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Using Nofollow Tag On Your Own Internal Links?


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122 replies to this topic

#46 glengara

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 03:48 PM

From what I've read, Matt Cutts of G envisions a pretty wide usage for this attribute, from paid links to linking to a bad neighbourhood.

As such, I'd imagine G would treat links with the attribute neutrally rather than negatively, couldn't imagine using them for internal links though....

#47 Alan Perkins

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 04:21 PM

QUOTE(torka @ Sep 26 2005, 05:47 PM)
I believe I recall not too long ago coming across a Firefox extension that does exactly that. Allows anybody looking at your site with that extension installed to see the "nofollow" links displayed differently from "normal" links.
Matt Cutts posted a means to see rel=nofollow links in Firefox in his blog. Rather unhelpfully, he stated:
QUOTE
Then if you want to link to a blackhat spammer without it counting as a vote in Google, just add rel=”nofollow” to the hyperlink, and you’ll be able to tell the difference between normal and nofollow links.
...showing where he thinks rel=nofollow should be used. wink.gif

Then, in a later blog post, Text Links and PageRank, he stated...
QUOTE
What if a site wants to buy links purely for visitor click traffic, to build buzz, or to support another site? In that situation, I would use the rel=”nofollow” attribute. The nofollow tag allows a site to add a link that abstains from being an editorial vote. Using nofollow is a safe way to buy links, because it’s a machine-readable way to specify that a link doesn’t have to be counted as a vote by a search engine.
...thus equating a paid link with blackhat spammer. That was a mistake IMO. smile.gif

#48 DanThies

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 04:43 PM

QUOTE(Alan Perkins @ Sep 26 2005, 03:21 PM)
......thus equating a paid link with blackhat spammer.  That was a mistake IMO. smile.gif
View Post

Probably not his intent... it's hard for him to say anything that won't be overparsed and overanalyzed. biggrin.gif

#49 Alan Perkins

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 04:56 PM

True, but he did say both things a few days apart. Interpret as you like. smile.gif

I'm interested in the difference between normal, rel=nofollow and paid links. I don't see rel=nofollow and paid links as equivalent.

If rel=nofollow is used for the purpose it was designed, then it might be reasonable for a browser not to send a HTTP referrer when the user is navigating a rel=nofollow link. Do that with paid links, though, and ROI measurement goes out of the window! Tracking a visitor through a site that used internal rel=nofollow links may also prove problematic.

#50 Jill

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 05:24 PM

What I was wondering when reading that thread at MC's is why Matt is pushing for people to be able to easily view pages that are using the nofollow? Seems like he wants people to be able to easily see who's using it...I'm just not sure why.

I also learned there that the Firefox extension SearchStatus was updated to include that nofollow info now, which is pretty cool. I just downloaded the latest version.

#51 projectphp

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 05:46 PM

QUOTE
I don't see rel=nofollow and paid links as equivalent.

Why can't we have rel=advertisment and be done with it?

Does anyone know of anywhere where the use of rel-nofollow is actually documented? IMHO, it isone of the worst documented initiatives ever, and it is a real shame the W3C don't rethink a lot of the stuff they did way back when, and update it all with new feedback.

Edited by projectphp, 26 September 2005 - 05:55 PM.


#52 Randy

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 06:50 PM

It didn't come from W3C unfortunately. I haven't looked, but I'd doubt they even have it on their site since it wasn't part of any of their standards. They may have something with it as part of a proposal now though.

The original announcements, with the only usage instruction I can remember seeing, came from Six Apart, Google's blog, Yahoo's blog and MSN's blog

#53 Scottie

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 08:00 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Sep 26 2005, 06:24 PM)
What I was wondering when reading that thread at MC's is why Matt is pushing for people to be able to easily view pages that are using the nofollow?  Seems like he wants people to be able to easily see who's using it...I'm just not sure why.

View Post

Makes perfect sense to me.

Because then the search engines and the users are seeing essentially the same thing. Using a nofollow without notifying the user that they are following a non-trusted link is the equivalent of hidden links, except in reverse.

The user is seeing something that the spider "doesn't", where traditional hidden links show the spider something the user isn't likely to see.

Making them render differently puts it back into a level playing field, IMO.

#54 Jill

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 09:22 PM

Hmm...yeah I guess that makes sense.

And an rel=ad tag would also make sense. That would make the all the govt. agencies very happy too, especially if it was something people could easily see too.

You have to love firefox extensions! smile.gif

#55 Alan Perkins

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 05:20 AM

QUOTE(Scottie)
Using a nofollow without notifying the user that they are following a non-trusted link is the equivalent of hidden links, except in reverse.
Yep, I really think nofollow could have been useful to users - but it won't be if it's abused for things like labelling paid links and hoarding Pagerank.

QUOTE(Jill)
And an rel=ad tag would also make sense
It does in theory. In practice, when does a link become an ad? A link on your own site? A link to a sister site? A partner? An affiliate? A link you gave someone because they're nice...? ...and they bought you a beer at the last conference? A reciprocal link or some other barter?

My theory is that within a commercial sector (e.g. finance, travel) EVERY link is an ad of one description or another, and they should all be treated as such. Leave it to human nature to label links and you'll find the same kind of manipulation as rel=nofollow is now causing. Make it the law to label links, and who will police it? How will they sort out the above dilemmas? And what's the point?

#56 Robert813

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 05:35 AM

QUOTE
Yep, I really think nofollow could have been useful to users - but it won't be if it's abused for things like labelling paid links and hoarding Pagerank.


I am truly perplexed by the use of the word "hoarding" in this situation. Hoarding is when there is not enough of something to go around and you grab more than your fair share. First, there is plenty of PageRank to go around...there is no shortage of it, there is no finite supply of it!

Second, the page rank coming into my homepage is MY pagerank to distribute to my internal pages how I want if I so choose. That is not hoarding!

#57 Robert813

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 05:59 AM

To refer to hoarding PR is as silly as saying stop hoarding keywords.

To distribute my homepage PageRank to my internal pages the way I describe, affects noone else in anyway. It is not manipulating Google to give my homepage more PR as in buying links would. I am simply taking the PR my homepage gets and re-allocating as I see fit. It is purely ethical. So any reference that this "internal" distribution of PR is some ugly, vile tactic, which the word "hoarding" is clearly meant to infer, is way off base!

#58 Alan Perkins

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 06:08 AM

If you read my post, Robert, it does not say that you are hoarding Pagerank. It says that rel=nofollow can be used for things like hoarding Pagerank.

QUOTE
the page rank coming into my homepage is MY pagerank
Incorrect. It's Google's Pagerank, to distribute how they want. You do not own that Pagerank. Google does.

You can use rel=nofollow as you see fit, of course. I'm just trying to give you a friendly warning that it may have unintended consequences, both in terms of what your visitors ultimately see and the interpretation that Google and other SEs may place on your intent. Tread with care. smile.gif

#59 Robert813

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 08:10 AM

QUOTE
If you read my post, Robert, it does not say that you are hoarding Pagerank. It says that rel=nofollow can be used for things like hoarding Pagerank.


I appreciate your cautionary advice Alan. I guess it's a matter of semantics but my position was that there is no such thing as hoarding PR. Not in my situation not in any because of the definition of hoarding. Perhaps you meant to use the word manipulation. Hoarding is such an ugly word...LOL.

And I concur with you that it is indeed Google's PR, not mine as I stated. I am in the broadest sense manipulating Googles PR directing it to my internal pages but but only because I choose not to link to certain pages and that clearly is my choice and is ethical.

Lastly, how some do not see the logic and reasoning how this tactic is beneficial is beyond me. If I have a PR6 home page passing PR onto only 3 pages rather than 50, how they can say it is not beneficial to those 3 pages blows my mind. It's like having an outside webpage with a PR6 and only 3 links on it linking to me.

Edited by Robert813, 27 September 2005 - 08:19 AM.


#60 Michael Martinez

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Posted 27 September 2005 - 08:52 AM

QUOTE(Robert813 @ Sep 27 2005, 08:10 AM)
Lastly, how some do not see the logic and reasoning how this tactic is beneficial is beyond me. If I have a PR6 home page passing PR onto only 3 pages rather than 50, how they can say it is not beneficial to those 3 pages blows my mind.


First of all, PR6 is a meaningless value. It is not the PageRank that Google claims to calculate (in part) on the basis of linkage between documents.

In addition, if you exclude those 3 pages then you devalue whatever outbound linkage you have on them. We are assuming that they at least link back to your home page. If they do, then having the home page link to them normally helps them, and that in turn helps the home page.

On the other hand, if you have no outbound links on those pages, Google will distribute their PageRank across the entire database (8,000,000,000+ documents), in which case, you might as well have them link to your home page.

You're not doing yourself any favors by using REL=NOFOLLOW on your internal linkage.




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