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Funny, one of my sites has two links from a feature story in the New York Times, and one from the Wall Street Journal, and they aren't NOFOLLOWED. We've got nothing but organic links from all sorts of high-end sites amd got slammed in Panda all the same.
That said, I'm sometimes suspicious that they are actually counting the NOFOLLOWED eHow links that show up in WMT:-)
Though GWT *does* list nofollow'd links.
Google's backlink report has NEVER shown the links that help rank a site
It is well known and this has been stated by Matt many times, that just because a link shows up in a backlink report it doesn't mean it was used to rank a site. Those reports are just a sample of sites that are linking to a site.
Is a dofollow link from a lower quality domain, unmarked blog worth less than a nofollow link from an authority blog?
Hmmm, I got 1,000,000 new back links this month. Not sure when I'll get a boost or a boot.
Yeah, and I ate flour, eggs, sugar and yeast yet it didn't taste like a cake.
I also used gasoline in my car and yet I still crashed when driving! Therefore, my super logic tells me that gasoline makes cars crash and you can't drive well with it!
But spend your time chasing the few high quality links you're able to obtain, while your competitor is buying truck loads of links, you lose.