Do Search Engines Read The Anchor Text of NoFollowed Links?

Mar 27, 2009 • 1:08 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

A HighRankings Forum thread asks an interesting question. If I add links to my web page and nofollow them, does Google still read the anchor text of the link and use that in part of how they determine what my page is contextual about.

For example, if I link to Search Engine Land as follows; <a href="" rel="nofollow">Search News</a> would Google or any other main search engine, take the words "search news" and place that text as being relevant to what this page is about? We know Google won't pass the link value of that link to Search Engine Land, but do we know if Google ignores that text completely?

Has anyone done any tests on this yet? If not, anyone want to try?

Forum discussion at HighRankings Forum.

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03/27/2009 10:53 am

Google doesn't ignore the text, it counts as plain text written on your page. For a query like name of your site +"Search News" or "Search News" site:yourdomain Google will show your page in the SERPs. I've seen this already.


03/27/2009 12:40 pm

Only as plain text


03/27/2009 02:09 pm

I asked Google that same question and he told me that they don't pass any value over to the page you are linking to and that includes anchor text. Q: Does google take anything from links taged nofollow, for example does it read the anchor text and credit that to the destination? Susan Moskwa - 5:24 pm A: No, it basically drops that link from our link graph (it ignores it). Src:

Gabe Gayhart

03/28/2009 08:04 pm

I might be smoking the good stuff, and i understand no follow means robot dont follow through this link. Really assume for minute every link on the internet had a no follow on it.. would Google really not crawl between pages? Of course they follow links and why, because linking is the only human input in a computerized algorithm. Thematic concepts and how word semantics associate is the core of LSI. I think we all need to just put on our Information Retrieval hats more often, don't we?

Michael Moshkovich

03/28/2009 08:45 pm

There maybe something to this because many people swear that a link from wikipedia (which is always no follow) provides a boost in SERP.

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