Should Google Take Advantage of the Web 2.0 Dynamic and Follow Links?

Oct 31, 2007 • 8:55 am | comments (5) by twitter | Filed Under Social Search Engines & Optimization

As many of you know, I'm a heavy social media user. I love finding interesting content that is typically determined by an audience of my peers who vote on articles on many different web 2.0 sites. A WebmasterWorld member, whose website is typically one of those frequently-voted-upon sites, is having trouble getting regular traffic because all of these links on social sites are nofollowed. He asks, "[I]sn't Google missing on a lot of that action by not taking this new web 2.0 dynamic into consideration?"

A few users suspect that these sites are actually the driving force behind some of the drops in PageRank from the October update.

Google might be missing out, but forum members suggest that other factors may end up causing the algorithm to shift in due time:

With all the "no follow" tags being used these days you'd think it would be nearly impossible for sites to get rankings. My guess is that google will be looking more at the volume of traffic a site gets. Especially if they use analytics.

That's certainly an incentive to use Google Analytics. ;)

Here's a thought: the users acknowledge that these social media sites can be spammed, but what about very popular pages? Should nofollow be removed when the stories reach a certain threshold of votes (assuming there are no negative votes as well--to keep out gamers)?

Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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10/31/2007 02:26 pm

I do think that link spammers and rel=nofollow will combine to make PageRank completely useless in calculating search results. PageRank is a great idea with a serious flaw - it depends upon people not trying to subvert the system. I would also agree that with the increasing use of rel=nofollow (I use it on all my sites that allow user contributed comments), new sites will find it increasingly difficult to gain traction.

Justilien Gaspard

10/31/2007 02:34 pm

"Should nofollow be removed when the stories reach a certain threshold" That would be against a Google guideline: "Make pages for users, not for search engines." So the answer is "no". (being very sarcastic) LOL

Patrick Altoft

10/31/2007 03:48 pm

Google can still count links, even when they have nofollow.


10/31/2007 06:27 pm

Assuming said site is getting traffic from all of those nofollow links, real links from that traffic should naturally follow. Since most social networking sites are all about the flavor of the day those links will probably fade into oblivion anyway a few days down the road, never to be seen again.

John Illnes

04/11/2008 07:13 am

I think the interesting part, google makes this job unknown so we dont know exactly what is happening.. if google is counting or not.. is nofollow links work for someting or not.. so there is always a hope :)

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