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The Usefulness of Nofollow

Why i have come to hate nofollow so much.

Edited: 2012-11-09 18:05

Running a website and trying to make money doing so, is really starting to get fun when you find a visible response to what you are doing, some of the initial excitement however quickly gets lost when you discover that most sites where people are mentioning you is using nofollow. Generally speaking, sites are adding nofollow to outgoing links to prevent spam from the few, and ends up blocking quality outgoing links placed by the many.

Search engines are still using links as a ranking factor – as such Google is really just shooting themselves in the foot when they recommend the use of nofollow to prevent spam. Most spam is automated anyway and will not be prevented by using nofollow. Real people posting spam is another problem – and will to some degree – require manual actions from admins on a given website.

Trusted Links by Users

Sites like Stackoverflow misuses nofollow on outgoing links. It is likely also one of the most spammed sites you will find – but that is still no excuse. How could such sites otherwise prevent spam?

  1. Admins should monitor the site regardless of other implementations.
  2. Things like post count and best answer percentage.
  3. Users could be given a quality rating based on how much they contribute.
  4. Best answers could have nofollow removed, if both users have a high QR.

There are many effective ways to avoid spam links, without it has to effect contributing users. The above is just a few ideas intended to inspire the few who is running some type of social site – and remember: We want your links!

Benefits of Using Nofollow

There are also many benefits to using nofollow – when it is being done the right way!

Nofollow is perfect for advertisements on your site. If you do not have a direct relationship with a given product you are advertising, then it may be a good idea to add a nofollow.

But there are also cases where you might not want to add a nofollow on your ads – if you manually review ads, and know what is being linked to. If you can personally recommend a product/website, the ad revenue simply considered a bonus.

Nofollow can also be used to discourage people from posting links with the intention of gaining PageRank – but as mentioned earlier, such links are best administered manually. Now that so many sites are open to user contributions, it also is to be expected that each user is responsible for what they post, and for the most part not the sites owner.