I'd save my energy and work on other important aspects of a website instead.

My (limited) tests show a grandfathering effect, old sites seem to be affected by it whereas new sites don't.


 8:27 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

I would agree with previous points. There is a distinction to be made about using nofollow on internal and external links. The use of nofollow links on external are sometimes required when using paid links or linking out to a site you don't want to be associated with.

It's kind of frustrating they have removed this in terms of using it for some pages in your site you don't want to pass PR too. Even if you use the robots.txt file to deindex these pages. In a typical dynamic site you may have lots of links pointing to worthless pages and even with these pages deindexed, PR is still leaking to it.

I always suggest not to tinker with your site if it's not performing well. If your site is heavily sculpted and doing well, no point in backing out those links. Google said this was done over a year ago, so any ill effects should have been noticed a long time ago.

It sure does leave a lot of wordpress plugins defunct !


 8:39 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Actually another question on this. How do people feel about tag pages, archive pages etc. I have wordpress sites where I nofollow all tag and archive pages. Should I just remove them and let Google run wild ...


 10:11 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

We are not talking about the nofollow meta tag we are talking about the rel=nofollow. If your not using meta nofollow on a wordpress site you need to start. I use Duplicate Content Cure as well as a custom robots.txt.


 11:45 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi this is my first post, I just joined a second ago.
I wanted to share this observation.

1. Turn on your no follow highlighting tool such as SEO for Firefox, and then check out this link:


What do you see?

I see Google puts no follow on every single link.
So is this whole no follow thing an example of "Do as I say , and not what I do"

Personally I wouldnt remove No follows unless there was a more compelling reason to do so, however I also wouldn't weight them heavily going forward.

Other options for PR sculpting include Javascript on links or perhaps send the links to a page that 302 redirect through a robot.txt disallowed directory that then redirects to the intended external web-page.
I have a hunch that adding all those hoops will ensure that the bots don't pass the PR?


 11:56 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

goooglefanboy we are not talking about the meta tag. The OP should have said rel=nofollow but I doubt even that would stop the meta nofollow statements and questions.


 11:58 pm on Jul 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

The no follows are more likely to discourage other sites to link to you

Personally, that's why I stopped using it when linking to external sites. If we link to a site, it's worth passing juice to.

I still do some sculpting on our help, faq, and contact pages... but that's about it, and not very much.


 12:19 am on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ogle. Nice catch! :)

I just saw the no follow highlighting and assumed that they were rel = no follow.


 2:10 am on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

"Now, with the new nofollow directives by Google, what do you recomend?"

I would recommend you to remove no-follow links


 7:18 am on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why would anyone leave rel=nofollow on internal links if they believe what Matt Cutts has said? It can only hurt you. If you want to remove a page from the index, you can use rel=noindex.


 7:53 am on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

There would be a lot less confusion if you just used nofollow as it was originally intended: external links where you don't have any control over (usually because they are inserted by users), so you don't get penalized for linking to bad neighborhoods, and for dissuading link spammers in social web sites. The rest can be handled by meta robots or the robots.txt file.


 12:38 pm on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi everydoby!

The topic is realy interesting, because we can see that there are no conclusions yet! Even inside the SEO/Webmasters comunity...

A coleague above has tested and, for him, the rel=nofollow exclusion was not interesting. On the other hand, there is the Matt Cutts information.

So, the conclusion I can take is:

- old time rel=nofollow aplyied and that are working, should be left.

- new websites or "not rel=nofollow PR sculped yet" websites should not have this "technique" adopted.

- For posts and user manipulated insertions, Id use nofollow to avoid spam.

- Content external link, in my vision, would be rel=nofollow free. Exception for specific cases, as competitors etc.

Any change, any inclusion or even any exclusion for you?

Feel free to change, because I see this topic will be the directive for rel=nofollow use if we could include all our experiences and feelings :)

Bye for now!


 8:09 pm on Jul 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Not all the time No-follow links are bad because some time it visited by some visitors from blogs, forums etc.

And how far I know some Search Engines also follow those no-follow links but if you want to follow only Google Search Enigne then you should go for only follow links else No-follow links are also helpful for visitors.


 11:50 pm on Jul 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

About a month ago, I removed all my "rel=nofollow" links off our company site. Within 3 weeks, on the very next crawl, our Page Rank went from 2 to 3.

So, I did it on another site and got the same result...site went from 1 to 2.

This 37 message thread spans 2 pages: 37 ( [1] 2 > >
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