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Question: does google ignore the nofollow tag on some sites that it deems trustworthy?
The WebmasterTools report may show some no-followed links at times. That listing is just for the webmaster's information, but not an indicator of any ranking effect from those links.
The nofollow links are part of a site's overall link "profile". A naturally-acquired profile will normally have a significant number of nofollow links. But People who "build' links artifically often focus on getting only dofollow links. Google could use the resulting out of balance profile as an indication that artificial link-building has occurred.
It may have lowered the spam attempts for wikipedia but google knows it's still an authoritative link, and I would think they adjust accordingly, manual or not.
They really have no reason no to.
Except for their continually repeated public statements that they do not. Yes, Google has been known to spin things and spread some fog over various issues - but in my memory, they have never stated one thing and intentionally do the exact opposite.
I believe google does give weight to certain nofollow links, especially that of wikipedia
Is this belief on the level of an appealing concept, or do you have data that suggests that it may be happening? Most of the time, links from Wikipedia are already pretty strong pages even without a boost from those no-followed links. Makes it pretty hard to test the idea.
I did recognize that when W placed the nofollow links on pages I had W links from, they didn't lose any standing in the SERPS. But that was a long time ago.
Im out of the loop with W but I dont even know why they put nofollow links on their outbounds anyways. If I were Google I'd want those links to get the trust they deserve hence my speculation, no proof though. :(
Nothing absolutely hard and fast to prove it beyond belief, but a link from Wikipedia works wonders as far as I can see.
I understand entirely what tedster says, black and white lies Google doesn't do, grey lies yes. But there is a whole pile of opportunities in semantics.
Also just a note on internal nofollow links. On my main site I changed the links to admin, copyright etc pages from nofollow to a set of links on a page pulled into an iframe. I did this when Googleguy (sorry Matt Cutts) did his blog post on the subject. Not doing as well now down from #1 to #3 to 5.
Google always handles every no-follow link as they originally stated: it is dropped from the web graph and no PR or anchor text influence flows.
But Google never said that nofollowed links have no influence whatsoever on rankings, which is what we care about, afterall.
For my personal opinion I believe google does give weight to certain nofollow links, especially that of wikipedia.
This is my experience:
In my country, few people publish content in English; that means that it is easy for me to obtain links in wikipedia (my sites have hundreds of links, just a handful of which posted by myself).
Links have very different effects on rankings.
Links in top tier wiki pages (say, the page about my country) have no noticeable effects in rankings. The topic is so broad, that there is little I can add of signficance; my links are usually in the References section, along with hundreds of others; few people click these links.
Links in too specific pages, that hardly anybody visits, have no effect in rankings.
Links in pages with an specific theme and general interest (say, a city which happens to be visited by the Pope and gains the world's headlines) have a noticeable effect in rankings; usually my link is the only one in the External Links section, and is clicked often; over time, my page moves to #2, right after wiki's.
Google sends users to the wiki page, and from there they go to my page; as I provide much more complete information about the topic, users (hopefully) will send Google signs that they benefited from my pages.
It looks like Google attempts to evaluate how much information my page aggregated to wiki's in benefit of the users, and rewards accordingly.