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5 replies to this topic

#1 helix

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:23 PM

Hi, can anyone confirm whether the 'nofollow' tag will stop Google following links on my site to the sites that have linked to me. i.e. sites I am showcasing and I would like my visitors to see but I don't want to cancel out their incoming links?

#2 qwerty

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 04:58 PM

Nofollow is a signal that you don't really vouch for the site being linked to. It was originally created at least in part to deal with links in user generated content, like people commenting on a blog. They're inserting a link on your site, but that's outside your control (unless you stop them from posting links altogether), so nofollow in that sense serves as a way for you to tell search engines that the link shouldn't be taken as a vote of confidence from you.

Later, Google decided that they wanted site owners to put nofollow on any paid link as a way of marking them as advertisements as opposed to votes.

Many SEOs decided that they could nofollow some of their own internal links in an effort to "sculpt" their internal PageRank -- if page A linked to five other pages, but you nofollow one of those links, the idea was that the remaining four pages would each get a quarter of the PR page A was distributing instead of a fifth of it. That was never a good idea :fool:

But in all of those examples, I want to stress that nofollow is nothing more than a signal -- a suggestion from you about how you think search engines should view a link. It's not a rule they're forced to follow, no matter what you use it for (or try to use it for). Nofollowe'd links can still be followed, and as far as I know, PR and anchor text relevance can flow through them. If you want to make sure those things don't happen, don't put up the link in the first place.

I'm not clear on what you mean by not wanting to cancel out the incoming links of sites you're linking to. By linking to a page, you don't really change the effect of other sites also linking to that page, unless you're talking about putting up so many links from the one site that they outnumber all of the links coming from all of the other sites combined, like if you put a link to another site in the footer of every page of a large site. In a case like that, you may be disturbing the balance of things. The search engine will look at the site you're linking to and see that it's got a given number of backlinks, but practically all of them are coming from one place, and that doesn't make it look like those links were acquired in a way that gives the search engine confidence about what those links represent.

But if you just mean you'd like to publish a link to a few sites, I don't see how that's going to do any harm.

#3 chrishirst

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:12 AM

'nofollow' is actually a misnomer, it should be 'novalue' because the links with a rel="nofollow" are used for 'URL discovery' it is simply that they may, or may not pass any 'value'.

but you nofollow one of those links, the idea was that the remaining four pages would each get a quarter of the PR page A was distributing instead of a fifth of it.

and that isn't what happens in any case (according to MC) five links on a page will still only have 1/5th page value each, regardless of the rel attribute value.

#4 Jill

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 09:37 AM

If I'm understanding the question, I think @helix is concerned that the links he/she is putting on his/her site are reciprocal, and therefore he/she doesn't want them to count.

If that's the case, there's no reason to do that. There's nothing inherently wrong with reciprocal links. If you want to recommend those sites to your users because they'll be helpful, useful or informational to them, then have at it. Google appreciates you letting them know that by linking to them.

#5 helix

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:16 AM

I was under the impression that reciprocal links cancelled each the out. Im delighted if this isn't true as I can just link away, to site's that are linking to me and not degrade their value.

The site is for my own website design company and I want to show and link to the site's we have produced, they all have links directed at my site.

Great forum and newsletter by the way, I really enjoy reading your thoughts and advice.

#6 Jill

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:19 AM

I was under the impression that reciprocal links cancelled each the out. Im delighted if this isn't true as I can just link away, to site's that are linking to me and not degrade their value.


That is correct.




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