Glossary keyword - Nofollow

Nofollow

Nofollow is an attribute that can be attached to the ‘rel’ value of an HTML ‘a’ element. In order to inform search engines that a particular hyperlink should not influence the target link during indexing. Basically, nofollow helps reduce certain kinds of digital advertising. Because Google’s search algorithm relies on the number of links pointing to a website. With this information, search systems are able to order search results according to relevance to the search queries. Originally, the nofollow link was intended to stop spam comments in blogs. This was introduced in early 2005 in an attempt to curb the effects of comment spam on the entire blogging community.

Uses of Nofollow

The nofollow links of a webpage are generally not considered for crawling, indexing and ranking purposes. Google made an announcement of this fact back in early 2005. In this announcement, the tech giant stated that hyperlinks with rel=”nofollow” would have no bearing on link target’s PageRank. In addition to Google, other search engines like Bing and Yahoo take the nofollow attribute into consideration. However, search engine optimization experts began to use the nofollow attribute to manipulate PageRank within a website. A practice referred to as “Link sculpting.” Nevertheless, Google has rectified this error. Now, any pages with nofollow tags reduce the PageRank of the page it passes on.

Google’s Point of View

Search engines have tried to change the purpose of the nofollow attributes. Google suggested using nofollow as a means of disclosing paid links. Such links would serve as machine-readable disclosure to search engines. Thereby, enabling them to prevent these links from getting credit in search engine results. In essence paid links is a black hat SEO practice from Google’s point of view. Due to the fact that they do not guarantee high authority links from sources relevant to the buyer’s industry or niche market.

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