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nofollow attribute

use it on your webpages for bot control

     
5:05 pm on Jun 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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google has updated their webmaster guidelines pages and there it is folks
see # 14 on this page
[google.com...]

Meta tags can exclude all outgoing links on a page, but you can also instruct Googlebot not to crawl individual links by adding rel="nofollow" to a hyperlink. When Google sees the attribute rel="nofollow" on hyperlinks, those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results.
6:25 pm on June 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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That's good news, because following this information, we can use 'nofollow' attribute where we like - there is nothing said about using it only on user submitted content.

Of course putting it on all outbound links would be stupid - for example because outbounds to good on-topic sites can give a benefit to a page. But sometimes there are links where I'd like to put the attribute on - off-topic links, or sites I'm not sure about their reputation etc.

1:56 am on June 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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it's good news and not so good in some cases I suppose


<a href=http://www.example.com/>This is a great link!</a>

<a href=http://www.example.com/ rel="nofollow"> I can't vouch for this link</a>

6:39 am on June 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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There's no doubt it can be abused, but there are so many alternative ways to manipulate following links by Googlebot. But if I hide a link in JavaScript, because I don't want to cast a vote for a particular site, it could be considered to be against Google guidelines. If I use "nofollow", I will be following the rules. So it's better to have legitimate method to use in legitimate cases.

Of course some webmasters will abuse it, and maybe Google will find a way to detect and penalize it.

6:45 am on June 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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hi, two short questions:
Iīm using the nofollow tag to prevent Google from following some of my internal links as those links just show the same content of the page but e.g. in alphabetical order. Following this link and indexing the output would only lead to duplicate content (I guess). Is the use of the nofollow ok there?

and....

I understand google only crawls a certain number of links on a page. Does Google include the links with nofollow tag in its counting?

thanks!

6:47 am on June 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I avoid it on general principle. Sure there are legitimate reasons for nofollow, but
there are bound to be abuses as well. Just to avoid the hint of a suspicion of unsavory stuff,
I find it simpler not to use nofollow in the first place.
If a site is good enough for me to link to, it merits a full followed <a> href= type link.
If a site is in a bad neighborhood, I won't touch it with a long stick. -Larry
12:48 pm on June 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Iīm using the nofollow tag to prevent Google from following some of my internal links as those links just show the same content of the page but e.g. in alphabetical order. Following this link and indexing the output would only lead to duplicate content (I guess). Is the use of the nofollow ok there?

I'd call this overoptimisation.

I understand google only crawls a certain number of links on a page. Does Google include the links with nofollow tag in its counting?

Where did you hear this?

Google sais in the guidelines that it follows at least 100 links on a page, and I know about pages with over 1000 links followed by Google. The bigger problem is exceeding 100kB limit, but there are serious rumours this limit is no longer in use.

But what's the sense to make a page with 100 links? From the point of a user, I'd hate such a mess. And your PageRank would be splitted between them completely.

So how many links do you intend to put on a page?

2:15 pm on June 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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internal links to the same content on a page wont cause a dup-content penalty - there is only one real content and you are just linking to it in different ways.

I could see using it for affiliates who use javascript or other ways that will lead to errors for googlebot like a link to a script.

Is this good SEO?
<a href=example.htm rel="nofollow">I can't vouche for this link</a>
<a href=example.htm rel="nofollow">I can't vouche for this link</a>
<a href=example.htm rel="nofollow">I can't vouche for this link</a>
<a href=example.htm rel="nofollow">I can't vouche for this link</a>
<a href=example.htm rel="nofollow">I can't vouche for this link</a>

3:33 pm on June 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Wizard, itīs easy to reach 100 links. Look at yahoo, I bet itīs not that far away from 100 links on the homepage and it doesnīt look messy. You gotta know how to organise and make things look nice.
My site reviews other sites. Te homepage contains a ranking of the first 15 sites in the database. Each listing has a link to the reviewed site, a link to my personal review and a link to more background details to each reviewed site. Beneath all that there are links to the main categories of my site and links to latest industry headlines. If you count each and every link you easily reach 100.

in the Google guidelines you can read "Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100)" . Thatīs why I was asking.

3:43 pm on June 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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But what's the sense to make a page with 100 links?

Right now, the WMW home page has 136 hrefs linking to 118 unique URLs.

Makes sense to me.

3:53 pm on June 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The 100 link "limit" only has to do with recommending good design for users, it has nothing to do with how many links on a page Google will follow. Google follows well beyond 300 links on a page, and even follows links in the portions of a file that are not kept in the cache.

While it is possible to put several hundred links on a page and still have it work well for users, I think it is a good practice to take the time to think about every link on your page when you go over 100.

For example, if you run a directory and you have 300 links in one category, it might be time to split that category up into a few different subcategories.

Or click on a slashdot story and start counting links. And what about all those archives of mailing lists, or just about any forum.

4:19 pm on June 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It just amazes me how persistently Google insists on mixing two very different things: crawling links and giving credits to links. This mixup is seen even in their own FAQ!

NoFollow tag was created with the purpose to devalue spammed links, not to prevent crawler from following them. Granted search engine can also not bother following those URLs, but its not the main purpose of "nofollow" tag.

More importantly by its nature "nofollow" attribute is meant to be used for external links, thus whatever meaning of nofollow is used by a particular search engine it means that it will apply to external pages.