When I first read about the “NoFollow” link attribute, I was quite impressed. “why not?” I thought… it certainly makes a lot of sense in the fight against keyword spamming and artificial linking.
Over time, however, and especially these last few months, many things changed in the industry, especially regarding the “link buying” issue.
After carefully examining numerous cases, I have come to the conclusion that “NoFollow” will not stand.
Here are my top 5 reasons why…
Follow to read the explanations…
1. nofollow is not a real web standard
Even the wikipedia definition of the nofollow attribute clearly states nofollow is a non-standard attribute. The main problem is that most content management systems and platforms cannot support it, the HTML validation tools cannot support it and the most problematic issue is that except for people in the SEO industry, nobody really knows about it, therefore the adoption of its use is done only in heavily SEO oriented organizations.
2. Link Laundering is only the start
Check out Andy Beard’s interesting, yet spam-oriented loophole strategy. How long do you think until more and more will invent such strategies? Will this help clean the web, or will it make it even more “dirty” and filled with spam and duplicated content?
3. Is nofollow a myth? Or does Google actually follow the nofollow too???
We’ve seen evidence that Google and Yahoo! read nofollow links, follow them, and use them during the searching-indexing-ranking processes. Take a look at Yahoo!’s back links counter and you will surely find links from nofollow environments. We’ve seen many cases where nofollow links where the key differentiating factor in ranking boosts. Is it true or is it a myth? Is it truly a way to clean the web or to declare you are SEO knowledgeable? If I do adopt NoFollow on my websites – does this mean I am selling links? Should that raise the red flag for Google about my actions? Is it really cleaning spam or is is Blackhat SEO bait?
4. Link Love is History?
Authority sites have begun implementing NoFollow…
Sites selling links have begun using nofollow.
- Magazine sites
- Blogs – nofollow the comments
- Wikipedia – nofollow your outgoing links
- Sponsored blog posts – nofollow the links.
So what’s next? Yahoo! directory? Business.com? Links from PRweb? Digg? Stumbleupon? Facebook? Businesswire? so what links do count? only .edu and .gov? Where does that leave Bob and his Online Fruit Store? Where will he and other sites receive Link Love?
5. nofollow is taking the core out of the world wide web – pure linking.
The web is based on hyperlinks, guiding our surfing experience. Even pagerank is based on that concept. I am suggesting in this post that Nofollow undermines the very nature of the web! The largest, most influential organization on the planet, along with its two rivals is attempting to set the rules of the game… in their favor. This is why, in the long term, the web of the masses will win. The web of “mom and pop” online stores, blogs, geocities pages, social networks and the web of content written by users for other users to read, use, reuse, syndicate, share, link, print, send and do whatever they want with it, with no “big brother” issuing a “license to link” and taking the website owners for a “test drive” every time they link, or they won’t get their permit.
Your thoughts are most welcome!