Friday, October 2, 2009

A Little About Rel="Nofollow"

As I browse through the webmaster forums I notice a common confusion among the webmasters and bloggers and that is the use of the no follow tag. Several questions arise surrounding the myths of this tag and the misconceptions that many have. I have read that people absolutely refuse to place a link on a no follow website or blog and I have heard that others think that it helps their search engine results. First let’s discuss what the no follow actually does and where it derives from. The alt=”nofollow” tag is a way which a website can link to another website without actually helping that website increase in page rank or search engine position. That is what people mean when they say a no follow blog (default) or when the no follow is removed that is what people call a do follow website or blog. Why would the major search engines use such a tag? I mean if a website does not want to give a vote then they would just not link to the website. Well a few years back blogging really took off and led to some serious spam. Since a blogger really doesn’t have the same control as a webmaster or perhaps not the same understanding of linking structure Google (the creator of and wordpress decided to combat this spam by making all comments on blogs no follow meaning when someone commented on a blog and left their link it would not count.

The main reason Google and other search engines use the no follow is your in links are NOT the only thing that matter. You can build or receive hundreds of thousands of in links which are high quality, but you can still not see first page results. The reason for this is Google will look at your outgoing links and judge the quality of your website on that rather than the link coming in. The reason they stopped placing the majority of importance of where links are coming from is webmasters who reached the top by placing their competitor’s websites on crappy areas of the web. So Google and other major search engines decided to start placing more and more importance on where outgoing links were pointed. Now if you are sending links/votes towards crappy spammy places on the web then you should expect to see a severe drop within the SERPs. If you for some reason would like to talk about or link to without giving a vote then placing the alt=”nofollow” would be the way to go. If you want to show your traffic who your competitors are without giving them a boost in the SERPs then placing the nofollow in the hyper link would be a good way to go. Remember that if you have a ton of outgoing links you should expect to do poorly if they are not no follow. Also it is good to send out good links to authoritative places on the web give your votes to the websites which deserve them and you would like Google to associate you with.

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1 comment:

  1. For me, even if the blog have a "nofollow" attribute, I still leave my comments especially if I'm the first one to comment...since if you are the first one to comment, you have higher chances of getting your link clicked...thus, giving you additional traffic for your site.