TheMadScientist - 12:14 pm on Apr 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
The future of Google's webmaster guidelines
My prediction is they will continue to be clarified with generalized fuzziness...
Google have based their whole ranking system on who links to your site with one hand, and on the other they are constantly driving home about not passing PR meaning that practially every webmaster I know automatically nofollows every link by default.
Meet more webmasters, problem solved! lol
Actually, it's true though ... The most recent I heard on the situation was in a Matt Cutts video and he said it may seem there are way more nofollow links than there really are, because their stats say the nofollowed links are a very small percentage of the web-graph they have ... One thing he didn't mention though is external nofollow links and what the percentage of those are nofollow relative to 'follow' external links, which would be interesting to know, imo ... I could see where the 'web-graph as a whole' snapshot could be skewed since I would think there are many times more internal links than external and those would generally all be 'follow' links.
Back in the old days, designing and running a website was a fun and exciting thing to do - you could link to whom you liked, put what you liked on your pages and all without some sword hanging over your head all the time.
You still can, just don't worry so much about ranking in Google, and don't focus on their guidelines as much as following goodroi's advice and going with the 'principle' of those guidelines ... I think if you get caught up in following the guidelines you forget about building a great site ... IMO you should do it the other way around: Build a great site and then have a look at the guidelines to make sure you didn't accidentally do anything to keep your site from ranking.
Basically, I know if I go and build a great website it'll rank in Google ... (As much as you can know it will rank that is ... lol ... Maybe, 'I know it has a great chance to rank.', is a better way to put it?) ... Sure it might need a 'nudge' here and an 'adjustment' there, but for the most part, I know if I focus on building a great site, generally when I'm done it ranks fairly well without any huge 'gotta do it to rank' changes.