Yet again Google confirms Nofollow links worthless for ranking

73 replies
  • SEO
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Just about every week I see posts that nofollow links are good for SEO purposes or people telling others to just build links its all good (in fact as I post his there is one such thread on the front page here). For those already in the know this is nothing new but since people still keep pushing this myth that nofollow matters here is yet the latest from Google - Quick take - unless you get traffic from a nofollow link directly its worthless - No SEO benefit



unless someone can post real data that can be confirmed (by actually showing the data) those be the facts. I f you are new to SEO then the bottom line is don't bother with links that are nofollow UNLESS they stand to give you direct (not GOogle search) traffic.
#confirms #google #links #nofollow #ranking #worthless
  • Profile picture of the author digidoodles
    Except that Google is not the only game in town. In addition, a combo of no-follow and do-follow can = good.

    Warmly,

    Brandi
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      We drink the google kool aid because they are at least 70% of the search traffic.

      Not sure why someone would ignore them.

      But, nofollow was designed to not pass on PR juice of the posting site.
      That's it. That's all nofollow was ever designed to do. To stop the
      unending exercise of posting links just to post links.

      Nofollow is not good for PR, it's not bad either. nofollow has nothing to do with SEO.
      Unless you mean by having no effect that means it has some effect.

      Nofollow has nothing to do with the SEO of YOUR site.

      Not contributing to PR means it affects neither for or against.

      I know what you are saying, but I would just say that putting a
      "nofollow" link on a page, either your page or someone else's, is not pointless.

      It is pointless as far as PR goes, but not pointless.

      I think the whole "nofollow" crapola is completely worthless.

      Google created a monster with nofollow. Because of this. blog comments
      are becoming useless for PR as well.

      Paul
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by digidoodles View Post

      Except that Google is not the only game in town. In addition, a combo of no-follow and do-follow can = good.

      Warmly,

      Brandi
      HI Brandi,

      It remains to be seen how much Bing discounts nofollow. As I hear it they had some issues but now it seems they are committed to ignoring no follow as well. Yahoo perhaps but yes thats from Cutt's and he speaks to what Google allows.
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  • Profile picture of the author ARVolund
    Mike

    I watched that video awhile ago and while I will never claim to be an expert I do have two thoughts on the matter.

    1. It seems to me that if none of you links were no follow that at some point Google would notice that and wonder why. It does not seem very natural to me so while they may not be picking up on it yet it seems to me they may in the future. With that in mind, even if they do no good in themselves a good mix may keep you from looking odd in the future (or now for all we know) just like having a good mixture of all other types of backlinks instead of just one type.

    2. If it is true that Google does not count the no follow links, why do they list them in my webmaster tools? On one of my sites right now I have four links listed that are no follow. Now there are a lot of links for that site that are not listed by Google so why would they choose to list those no follow links if they are not worth anything?
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    • Profile picture of the author Lee Wilson
      Originally Posted by ARVolund View Post

      Mike

      I watched that video awhile ago and while I will never claim to be an expert I do have two thoughts on the matter.

      1. It seems to me that if none of you links were no follow that at some point Google would notice that and wonder why. It does not seem very natural to me so while they may not be picking up on it yet it seems to me they may in the future. With that in mind, even if they do no good in themselves a good mix may keep you from looking odd in the future (or now for all we know) just like having a good mixture of all other types of backlinks instead of just one type.

      2. If it is true that Google does not count the no follow links, why do they list them in my webmaster tools? On one of my sites right now I have four links listed that are no follow. Now there are a lot of links for that site that are not listed by Google so why would they choose to list those no follow links if they are not worth anything?
      I was going to say the same thing but I'll just add ...

      Eventually virtually all links will become nofollow, what then? Either all links will be worthless, the search engines will find some other method to rank pages or what I still think is the inevitable ... this is all heading towards paid search in one form or another.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    As you are in the know Mike, perhaps you would be good enough to list the myths, so we can see exactly what you are saying?
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    • Profile picture of the author debra
      I've read a lot of your posts. And I believe that you are to wrapped up on Google.

      Google is Not the start all, end all as far as seo and certainly not as far as marketing. Futhermore, not to mention that your buddy there is an Employee of Google to start with. I do see some contraints there.

      The biggest mistake that some ppl are forgetting is that Google Is Not Going To Buy Anything From You. So quite trying to pamper the beast.

      The point here is that People will buy your products and services. Go far the Human Eyeballs. Get enough human eyeballs within your market and the benefit of Google acknowledgement will follow.

      I hear you screaming Proof It already...

      Look at Twitter, Facebook and many others. They didn't go pampering Google and didn't even think about optimizing for the search engines and look what happened there.

      I'm Not saying to forget seo. Hell...I'm all wrapped up in that myself. I'm saying that search engines rely on code. Human eyeballs posses credit cards and buying power. Balance it out.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by debra View Post

        I've read a lot of your posts. And I believe that you are to wrapped up on Google.

        Google is Not the start all, end all as far as seo and certainly not as far as marketing.
        Well I do post things from google (and other places because it helps to counteract people running round claiming things that are false). I like doing testing and nailing down things based on solid facts not anecdotal evidence. However thats not the only thing I post. Whenever you see me point out that a nollowed link is good for nothing AT ALL let me know. I'll readily confess my blunder. OF course we are talking about SEO and not all Internet marketing. Yahoo answers, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube are all no follow but will bring you a ton load of traffic.

        Historical context is I have asked people that claim that nofollow is good for SEO on GOOGLE to show me that data. They never have.
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        • Profile picture of the author orvn
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          OF course we are talking about SEO and not all Internet marketing. Yahoo answers, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube are all no follow but will bring you a ton load of traffic.

          Historical context is I have asked people that claim that nofollow is good for SEO on GOOGLE to show me that data. They never have.
          Here's your data: nofollow links from high authority sites and social networks directly impact SEO:
          Google + Bing Confirm that Twitter/Facebook Influence SEO | SEOmoz
          (and we're not just talking about blended search here)

          As we transcend in to a semantic web, this will only become a more prevalent trend. Many conventional SEO methodologies will be obliterated.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            Guys you fell for a thread bump. this thread is over a year old (15 months) before warehouselarry bumped it. I am very much aware of the new factors google put in for twitter and Facebook but it doesn't make nofollow worthwhile. Its a separate metric and does not extend across the board to all sites..

            Originally Posted by orvn View Post

            Here's your data: nofollow links from high authority sites and social networks directly impact SEO:
            Google + Bing Confirm that Twitter/Facebook Influence SEO | SEOmoz
            (and we're not just talking about blended search here)

            As we transcend in to a semantic web, this will only become a more prevalent trend. Many conventional SEO methodologies will be obliterated.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by jazbo View Post

      As you are in the know Mike, perhaps you would be good enough to list the myths, so we can see exactly what you are saying?

      Jaz the general consensus on this board is that nofollow does not matter in SEO with Google. So I am not claiming any special knowledge. You know what the myth is in regard to. We've had this discussion before. If you want to now step up and put the evidence that nofollow is counted by Google then do so. Since you and I offer some similiar services you of all people would know how much I would welcome the evidence that it does work. It would make my life easier not having to filter out nofollow links.

      However until that data is put out there the myth that it doesn't matter and/or nofollow links are good for SEO on Google deserves to be left in the myth column. I for one welcome anyone that can take it out of that column with facts.

      So I haven't seen it in my experience, Google says it doesn't and almost everyone agrees who knows anything about SEO.

      This isn't just some your sucking up Google's kool aid thing. An entire industry of webmasters and SEO specialist use the tags and follow this convention and here you have a few people claiming they are all wasting their time. It would be one of the biggest frauds of our time on the Internet. People do love a good conspracy story though.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarkAse
    I do think that we need to take everything that Google tells us with a grain of salt.

    I think we all know it is not in their best interest to have people spamming their link all over the internet.

    Wouldn't a good solution to that be to tell people that no-follow links are worthless, even if they aren't?

    While I do believe there is some difference between a do-follow and no-follow link, I think it is overly simplistic to simply take Google at its word that no-follow links don't count at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author tjcocker
    Yay! More Kool-Aid from Google, let's drink it everybody!
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrew S
      A link is a link is a link
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    well...we all "know" that NF are worthless in terms of PR and link juice, but that's not a reason to freak about it. When i do massive link building using software etc...i simply dont bother filtering....part of the links will always be dofollow.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
      Originally Posted by GeorgR. View Post

      well...we all "know" that NF are worthless in terms of PR and link juice,

      We do??!!? That's news to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author kalios
    Nofollow links carry some weight. From my experience there value is close to nothing...
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  • Profile picture of the author ILUVCA$H
    Interesting info. about nofollow links - thanks guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
    Unfortunately, those are not "facts" in any sense or meaning of that word.

    Just because Matt Cutts says something, does not make it so. I'm not saying that it is true or not true, just that Matt Cutts and Google have their motives for everything, and you shouldn't believe everything they say.



    Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

    Just about every week I see posts that nofollow links are good for SEO purposes or people telling others to just build links its all good (in fact as I post his there is one such thread on the front page here). For those already in the know this is nothing new but since people still keep pushing this myth that nofollow matters here is yet the latest from Google - Quick take - unless you get traffic from a nofollow link directly its worthless - No SEO benefit

    YouTube- Broadcast Yourself.


    unless someone can post real data that can be confirmed (by actually showing the data) those be the facts. I f you are new to SEO then the bottom line is don't bother with links that are nofollow UNLESS they stand to give you direct (not GOogle search) traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by Tom Goodwin View Post

      Unfortunately, those are not "facts" in any sense or meaning of that word.
      .
      HI TOm,

      See my post above. this is far from Google alone. Theres an entire industry of webmasters and SEOs that use the nofollow convention. Those are the facts until facts can be put on the table to counteract them. I'm not beyond the idea that google can blow smoke. In fact I know they do. However when they do on this level its pretty easy to prove it.

      Case in point. Their claim that they do a good job at weeding out comment spam. I mean all you have to do is do your homework on viagra sites and you know they are blowing smoke. They don't want to admit they aren't there yet.. But the nofollow thing? every time I see it it has no evidence behind it. I mean people say it works for them but can't show any data and we all know sites can move up or down for all kinds of reasons. People claim all the time they are going to post the evidence but so far thats the smoke thats been blowing the hardest.

      again SERIOUSLY I welcome the evidence as long as its real and verifiable.
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      • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        HI TOm,

        See my post above. this is far from Google alone. Theres an entire industry of webmasters and SEOs that use the nofollow convention. Those are the facts until facts can be put on the table to counteract them. I'm not beyond the idea that google can blow smoke. In fact I know they do. However when they do on this level its pretty easy to prove it.
        It seems to me that it is a statement that people have been repeating so much, that everyone believes it as fact now. For the most part, I think that people have a hard time believing that Google/matt cutts would say something that wasn't 100% honest. They believe whatever is said as the gospel.

        I don't disagree that most people believe it, that doesn't make it a "fact," and certainly showing another video from Matt Cutts saying it, doesn't make it a "fact" either.

        The only facts are:

        (1) Google says that nofollow links don't pass link juice/help SEO; and
        (2) most people believe that.

        You can't draw the conclusion from those two points, however, that no-follow backlinks do not pass link juice and/or help SEO.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Tom what more can I say? This is my third time saying I don't draw that conclusion on Matt alone and my second time saying that my own personal experience does not contradict it. Claiming that I draw from those two points is a strawman argument.

          Besides I don't have the burden of proof. The company that built and own the engine say it, the experience and education of most SEOs confirms it and my own experience gives me no pause in believing it. Like I said if anyone wants to post evidence that proves its wrong thats fine by me but the "you can't listen to Google" and (not you but others) conspiracy theories don't count against the fact that nofollow means nofollow.

          I can tell you one other fact. This thread is so far no different from the others where this has come up. The people claiming nofollow works still are batting 100 for putting no verifiable facts on the table. Like I said I'd welcome it because it would make my life a whole lot easier but I am not going to lead people down a wrong path because I'd like it to be easier. Anyone wanting to do a test for this I will assist and gladly eat my words but it really is time for people who say they are going to prove this to do so. Its been a long time claimig theres proof.
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          • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
            Sigh...

            Mike, this has absolutely nothing about burden of proof. The point that I make, and that many others make, is that it is not a fact that nofollow links have no seo benefit. If you have evidence of that "fact", I am waiting. I have never seen such evidence. To be honest, I don't know for sure either way. Call me an agnostic if you will.

            This is not a fact, period.




            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            Tom what more can I say? This is my third time saying I don't draw that conclusion on Matt alone and my second time saying that my own personal experience does not contradict it. Claiming that I draw from those two points is a strawman argument.

            Besides I don't have the burden of proof. The company that built and own the engine say it, the experience and education of most SEOs confirms it and my own experience gives me no pause in believing it. Like I said if anyone wants to post evidence that proves its wrong thats fine by me but the "you can't listen to Google" and (not you but others) conspiracy theories don't count against the fact that nofollow means nofollow.

            I can tell you one other fact. This thread is so far no different from the others where this has come up. The people claiming nofollow works still are batting 100 for putting no verifiable facts on the table. Like I said I'd welcome it because it would make my life a whole lot easier but I am not going to lead people down a wrong path because I'd like it to be easier. Anyone wanting to do a test for this I will assist and gladly eat my words but it really is time for people who say they are going to prove this to do so. Its been a long time claimig theres proof.
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by Tom Goodwin View Post

              Sigh...


              This is not a fact, period.
              Tom believe what you wish and put a period wherever you wish in your post. Is your prerogative. In this one I will note it as Its an invalid point. If the company that built my car, all the mechanics that work on it and my own experience says that my car runs better on gas than on diesel I'm not going to let anyone try to run it on diesel or claim that i need to prove it runs better on gas and furthermore while I am around I'm going to ask that they put some proof on the table before approaching other people to run their cars that way.

              You have the opposing viewpoint to all of those in a position to know so like it or not , accept it or not, admit it or not the burden of proof on any rational planet in the universe is yours.



              You can have the last of that back and forth.
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              • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                Tom believe what you wish and put a period wherever you wish in your post. Is your prerogative. In this one I will note it as Its an invalid point. If the company that built my car, all the mechanics that work on it and my own experience says that my car runs better on gas than on diesel I'm not going to let anyone try to run it on diesel or claim that i need to prove it runs better on gas and furthermore while I am around I'm going to ask that they put some proof on the table before approaching other people to run their cars that way.

                You have the opposing viewpoint to all of those in a position to know so like it or not , accept it or not, admit it or not the burden of proof on any rational planet in the universe is yours.



                You can have the last of that back and forth.
                Didn't you say that google was saying BS with respect to blog comment spam? You can't have it both ways. Either google always tells the truth or it doesn't. The fact is that google doesn't. Google tries to scam the system as much as the next guy.

                I would be Ok with saying something like "no follow links PROBABLY have no SEO benefit", but people aren't saying that.
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                  Originally Posted by Tom Goodwin View Post

                  Didn't you say that google was saying BS with respect to blog comment spam? You can't have it both ways.
                  I'm not attempting to. Please read what I write before making assumptions or accusations of duplicity. You've made a ton of assumptions including SEOs believing what they believe based on just Google saying so. I made it pretty clear how I knew their spam argument wasn't accurate just like ton loads of SEOs who came to the same conclusion- by proof not by appealing to a conspiracy or claiming google isn't reliable therefore its not to be believed on it. thats my approach Tom. I take the facts on the table until the evidence mounts against it but in this case it hasn't. Its been confirmed by the EXPERIENCE of webmasters not their being gullible.

                  Want to know why Webmasters have less certainty about Bing and nofollow? Because they've seen evidence that Bing actually crawls those site. A lot of people might not realize - Some Developers use the "nofollow" attribute not just to stop spam but to tell the search engines where on their site they don't want indexed (although thats really not how it should be done). They have complained to Bing because they crawled it. That is in their experience something that should not happen. Why do you think thats not so with Google in their experience?

                  Maybe I am not expressing myself or theres a divide in understanding what I said about developers and in this case a tag. It is absolutely insane for a company of intelligent programmers to create a tag. promote that tag to be used by millions of webmasters and secretly not use it when using it is so simple. Its a conspiracy theory of epic proportions.

                  Look forward to the test and Kudos for stepping to the plate and getting the domain. Now is just to find competitive enough keywords to target.

                  Incidentally I made it pretty clear in my OP what I was responding to. People HAVE said on this forum that in FACT Dofollow links do work positively not maybe or possibly. This thread wasn't simply initiating the discussion it was in part a reaction to past discussion and thats there in the OP.

                  Have a great weekend.
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          • Profile picture of the author paulgl
            nofollow was invented by google, for google. At the time, they
            had to do something so their algorithm would not get skewed
            by cheaters.

            I would imagine that being competitors of google, bing and
            yahoo coould care less what google does as far as making up
            tags. They must use a different criteria, if not algorithm, or
            all results across the board would be similar. No need to use
            google over bing, bing over google, yahoo or bing, etc.

            I can only guess that bing and yahoo are not going to give
            credence to google's efforts. Doesn't make much sense.

            As far as I'm concerned, the nofollow is for google and google
            only. If bing wants to be set apart, they are not going to be
            a follower, pun intended.

            A lot of us are mixing apples and oranges and bananas.
            We are mixing up traffic with PR with SERPS, and google
            with bing with yahoo.

            A nofollow link would be ignored by google. In a sense, useless.
            But only useless in reality, for raising google PR.

            Paul
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            I'll add one other thing why I don't find it credible that nofollow works for SEO in Google. My experience as a programmer tells me that it is INCREDIBLY simple for a tag to be identified by a program and just as easy for the content of that tag not to be counted in an algorithm.

            Too easy to bluff instead of doing. As a programmer you simply don't promise something so easy to code and not deliver on it. Anecdotal evidence? How many times have we thought a site moved up for this or that reason and then later find it was something else?

            I'll buy into any REAL proof but until then I'll use, recommend others use and provide dofollow links. The evidence is in that those really work.
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  • Profile picture of the author khtm
    It's funny that people assume that Google is publicly honest about their algorithms. There's been lots of tests done that prove exactly the opposite of what Matt Cutts says in his videos.

    I consider Matt Cutts to be about as honest as a professional sports team GM talking about trade prospects
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  • Profile picture of the author Jacob Martus
    I think the burden of proof comes down to the person claiming something is a fact.
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  • Profile picture of the author digidoodles
    Wasn't there someone who was doing an experiment on building no-follow links, strictly?

    If not, I'd be willing to do so.

    Let's collectively strategize the parameters and I'll build it for everyone.

    Deal?

    Warmly,

    Brandi
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
      Originally Posted by digidoodles View Post

      Wasn't there someone who was doing an experiment on building no-follow links, strictly?

      If not, I'd be willing to do so.

      Let's collectively strategize the parameters and I'll build it for everyone.

      Deal?

      Warmly,

      Brandi
      I volunteer. I, in fact, just registered the domain http:/www.nofollowbacklinks.com.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by Tom Goodwin View Post

        I volunteer. I, in fact, just registered the domain http:/www.nofollowbacklinks.com.
        Okay so are we proceeding with this? What will be the parameters, the target keywords and controls. To be reliable all those things need to be on the table. Hopefully we can actually see a real test this time around. Open and verifiable.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    I have a rational proposal to end this discussion. I don't collect no follow links but I'll put up the the site and provide the domain name of our choice. Those of you who use nofollow links can supply the links and we can test it PUBLICLY. This is usually the part where alot of people run away
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  • Profile picture of the author tjcocker
    Great discussion guys and I look forward to this test.

    After much soul-searching I feel I must side with Mike A on this one. I've seen no evidence on my own, or concrete research, to conclude that nofollow links do anything other than show up in backlink checking tools. However, nobody knows exactly how much juice each link is giving, so that's a problem.

    On the other side, I also do not see concrete evidence. What Google "says", what professional SEOers teach, and your own (perhaps scientific, perhaps not) research also does not provide solid, verifiable, evidence. Both sides must present evidence or the entire point is moot, or speculative at best. You can't even make a claim in the science community without replicable research.

    So we're left with what seems logical. Why make nofollow and not implement it?

    Although I do think that with all the complexity of Google's secret ranking algo, why not also make complex levels of nofollow, and also keep it a secret? Just a theory...
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
      Originally Posted by tjcocker View Post

      Great discussion guys and I look forward to this test.

      After much soul-searching I feel I must side with Mike A on this one. I've seen no evidence on my own, or concrete research, to conclude that nofollow links do anything other than show up in backlink checking tools. However, nobody knows exactly how much juice each link is giving, so that's a problem.

      On the other side, I also do not see concrete evidence. What Google "says", what professional SEOers teach, and your own (perhaps scientific, perhaps not) research also does not provide solid, verifiable, evidence. Both sides must present evidence or the entire point is moot, or speculative at best. You can't even make a claim in the science community without replicable research.

      So we're left with what seems logical. Why make nofollow and not implement it?

      Although I do think that with all the complexity of Google's secret ranking algo, why not also make complex levels of nofollow, and also keep it a secret? Just a theory...
      Just to be clear, I also think that nofollow links *likely* do not help SEO or pass link juice. My point of contention is with claiming that it is a "fact" versus someone's opinion. To me, gravity is a "fact", but this is certainly not a "fact" at this point.
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      • Profile picture of the author tjcocker
        Originally Posted by Tom Goodwin View Post

        Just to be clear, I also think that nofollow links *likely* do not help SEO or pass link juice. My point of contention is with claiming that it is a "fact" versus someone's opinion. To me, gravity is a "fact", but this is certainly not a "fact" at this point.
        I agree. I suppose I am also siding with you then.
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        • Profile picture of the author HCLee
          While dofollow backlinks remain the cream of the crop and well sought after, don't forget that nofollow links can help in ranking in Yahoo search engines too. Every bit of search engine traffic counts especially if you have an adsense site when you get very targeted traffic.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by Tom Goodwin View Post

        Just to be clear, I also think that nofollow links *likely* do not help SEO or pass link juice. My point of contention is with claiming that it is a "fact" versus someone's opinion. To me, gravity is a "fact", but this is certainly not a "fact" at this point.
        HI Tom,

        I think I understand the problem. You missed or glossed over this sentence to pick on a particular word. Heres what I said and stand by

        "unless someone can post real data that can be confirmed (by actually showing the data) those be the facts."

        Notice the "unless". IF I were talking about Gravity I wouldn't put an unless and ask people to prove me wrong.

        theres a whole pile of evidence on the side that nofollow does not work. Like I said the factual experience of webmasters, the fact that SEOs who work with compettive rankings see it not working (because almost all sites of any prominence have nofollow links pointing to it), the fact that the company that runs the engine say so (yep thats classifies as a fact too) and the fact of logic that making up tags that are not used isn't done by rational programmers.

        These are not just all "opinions".

        Now if this were a court case then all those wouild be accepted FACTS but then that doesn't mean the other side would lose . They simple need to counteract with facts that show other wise and thats why I've said unless thats put up those are the facts.
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        • Profile picture of the author halfpoint
          Firstly, I am also someone who thinks NoFollow links are not of much SEO benefit, however, a video of a Google employee who doesn't want you to know how their search engine works stating that they are worthless doesn't make it a fact.

          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          "unless someone can post real data that can be confirmed (by actually showing the data) those be the facts."

          Notice the "unless". IF I were talking about Gravity I wouldn't put an unless and ask people to prove me wrong.
          This is the problem people are having with what you're saying, Mike. A Google employee on a video stating that NoFollow links are worthless does not make it so. There is a bit of evidence to suggest so (And again, I don't think they hold much weight), however, it is not a fact.

          Why should someone show you data proving that NoFollow links work? You're the one saying it's a fact that they don't, you show some evidence.

          And no, a video of a Google employee is not evidence.

          There is a 500 pound alien who sits outside your house watching you all day. If you can't show me proof that it doesn't, then it's a fact!! /sarcasm.

          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          If the company that built my car, all the mechanics that work on it and my own experience says that my car runs better on gas than on diesel I'm not going to let anyone try to run it on diesel or claim that i need to prove it runs better on gas and furthermore while I am around I'm going to ask that they put some proof on the table before approaching other people to run their cars that way.
          The fact that you tried to compare that video to a car dealer telling you what fuel is best to run your car on is ridiculous. The guy who sells you the car isn't trying to hide the way the car works.

          Those two situations are not even remotely similar.

          Again, I don't think NoFollow links hold much weight from an SEO perspective, however, it is definitely not a fact.

          The only way we would know for sure is to set up two sites with the exact same content and the exact same on page SEO targeting the same exact keywords.

          We could then send NoFollow profile links at one site, and DoFollow profile links at the other and see how they go. Even still it wouldn't be 100% definitive, however, it would be a good test to get a fair idea.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            Pat do I have to answer the same thing over and over again? Anyone who reads the thread rather than just skipping over it can see I have answered many times the various reasons why Google can be believed on this.

            Not just the video.

            I posted the video because I just saw it on Google (uploaded three days ago I think according to youtube)

            FACT. Programmers do not invent tags, educate the whole internet on how to implement them and then ignore them. Thats totally illogical and I'm out of that conversation. I can't say it any more simply - as a programmer I KNOW this is beyond easy to do. What essentially all those in denial are doing is claiming that Google has some sinister (and totally illogical) reason to create a tag so that it's bots won't follow certain links and then follows them anyway so that it can secretly reward those would be spammers. What was your word again? - Ridiculous

            FACT. webmasters complained last year when Bing was following the nofollow tag. So in MANY webmaster's experience (and not Google video viewing experience either) the nofollow tag is imagine that - not followed.

            FACT. Bing has stated they will fix problems following the tag. Hint their programmers know how to do it too. Are they in on the conspiracy too?

            I'm going to go out an buy a telescope and look out for that 500 pound Alien at least that conspiracy tale has entertainment value.

            P.S. As for testing (Which I am all for and will assist in) can someone tell me how pagerank sculpting which WAS tested would not have revealed that nofollow didn't work? Its no longer a practice in SEO but it was. Just curious how that could have been missed when essentially it was testing the nofollow tag (at least as I understood it).

            Not facts? I'm all about facts my brother. (said with my Jerry Mcguire Tidwell voice)

            Anyway look if I stepped on any of you guys feet because you offer or use nofollow that wasn't my intention. I haven't been keeping track of who sells what or does what. Do I really have to say again that I for one would welcome the news and am open to looking at it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by tjcocker View Post

      Although I do think that with all the complexity of Google's secret ranking algo, why not also make complex levels of nofollow, and also keep it a secret? Just a theory...
      I think because its a spam defeating tool. Basically when the webmaster programs it to be placed there its telling Google - this link could could be spam.

      I could probably see Google saying okay here is a site and even recording the URL but conveying any juice of any kind doesn't make sense to me. Google doesn't want anyone to "spam"the Internet or their results but them (adsense or adwords). All ideas of having uncluttered clean results and web content goes out the door when it comes to them making money ( I mean what single company puts up more clutter than Google and adsense?). So called spam by them is a monetary issue too. If you can rank high for free in their results you didn't need to run an adwords campaign.

      Now if you told me adsense or even running an adwords campaign conveyed seo privileges that would be an interesting test too. That conspiracy theory would at least make alot more sense.
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  • Profile picture of the author HydroJohn
    In my opinion any link is a good link!
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  • Profile picture of the author hotftuna
    What if Google used the percentage of follow/nofollow links to your site in part to determine if you are trying to game the SE's?

    Here is what I mean-

    Let's say that a bit of research shows that 35% of all links are nofollow and 65% are follow. Also sites that have natural inbound have a minimum of 15% nofollow inbounds. (numbers just made-up for example).

    In this case, if your site has only 5% nofollow inbounds, might you be ripe for a slap?
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Hi Mike,

      I have to agree with you on this one, to a point.

      I believe the controversy comes from the tendency that we all have to sometimes over generalize our statements. If you listen to the folks that really know what they are talking about you will usually see that they choose their words very carefully to avoid confusion. However, when other folks try to recall and repeat what they heard from said expert they leave some of those well chosen words out or over-generalize the claim.

      If I were to say "nofollow links offer no direct benefit to ranking on Google" it would be a true statement. However if I were to say "nofollow links offer no SEO benefit" it sounds like I'm saying the same thing, but the second way of saying this is not entirely true. The latter statement implies there is no indirect benefit, yet there is. It also implies that all search engines ignore nofollow links and they don't.

      Not even Google ignores nofollow links totally so you couldn't even say "nofollow links offer no benefit to ranking on Google" since there is a minor benefit in that nofollow links are crawled and followed by their spiders. The pages that the nofollow links are linking to are indexed as a result of the nofollow links. So yes, there is that very minor benefit. So we could say "nofollow links offer no significant benefit to ranking on Google" or "nofollow links offer little benefit to ranking on Google"

      The point is, that while all those true statements might seem to conflict with each other they actually don't. Adding one word or leaving out one word can totally change the meaning and accuracy of the statement. Most confusion arises from people who fail to speak precisely or those who don't listen carefully. With that point in mind let me state my opinion on nofollow links:

      Nofollow links are not worthless, they are good for:
      • Getting indexed on Google
      • Direct targeted traffic
      • Ranking on search engines other than Google
      • Attracting organic backlinks (which indirectly helps us to rank on Google)

      And yes it's true that nofollow links do not pass PR, but more importantly is that nofollow links do not pass anchortext value which is the essential and primary benefit of building links to optimize for your targeted keyword in Google's SERP.

      By the way, "anchortext value" is not the same thing as "anchor text", but that's another topic for discussion.
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    • Profile picture of the author Boris_yo
      1. Why we were told by Google that "nofollow" link is worthless? To prevent spamming right? But in reality it can be that "nofollow" links still are good, it is just that Google don't want us to exploit them.

      2. Of what consists regular link? In my opinion it consists of 4 factors:
      • TrustRank
      • Authority
      • Link Juice
      • Just counted as link
      If link has "nofollow" attribute, then all first 3 factors get ignored and link becomes a link. But it still is a factor right? What i think of that link is it is still worth pursuing, as it still counts as link and still votes.

      3. On the contrary, what if a "nofollow" link that points to specific site just tells that this site is a spam? And what if that site loses first 3 factors i told above? Or what if it loses all 4 factors?

      What do you people think of the above statements?
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Those two situations are not even remotely similar.
    Umm. We'll disagree on that too. My car manufacturers have never been open in telling me how my engine works. I learned alot of that myself and through family members. I do not accept that Google is hiding anything in regard to a tag that it has told millions of webmasters how to use to combat spam which it hates.

    The fact that they hide somethings does not logical equate to them hiding everything

    They say relevant content works - and it does
    they say backlinks work - and they do
    They talk about Semantic indexing - and yeah it works

    But of course there is always somethings different about analogy - thats why its just an analogy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brendan Mace
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post


      The fact that they hide somethings does not logical equate to them hiding everything
      Yeah... but the fact that they hide something does logically mean that they could be hiding this

      Like the others have mentioned before, 'nofollow' links are probably worthless for directly improving your websites ranking.

      None of your arguments supply any proof that nofollow links are worthless... I'm still waiting.

      1. a google employee says the are (LOL)

      - I'm not going to touch this one

      2. Nobody has any evidence that they have value

      - This certainly does not prove anything. See the counter-argument about the 500 pound alien above. Was quite funny.

      I'll also add the cliche nobody knew the world was round. before 1492 many peeps could say the world is flat... nobody had any proof that it wasn't.

      3. I have programming experience, and this would be easy to implement

      - yes, I don't think anyone is arguing that google is incapable of making 'nofollow' links worthless. Whether they do is a whole 'nother topic.

      the fact that you could do this, does not mean that google does it (or even chooses to do it)

      There's quite a few benefits to a backlink. ie. page rank, anchor text reputation, link juice, etc.

      Does google negate all of those benefits?

      There's a good chance that they do, but there's nothing in this thread that provides any substantial evidence.... and no, Matt Cutts does not count.

      As someone also mentioned earlier, g-bot still crawls 'nofollow' links. So at the very least, a 'nofollow' link can improve indexing.

      SUGGESTION

      For the case study... someone mentioned that creating identical sites - one with 'dofollow' and one with 'nofollow' would be the way to test this. Wouldn't it be better to have to sites - one with 'zero links' and one with 'nofollow links' and see if there's any noticeable difference.

      That way, if 'nofollow' are devalued (But still have some value) there would be a tangible difference between the two sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author webeserve
    I think that google is trying to confuse us
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    • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
      Originally Posted by webeserve View Post

      I think that google is trying to confuse us
      Ya think?

      I try not to worry too much about what Google is doing. And I'm pretty sure Matt Cutts is a cyborg created by Google meant to confuse us.

      We can get into these huge discussions on what works, what doesn't work, the latest scary Google update, etc. But really, it all boils down to:

      1. Creating 100% unique content that is optimized for the keywords you're targeting.

      2. Ensuring that your competition is not impossible to outrank without a giant budget. In other words, do proper keyword research before launching a website.

      3. Diversifying your backlinks. Nofollow, Dofollow. Whatever. Just get as many decent backlinks as possible. You can even reverse engineer the backlinks of your competition if you don't know where to begin.

      That's pretty much it really. Even though it seems like I'm oversimplifying things.
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  • SERP's are mainly concentrating do-follow links. I even do not consider no-follow links but they are best to get traffic. People are only looking for comments when they post away in blogs or in social networking sites but they do not know how much a quality post can benefit them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim45
    Where's The "Hair"??? I almost didn't recognize Matt with his head shaved!

    Okay, now on to the reason I came here. Matt is right, we need to take the blinders off and think outside the box. When ever I do research, I automatically check to see who is linking to who or is it whom? We'll save that for another discussion. It's my nature to be curious about such things to learn all I can. So if I do it, you can bet there are thousands more IM doing the same thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author deaddogdesign
    Stop ignoring nofollow links! Google is not the only search engine. Honestly, I just don't worry about nofollow links anymore ! SERIOUSLY!
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  • Profile picture of the author chooch
    It looks like Google is changing their algorithms again this month. So I guess everyone will be scrambling to keep whatever page rank they have now. And this is going to be a moot point. Because we will have to figure out what to do to counter their changes to continue climbing up the charts.
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  • Profile picture of the author warehouselarry
    If Google is REALLY concerned about relevancy then it should ignore the "nofollow" tag altogether. Most places where people link to things they truly care about are "nofollow" links - i.e. social networks - These are the most honest votes you can find for a website. I dare say the "nofollow" will soon be a thing of the past as Google starts caring more what people really think about a website and not whether the webmaster has made the link nofollow.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I love threads like this

    Trust me on this, a wiki nofollow is worthwhile!

    Test the links, & you'll see...
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  • If you just make your focus the creation of compelling content, you never have to chase links in your life. Never.

    3 years ago we started a niche blog in the finance industry, and as you know the competition is STIFF. For an experiment we only wrote content - allot of content, including videos, tables, calculations, and a min of 1000 words per post. Some post over 2500 words. Never linked that site ONCE. We only got links from others deciding to link to us. Then we had a couple of news magazines link to one of our articles.

    It's now 3 years and 3 months since that blog launched and it's now making over $3500 month in Adsense revenue and over $3000 in affiliate commissions per month.

    We have other blogs that are linked like crazy, article marketed like crazy, etc. etc. Guess what - it doesn't even come close to being a real earner.

    This comment will get buried deep into the Warrior Forum now and no-one will take notice, but it's not often mentioned here. YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A LINK CHASER. Sure, it can help, but only if the content is steller.
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  • Profile picture of the author musicaltouch
    I have personally tested this theory and No-follow links do increase your SEO standings if the link comes from an authority source. For example if yo get a link from the chamber of commerce in your town, it will be no-follow but will help your local and nation search campaigns.

    Remember Google wants to see a natural linking pattern which should include no-follow links, and follow attribute links. Of course follow pass more page juice, but No follow links do help if they are form any authority site.

    You can also test this by running a back link checker on your site- you will see register No follow links.

    Plus like mention in the video, they do provide traffic if the site has traffic and the link gets clicked.
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    • Originally Posted by musicaltouch View Post


      You can also test this by running a back link checker on your site- you will see register No follow links.
      Yahoo! siteexplorer back checker confirms as many have mentioned here.....Yahoo! and Bing look to be counting nofollow links.

      I notice that if we get a high PR link (or cluster of them) Yahoo! and Bing respond faster than Google. Google will reward too, but it seems to take longer for the links to take an affect.
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  • Profile picture of the author peanutspro
    When I do blog commenting I ignore whether they are nofollow or not, because my experience is that they've helped my serp position either way. Google wants "natural" links right? Natural links do not care if they are followed or not by Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author jerytohn
    What do they know?
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  • Profile picture of the author Majon
    In my experience still no follow links are adding some value for a web site direct and indirect way. We can take here by traffic as well.
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  • My experience has taught me that nofollow backlinks are not useless & do count, especially if they're on a .edu or .gov domain, as this will help to establish trust for your website.
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by strategic seo services View Post

      My experience has taught me that nofollow backlinks are not useless & do count, especially if they're on a .edu or .gov domain, as this will help to establish trust for your website.
      Hi strategic,

      Yes, as the OP suggested, and Matt Cutts expressed in that video, nofollow backlinks are not always worthless. What Matt said is that they are dropped from the link graph, so that specifically implies there is no direct benefit in Google's algorithm.

      That of course leaves us with the possibility of an indirect benefit, which is possibly if, and only if, there is user traffic to the page where the link is placed.
      • Nofollow + No Traffic = No direct or indirect Google SEO benefit.
      • Nofollow + Targeted traffic = No direct Google SEO benefit, but potential indirect SEO Benefit as well as direct traffic benefit.

      In both cases there is always the SEO benefit outside the scope of Google (other search engines).

      The problem arises when we overgeneralize the specific facts about the Nofollow backlinks. Saying that they are completely worthless is an over-generalization that simply isn't true. Likewise, saying all links are valuable isn't true either.

      Perhaps a better way to look at backlink value would be based on the amount of targeted traffic. All links with keyword targeted traffic have value that roughly tracks with the amount of targeted traffic. And Nofollow backlinks have a lesser degree of value at Google, but are still valuable to the degree of targeted traffic from that page.

      As to your claim of SEO value based on domain extension, that has been debunked by every credible source within the industry. I'm sure your claim has little to do with your signature link, right?
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  • Profile picture of the author asphotographymk
    No matter how many times they say that nofollow makes 0 diffrence i still find it hard to believe.
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  • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
    Listening to Google talk to Us about how their algorithm works is like the US government listening to Al Qaeda tell them where they plan to attack next. You can listen to them...but I don't know that I would trust them just because they said so
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  • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Rotzee
    We have seen over 100 examples of ranking a page with zero d0follow links over the past two weeks.

    Someone in THIS forum has a “special offer” ebook (Offline Video Bazooka Explosion if you care to Google) shows a way to rank a video to the home page in literally 20 minutes. This technique has you uploading a video and building $15 worth of blog comments from our service and less than an hour later you can be on page 1. Anyway, in probably 90% of these cases these links are ALL nofollowed comments.

    We do this every day for our own clients as well, but we generally mix in some d0follow for good measure. But it’s very easy to do.

    Indexing is not needed to rank. And you can rank without being indexed. Indexing is just a number you can measure easily that refers to how important Google thinks your backlinks are.
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  • Profile picture of the author cheesee
    How did I reach the 8th page in google for "webmaster forums" just by building backlinks on no follow forums. No follow links are not useless..
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Originally Posted by cheesee View Post

      How did I reach the 8th page in google for "webmaster forums" just by building backlinks on no follow forums. No follow links are not useless..

      Hi cheesee,

      LOL, 8th page?

      8th page isn't the 1st page, it can't be worth that much, can it? Besides, you seem to have plenty of dofollow anchortext links. Obviously, you are being facetious, right?
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    • Profile picture of the author MrWonton
      Originally Posted by cheesee View Post

      How did I reach the 8th page in google for "webmaster forums" just by building backlinks on no follow forums.
      This makes me not want to build nofollow links
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOEnlightenment
    First rule of SEO is that if Google "confirms" something (especially Matt Cutts) then it probably means the opposite is true!

    Lol
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    Then again...there's always PPC ;)

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