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nofollow does not actually mean "do not continue your crawling any further from here" but, rather "do not count the links included in this page as *votes* for the linked pages for the effect of link popularity".
Tim Converse "translated" nofollow in "untrusted/non-endorsed links on this page".
Therefore, the crawlers will surely follow the links included in this page.
kaled, as a programmer, you should know by now that the name of a function may make it "obvious" what it does, but you better read its documentation to find out what it is really supposed to do.
I always assumed that Google would follow any link they find anywhere.
In the context of static html, it doesn't really matter if the link is followed or not (except that Google may be stealing bandwidth) but where pages are created by php, etc. spiders could end up in infinite loops and duplicate content penalties could be (wrongly) issued.
When rel=nofollow was introduced, I seem to recall that it was compared in functionality to the robots nofollow meta tag. Of course, many people have commented that Google does not always obey either the robots.txt file or robots meta tags. Is this by design or is it a fault or is it simply misreported by observers? I don't know the answer to this, but as a programmer I am confident in my logical assessment of how Google should treat rel=nofollow.
However, given that Google is more interested in indexing everything it can find rather than everything it has permission for, I suppose calling them nuts may be wrong, perhaps they could more accurately be called liars, cheats and thieves, etc.
In answer to the original question, Google believes itself to be omnipotent, therefore it will do whatever it wants and its wants may be entirely different tomorrow or next week, etc. That may not be helpful but it's about as close to the truth as anyone is going to get.
I have a certain page on my website. Let's say it's about cheddar cheese. Nowhere on the page itself does it mention the word "dairy" or the word "creamy".
I have two external links pointing to this page. Both have nofollow tags. The links are something like this:
(anchor:)cheddar cheese(/): it's creamy!
(anchor:)cheddar cheese(/): it's dairy!
Now, Webmaster Tools lists the words "creamy" and "dairy" as being common words in external links to my site. Not only that, but here's what's really interesting:
Google searches: (quotes for clarity - actual searches not done with quotes)
"cheddar cheese" ranks me about no.8
"dairy cheddar cheese" ranks me no.1
"creamy cheddar cheese" ranks me about no.5
once again, the words "dairy" and "creamy" do not appear anywhere on my page, only in the nofollow links. The only way Google would associate me with those terms is by getting them from the nofollow links, and it's ranking me for them.
but only SEO uses this "nofollow" ..
mom and pop and joe sixpack have no idea it exists and so would never use it on their sites ..
it's existance on any page is a marker ..G threw out as bait to catch SEO practitioners ..( and Y caught on very quickly )..
it's like if you had to determine who were the catholic priests in a group of 6 billion people ( the population of the planet is co-incedentally near the number of pages that G claims or claimed to be indexing ) ..
you could discount all the females , all the children , all the bakers , all the tree surgeons all the etc etc ..but it's so much simpler just to spot the "dog collar" ...specially when worn in church ..
then they can look for any other common SEO traits visble in the same individual pages or site ..and other related pages that may have been touched by the same hand ( helps to identify bishops , archbishops , cardinals )use of g analytics and their sitemaps tells them you are a firm beleiver ..and that you know the prayer book ..
and we all know what G and Y and MSN think about SEO trying to manipulate their serps ..they may not penalise now ..but if you use "nofollow" ..they know who you are ..and they have long memories ..and they can and will mine their data to see what else you touch ..which other sites ..
G is an advertising agency ..run by mathematicians and psychologists with the aid of marketroids ..and which happens to do search ..
and "nofollow" was one very effective bait to get you into the open ..
Some sites use it on all off-site links. Others use it only on user submitted comments. Some use it on all links in the content section, but none in the site navigation.
Then you get sites like Matt Cutts' where all comments get nofollow, and he will use it on links in his content to spammer sites, but not to other sites.
I have it set up so that new users have nofollow on any content they add, but after a certain number of unmoderated posts, it removes it. I believe in trusting established contributors. Sort of like the way new users can't post their URL on WW.
There are so many indicators that I know something about SEO, that there is no point in trying to hide it. But I believe that the search engines do not want to penalize you for simply knowing what you are doing. Their goal is to keep their SERPs returning good results. They may ding you for doing bad things, but they will not ding you for knowing what you are doing.
But I believe that the search engines do not want to penalize you for simply knowing what you are doing. Their goal is to keep their SERPs returning good results. They may ding you for doing bad things, but they will not ding you for knowing what you are doing.
This is covered in the Google help pages for those interested...
Anyone interested in matt cutts newest comments on this.....
"The specific guideline for doing paid reviews or paid links is to make sure that your links don't affect search engines. You can do that via a nofollow attribute on your links, or an internal redirect which goes through a page which is robot.txt'ed out, or several other methods."
He left that as a comment in Danny Sullivans searchengine land
[edited by: encyclo at 2:10 am (utc) on Dec. 31, 2006]
The specific guideline for doing paid reviews or paid links is to make sure that your links don't affect search engines. You can do that via a nofollow attribute on your links, or an internal redirect which goes through a page which is robot.txt'ed out, or several other methods.
Actually this raised a question for me which I couldn't find answered in any of the threads. I understand that rel=nofollow is intended for certain external links and should not be used for other purposes (specifically not for *internal* links, and not even for keeping the SE's away from duplicate content).
On the other hand, the nofollow attribute is recommended for paid links. All fine and dandy. But what about paid redirect links, like www.mysite.com/adscript.php?redirect=advertisersite.com? Judging from the quote above, this should be a situation where rel=nofollow is endorsed. But strictly speaking, it is also an internal link, so from what I have read so far about using rel=nofollow on internal links, I should be scared using it in this context. Any thoughts on this?