Sorry this site requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser. See the following guide on How to enable JavaScript in Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox and Safari. Alternatively you may be blocking JavaScript with an advert-related or developer plugin. Please check your browser plugins.

Can anyone from Google explain to me (and the rest of the search industry) why on earth you have no documentation on how you want website owners using the "rel = nofollow" attribute on links?
Comments14 Comments  

Comments

Avatar
from planetc1 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 0

At PubCon a Google engineer was reviewing my site and he recommended adding nofollow on links that can be generated by users (classifieds ads, comments, etc). Information like that should be available in some form so we can discover how else it’s use is recommended.

Avatar
from g1smd 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 2

What have you found at:- Google’s own blog- Google’s webmaster guidelines- Matt Cutts’ blogso far?

Avatar
from Harith 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Li Evans,"I would like to request that Google - OFFICIALLY, put a page in your FAQ’s on the webmaster central area, about NoFollow and a link to that FAQ page in its Webmaster Guidelines."Well said.I have a problem with the same Google Wemaster Guidelines ;-)Watch Out! Deceptive Google Webmaster Guidelines!

Avatar
from wheel 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Why publish that?  The only people that care about nofollow, the only people Google is talking to on this issue, are hardcore SEO’s.  THey have nothing to do with the general webmaster population who wouldn’t understand what the heck anyone is talking about.Which illustrates the point I’ve mentioned before - use nofollows not to tell Google you’re using paid links, but instead know that you’re using it to tell Google you’re doing SEO.  That’s not what I try to tell Google BTW.

Avatar
from Justilien 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Excellent point Wheel! "use nofollows not to tell Google you’re using paid links, but instead know that you’re using it to tell Google you’re doing SEO. "

Avatar
from seowrench 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 0

That is not exactly true. There are plenty of platforms like Wordpress that come out of the box with built in links with the nofollow attribute. I don’t think that Google can specifically know if you are an SEO just from looking at that tag.

Avatar
from Justilien 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yes but Wordpress doesn’t NoFollow the majority of their internal links. Check out comments on the post at SearchMarketingGurus.com. I raised the point:"What happens when Google decides you are being "too aggressive" with NoFollows on your own site? When they decide it is over-optimized? That will cause a lot of collateral damage…"

Avatar
from wheel 2448 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It doesn’t have to be specific, it has to be true in the general case.  Remove wordpress, vbulletin and phpbb from the mix which is easily doable.  And who do you have left using nofollow? SEO’ers, that’s who.It’s called a footprint.  I don’t like footprints.  Particularly ones dictated by Google whose stated purpose is to identify yourself as someone doing paid links.

Avatar
from sza 2447 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"you’re using it to tell Google you’re doing SEO"One might argue that even by having unique title and/or description tags for every page of your site, you’re telling Google you’re doing SEO.

Avatar
from wheel 2447 Days ago #
Votes: 0

One might not argue that :).  Anyone who’s armed and dangerous with a copy of frontpage 98 can and likely do give unique title tags and meta tags.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see that routinely on mom and pop sites.  At least it would happen often enough that I doubt it would be a reliable indicator.  Nofollow is a whole different story; it is not routinely found on mom and pop websites.  I believe it is a reliable indicator of someone doing SEO.I really doubt they’re using this as an indicator right now. But in the future?  Google is getting more and more adverserial about SEO these days, they take it to the next step of outright wanting to stop SEO and this kind of thing will get you toasted.  Maybe not even on itself, but a bit of nofollow on a non-blog type site, combined with perfect title tags, combined with some directory backlinks, and all of a sudden you’re standing in the middle of a field instead of blending in with the trees.I want my sites to look for all intents and purposes like it was done by someone who’s never heard of SEO.  Nofollow directly contradicts that.Perhaps I’m exaggerating.  But it wasn’t that long ago that directory submissions were white hat.  It wasn’t that long ago that buying content pages on websites was white hat.  Heck, I don’t think it was even that long ago that nofollow was supposed to be used to indicate ’untrusted/unreviewed’ links on blogs.  Anyone remember that?  Now it’s to identify paid links or risk Google’s PR wrath.  I don’t think I’m exaggerating to suggest the possibility that the next step by Google is to continue to move the line as to what’s acceptable SEO practices (as they are already doing) and to twist the use of nofollow for their own purposes and to the detriment of yours (again, as they are already doing).In short, I know people like to say ’think like a search engineer’.  I’m not that bright.  I prefer to think like a clueless mom and pop retail service shop that’s never heard of SEO.  Ain’t nobody here but us joe nobody un-SEO’ed websites :).

Avatar
from Halfdeck 2447 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Internal nofollow on links to non-ancilliary pages would be a tempting footprint for Google engineers to use, though Google would never admit to using them as a signal of manipulative intent, since doing that would not encourage more people to use nofollow. Internal PageRank manipulation is also like patting yourself in the back - relatively innocuous compared to paying $10,000/month rent to to influence "votes."

Avatar
from beussery 2447 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Google seems to say that nofollow indicates links are not "vouched" for by the site using them in their own example.  I think that is what is causing all the confusion.http://scholar.google.com/webmasters/bot.html#wwwBTW good thread about this at SEW:http://forums.searchenginewatch.com/showthread.php?threadid=21118

Avatar
from sza 2447 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"But it wasn’t that long ago that directory submissions were white hat."Directory submissions are still white hat, only they may not work as well as they used to. Just like putting 4-5 relevant words in your keyword meta tag is white hat but won’t really take you anywhere.

Avatar
from sza 2447 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"Google would never admit to using them as a signal of manipulative intent, since doing that would not encourage more people to use nofollow"No. They would not admit it because it would deal a huge blow to their credibility. Bigger than anything to date.After all, currently they are encouraging people to use nofollow. If it turned out that you actually put yourself in harm’s way by following their recommendations, not even the most rabid Google cheerleaders could defend Google’s actions and trustworthiness any more.I’m also growing paranoid towards Google. In this respect, I do agree with wheel. But I believe there is a line they can’t cross. Or if they do, it will bring them down.

Upcoming Conferences

Search Marketing ExpoSearch Engine Land produces SMX, the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SMX events deliver the most comprehensive educational and networking experiences - whether you're just starting in search marketing or you're a seasoned expert.



Join us at an upcoming SMX event: