Two questions about nofollow

Thursday, April 21st, 2011 Mattcutts Video Transcript

Let’s talk a little bit about nofollow. Here are a few questions regarding this: Vince Samios from UK asks “Do you feel the widespread and blanket use of nofollow tags is devaluing Google’s search algorithms?”

Let me inter-check before I finish the question, even though SEO’s may feel like nofollow is everywhere on the web, if you look at the percentage of links that have nofollow, it’s actually a pretty minuscule percentage. So nofollows aren’t that common on the web compared to how the perception of them might be.

(Continues with the question) “Examples such as Wikipedia, where all external links are nofollow. Does Wikipedia mean nothing to Google’s algorithms?”

And Jonaths from Brighton, UK asks “Do Google take into account quality factors from nofollowed links when the links come from well established authority websites, such as Wikipedia?”

We are not trusting or taking into account the links from Wikipedia because they are nofollows. So don’t bother to spamming Wikipedia, it’s not going to make any difference in search engine rankings if you get a link because, that will be nofollow. If you have a great resource and people find it via Wikipedia and it’s just fantastic and people link to that because of that, or you getting traffic from a link in terms of direct surfers or visitors, then that might benefit your site. But it’s not going to get any search engine ranking boost just because Wikipedia links to you with those nofollow links. Now let me take a one slight detour and mention that, if a particular site does have trust in the person who is making the link then there is plenty of good reasons to make that link flow page rank and take the nofollow off. For example, Wikipedia has experimented with all kinds of different ways to improve their process, may be anonymous said that it has to be approved before they go live. So you could certainly imagine a scenario which Wikipedia editor, who is very trusted, who had made a ton of edits without them ever being reverted there are other editors they have asked for, however they want to define trust those links might for example take the nofollow off. So a very simple thing when you are being under attack from a spam register at that nofollow tag and then it doesn’t benefit spammers anymore. But if you run a blog or forum or Wikipedia or whatever and you can come up with a good metric to say, ok these are the links that we do trust that we do think that are editorially given and are valuable for users then there is plenty of good reasons to go ahead and say make those links flow page ranks. But in general nofollow links are relatively small percentage of the web and it does prevent lot of sites from getting spammed. We don’t use those links from Wikipedia currently, but if Wikipedia want it to put them on newly asked policies and place, I would definitely support that.

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