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Why is Goog giving me credit for links in WMC when they have no follow

   
12:09 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Help, Im confused. I thought if a link has no follow, Well the spiders dont follow! right! Well I have several examples of links from Craigslist, Delicious, and others which clearly have no follow on all links. But in Google WMC is counting them as valid inbound links. What gives? Please help!

Steaprok

2:35 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Nofollow only tells Google not to place any ranking weight to the link, but spiders still follow it.
3:51 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Yes, "nofollow" is a bit of a misnomer, isn't it?

Why isn't it a "noweight" or "novote" attribute?

8:46 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



yes this issue issue is still as clear as mud :)
7:18 pm on Oct 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have found the same thing. Is it that Google counts them but at reduced value? Yahoo shows a bunch of them.
12:12 am on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I wonder: what would happen if NASA placed a link with nofollow at their homepage pointing to my Astronomy themed site? Would Google ignore the link?
12:30 am on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



As has been stated above, Google does NOT ignore nofollow links, they simply attach no 'value' to them.

Same with ALL the major SEs.

I'm not aware of any special rules for your site or NASA - should there be?

7:02 am on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Nofollow only tells Google not to place any ranking weight to the link, but spiders still follow it.

From the discussion in this thread from about six weeks ago, it's not clear that's exactly what's happening, but I come to no conclusions about what is happening after I re-read it....

Matt Cutts: Further Clarification on the nofollow Attribute
[webmasterworld.com...]

Here's what Matt is quoted as saying (with my emphasis bolded)...

There's no stigma to using nofollow, even on your own internal links; for Google, nofollow'ed links are dropped out of our link graph; we don't even use such links for discovery. By the way, the nofollow meta tag does that same thing, but at a page level.

That statement, "we don't even use such links for discovery" suggests to me that Googlebot is not actually following the link. This conceivably could be read that the link is followed but nothing that it sees is indexed.

The destination page being discussed is indexed because of other inbounds.

I don't believe that because Google is showing the link that it's necessarily being counted. Nevertheless, an association between the pages is being saved in Google's index because of the link, possibly because of the way Google's database is structured.

The thread contains some extremely interesting test observations by Miamacs on how a nofollowed link behaves on all three engines. This is what he notes about Google...

- Will not index the page if it can only be found through a nofollowed link.
- Not sure about crawling, but it won't index it.
- Brought up the page with the link on it for an exact phrase query ( between quotes ), the phrase is unique, no other results.
- The source page with the link on it does *not* rank at all for the phrase without quotes
- Neither the target page, nor the link to it is shown in any reports.
- The anchor text is treated as text and is indexed.

One further thought... the nofollow meta tag is what you use when you want to prevent Google from indexing the link itself. If you use robots.txt to block a page rather than the nofollow meta, Google will index the link that appears on an unblocked page.

So nothing is quite as consistent as Matt appears to have said.

2:00 pm on Oct 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm not aware of any special rules for your site or NASA - should there be?

If NASA (btw, just an hypothetical example, for discussions sake) links to me from their homepage, then my page must be a hell of an important page.

These visitors coming from NASA will probably browse several of my pages, will follow my links, will add my site to Favorites, will come back other times, etc (and Google will track much of this behavior).
And why so? because, if my pages weren't so attractive as to generate so much engagement with users, NASA wouldn't even place the link.

So, just because there is a nofollow somewhere, won't my page gain any further respect from Google?

Nevertheless, an association between the pages is being saved in Google's index because of the link, possibly because of the way Google's database is structured.

Agree. Nofollow was created a few years ago, which is a long time in Search Engines timeline.
Since then, Google certainly has incorporated several improvements to the algo and the database (e.g., trustrank assessment, user behavior, etc), which makes nofollow much less useful (to Google) and relevant than it used to be. Nowadays, do Google really need nofollow to spot a blog spam comment?

So nothing is quite as consistent as Matt appears to have said.

Agree again.
And in another occasion Matt said that Wikipedia turning nofollow on or off would have little effect on Google SERPs. What's to conclude?

3:28 am on Oct 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



And in another occasion Matt said that Wikipedia turning nofollow on or off would have little effect on Google SERPs. What's to conclude?

Well, maybe that nofollow is not what Google says at all. Links are Indexed and transfer some juice, may not be as valuable as a regular link but I pretty much think that they DO count.
I don't find any evidence that nofollow is what is perceived from what Google says at all, I'd love someone to proove it to me though!