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Site wide external linking to W3C Facebook/Twitter ETC



3:13 pm on Sep 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Can I get a solid opinion on the pros of NOT rel=nofollow site wide links to external sites for a website?

I can only think nofollow is the safer option for side wide footer tags at this point?

Please only solid opinions on the PROs for a given site on NOT re=nofollow these external links?



3:48 pm on Sep 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Just an extra note, the sites im seeing overtake my clients sites have no coding standards or social platforms so do not have any external links! So im wondering if im giving away to much PR to the sites I link to on my clients sites which includes

Linked in and other social networking sites.

My worries is that im massively diluting my clients own juice by linking out so much, these sites are small service sector sites that don't have many inbound links themselves!

Is there a single pro to NOT nofollow?

Robert Charlton

8:49 pm on Sep 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

Nofollowing just sends the link juice into a black hole, so there's nothing to be gained from that at all.

Regarding the links... I'm not one to hoard link juice, but IMO, while links to coding standard sites are a nice gesture and might be appropriate if you were a large technical forum, they're otherwise not likely to be helpful or of interest to anyone.

I also wouldn't do global footer links to a great many social sites. I'd pick and choose the social sites carefully, and maybe use some sort of a social sharing pop-up, that conserves the number of outbound links.

Also, why link to these from home? You're wasting a lot less link juice social linking from articles, which is what you want to share, than by linking from home.


9:53 pm on Sep 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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...they're otherwise not likely to be helpful...

For the sake of giving the OP a more accurate answer I'll stick my hand back in the fire here again at the risk of having to listen to the chorus of boos concerning W3C and validation.

If you use the Unicorn Version of W3C's validator, and your pages are error-free and valid, you'll get 3 or 4 backlinks from a PR 10 domain per page. It's how you set it up in the outbound link that's important. And it's a bit of work because each outbound link is going to be unique. Also, let the outflow go because you'll benefit from the backwash. In other words do not tag it as "nofollow".

Once they've been triggered once W3C's website sets them up as bookmarks on their server so if a search engine bot asks for them in the future they exist and will be served with a 200 code header response. Within the source code of the page there are no "nofollow" attributes.

Even if you eventually remove the links from the footer of each page of your websites they continue to live on as bookmarks as long as the code on that page continues to pass validation.

Over the years, and still (last time I checked), I see backlinks in WMT from W3C, unique ones for select pages. Whether or not there is absolute value in them -- that I cannot answer with absolute certainty but they have never caused any harm.

I have one site in particular that I had implemented that on several years ago and sometimes google displays that domain in a unique way in the SERPs that I haven't seen very often. It's sort of like a hybrid of organic and local search but they devote about 1/3 of the "above the fold" page space to that domain only -- enhansing it with a map and extra snippits of site info, even though there are competing sites that fall in underneath it that don't get that same attention. Again, I'm not going to say it's related to any one factor such as valid W3C pages but it obviously doesn't harm the domain either.

And finally, if the outbound links are on pages that are not validating -- don't bother unless maybe it's a site like Robert is saying -- some sort of a technical forum -- maybe to promote awareness.

The other ones you ask about, facebook, Twitter, etc... those I tag with "nofollow" and it doesn't harm because the search engines have grouped them together in SERPs.

As a general rule (for me) if outbound links are sitewide, or nearly so, I feel it's better to "nofollow" them. Anything else worth linking out to is worth allowing "the juice" to go down the rabbit hole.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it like a dog on a bone until the day someone from a major search engine such as google, Bing or Yahoo! or from the W3C come in here and tell me otherwise.


9:55 pm on Sep 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

On the site for BusinessXYZ I would have no problem linking to that business' Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, and/or Linked In pages in the header, and I would definitely allow those links to be followed. This is a great way to help that business' social pages fill up the SERPs (crowding out the competition) when someone performs a search for their brand.

What I would NOT do is allow sharing links (+1 buttons, Like buttons, Tweet buttons, Pin buttons, etc.) to 20 social platforms for each of the 10 blog post listed on a blog home page, a blog category page, a blog tag page, or a blog archive page like many plugins do. That's 200 outbound links on your home page. Instead, I would typically show the social sharing button links ONLY on my post pages.


10:46 pm on Sep 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

I have hundreds if not thousands of outbound links to authoritative sites on my own sites. I do not use nofollow EXCEPT for ads and affiliate links. I've never had a problem with that.

But I also don't use sitewides. Is there really a reason to link sitewide to the W3 or some of those others?


11:29 pm on Sep 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Is there really a reason to link sitewide to the W3 or some of those others?

I'm not sure if that's a question for the OP or just in general. My 2 cents worth...

Those links I'm referring to were placed back in the "link glory days" when it was considered, ummmmmmm, whatever it was considered...

I haven't applied that technique lately simply because of the flack about backlinks these days. At the time I did consider outbound W3C links as a "badge of effort". Not so much any more because I think the search engines already take it into account within their own respective algorithms so I feel there's no longer a need to encourage them (the search engines).

All that said though I won't remove existing ones. I just don't place them on newly developed sites anymore, neither links back to my own site either. I just place a small discrete unlinked text "design by xxxxxxx" in the footer and that's sufficient if someone wants to track me down.

Done properly I don't think they cause any harm and probably still produce some benefit, maybe especially for technical Internet development related sites.


12:49 am on Sep 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Aren't we only suppose to nofollow links we do not trust and are in bad neighbourhoods? (or are areas for members etc. where a search engine cannot go)

In most cases if the link is good enough for you to put on your site to let visitors click on it, it shouldn't be labelled nofollow. IMO nofollowing links is telling your visitors one thing (click here to visit the site) while you tell Google another with a secret handshake that the visitor does not see (don't visit this site because we do not trust it). Why put the outbound link there in the first place if you do not trust it?

Most other reasons for using page rank just deal with gaming Search Engines. I understand when people nofollow user generated content links but even there they should really approve each message before it goes online if you don't trust your users.

IMO nofollow is the main cause for the brand dominance we see now in the Google SERPS. A lot of webmaster seems to nofollow all links just to be on the safe side. This results in smaller sites not getting the recognition they deserve. Brands still get it because they have a greater chance of being linked by the major publications in their articles etc. which usually are not nofollow.

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