Google's War on Link Building and the NoFollow Attribute
 by Casey Markee

Google's War on Link Building and the NoFollow Attribute

  • Now that Google has put the kibosh on guest blogging our clients have been contacting us asking to nofollow every link they can find to their sites. This seems like a knee-jerk reaction and we aren't sure how to proceed. Can you provide us some insight? Does Google really want us to NoFollow every link out there?

Answer: Yes, it's definitely a knee-jerk reaction and the worst thing you could do is let your clients start nofollowing their own links en masse. For example, we know that Google has very recently tested the dropping of links as a ranking component in their algorithm and the results were "much worse." Clearly, if site owners start dropping links right and left (without regard to the quality of those links) then subsequent ranking and traffic drops may be the result, as well as possibly the overall quality of results that Google can return.

nofollow vs dofollow

When Google invented and then pushed for the use of the nofollow attribute back in 2005 it was originally a way to combat comment spam. That definition then expanded to paid links and then (briefly) as a way to sculpt PageRank. What most users don't understand though is that Google's own resource on nofollow continues to state that the attribute should be used by site owners for one overriding goal:

"If you can't or don't want to vouch for the content of pages you link to from your site - for example, untrusted user comments or guestbook entries - you should nofollow those links. This can discourage spammers from targeting your site, and will help keep your site from inadvertently passin...