Should I Attach Nofollow To Good External Links?
Posted 08 January 2012 - 03:22 PM
I have never, ever, added rel=nofollow to any of my links. Granted I take special care with how I handle ad and af links but imo rel=nofollow is working for the SEs for free. Not bloody likely.
This goes a zillion fold for useful further reading type external links. Idiocy from the SEO clueless brigade.
There is significant evidence over the years that sites are actually rewarded for external links (the PR hoarding or sculpting silliness is another IFTSEOCB). Granted, as the publicly stated reason for rel=nofollow changed - as it has several times - webdevs might be given some slack for being confused; but not from me.
The use of rel=nofollow on ads, af, and paid links is an easy simple 'fix' for newer webdevs and I understand. But it is not necessary (no I'm not going into detail).
Do as you think best. But for heavens sake please know why you doing whatever it is.
<added>what jonbey said
Posted 08 January 2012 - 07:46 PM
I personally believe that linking out to authority sites improves your site in the eyes of Google. If I have a page about repairing blue widgets and I link out to several different authoritative blue widget sites, I think this tells Google that your site is important when it comes to blue widgets.
Posted 08 January 2012 - 07:59 PM
Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:44 PM
I slap nofollows on almost all external links on some of my sites. Which ones? The ones that I cannot afford to have Google distrust. The ones that matter to me. Do I like it? Nope. But I do what the master wants.
Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:28 PM
One of the issues I have reading SEO forums in general is that a lot of the Google reactions people describe are due to selling links or advertising. Unlike Donna, many posters don't disclose at first what's truely going on with their site, so the discussion gets skewed and mis-intrepreted by folks who have sites with no "secondary income" agenda.
So yes, if you have a straight foward e-commerce site for example, link out to quality sites where you feel the information is on-topic and beneficial to your visitors. Again, become a hub, not a dead end site.
Posted 09 January 2012 - 05:25 PM
How did you find out those links were the problem Donna? Did Google tell you?
I made the assumption that the only reason for a PR penalty would be because of paid links, as that's the standard punishment for such (went from 4 to 0 iirc). So, I nofollowed them, did a reconsideration request, and they acknowledged/removed the penalty. So, yes, after the fact, they essentially told me. I had to be knowledgeable enough from the get-go to guess the reason why though.
For a site that I would never consider selling, I would not care about a PR penalty. But since I knew I was going to eventually sell that site, I did not want to have the price lowered because buyers didn't want a PR0 site. As it was, when I sold, it was a PR5, and that helped generate interest.
So, my dazzlindonna blog...I'll never sell it. If they penalize me for the zillions of links I have on it that don't have nofollows, I don't care. But if I ever considered selling it, you can bet I wouldn't risk a PR penalty.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:30 AM
I made the assumption that the only reason for a PR penalty would be because of paid links, as that's the standard punishment for such
I didn't know there was a penalty for paid links. This is worrying, but I don't understand how could Google can know whether links are paid for?
e.g. I have a paid link, but it's an image ad, would that be penalised? I also have image links that aren't paid for, i.e. I link to sites I like and use an image to make it more interesting. It would possibly look like I was paid for the link rather than linking out of the goodness of my heart.
I have had people asking to pay me for text links (i.e. "relevant" links within a body of text) , but i refuse on the grounds that I don't want any advertising that appears not be advertising.
So my question is, what sort of paid links get penalised and how do Google know they are actually paid for?
Edited by Pete, 26 January 2012 - 10:31 AM.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:40 AM
Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:49 AM
He said that generally people selling links are operating on a set of servers and they probably downgrade the network for its links etc. I think ...
Ok, so your bog standard paid for banner ad is OK?
Is it that if something looks like an ad it's fine, but if something is pretending to be just part of the site content and rather than obviously being an ad, then it's another thing altogether.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:59 AM
Regarding how they know what's a paid ad and what's not...that's long been the question - and argument - generated by webmasters the world over. Many will complain that Google will get it wrong, or competitors will falsely report them for paid ads, etc. But here's the short answer. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how they know. It doesn't matter if they get it right or wrong. You have to accept their judgment regardless. They are the masters of the SERPs, and we are merely disgruntled slaves, running around trying to please our masters. Unless of course we decide that we don't care if we rank well or not in Google. But this discussion doesn't apply to those people, anyway.
Long story short - you can get a penalty for serving standard blog image ads that are paid ads (in Google's determination, true or not) if you haven't slapped a nofollow on them.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:59 AM
e.g. if someone wants to game Google they hire an SEO to get links. That SEO uses various properties that he manages and these are often on the same network (not all SEOs are sloppy!). Sites are usually dropped domains that had a little PR in the past. If 30 out of 300 domains on 1 server, all different niches etc, all link out to the same 10 websites, all without nofollow etc. then that could alert the spam crew that some unnatural linking is going on. A quick investigation may result in a link building company being found as the owner of those domains. Bingo!
At least, that was my take on it. Maybe I read too much into a few words. But if I was looking for paid links, those are the types of patterns I would be interested in.
As for buying 1 banner link, I guess nobody would notice or care. But then, once you have that first hit, can you stop?
Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:05 AM
As for buying 1 banner link, I guess nobody would notice or care.
And yet, I had 4 measley links. 4.
2 were image ads, paid. 2 were text, non-paid.
You'd think no one would notice or care about that either. They noticed. They cared. They penalized.
And just to clarify. None of the links were to any kind of link network sites. The 2 text links were to my own sites. One image ad was to a topically relevant site by a friend of mine, and one image ad was to a topically relevant large, well-known site. None were through any kind of broker or anything like that.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:13 AM
I wonder now, if you added rel="me" instead of rel="nofollow" would that have helped? Which then leads to a new question, does rel="me" change the weighting of a link?
Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:07 PM
Then all the links I have that appear as if they might be paid links (but aren't) I can make them nofollow, I've got nothing to lose anyway and possible, if Donna is right, something to gain.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:29 PM
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