The NOFOLLOW and your PageRank debate
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:
- Google Explains The NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW, NOARCHIVE & NOSNIPPET META Tags
- How Google, Yahoo & Ask.com Treat the No Follow Link Attribute
- How Search Engines Handle The Nofollow Attribute
- Nofollow still means don’t follow, and how to instruct Google to crawl nofollow’ed links nevertheless
Those in favor of NOFOLLOW:
- Sculpting Your PageRank For Maximum SEO Impact
- Sculpting with NOFOLLOW works pretty darn well
- Why There’s Nothing Wrong With Sculpting Your Pagerank
- Are You Spending Your PageRank Wisely ?
- Interview with Google’s Matt Cutts at Pubcon
Those against NOFOLLOW: