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Anywho, what are your thoughts on how the content of these links will now weigh in the on-page?
If for instance a scraper site uses this tag in its links to the results it has scraped in order to not pass PR to those sites and instead pass the PR on to other internal pages (or wherever he/she wants), will that reduce any positive effect on rankings that are gained by having these links pointing outward? Conversely, will this not just prevent pr leakage (and ranking benefit for the link receiver) but also prevent a site from being penalized for linking to a bad neighborhood?
Wow, you're really thinking tonight!
What that means is that you can do a massive link campaign, drop in the nofollow tags, and receive credit for a ton of inbounds that may be perceived as one ways.
I wonder if the search engines have anything in place to handle that.
Wow, you're really thinking tonight!
yea, unfortunately 12:00am is about when the juices start flowing. That explains why I only get about 4-5 hours sleep every night. I was thinking just this morning (nice 45 minute client call at 7:45am) how my New Year's resolution should have been to attempt to actually go to sleep the day before I wake up each morning instead of that same day.</off-topic>
A handy utility would be a compact application like Xenu Link Checker, but one that checks for that specific tag in the code then creates two reports.
The first report would be macro, and it would search all of your backlinks and report the websites containing that code.
The second report can be a micro report that lists all links for a particular website that carry the nofollow tag.
Site A: <a href="site b.com">
Site B: <a href="site a.com" rel="nofollow">
Although B will never pass PR to A, maybe the link from A to B will be devalued. Perhaps it should be weighted as somewhere between a one-way link and a reciprical one?
I think (hope) that Google have thought this through. I am personally not convinced that the "nofollow" attribute means that the link is going to be ignored entirely. It may not pass PR, but it's existance might downgrade the PR transfer from the same site linked out to.
This is going to be interesting.
Any off the shelf tools at this level?
Or is everything custom?
Well there are a few different link exchange management scripts but for the most part, to get the security measures needed, you pretty much have to custom build it.
Most of the scripts out today are all encrypted so you can't just hack them and add the regex to pick up the new attribute, and most of the scripts out don't really do a very good job of looking for the other things webmasters try to use to cheat.
Then you'd just have to check the page and look for the flag, OR check google's cache and see if it does the same thing.
identify these new links and give them a special highlighting or designation of some kind?
Bookmarklet outlines <a>'s with rel="nofollow":
(I posted this in supporters too, but it probably makes sense to cross post to the public side)
Personally, I don't believe that Google et al will treat the "nofollow" attribute as meaning "this link doesn't exist". I can certainly imagine them using it in identifying reciprocal links, if that is important to their algorithm. And if some sites seem to have an unusual number of nofollow links, I can imagine some kind of PR calculation adjustment.
IMO, the only way for a webmaster to ensure that outbound links aren't considered in some manner or other is to hide them completely by cloaking and feeding the SEs pages without the links. Whether this is worth the risk is questionable and depends on what the site is trying to accomplish.