25th May 2007

Someone sent me a link to this post, and I found it extremely interesting. According to the article, Google is following and factoring “no followed” links for ranking purposes.

Back in November, “no follow” was given the white stamp of approval by Matt Cutts, and I heard him say with my own ears that Google will not follow them, or assign any Page Rank either.

The someone (braver than I am!) asked “What if you’re just trying to funnel your own Page Rank?” and Matt replied that it was fine. I wish I could quote him, but his basic response was that they don’t care, and it’s not considered “evil”.

Well, I have a nofollowed link to this same person that shared the article with me, and it’s been no followed since December 2006.

Around February, we noticed that this particular link finally stopped being counted in his inbound link count.

After reading that post today, he noticed that Google was again counting my “no followed link in his link:site.com.

I know that this isolated incident is hardly conclusive evidence that Google is following no follows, but facts are facts. Google links are being followed and counted again, that’s worth knowing…

By the way, here’s the guy who sent me the story (no followed of course)

If you like what you've seen here, would you please share this?
    PDXTC & Search Commander, Inc.
    11124 NE Halsey St. #481 PortlandOR97220 USA 
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    twitter / shendison

    2 Comments    

    • garry says:

      Hi Scott
      I thought I was losing my mind. Thanks for your post!

      I agree with you. Further, I see your backlink in Webmaster Tools as Link #58 for me.

      I did an experiment where I took a PR6 site, and attempted to ‘funnel’ its PR by nofollowing the CONTACT US page, etc.

      The site went down to a PR5 on the last update (obviously cannot conclusively draw conclusions due to latent variables) but I no longer believe that NOFOLLOW is (or ever was) to be used as neither a PR Concentrator, or an SEO tool.

    • Scott Hendison says:

      This looks more like the exception rather than the rule, because the majority of no followed links that I’ve checked are still not showing up with the site:domain.com search in Google.

      As far as whether or not you believe it or not, take a look at this old post of Danny Sullivan’s here

      If Google sees nofollow as part of a link, it will:

      1. NOT follow through to that page.
      2. NOT count the link in calculating PageRank link popularity scores.
      3. NOT count the anchor text in determining what terms the page being linked to is relevant for.

      However, after pointing out the apparent open door to “page rank funneling” he then says this…

      Rather than get tricky with this tag, I’d recommend using it as intended for now — as a means to flag that there are certain links on your web site that you didn’t place there.

      So… there ya go. This is conclusive proof that, uh… well… I don’t really know, but it’s sort of interesting!

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