WARNING: Expert says having "no-follow" links on a page hurts your rankings

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According to an article on Yoast.com:

You used to be able to prevent losing link value to unimportant links by giving them a 'no-follow' tag. A 'no-follow' tag asks Google not to follow the link: so no link value is lost. Now you might think: "I'm going to 'no-follow' less important links to give the most important links more link value." While this worked in the past, Google has become smarter. Now it seems that the link value for the whole page completely disappears when you add a 'no-follow' tag to a link on it. Therefore it makes more sense to have fewer links on a page instead of 'no-following' some of the links.

(Article Source: https://yoast.com/internal-linking-for-seo-why-and-how/ )

Is this true? The article does not say where it got this information from.
#expert #hurts #links #nofollow #page #rankings #warning
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Originally Posted by Zac The Man View Post

    According to an article on Yoast.com:

    You used to be able to prevent losing link value to unimportant links by giving them a 'no-follow' tag. A 'no-follow' tag asks Google not to follow the link: so no link value is lost. Now you might think: "I'm going to 'no-follow' less important links to give the most important links more link value." While this worked in the past, Google has become smarter. Now it seems that the link value for the whole page completely disappears when you add a 'no-follow' tag to a link on it. Therefore it makes more sense to have fewer links on a page instead of 'no-following' some of the links.

    (Article Source: https://yoast.com/internal-linking-for-seo-why-and-how/ )

    Is this true? The article does not say where it got this information from.

    1) That article is full of crap and from 2017. If that had happened, many others would have been talking about it long ago.

    2) Google changed how they handled nofollow links back in 2008. All that garbage in that article about how you could conserve linkjuice by adding a nofollow tag to a link has not been true in over a decade.

    If the author is really an "SEO consultant" at Yoast, they need to hire some better consultants.
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    • It seems there are different opinions on the value of No-Follow links. Having followed the discussion of SEO professionals, I can confirm, that No-Follow links has a huge value and help to build a brand for those people, who have the desire to build it. It has significant power, more than you can expect. Details and discussion on No-Follow links you can find out here: https://moz.com/community/q/do-nofol...nks-have-value
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    I assume we are talking about internal links here. The nofollow tag really doesn't do a thing to help you with internal links. The page it is pointing to does not get any page rank passed to it but at the same time, the link diminishes the amount of page rank passed to other linked-to pages from that page. The old practice of page/link sculpting does not work anymore.

    I'm hoping that he just isn't the best writer in the world and doesn't really believe that a nofollow tag wipes out the page rank of any page that has nofollow links on it. If that was the case, nobody would add affiliate links to their site. It could have been written better, for sure. I believe what he meant to say is that the link value to the page with the no-follow tag disappears. He says that there is no reason to add a nofollow tag to an internal link. The page rank from that page that is passed to all of the pages that are linked-to from it is going to divided by the total number of links on the page, whether they are nofollowed or not. He recommends not having the link at all if you are going to nofollow it because the number of links will be fewer, meaning that more page rank will be passed to the other pages when there are fewer links. The only thing that is going to keep a page from being indexed is a no-index tag.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    Now it seems that the link value for the whole page completely disappears when you add a 'no-follow' tag to a link on it.
    Lol, that's just stupid.
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  • Profile picture of the author KylieSweet
    Having no follow links within the page doesn't affect your rankings but it can be a source of target traffic from your users.
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    • Profile picture of the author ClaudiaBrunson
      Originally Posted by KylieSweet View Post

      Having no follow links within the page doesn't affect your rankings but it can be a source of target traffic from your users.
      Hello friend,
      Are you sure that No follow links are not affected by website rank?
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  • Profile picture of the author Blakers1
    What the heck? You'd think Yoast would have writers that actually know what they are talking about?

    "Now it seems that the link value for the whole page completely disappears when you add a 'no-follow' tag to a link on it. Therefore it makes more sense to have fewer links on a page instead of 'no-following' some of the links."

    This makes no sense at all. Adding a NoFollow tag to a single outbound link on a page will do the square root of nothing to the other links on that page.

    If anything, the other links should theoretically pass more authority, but I doubt it's anything significant and I don't think anyone should waste their time thinking that deep into this when you could be improving the user experience on the page in question or building inbound links through outreach.

    IMHO - I would ignore the advice on this article and focus on SEO tactics that have been proven to work over time like content writing and outreach.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by Blakers1 View Post

      If anything, the other links should theoretically pass more authority
      That's not true. A nofollow tag does not conserve any authority for the other links on the page. The authority still flows through the link with a nofollow tag. It just does not get credited to the page it is linking to. It basically drops off into a black hole.

      This has been the case since 2009.

      This is the best representation I've found to explain how nofollow works since 2009.

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      • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        That's not true. A nofollow tag does not conserve any authority for the other links on the page. The authority still flows through the link with a nofollow tag. It just does not get credited to the page it is linking to. It basically drops off into a black hole.

        This has been the case since 2009.

        This is the best representation I've found to explain how nofollow works since 2009.

        Where's that graphic from, Mike? I like it!
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      • Profile picture of the author crackhouse
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        That's not true. A nofollow tag does not conserve any authority for the other links on the page. The authority still flows through the link with a nofollow tag. It just does not get credited to the page it is linking to. It basically drops off into a black hole.

        This has been the case since 2009.

        This is the best representation I've found to explain how nofollow works since 2009.

        Best summarization of No Follow link building I've seen, forget Yoast. Moz blog is the best quality SEO blog out there at the moment.
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        • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
          Originally Posted by crackhouse View Post

          Best summarization of No Follow link building I've seen, forget Yoast. Moz blog is the best quality SEO blog out there at the moment.
          Not sure if I'd agree with that. The Cognitive SEO blog definitely gives MOZ a run for the money.
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
          Originally Posted by crackhouse View Post

          Moz blog is the best quality SEO blog out there at the moment.
          I would not go that far. Moz is definitely full of some pretty serious bullshit. I mean, they are better than Neil Patel, but that is not saying much.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Fundamentally, this would make all blog comments worthless. Would Google really want to do that? If so, the article is true and accurate. If not, the article is not accurate. Come on now; we know the answer
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by ryanbiddulph View Post

      Fundamentally, this would make all blog comments worthless. Would Google really want to do that? If so, the article is true and accurate. If not, the article is not accurate. Come on now; we know the answer
      No, actually, it would make any page that had blog comments on it incapable of passing page rank. The notion is ludicrous. Besides, blog comments are already worthless in terms of any SEO value.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by ryanbiddulph View Post

      Fundamentally, this would make all blog comments worthless. Would Google really want to do that?
      Yes. Google would love for blog comments to be worthless. They pretty much have. They are crap for ranking pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blakers1
    Okay, I stand corrected. LOL! Makes total sense. I was assuming the NoFollow would not pass anything and therefore you'd have x/4 as in the top right image above.

    Dividing the link authority up and adding it to the followed links makes more sense to me if Google's goal is to encourage the use of NoFollow to prevent link spam. You'd think they would assign MORE value to the followed links. Then again, encouraging "link sculpting" is probably equally manipulative.

    Not afraid to admit I learned something about SEO today even though I've been doing this for a few years now. It's just something I've never put much time into researching. Thanks for the killer graphic! :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author paulgl
    Nofollow was invented by google to combat link spam.

    Fools exposed weaknesses in that, google closed a hole or two.

    Nofollow is pretty much useless on a real page.

    If you don't trust a link, why have it?

    This is not in regard to global nofollow like twitter. That's global nofollow for survival purposes.

    If you have a regular page, with a few links, internal included....what's the nofollow for?
    To tell google you don't trust a link....or your page has webspam?
    Since it does not save any PR passed... it's an almost useless tag on a webpage.

    (nofollow is not noindex)

    Blog comments (and links) are completely useless for any ranking, and they sure can foul up a webpage.

    Google wants you to use nofollow because they have been a tad lousy at eliminating webspam.
    They want YOU to do it.

    Ditto for disavow.... invented to keep webmasters entertained at doing "something" that they think is useful... and eliminating pressure off of any customer service inquiries.

    Like the hamster on the wheel thinking he's going somewhere.

    Webmasters think they are getting somewhere by using nofollow and disavow.... or variations of them.

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  • Profile picture of the author satishsahu
    If you have a login link for your clients on the homepage, for example, you don't want to leak link value to your login page - that page doesn't need to rank high in the search results.

    You used to be able to prevent losing link value to unimportant links by giving them a 'no-follow' tag. A 'no-follow' tag asks Google not to follow the link: so no link value is lost. Now you might think: "I'm going to 'no-follow' less important links to give the most important links more link value." While this worked in the past, Google has become smarter.

    Now it seems that the link value for the whole page completely disappears when you add a 'no-follow' tag to a link on it. Therefore it makes more sense to have fewer links on a page instead of 'no-following' some of the links.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by Zac The Man View Post

    . Now it seems that the link value for the whole page completely disappears when you add a 'no-follow' tag to a link on it. T
    Hilarious. Yoast must have been auditioning for a comedy spot on one of the late might shows. The sculpting part was bonus. That went out nearly a decade ago.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      Hilarious. Yoast must have been auditioning for a comedy spot on one of the late might shows. The sculpting part was bonus. That went out nearly a decade ago.
      It's that kind of BS that makes it hard to trust anything else they might have to say.
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  • On Moz no-follow links seem to count towards the DA score
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by Cardiff Web Services View Post

      On Moz no-follow links seem to count towards the DA score
      Who cares if nofollow counts towards DA? DA doesn't help you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daijon Moss
    No it doesn't matters that having no follow backlinks on your website affect your rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian5
    It wasn't news for me. Many people have already known about it.
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