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September 17th, 2005, 04:06 PM #1Abuse of rel="nofollow" attribute
Honestly I had never heard of rel="nofollow" until today. Basically it's a response to blog spam and is meant to say "this link was posted by a visitor and we can't can't vouch for it". According to Google: "When Google sees the attribute rel="nofollow" on hyperlinks, those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results." That sounds fine with blog spam, but the flip side sucks.
Today I was checking on some inbound links. These were all links that involved some sort of business relationship attached, even if it was just a link exchange. I was pleased to see that despite not checking the links for nearly a year, most had remained true to our original arrangements. One partner however had added the rel="nofollow" attribute to every link.
To me it looks like they've made a concious effort to eliminate the value of the links - the value they offered in our business arrangement. To me it's a breach of contract.
Anyway, for those of you who haven't seen the the rel="nofollow" attribute, you may want to watch out for it (like 302s and iframes) when reviewing link exchange requests, etc. Of course, if they add them months later you may be SOL...Eathan Mertz
Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment
September 17th, 2005, 05:11 PM #2
I had heard that Google might very well penalize or filter sites for doing this. While Blog spam is to a large degree unavoidable, and out of the control of the Blog owner, a links page on a Website is normally fully under the control of the site owner.
Realizing Google depends on the linking process to do what it does, it doesn't seem like it would be a good thing to basically say "These links are of no value, don't give them any credit."
So, why are they there, then? Good enough for site visitors but not for Google? Sounds dangerous to me. Google is paying attention to signs of manipulation, and sneaky tactics such as this might not be such a great idea.
September 17th, 2005, 06:09 PM #3
Well, Eathan, you fared much better than I did. I had a site that I worked on inbound links for about 18 months or so and didn't check them much, just kept adding. I finally got some software that would help me monitor these links and started to go through my links, one at a time. What I found was about 40% or so of the links were now crap. Owners removed them without any notice, some had them on pages with a robots.txt restriction and some used the no follow tag. Obviously, these were all removed. Another common problem I see if the inbound link constantly moved to another page. The inbound links I have setup to monitor get checked about every week and I still find broken links and links that are moved, week after week. I'm now more selective and check for these types of things before I link with them. The no follow is used more than you may think it is. I also check that their links page contains my link as found by Google. If you have an inbound link that's been there for a while, the SEs should have it. If none of them do, then something's fishy.
September 17th, 2005, 08:05 PM #4rel-nofollow has been around for quite some time.
Back on Sept. 1, Matt Cutts, the Google blogger put up a really interesting item on the attitude of G regarding links in general and nofollow in particular.
The blog entry caused a fair stir and had a good many replies. If you are interested you can search for Matt Cutts blog. Then go to Sept. archives.
(If I knew how to post a link without passing pr, I'd do it). hehehe.
Frank"Just the facts, Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet
September 17th, 2005, 11:09 PM #5
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How would google be able to distinguish on what links should cause a site to be penalized for using the no follow link? And I hardly think google would penalize someone for using technology they developed.
I got so sick of abuse and just broken promises I don't even bother with link exchanges outside of my network of sites.
September 18th, 2005, 12:47 AM #6Originally Posted by frank3iii
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September 18th, 2005, 01:13 AM #7
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