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Using nofollow. Can it be overdone?

Adding it to older blog links.

     
4:55 pm on Jun 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a blog and it has tons of old outgoing links that have amassed over the years. Now I was thinking about adding no follow to all the URL's.

Should this be done slowly? Maybe a few a day? Should I just add it to all of them in one day?

Any advice on this? Do you think it would trip any flags if so many outgoing links were not followed anymore?

6:11 pm on June 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I was thinking about doing this too.

Almost daily I have to delete "trackbacks" in our blog from comment spammers who link to their spammy sites. I delete them immediately. But our blog has several links to legitimate sites -- and due to the complete 360 in google lately, I am thinking about making those links "nofollow".

I will be interested to hear other webmasters feedback on this issue.

6:55 pm on June 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Why would you want to "nofollow" legitimate links?
7:41 pm on June 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The problem is that blogs change often. I went through and deleted some that turned to spam recently. People abandon sites and spammers pick em up. They may be legit one day, and not the next. Never know.
8:02 pm on June 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, you never know when a regular site is going to be abandoned or changed. Going by that we should then use nofollow on all outgoing links.
8:12 pm on June 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Much easier than using nofollow is just NOINDEX your own site - problem gone.

Seriously though, most people already have trackbacks and Comments as "nofollow".

9:25 pm on June 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Personally if the links are old I would not worry about them.
10:50 pm on June 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I posted a similar question in Search Promotion and am getting little in the way of a valid fix. As wedouglas says:: "The problem is that blogs change often. I went through and deleted some that turned to spam recently. People abandon sites and spammers pick em up. They may be legit one day, and not the next. Never know."

This is exactly the problem we are having only on a huge scale. It is impossible to comb through 5000 urls a day to make sure they are the same sites when they were entered...

10:57 pm on June 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend told me that nofollow is useless in the overall scheme of things and those who implemented it are not following the protocol. This is just rumor mind you.

The nofollow attribute was proposed and implemented to curtail comment spam. Problem is, it didn't do much to curtail it and the tag has been misused since then to hoard and/or control the flow of PageRank.

Want to put a big red flag on your business site? Use the nofollow attribute. It was designed for one thing, to curtail comment spam. And, it didn't work.

1:17 am on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've put nofollow on all my amazon links simply because I have so many. There has been no problem with rankings and I did it a few months ago.

Matt Cutts has indicated there are other uses for it than blogs.

I don't think there is a penalty but perhaps it raises a red flag when other spam indicators show up of it is used too extensively.

Since it was originally set up for blogs I can't imagine they would get excited if you used it for that. It would be more if you had something like a scraper site and did no follow on all the links with the scraped snippits so you wouldn't leak pagerank.

4:56 am on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Matt Cutts has indicated there are other uses for it than blogs.

I do believe I've read his comments on the nofollow somewhere. ;)

Here's the thing. The nofollow attribute was specifically designed to minimize comment and/or blog spam...

By adding rel="nofollow" to a hyperlink, a page indicates that the destination of that hyperlink SHOULD NOT be afforded any additional weight or ranking by user agents which perform link analysis upon web pages (e.g. search engines). Typical use cases include links created by 3rd party commenters on blogs, or links the author wishes to point to, but avoid endorsing.

At what point do you have to sit there and make a determination on whether or not to tag a link with a nofollow attribute? Let's see, I can think of two groups right off the top of my head that would be using this attribute...

Bloggers
SEOs

I don't know of many others who are aware of the attribute nor do I see it discussed often from the perspective of what it was originally intended for. Most of the time someone is questioning whether or not they should nofollow their outbound links so as not to incur some sort of penalty. If that is what's running through your mind when you are linking to a site, then don't link.

I personally feel that the attribute is a flag. When combined with other signals on a site, it could be the one thing that causes a problem. You never know.

I'd be willing to bet that indexing the web and detecting networks of SEO'd sites became a little simpler after the announcement from the top three in their support of the attribute. At that time (2005/01/18), it was specifically for comment and/or blog spam, that's what it was designed to curtail. Since then, it has been used in a multitude of creative implementations. And, I'd bet that 9 out of 10 of them are being done by SEOs. Who else is going to use an attribute like that? Who else really knows about it besides bloggers and web marketers?

5:20 am on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Play fair and link directly. Google knows when a site has expired and been turned into spam.
10:39 am on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't have a single nofollow anywhere. Zero.
If I can't recommend a site or page, I don't link to it at all. -Larry
4:49 pm on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't have a single nofollow anywhere. Zero.
If I can't recommend a site or page, I don't link to it at all. -Larry

Sorry Larry, but I expected better from you. This is about as much of an irrelevant comment as I can imagine. Many of us don't have the luxury of the posibility of verifying all links and then either allowing or not allowing them. The nofollow tag is one of the very few tools that we have to use as middle ground.

Considering that a large portion of the Internet is made up of web sites which contain user content and can grow by a thousand pages per day or more, the man-power required to police links would put many of these sites out of business. Add to this that this type of content ages rapidly creating link rot, and the issue can be almost insurmountable.

My opinion is that the nofollow tag was promoted by Google for the purpose of giving webmasters a tool to combat link spammers with the ultimate goal of running the link spammers out of business due to disincentive, and nothing more. I believe that Google has no other plans for using the tag and probably won't use the presence of nofollow tags as an indicator in their algos. It's always going to be too unreliable to use it to penalize sites. After all, using the tag is supposed to be a webmasters way of making the World a better place. I don't think Google will punish webmasters for that.

That's just my opinion, I could be wrong;)