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Do backlinks count from a no-indexed page?

     
4:26 pm on Jun 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If a page on a website has a noindex tag, do any of the backlinks on that page get factored in to Google's algorithm?

I'm asking because since the June 8 Panda update I've seen about 20K of our backlinks dropping off (which seemed more like it would have happened post Penguin, not just post Panda). I haven't been able to figure out where they are dropping from yet but I started to wonder if sites were desperately noindexing pages in hopes to regain rankings. It's happening sort of incrementally, like Google would normally do when dropping pages out of the index. Also interesting is that the drop in backlinks hasn't affected our traffic/rankings negatively.
5:37 pm on June 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yes - at least historically, those links should count from a noindexed page. Only a "nofollow" should wipe them out.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if Google is damping their effect now, or making even stronger changes to what they've done in the past. The details of that "reasonable surfer" model are still a bit of a mystery.
1:11 pm on June 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the reply Tedster!

Here's another thought I had on my disappearing backlinks (which btw, are now down almost 25K since Panda 3.7). One thing I did in the last month or so (between Panda 3.6 and 3.7) was to add noindex tags to some of MY pages that had been hit by previous Panda updates.

How does Google handle a backlink from another site linked to a page on MY site that has a noindex tag (which actually has been out of G's index for several weeks before Panda 3.7). Since MY page isn't in the index, would Google drop that as a noted backlink to my site? The page still exists and Google knows that, but does that backlink lose all value? I'm not sure the pages I noindexed could account for 25K backlinks, but it's possible.

Again, I'm still not that worried about it since I'm not losing traffic or rankings, but just trying to figure out why the links are dropping incrementally like this. If it IS because I noindexed pages, then I'm thrilled. Because that *could* mean that the noindexing I did was actually factored into the Panda 3.7 update and possibly responsible for our 15% Panda recovery.
9:14 pm on June 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'd remove noindex tags on your own pages since it won't change their evaluation one way or another. Google knows about the pages even if you don't want them indexed and they are more concerned with what they are sending a visitor to in general. A site with loads of blocked pages (noindex or robots.txt) is likely not as trust worthy.

Pages on your site with noindex still have ranking value, pr etc. They aren't excluded from the evaluation process, they are simply dropped from serps.

A falling number of backlinks is a condition affecting most webmasters I've spoken to recently, sites that used to link to them still do but are devalued. This isn't a horrible thing unless a lot of your links were from places that have been devalued, in which case it can be devastating.
11:50 am on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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As we know,Google didn't give much importance to Nofollow tag but I heard now google would also consider Nofollow backlinks in latest penguin update.
4:21 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@ Sgt_Kickaxe, whether or not noindex should be used, is relative to the website and the reasoning.

Some pages for example profile pages, need to exist but a webmaster wouldn't necessarily want to have them indexed.

I don't agree, that a site with lots of noindexed pages, is likely to be seen as less trustworthy. I cannot guarantee that isn't the case, but if it were, Google is even more screwed than I fear.
4:30 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'd remove noindex tags on your own pages since it won't change their evaluation one way or another. Google knows about the pages even if you don't want them indexed and they are more concerned with what they are sending a visitor to in general.


There was some suggestion after Panda 1.0 that "low quality" pages be removed or noindexed. I've noindexed about a dozen pages on my site, but I am wondering in retrospect if I made matters worse. The pages are still followable, but just noindex.
5:30 pm on June 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've noindexed about a dozen pages on my site, but I am wondering in retrospect if I made matters worse.


My site has several hundred thousand pages. I noindexed about 1300 of the ones that were hit hardest by Panda (overall 60% traffic loss between Panda 1.0 and 3.6). We seem to have gained about 10-15% of that traffic back since Panda 3.7, but I have no idea if it was the noindexing that finally made the difference (it was done between Panda 3.6 and 3.7). I'm not going to believe that any one thing actually works until we've remained stable (or continue to regain traffic) through a couple more updates.