What is a NoFollow Tag?

This post is a sequel to I’m Joining The DoFollow Movement article. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read it HERE.

In 2005 Google implemented that hyperlinks with the rel=”nofollow” attribute would not be considered as backlinks. The purpose was to lessen if not totally eliminate spamming on blog comments and forums.

Now, what is a NoFollow? The NoFollow tag or rel=”nofollow” is a code inserted in the html of  your blogs.  Blogger and WordPress blogs are a NoFollow by default. It tells the search engines like Google and Yahoo not to follow the links found on your page or a specific link. Let’s say you have links that you don’t want search engines to find or bypass, like untrusted user comments or paid links, place the NoFollow code so it will  prevent the passing of PageRanks to untrusted sites.  It also makes the bots to crawl your site much faster.

If you have a site like mine, which caters to money making opportunities, you may want to insert the code rel=”nofollow” on individual links.  Just insert the tag like below:

From : <a href=”http://www.becomeablogger.com/

To :         <a rel=”nofollow” href=”http://www.becomeablogger.com/

Google has strict policies about this. Here are some examples wherein you should put the nofollow tag:

  • Untrusted Source – if you are not familiar with the commentator, that you can’t vouch that he/she is not a spammer, or that links on their comments can’t be trusted, use the nofollow tag. This will prevent your site from passing your link juice. Sometimes, there are comments which are not related to the topic and the only purpose is to post links back to their sites. These are spammers and their comments must be deleted at once. You should always set your comments to be moderated or be approved first to filter these unwanted spamming. This way, comment spammers will not target your sites if they see that they won’t get anything from you.  “Visit this link” or “check out my site” without any related comments are spam in nature. I haven’t got much of these spammy links yet but one thing’s for sure, they will be deleted. On the other hand, there are commentators who posts wise and highly contributing comments. It’s up to you if you want to reward them by taking out the nofollow tag.
  • Paid Links – Google recommends the use of the nofollow code on these sites. This prevents your site from transferring a small amount of your PageRank. I have some paid links and I placed the tag so as not to be penalized by Google. The penalty, by the way, may be a decrease in PageRank or your site removed from search results.

Search engines differs in interpreting the attribute. Some may not follow the link literally or ignore it entirely, some will follow it but will not give credits. You see, when you set your comments to a nofollow, you will not be giving “link juice”  to your commentators. This goes the same with PAID links on your sites.

To date, there are still issues about using nofollow. Some bloggers or webmasters think it’s just like saying that you don’t trust the site that links to yours. This was originally implemented to block spammers but some says that it hinders other bloggers who wants to comment but if they won’t get anything in return, they’d rather not comment. They will just move on to other blogs which could give them “link love”.

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