If Google encourages "nofollow", what will happen to PageRank?

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Hello,

I am putting myself this question several times, but this is the first time when I ask it at a forum: what do you think will happen to the PageRank system if Google encourages "nofollow" outbound linking?

I know we say, "PageRank is not that important" and "it's not the most important factor"... but it still is an important indicator. We can't just forget about it, we do give it a lot of attention and will - even in 2013...

So, if Google encourages using "nofollow" for outbound links and even shallow content and no content internal links - then what future do you give to the PageRank system?

"Nofollow" does not allow flow of PageRank. And slowly slowly the vast majority of sites are starting to be afraid to point to others otherwise than through "nofollow"... in fact Google allegedly asked Wikipedia to turn their outbound links to "nofollow"...

Clearly things are inclining to the favor of "nofollow". There will slowly be very few "do follow" PageRank flow-permitting links between individual websites.
Slowly we will only be keeping "do follow" to our own internal pages.

What do you think? Something is about to happen...

Potential scenarios that I can imagine...

1) PageRank is measured differently today and perhaps, slowly it's going to become an on-site (internal) indicator for quality? (As the tendency shows that it flows easier internally than between sites...)... it might become, kind-of-a "domestic indicator"?
2) Could it be that Google is killing the PageRank system?
3) Could it be that in fact slowly Google will pay more attention to "nofollow" links that don't pass PageRank? Because: "nofollow" are more natural, whilst the "do follow" might attract suspicion of manipulating the PageRank system - otherwise said that most natural links will be "nofollow" links... and perhaps you might want to have tons of editorial "nofollow" links, despite them not passing PR, Google might give them an invisible credibility...

Other opinions?
#encourages #google #happen #nofollow #pagerank
  • Profile picture of the author gabibeowulf
    I believe you're quoting from somewhere out of the context. Google does not encourage "nofollow" unless it's in places where users or people can somehow game it in order to gain google rankings.

    That's the case of Wordpress comments. They used to be dofollow and I personally believe due to Google influence, Wordpress made them nofollow by default.

    Nofollow should also be used on sections of the site that make sense for the users, but not for the search engine such as categories, tags .. that create unnecessary duplicate content in your site.

    That's what Google encourages, not a web full of nofollow links.

    There's only one "natural profile"... and it has nothing to do with nofollow-dofollow ratio, or other easy to manipulate metrics.

    - Gabriel
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    • Profile picture of the author shipwrecked
      Originally Posted by gabibeowulf View Post

      I believe you're quoting from somewhere out of the context. Google does not encourage "nofollow" unless it's in places where users or people can somehow game it in order to gain google rankings.

      That's the case of Wordpress comments. They used to be dofollow and I personally believe due to Google influence, Wordpress made them nofollow by default.

      Nofollow should also be used on sections of the site that make sense for the users, but not for the search engine such as categories, tags .. that create unnecessary duplicate content in your site.

      That's what Google encourages, not a web full of nofollow links.

      There's only one "natural profile"... and it has nothing to do with nofollow-dofollow ratio, or other easy to manipulate metrics.

      - Gabriel
      No, I'm not quoting anyone, these are my own ideas.
      Yes, Google does actually ask us to use "nofollow" - that is in a way "encouragement" of its use.

      But if you are paying a bit more attention, then you will see indeed "a web full of nofollow links". It's a tendency. It is happening, "nofollow" is spreading for comment links, for outbound links (Google does tell us not to use "do follow" for linking to other sites, otherwise they will consider it PR system manipulation).

      I said "nofollow" looks more natural, because they are placed for the sake of reference, not in order to manipulate PageRank. So otherwise said, if a link is natural, it's more likely to be "nofollow". While those manipulating the system will try acquiring as much "dofollow" as possible.
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      • Profile picture of the author retsek
        Originally Posted by shipwrecked View Post

        No, I'm not quoting anyone, these are my own ideas.
        Yes, Google does actually ask us to use "nofollow" - that is in a way "encouragement" of its use.

        But if you are paying a bit more attention, then you will see indeed "a web full of nofollow links". It's a tendency. It is happening, "nofollow" is spreading for comment links, for outbound links (Google does tell us not to use "do follow" for linking to other sites, otherwise they will consider it PR system manipulation).

        I said "nofollow" looks more natural, because they are placed for the sake of reference, not in order to manipulate PageRank. So otherwise said, if a link is natural, it's more likely to be "nofollow". While those manipulating the system will try acquiring as much "dofollow" as possible.
        Google isn't encouraging the use of nofollow. A well edited and maintained resource like Wikipedia using nofollow on sources of their information isn't what Google intended. That goes against the whole point of Google's link system. But Wiki does it because it helps them to deter spammers.

        They say specifically to use nofollow on untrusted content, links that were paid for, and for preventing Googlebot from crawling useless pages.

        Even with those recommendations and abuse by sites like Wikipedia, the use of nofollow has been limited to single digit percentages on the whole world wide web.

        So you cannot say "nofollow looks more natural". It's quite the opposite.
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        • Profile picture of the author kimseo
          Originally Posted by retsek View Post

          Google isn't encouraging the use of nofollow. A well edited and maintained resource like Wikipedia using nofollow on sources of their information isn't what Google intended. That goes against the whole point of Google's link system. But Wiki does it because it helps them to deter spammers.

          They say specifically to use nofollow on untrusted content, links that were paid for, and for preventing Googlebot from crawling useless pages.

          Even with those recommendations and abuse by sites like Wikipedia, the use of nofollow has been limited to single digit percentages on the whole world wide web.

          So you cannot say "nofollow looks more natural". It's quite the opposite.

          Google always encourages natural links, Not nofollow links. It's obvious that noone can have 100% dofollow links if he/she earning links naturally
          So they like to see both dofollow and nofollow in your overall link count
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  • Profile picture of the author shipwrecked
    ...seems like none of you watch Matt Cutts enough and you don't read Google's policies enough...

    Quite often they state that sites should point with "nofollow" to other sites.
    So I believe slowly everyone will start pointing out with "nofollow". Getting or giving "do follow" links will happen harder and slower... so I see a tendency towards "nofollow"...
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    • Profile picture of the author retsek
      Originally Posted by shipwrecked View Post

      ...seems like none of you watch Matt Cutts enough and you don't read Google's policies enough...

      Quite often they state that sites should point with "nofollow" to other sites.
      So I believe slowly everyone will start pointing out with "nofollow". Getting or giving "do follow" links will happen harder and slower... so I see a tendency towards "nofollow"...
      You only see a tendency towards nofollow because of many of the easy link sources know they are easy targets, so they slap on nofollow on all user-generated content (as they should).

      Lift your efforts beyond blog and forum comments and you'll see it different.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by shipwrecked View Post

        ...seems like none of you watch Matt Cutts enough and you don't read Google's policies enough...

        Quite often they state that sites should point with "nofollow" to other sites.
        So I believe slowly everyone will start pointing out with "nofollow". Getting or giving "do follow" links will happen harder and slower... so I see a tendency towards "nofollow"...

        They have been talking about that for about 8 years now. It never really caught on. It's nothing new.
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        • Profile picture of the author Boricua
          So, if Google encourages using "nofollow" for outbound links and even shallow content and no content internal links - then what future do you give to the PageRank system?
          As far as my tests on my sites and clients, pagerank has proven to be worthless as I've quite a few of my sites and clients site with money pages ranking in the #3/#5 spot and both my clients and my sites have less page rank. Through the years page rank has become more and more insignificant for ranking factors, I only use it to get IDEAS of the top 10 rankings difficulty..and yet the PR must be consistent to even consider it as on many sites go down on next updates.

          And indeed, I am with you here, Google encourages "no-follow" plainly on the simple, yet their seductive remark of "user experience" even if it might be plain B.S to some of us as their algo updates will vary big time depending on their %stock%!
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      Originally Posted by shipwrecked View Post

      ...seems like none of you watch Matt Cutts enough and you don't read Google's policies enough...
      Seems that you do not read what google publishes. They say no such thing.
      Nofollow is for links you cannot vouch for, or are selling for PR purposes.
      That's it. It's to combat link spam and to combat shmoozing PR. If you
      do those 2 things on your site, your PR may, (emphasis on MAY)
      suffer.

      I seriously think you need to read. You state in another thread that
      Cutts said penalties expire. Fat chance that will happen, and no
      way would he ever say that.

      The truth is out there. Spend some time reading.

      There is no such animal as "do follow."

      Google has never said to use nofollow on all outbound links.
      That's just crazy to even think that.

      You think the WF suffers because of all the outbound links
      without nofollow? Hardly.

      Google strongly encourages any site that lets the public place
      links to use nofollow. That has nothing to do with normal
      linkbuilding.

      Seriously. If you are fretting over nofollow and your PR, man,
      you are linking on the wrong places.

      Originally Posted by STLSEO View Post

      I don't think Google ever encouraged the use of nofollow links. They did however say that nofollow links do provide some benefit, just not a ranking benefit (whatever that means).
      That's just more nonsense. Google DOES encourage it. On well-defined
      instances,
      if people will just read. Of course google encourages THAT.
      It's their baby. Nofollow is a google "product."

      Nofollow links provide a cushion to the webmaster. In theory. But it
      all falls flat anyway. Google has not been able to combat spam.
      If your site is filled with nofollow links, then you are allowing
      a lot of spam-untrusted-links to be posted. That's just crazy.

      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author STLSEO
    I don't think Google ever encouraged the use of nofollow links. They did however say that nofollow links do provide some benefit, just not a ranking benefit (whatever that means).

    Pagerank will always be a factor in the SEO world. No matter what Google says.
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  • Profile picture of the author shipwrecked
    There is no such animal as "do follow."
    Sure there is: any link that is not rel="nofollow" is considered that. Even though not written explicitly, it is often called like that.

    You state in another thread that
    Cutts said penalties expire. Fat chance that will happen, and no
    way would he ever say that.
    Here's Matt Cutts talking about algorithms expiring.
    When are penalties lifted? - YouTube
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  • Profile picture of the author realseowarrior
    I tried to make my links nofollow by adding rel="nofollow" to each link but found it cumbersome.
    I then tried to find a wordpress plugin that makes all outgoing links nofollow automatically but no success. Finally i decided that it was better not wasting my time doing nofollow.
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