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Ranking with only nofollows

     
9:18 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I am going to try an interesting experiment, can I get a site to rank using only nofollow links, has anyone tried this already?
3:04 pm on July 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You are talking about nofollowed blog comments and the like? I'll be very interested - and surprised - if you are successful.
3:40 pm on July 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Interesting experiment, how would you stop people linking to you without the nofollow attribute? I mean if your site has good content then you would hope that someone would link to you.
3:42 pm on July 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Well it seems kind of an obvious thing to test, everyone is accepting that nofollows dont pass pagerank and hence a site cant rank using them alone.

But I believe google still uses predominantly incoming links to rank a site and since every man and his dog is merrily nofollowing every link google's algorithm would be broken by now, so I think there is a lot of FUD spread by them and they still have a benefit.

But we will see.
4:09 pm on July 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Google said nofollow does not passes PR, they did not say that nofollow links are ignored in ranking alghorithm - which, as we know, has more than 200 factors. I am also really interested in your experiment as my opinion of nofollows is the same as yours. I also think citations help too, perhaps indirectly via trust factor.

If you imagine a really authoritative and trusted site giving you a link - great. The same site giving you nofollow link - I think it would still count somewhere. Not giving you link, but there is a "citation" - expecially if the text of the page or aroud citation is semantically connected to your niche/keywords... I think this helps too as it shows some kind of "popularity", albeit not measured via PR, but there is still some kind of "web popularity".
4:15 pm on July 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Well, Matt Cutts went one further - he said nofollow links are dropped from the webgraph and not even used for URL discovery.
4:20 pm on July 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Great idea. I'm in the same camp...

"since every man and his dog is merrily nofollowing..."

It could reach an overdone level and my feeling is Gorg didn't realize it could cause a problem. Perhaps small for now, but how about in a few years? I noticed a smallish site I exchanged links with five years ago(same industry) whom I never thought knew much about SEO started, no following. Thanks for telling me fella...his link was yanked.

Keep us posted!
4:21 pm on July 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If you were running the webspam team at google what would you be saying Tedster?

I would be hammering home how nofollows are been totally ignored by google, then watch as my antispam workload halved and then strut round a few seo conferences and have a great time on expenses.

Am I being too cynical?
4:38 pm on July 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Too cynical for my taste, anyway, yes. I've even been considering a separate thread about how both the Google-fan and the Google-critic points of view can cloud judgment.

Besides, I don;t think the really problematic spammers would stop anything they are doing unless it stopped working - doesn't matter what Google says. So the anit-spam workload would not fall off in the least.
5:41 pm on July 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Google discovers and ranks pages now without any links... pings, the toolbar, they will come and crawl and rank pages. So the nofollow experiment won't work.
6:07 pm on July 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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"Interesting experiment, how would you stop people linking to you without the nofollow attribute? I mean if your site has good content then you would hope that someone would link to you. "

I very much doubt anyone will link to it - infact i'd probably wager the odds at a million to 1.

People hate to give out links these days.
6:09 pm on July 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

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SteveB - you mention that google ranks pages without links - this is correct for sure. It ranks them down at 1000+ for any half heavy search term.
4:58 am on July 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I have at least one page with a tool bar PR that cannot be explained by its incoming links. It does not have many internal links, and the only significant external links are multiple links from Wikipedia (all no-followed).

The other explanation is that toolbar PR is not just incomplete or out of date, but a flat out lie.
4:40 pm on Aug 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Probably too soon, but any news to share driller?