Saturday, October 3, 2009

Nofollow Links

I am always trying to learn more about SEO as a content provider, and I think that things are always changing, so you need to be open minded and willing to absorb new knowledge if you are going to be successful. With this in mind, I'm going to share some thoughts on nofollow links and why building them is necessary for SEO.

Nobody knows Google's algorithms in totality, but it is commonly accepted that Page Rank is derived from quantity and quality of backlinks. The bots can only measure links that they can follow, so when the "nofollow" attribute is added to a hyperlink, it's not going to "count" toward Page Rank. And of course, people assume that Page Rank is what dictates where your page will rank for your targeted terms. So, many people automatically assume that nofollow links are worthless for SEO.

Since I don't work for Google, I have no way of knowing for sure, but I disagree with the notion that nofollow links have no value. One thing I do know about Google is that they have a lot of employees, and they have the resources to hire smart people to implement their objectives. Their objective in this case is to identify valid "authorities" on any given subject that is being searched for and rank them accordingly. It seems to me that everyday users don't care about nofollows--they just link to pages that they find to be relevant. Presumably, SEOs wouldn't try to accrue nofollow links, so they appear to be totally legitimate "votes" to the search engines. I think that Google is smart enough to recognize this, and I think that a site's "trust ranking" is impacted by nofollow links pointing toward it.

If you think that Page Rand determines SERPs, end of story, then you won't agree with this nofollow assessment. I don't think that Page Rank matters in most cases, and if I'm right, there is no reason not to try to accumulate nofollow links.

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