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Thread: The "nofollow" tag

  1. #11
    WebProWorld MVP Dubbya's Avatar
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    Re: The "nofollow" tag

    Quote Originally Posted by RawFunk View Post
    Hi all,

    It has been my understanding that the nofollow is only recognised by google.

    Unless I've received bad information, I was also under the belief the nofollow attribute was being used primarily for advertising links/banners to prevent PR being passed.

    With that said there was/is speculation that by using the nofollow attribute google may penalise sites. I believe I read where sites have lost ranking from using the nofollow tag.

    Would someone care to respond regarding the (nofollow tag) implementation issues and provide some solid facts on these topics as opposed to mere opinions...

    Cheers

    Dave
    The following image should help explain:

    The following is an exerpt from an article by Loren Baker, Editor at Search Engine Journal:
    Google : The Googlebot does not follow that link.
    Yahoo : If we find a link we make it available to our algorithms to find new content, whether it has a ‘no follow’ attribute or not. However, if the ‘no follow’ attribute is present, it means that no attribution is given to the target from the source of the link.
    Ask.com : We have never officially supported No Follow, so your questions don’t apply to our crawler/ranking.
    source: How Google, Yahoo & Ask.com Treat the No Follow Link Attribute

    Initially, the nofollow attribute was designed and intended to be applied to links in blog content in order to restrict the flow of pagerank through comment spam. It's since been used to "hoard" pagerank.

    From the Google Webmaster Quality Guidelines page:
    • Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don't deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as "cloaking."
    • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"
    • Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
    Source: Webmaster Guidelines

    Consider that if Google has gone through the trouble to post a list of recommendations, we'd be wise to follow them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trafalgarmarine View Post
    Hang on,
    Does this mean pagerank is being drained from this one links page? Or is PR being taken from every page in the site?
    The PR is constrained at page level and each page is ranked independently. Realistically, not having applied the nofollow attribute to outbound links wouldn't have a measurable impact, if any, on the site as a whole. It won't be much of a problem regardless of whether or not you've implemented it on your links page.

    Using the nofollow attribute on links you've posted on your own links page is a little like saying "here's a link that I'm not prepared to vouch for". As the Editor of the page, if you're not willing to offer your endorsement on a link, why post it?

    Certainly food for thought...

    .02

  2. #12
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    Re: The "nofollow" tag

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMycroft View Post
    Can you explain the "nofollow" tag and how it can be implemented to help the internal link structure of a Web site and improve the flow of link juice.
    Paul,
    in a strict sense the "nofollow" tag does not exist.

    There are two ways you can guide search engines in your pages using "nofollow".
    Code:
    <HEAD>
    ....
    <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW">
    ...
    </HEAD>
    This meta-tag instructs any internet robot (aka crawler) to not index this page (don't store any information, don't return it in the search results) AND not to follow any links to other pages.

    The NOFOLLOW value here means the search engine should not use the links on this page to discover new pages to crawl. You would use that if you have links and pages that you don't want indexed and are volatile, such as random pages and or highly dynamic pages.

    However, the nofollow [here] will not securely hide other pages from the SE, because any other webmaster can use the same links as you do and the search engine crawler discovers them on this path. So make sure that the page you want out of the index have a "NOINDEX" themselves.

    Also, it is unclear what influence this NOFOLLOW has on weight the search engine assigns to it in the ranking algorithm. Nothing says that it should not be counted.

    Code:
    <BODY>
    ....
    <A ... REL="NOFOLLOW">...</A>
    ...
    </BODY>
    This NOFOLLOW value in the relationship-attribute of an anchor link is a more recent invention by Google. It indicates, that the search engines ranking algorithm should not assign any weight to it when calculating page rank of the page the anchor tag points to.

    Google invented this notation, because lots of people left hundreds of thousands of meaningless and context less links in collaborative websites such as Wiki, Blog or Forum sites. All these links where generated by programs and were a nuisance for any webmaster, blogger, wiki admin to remove. By allowing this notation, the webmaster can declare certain types of links to be w/o value to the search engine, so taking away the incentive to generate them mindlessly by program everywhere.

    I hope that helps you understand

    K<o>
    P.S.: To clarify, a "nofollow"-tag would be <nofollow ...> ... </nofollow>, which neither case above is. Strictly speaking "nofollow" is an attribute value used in two different tags/attributes.

  3. #13

    Re: The "nofollow" tag

    • And this is the interpretation of nofllow attribute by the individual search engines

    • Google takes "nofollow" literally and does not "follow" the link at all. That is supposedly their official statement, but experiments conducted by SEOs show conflicting results. They show instead that Google does follow the link, but does not index the linked-to page, unless it was in Google's index already for other reasons (such as other, non-nofollow links that point to the page). Links with "nofollow" are included in the backlinks reporting data at Google's Webmaster Central.
    • Yahoo! "follows it", but excludes it from their ranking calculation.
    • MSN Search respects "nofollow" as regards not counting the link in their ranking, but it is not proven whether or not MSN follows the link.
    • Ask.com does not use the attribute for anything.


    source: wikipaedia

  4. #14
    WebProWorld MVP Dubbya's Avatar
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    Re: The "nofollow" tag

    Quote Originally Posted by ushuiah View Post
    And this is the interpretation of nofllow attribute by the individual search engines
    Thanks!

    Or, you could just refer to the graphic in my post which says the same thing.

  5. #15
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    Re: The "nofollow" tag

    The nofollow tag prevents PageRank from being passed and Google discounts it for the purpose of counting links.
    You'll love this free traffic site...now it's getting me 2,000 targeted hits every day.
    http://www.traffficswarm.com/wpw.html

  6. #16
    Senior Member erikko's Avatar
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    Re: The "nofollow" tag

    so it means they arent harmful at all provided that they can still cause traffic?

  7. #17
    WebProWorld MVP brian.mark's Avatar
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    Re: The "nofollow" tag

    Quote Originally Posted by erikko View Post
    so it means they arent harmful at all provided that they can still cause traffic?
    That's absolutely right.

    When it comes down to it, no link to your site is a bad link... regardless of nofollows or not.

    Brian.
    ToolBarn.com, an Internet Retailer Top 500 and Inc. 500 Company | Tool Parts | Pet Supplies

  8. #18
    WebProWorld MVP brian.mark's Avatar
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    Re: The "nofollow" tag

    SEO 101 episode discussing this thread will air 2/6/08 on WebmasterRadio.fm.

    Brian
    ToolBarn.com, an Internet Retailer Top 500 and Inc. 500 Company | Tool Parts | Pet Supplies

  9. #19
    Senior Member full house's Avatar
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    Re: The "nofollow" tag

    it helps to block the out going links from your site!

  10. #20

    Re: The "nofollow" tag

    Is it ethical to use no follow for outgoing links on my websites. I have always though that of someone has requested me to place their link on my website they are doing so with the knowledge that the links will not be a no-follow. In the same way when I expect my link to be placed on someone else's websites I would expect it o be no-follow.Of course if there are hundreds of out going links then it is a different question.

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