Google's Matt Cutts: Yes-NO FOLLOW links can hurt you ... sometimes

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Interesting pronouncement from Matt Cutts.

#cutts #follow #google #helping #hmmm #hurt #impact #links #matt #nofollow #positive #seo #worried #yesno
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    We already knew manual actions/reviews can drop a page in the SERPs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hossain
    Watch this video...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=QSEqypgIJME


    Matt said Nofollow links will not hurt webpages unless someone doing mass spamming at a huge scale. Now the question is even though Google is not counting Nofollow links for ranking according to Matt himself then why he is worried about nofollow links?


    Something fishy... :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author CyberAlien
      Well if you have a ton of spammy nofollow links, their system probably assumes that your dofollow links are spammy as well...
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      • Profile picture of the author webdevpro
        Originally Posted by Chase Watts View Post

        Well if you have a ton of spammy nofollow links, their system probably assumes that your dofollow links are spammy as well...
        True. As building tons of spammy link portray one's unethical behavior in link building and also overcome the real good links.
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    • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
      Or, perhaps, NoFollow links DO carry some weight? I've never totally bought into the nofollow vs. dofollow hype. I've always kind of thought that NF links do carry some weight. Just my personal opinion.
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      • Profile picture of the author Hossain
        Originally Posted by JSProjects View Post

        Or, perhaps, NoFollow links DO carry some weight? I've never totally bought into the nofollow vs. dofollow hype. I've always kind of thought that NF links do carry some weight. Just my personal opinion.
        There are already tons of threads made on nofollow and dofollow issue. I personally didn't make any experiment on it. But I can share one experience. I usually start backlinking campaigns with nofollow links. And as Matt said nofollow links will not help in ranking so I occasionally use anchor texts on nofollow backlinks. In this way I use nofollow backlinks to give natural tone to my backlinks. I assume this method is working as I never got any love letter from google saying "Unnatural links detected". However just few months ago I started a campaign for an Australian website (.au domain) and I started with nofollow backlinks as usual. But after just 1 day of working my VA left the job, concentrated on other projects which were more valuable for me. Well after 2 weeks I instructed him to restart working on the Australian domain and just for curiosity I checked ranks for the keyword we built nofollow backlinks. Really astonishing! I saw the site was ranking on #7 depending on solely nofollow backlinks! Then I instructed my VA to stop working again. I monitored rank during next 1 week or so. The site was slightly fluctuating between #5 - #8 positions. However after it my VA removed all nofollow backlinks and within 3 days the site again went back to #27. At this moment this site is on #1 for the keywords which is pretty low competitive though. But what it indicates?

        Well I am planning to start another experiment on this issue soon. Unfortunately I am the laziest man among you. Otherwise after listening to Matt now I am more skeptical than before.
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        • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
          Originally Posted by Hossain View Post

          There are already tons of threads made on nofollow and dofollow issue. I personally didn't make any experiment on it. But I can share one experience. I usually start backlinking campaigns with nofollow links. And as Matt said nofollow links will not help in ranking so I occasionally use anchor texts on nofollow backlinks. In this way I use nofollow backlinks to give natural tone to my backlinks. I assume this method is working as I never got any love letter from google saying "Unnatural links detected". However just few months ago I started a campaign for an Australian website (.au domain) and I started with nofollow backlinks as usual. But after just 1 day of working my VA left the job, concentrated on other projects which were more valuable for me. Well after 2 weeks I instructed him to restart working on the Australian domain and just for curiosity I checked ranks for the keyword we built nofollow backlinks. Really astonishing! I saw the site was ranking on #7 depending on solely nofollow backlinks! Then I instructed my VA to stop working again. I monitored rank during next 1 week or so. The site was slightly fluctuating between #5 - #8 positions. However after it my VA removed all nofollow backlinks and within 3 days the site again went back to #27. At this moment this site is on #1 for the keywords which is pretty low competitive though. But what it indicates?

          Well I am planning to start another experiment on this issue soon. Unfortunately I am the laziest man among you. Otherwise after listening to Matt now I am more skeptical than before.
          It indicates that it's pretty easy to bounce all around the SERPS and have no idea why. I've had plenty of sites quietly and consistently move their way up in the rankings. While others have bounced all over the place. Similar link profiles & competition. That's just the way it is.
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        • Profile picture of the author Swaran Jit
          Create a big confusion here between nofollow and dofollow
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    • Profile picture of the author godoveryou
      I see through Matt's video's pretty easily.
      • My last blog past was essentially motivated to call him out on small sites.
      • My last tweet was again, calling him out for content processing.
      I find it much harder to guess at the motivation behind the no-follow video.

      I rarely give Matt credit for doing many videos that might be honest or legitimate. Of all the videos he's put out, this is not really the one I'd pick to try to call him out on.

      Is there something that you are suggesting?
      • If it's that no-follow links are counted, well yes that's been known.
      • If it's that you can rank a site based purely on no-follow link spam - that's also been shown to be true in the past.
      But what is it that you are getting at? I'm curious to understand your motivation for the post.
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      • Profile picture of the author Hossain
        Originally Posted by godoveryou View Post

        • If it's that no-follow links are counted, well yes that's been known.
        • If it's that you can rank a site based purely on no-follow link spam - that's also been shown to be true in the past.
        But what is it that you are getting at? I'm curious to understand your motivation for the post.
        "Nofollow links are working" like you thousands of SEOs here will claim that. But proof behind this type of claims are really rare. I myself noticed nofollows are working. But not 100% ensured. So in near future I might try to rank a page for medium competitive keyword solely using nofollow links. And the encouragement I got from the video that I was referring to. Reason to open a thread indicating the video is Once upon Matt denied ranking power of Nofollow links and now he is saying Google even would pas time to do manual review on a site which is using large scale of nofollow links! What it indicates? In other words Matt is acknowledging nofollow links carry some value in ranking game.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by Hossain View Post

      Watch this video...
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=QSEqypgIJME


      Matt said Nofollow links will not hurt webpages unless someone doing mass spamming at a huge scale.
      Your confused about the video.

      Matt was talking about taking manual action when he mentioned the spam page/links. He wasn't talking about any algo. hurting a spam page/link because of nofollow.

      Really not sure how you could miss that manual vs. algo. part considering Matt pretty much said it multiple times in a short video.
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      • Profile picture of the author Hossain
        Originally Posted by yukon View Post

        Your confused about the video.

        Matt was talking about taking manual action when he mentioned the spam page/links. He wasn't talking about any algo. hurting a spam page/link because of nofollow.

        Really not sure how you could miss that manual vs. algo. part considering Matt pretty much said it multiple times in a short video.
        Yukon, I might couldn't explain what made me Incredulous! I noticed "manual vs. algo. par". But the question is if I do build 10K nofollow backlinks to my site why google is going to send manual reviewers to waste their time on my site as the Algo will totally ignore nofollow links? Don't you think Google needs to pay its employee? Am I making it clear now?
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
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          Originally Posted by Hossain View Post

          Yukon, I might couldn't explain what made me Incredulous! I noticed "manual vs. algo. par". But the question is if I do build 10K nofollow backlinks to my site why google is going to send manual reviewers to waste their time on my site as the Algo will totally ignore nofollow links? Don't you think Google needs to pay its employee? Am I making it clear now?
          The example Matt gave in the video was based on people filing complaints against a link spammer.

          It doesn't matter If you had 10K nofollow links, what matters is, are people/webmasters flagging your spam links & reporting them to Google. Nofollow links are irrelevant in that manual action Matt mentioned in the video.

          Again, the example was based on people filing complaints against spam links in general, doesn't matter how those spam links are coded as far as the video goes.

          Google isn't sending Google employees out looking for your 10K links, they're more likely to be reading spam reports filed by webmasters, etc... & then following up on those leads pointing to spammers/links/sites (manual review).

          With that being said, don't spam links.
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  • Profile picture of the author godoveryou
    Bare in mind, I specifically said:
    shown to be true in the past
    I confirmed it about 3 years ago. What happens today could be extremely different due to how link spam has changed overall.

    Unfortunately, I think you are 6 months too late to really test it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by godoveryou View Post

      I confirmed it about 3 years ago. What happens today could be extremely different due to how link spam has changed overall.

      Unfortunately, I think you are 6 months too late to really test it.
      Did you publish it? because I would love to read it because yes I am skeptical . I have read too many anecdotal references over the last four years that claimed to have proved it and then when looked at closely just fell apart (or the persons stating it never produced any evidence whatsoever) .

      With deference to both you and Nik0 you can rank a site with no links and I have never ever seen a study that showed they isolated other factors and never in anything but a drop dead weak serp.

      It remains to me this day a great conspiracy theory and theres not one of those that doesn't claim to have proved their case either.
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      • Profile picture of the author nik0
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        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        Did you publish it? because I would love to read it because yes I am skeptical . I have read too many anecdotal references over the last four years that claimed to have proved it and then when looked at closely just fell apart (or the persons stating it never produced any evidence whatsoever) .

        With deference to both you and Nik0 you can rank a site with no links and I have never ever seen a study that showed they isolated other factors and never in anything but a drop dead weak serp.

        It remains to me this day a great conspiracy theory and theres not one of those that doesn't claim to have proved their case either.
        I don't have any hard proof of it but some members at FCS said that it definitely works, and those seem to be legit people who don't make up stuff.

        I can tell you one thing though:

        2 years ago I setup an Adsense site and nofollowed all the internal links to a certain page, that page didn't receive any external links.

        The result: This page didn't get indexed for months.

        After 3 months I was tired of waiting and dofollowed the internal links pointing at that page and it got indexed within a day. (It was a html site so no annoying Wordpress things that influence stuff).
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

          I don't have any hard proof of it but some members at FCS said that it definitely works, and those seem to be legit people who don't make up stuff.
          Its hardly that anyone makes it up its just that its easy to confuse correlation with causation. I see some of my old sites jump 20-50 spots with me doing nothing all the time. If I was making nofollow links I would swear it was the links and I would be wrong.
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  • Profile picture of the author nik0
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    Whether they work or not, Google doesn't like spamming so will punish you for that.

    Nofollow links do work though but that's no secret, they are just a lot less effective.
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalclaz
    A few days ago, Matt Cutts explained that nofollow links could penalise a website's ranking in the case of massive spamming. It's interesting because it shows that these links aren't always ignored.

    This would revive the debate on the real impact of nofollow links. Do you think that on the contrary, nofollow links can have a positive effect on ranking? What do you think?

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    • Profile picture of the author A S M
      Naturally, your site should have nofollow links since not everybody allows dofollow. With that said, I don't think it gives you any benefit with ranking, instead it offers you diversity in your linking strategy so it will look natural in Googles eyes.
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    • Profile picture of the author johnben1444
      No follow links has never been ignored.

      It can contribute positively and negatively to your ranking..
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by digitalclaz View Post

      A few days ago, Matt Cutts explained that nofollow links could penalise a website's ranking in the case of massive spamming. It's interesting because it shows that these links aren't always ignored.

      This would revive the debate on the real impact of nofollow links. Do you think that on the contrary, nofollow links can have a positive effect on ranking? What do you think?

      Can nofollow links hurt my site's ranking? - YouTube
      Again..., watch the video, Matt never said a nofollow tag can hurt spammed links or any links for that matter.

      He was talking about spam links being reported by people, not an algo. The nofollow tag was completely irrelevant for the part of the video that talks about spam. A manual review of a complaint filed by a webmaster doesn't matter how you code the links, nofollow, followed, javascript, flash, whatever...
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    I feel like I'm the only one that watched the video, lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author A S M
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I feel like I'm the only one that watched the video, lol.
      you wish !!!! i watched too! twice!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I feel like I'm the only one that watched the video, lol.

      No you are not and these thread responses are totally ridiculous. Some people just need to sit down with a good novel and work out their love of conspiracy theories. For SEO the whole nofollow "hmmm might really work" is right up there with JFK conspiracy theories (yeah they invented it so as to not follow it but hey secretly they follow it :rolleyes but to take that video where Matt states it is NOT going to count unless you are spam reported (I MEAN HE ACTUALLY STATES- SPAM REPORTED :rolleyes: which is a MANUAL action) is just like twilight zone to ignore.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    Well if you have a ton of spammy nofollow links, their system probably assumes that your dofollow links are spammy as well.
    Please don't talk about assuming here, Google policies and What matt cutts says differ sometimes. What to do in this situation
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  • Profile picture of the author webprogramzone
    Great man! I am watching this video. I think people are more concentrating on balancing some extent of nofollow links and some dofollow. This video is some what more encouraging for individuals who are attempting their best to make their link profile looks organic.
    Possibly they might not use Nofollow links as straight ranking factor; however I am sure that Nofollow links send signs hinging upon the connection of the content on the linking page. Obviously, this is tentative, however as marketers are utilizing Nofollow links at an ever increasing amount, Google will finally need to confirm the weight of the aforementioned Nofollow links whether it is positive or negative with respect to the interfaced source. In the event that the whole web actualized Nofollow links, how might Google utilize these links to help confirm genuine rankings?
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  • Profile picture of the author LiftMyRank
    I've seen a test of a new domain getting only no-follow links on de-indexed domains and it still ranks, go figure....
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  • Profile picture of the author Stefan Shields
    I have had enough of listening to what anybody has to say about SEO.

    It is like religion.

    Everybody has different opinions on it and Cutts is the Pope, feeding his followers endless words that I've had enough of listening to.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Maguire
    So?.......

    Google search team all sat around a table one day...

    Said lets make no-follow links not passing any flow

    OK we could code it into our algo in about 10 seconds.

    OR

    If we just say it enough times they might believe it.

    YEAH...Lets go with the belief play.
    People are real strong on beliefs and I don't feel like coding today, I have a dentist appointment at 3pm.

    Oh hold on...that's my dream...is it a dream?....are those my shoes?

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  • Good thread here. No follow links would not hurt and I think it is still considered as a factor for ranking. Like some comments here said: What Google is saying is you have to get away from 'automated' backlinking strategies or strategies that would create 'unnatural' links created purely for SEO purposes.

    It is quite interesting to know that there are some who claimed that they are still ranking on top pages for no follow links. While this may be true in some ways, I think that it's more safe to just build links to quality, related sites and collect as much do follow links as possible. It would also help if your backlinks are from good content, which makes it more natural to Google's eyes.
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  • Profile picture of the author GyuMan82
    Please stop hanging on every word this guy says.

    You know what works, so just go out and carry on as usual.
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  • Profile picture of the author joann111
    still can not see result of follow and non follow difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author StillSEO
    I would like to say one thing & one thing only.. "Diversification with Quality"
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  • Profile picture of the author aceriker
    Try to avoid no follow links ,Matt Cutts never encouraged these type it never improve visibility and ranking in serp's
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