Sgt_Kickaxe - 7:01 pm on Aug 19, 2011 (gmt 0)
As the weeks since Panda have gone by I've been noticing a distinctive shift in what dominates the serps in my corner of the web. Sites with affiliate programs for example in which many websites write about and link to the products are seeing those product pages float to the top of the serps, before they languished somewhere in the top 30 but not usually top 3.
One thing that would explain how some sites, like eBay, now dominate serps for many product keywords would be a sudden change in how nofollow is handled. If affiliate sites, or any site that links to another sites product pages, are passing value regardless of which method they use to stop rank flow it makes sense that the site being linked to would float to the top while the linking sites drop at least a little.
In my corner of the web where everyone seems to link to the product pages of the same two websites it would appear Google has suddenly lowered the rankings of the affiliates while strongly boosting the affiliate site. Since there has been no massive removal of redirects and nofollow on links it would appear that Google no longer listens to nofollow all the time.
I do NOT see this as a jab against affiliates although I do suspect that affiliates may no longer be able to say "I don't trust that site, nofollow! nofollow!" when google trusts the site already. My conclusion, and I reserve the right to change my mind, is that nofollow doesn't work against some sites and may not work at all anymore.