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Thread: NoFollow Links Really are NoFollow

  1. NoFollow Links Really are NoFollow

    I've read a lot of people theorizing about how Google counts some NoFollow links. I've never bought into that theory, but I've also not had any strong arguments against it.

    Here's a quote from Stephan Spencer interviewing Matt Cutts that is very clear on this issue:

    At least for Google, we have taken a very clear stance that those links are not even used for discovery; they are not used for PageRank; they are not used for anchor text in any way. Anybody can go and do various experiments to verify that.
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  2. #2
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    The interview was an interesting read. There's also some useful information discussed on the supplemental index and the value of links such as .gov/.edu and bookmarking sites.

  3. #3
    What do you think the reason for including them (no follow links) in the links shown in Webmaster tools is? Just to have in place IF big G decides they should be used for some reason in the future? If they were never going to count for anything, why show at all?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by javanx3d View Post
    What do you think the reason for including them (no follow links) in the links shown in Webmaster tools is? Just to have in place IF big G decides they should be used for some reason in the future? If they were never going to count for anything, why show at all?
    It's possible that Google uses the information in some other way as a quality factor. But that is purely speculation on my part.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by bogart View Post
    It's possible that Google uses the information in some other way as a quality factor. But that is purely speculation on my part.
    Or they might be providing them as a service to the webmaster; which is essentially what the google webmaster tool's function is.

    The webmaster can then see all links to his/her site, including no-follow links which could be driving traffic to the site even if they aren't passing any PR. The webmaster could also use the information to contact the sites giving the no-follow links and see if it would be possible to switch those to do-follow links.

  6. #6
    Amazing.
    I always had a doubt whether Googlebot considered the text attached to the link and whether it played any part in helping getting the page crawled.
    Thanks for sharing Will.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmongy View Post
    Or they might be providing them as a service to the webmaster; which is essentially what the google webmaster tool's function is.

    The webmaster can then see all links to his/her site, including no-follow links which could be driving traffic to the site even if they aren't passing any PR. The webmaster could also use the information to contact the sites giving the no-follow links and see if it would be possible to switch those to do-follow links.
    Remember that any information that Googles collects may be used. What would be the purpose of collecting the nofollow links if they don't use it in some way.

    You would have to think that a site with little or no dofollow links and thousands of nofollow links is spamming in some way. The link profile is unnatural. This could be a "red flag".

  8. #8
    I really don't know why webmaster tools would show nofollow links. Google is up to something but no one can tell us what...

  9. I guess we'll never know because that's Google's secret.

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