Search Marketing Consultant

Web Marketing & Search Engine Consultant

The NOFOLLOW and your PageRank debate

Links of a Chain like links that strengthen your blog

Liters (or gallons) of virtual ink have flowed from the keyboards around the world during the past 9 months over the use of the NOFOLLOW attribute that has morphed from a SPAM protection device into a (possible) PageRank Manager for your website.

Fact or Fib ?

It depends on who you ask, some say it’s a great tool, others it’s a complete waste of time and could be dangerous.

They are 2 different views of the NOFOLLOW attribute and Search Engine Optimization more in general. As Search Engine Algorithms evolve and take into account more and more factors I feel it becomes very difficult (to say the least) to identify a variable and isolate it from the context within the the website operates w.r.t. organic search engine placement.

Let me tell you a little story.

When I was an engineering student (the 80s) I followed a course on electrical engineering with a great Professor: one of those guys who knew it because he had actually done it in labs and real life projects: his lectures were stories, it was all so natural to him, and facinating to see such familiarity  on very complex issues. During one of his lessons he told us the difference between an engineer and a mathematician:

For the mathematician 1 – 10-2 = 0,99

For the engineer 1 – 10-2 = 1

In other words every small detail counts for the mathematician, but not for the engineer dealing with real life environments so complex and at times too difficult to create an exact theoretical model: It would be just too difficult and time consuming and it wouldn’t be cost effective.

I feel the same rule applies when it comes to search engines and search engine algorithms – there is too much that we know too little about to perform accurate, reliable and repeatable testing.

Search Engine Optimization is a blend of technical aspects and content that go hand in hand.

Factors that help the search engines understand how your site is built allowing your content to get indexed is essential, external factors will do the rest – you need not to focus on the details of the ever changing algorithms, but must follow the trends and changes search engines roll out over time.

Each and every one of us have a slightly different touch and approach that makes it very difficult to draw direct conclusions from sample testing.

Nonetheless, the discussion is very interesting and there’s always a lot to learn from others sharing their views and opinion.

Here’s a list of posts on NOFOLLOW – have anything interesting to share with us on this subject ? I’d love to add some more pointers – drop a line.

The use of NOFOLLOW Attribute:

Those in favor of NOFOLLOW:

Those against NOFOLLOW:

9 Replies

  1. That was an interesting read and a great story. Shall I use it at presentations? Thanks.

    And the resources links were good too.


  2. Thank you Mani – real life stories are always a good read aren’t they 🙂

    I had a feeling there was room for a post that would provide a one-stop shop point for all those readers out there seeking information and points of view on the entire NOFOLLOW issue, and your comment suggests just that !

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I will follow your example and be a dofollow blogger.

    Best wishes

  4. Andrew

    Interesting post! Thanks for the tips and i think i’ll follow your tips!Thanks a lot!

  5. Great post… I’m kind of a hypocrite as I “nofollow” on my own blog, but post on blogs like these that follow. I haven’t really seen great results from links though… so I might just stop all together.

  6. Great post. Nice ideas and tips. The dofollow blogger is interesting to me. Gonna try it out.

  7. What a great read and Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  8. I do prefer the dofollow blogs, and from what i’ve seen, spammers are going to spam no matter what. Us DoFollow bloggers might as well give that linkjuice to legitimate posters.

  9. I too prefer the dofollow blogs. Actually I have pretty much stopped reading blogs with the nofollow attribute. Spammers will always exist and the only thing that you can do is have really good spam software. Moderating comments is also a good idea as a second check if something gets past the spam filter.