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rel="nofollow" or rel="no-follow" or rel="no follow"?

     
5:43 am on Aug 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've searched the web and found a few versions of the "no follow" tag.

rel="nofollow"
rel="no-follow"
rel="no follow"

Which is the correct version to put inside the <a> tag?
Thank you.

7:18 am on Aug 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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rel="nofollow"
11:22 am on Aug 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Some people use rel="external nofollow", even though this is not supposed to be right: rel="nofollow" is the right answer.
11:43 am on Aug 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If a site is also using "external" as a value for the rel attribute, that syntax is also correct. From Google's original announcement:

Q: Will Google recognize the 'nofollow' keyword when it's part of a space separated list? According to the HTML spec, the value of the 'rel' attribute is a space separated list of link types.

A: Absolutely. We'll practice the "be liberal in what you accept" philosophy, which means recognizing spaces, commas and, in fact, most punctuation. But we strongly recommend using spaces as separators to follow the specification.

[googleblog.blogspot.com...]

12:05 pm on Aug 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Suppose it's okay then.
12:46 pm on Aug 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it is OK - but space separated lists of attribute values is not a widely appreciated part of the HTML spec.

In fact, using a space separated list of values for the class attribute can be a great way to keep CSS files small. I regularly write mark-up that looks like this: class="bld sm gap" I call this approach my "Swiss Army Knife". First I establish a standard set of short rules for commonly needed style variations and then I can mix-and-match those classes as needed -- rather than creating a complete set of CSS rules for each area of a page.

In the case of rel="external nofollow", this combines rel="external" with the nofollow value. In order to get around the lack of a target attribute in XHTML, some sites use that value to trigger a new window via a script. That practice began even before the nofollow was introduces, and so there was a need to retain the previous rel attribute and also introduce the newly minted one.

Returning to the opening question, rel="no follow" is not going to have the intended result, even with Google's attempts at liberal interpretation. The syntax is valid, but it actually says there are two "rel" values, "no" and "follow".

2:38 am on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In fact, using a space separated list of values for the class attribute can be a great way to keep CSS files small. I regularly write mark-up that looks like this: class="bld sm gap" I call this approach my "Swiss Army Knife". First I establish a standard set of short rules for commonly needed style variations and then I can mix-and-match those classes as needed -- rather than creating a complete set of CSS rules for each area of a page.

"Swiss Army Knife" - LOL - I like that. Yeah, I start any project with a whole set of 'globals'; background-images:, special font-size: float:..... then just plug in classes to the key <div>. Can't remember the last time that I assigned a background-image: to a full declaration. By keeping them as their own classes I can easily mix-and-match classes and not have to reinvent the wheel, add classes for no good reason because I am locked into an overly detailed declaration, or hack an escape for a minor detail that should have been classed separately to start with and saved a lot of trouble every time I wanted to do something that 'looks' different but is really only a minor change this way.

3:11 am on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thank you all for your feedback. I have one more newbie question though.

When the spider meets the rel="nofollow" tag, will the spider stop following the link only, or stop following the rest of the page?

Thank you.

4:30 am on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The rest of the page is still spidered. The rel="nofollow" attribute means "ignore this link".
2:19 pm on Aug 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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yes the right answer is that ingnore the link with nofollow. tedster you have finished the discussion now.