With numerous sentinel and watch guard updates from Search Engine giants like Google these days, it would be great if SEO marketers did stick around to policies ‘which pleased’ the Search Engines, now when I say ‘please’, I do not mean that you are to do something extra to be in their good books, but adhere to something which already existed and make sensible use of the same.
Introducing the ‘No Follow’ – How it started? & what is it?
Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in 2005, apprehended wrongs like content spamming, misuse of paid links etc and brought out this tag, well technically not a tag but an attribute “No follow” which is used, to tell a search engine that a particular link to a website is not a vote to that site, from the site which has that link.
For example, Website A has a link x which directs to a Website B
Not using ‘No follow’- When the SE encounters x, it would consider A is voting for B through x,
Following ‘No follow’- When the SE encounters x, it will not consider A voting for B through x.
Having explained what it is, as promised I will give you 5 reasons to follow the ‘No follow’
- Paid Links: Paid links (and I quote) “were being used to pass a lot of link juice or SEO influence to others” which is why a lot of websites were penalized who were selling links and were passing their influence along with it, to others.
- Comments without moderation: If you have a forum which allows comments to be posted without moderation beware for such opportunities are encashed to get link credit. Putting a Nofollow here makes sense.
- User-Generated Content: Getting Content from Users is nice, but like comments if you do it without moderation. Google can look down on you, if you are understood as passing votes to others.
- Embeds: Many of us get a lot of embeds in terms of info graphics, widgets etc. It would be sensible to put a Nofollow on such elements since you don’t want to be realized as endorsing those embeds!
- Should crawl or not? There are many links on your website, which shouldn’t be crawled or can’t be crawled. Links like Register, Login are some examples which should have a ‘Nofollow’ attribute.
Google also has something to share on ‘Nofollow’ and you can find it here.
Besides the above it is up to your discretion, SEO sense and experience to figure whether and where you should effectively use the “NoFollow” attribute. We recommend you make a decision on the basis of one common underlying fact “that your site should not be seen as endorsing links to another site.”