Should Google Go The Rel=Follow Route? Opt In vs. Opt Out

May 1, 2009 • 7:42 am | comments (7) by | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

There is a pretty funny thread for anyone who is somewhat familiar with the SEO industry. A thread at Google Webmasters Help has this SEO who goes on a rant about the nofollow and what have happened to links. In fact, he says that Google should consider all links nofollow by default and require webmasters to add a rel="follow" to links that they deem respectable enough to deserve any link equity.

Here is the webmaster's post:

I'm thinking that I should just adopt a site-wide policy that all links have nofollow. Because of Google's PageRank algorithm, links have become a dirty thing that requires a lot of consideration, a cause for concerns and panic, an object of envy, conflict, fight, bitterness, etc.. Reading this forum is a good indication of the sad state of what "links" have become. And, it's all because of Google's PageRank algorithm. It would be simpler, easier, and healthier if all links had nofollow as a policy. In fact, I wish Google would do the opposite; require people to add rel="follow" only when you want to pass "link juice" to someone else. The truth of the matter is that everyone has to know what PageRank is these days and some degree of SEO, which means that everyone is perfectly aware of what value and power links have. No one is innocent. Everyone treats links like money whether we actually get paid for it or not. Links has become a currency of power. In the old days, when we used to call them "hyperllinks" they were just a mechanism for convenience.

Now how is that for a rant? I kind of agree. I mean, the nofollow link attribute was originally designed to prevent spam in blogs, forums, and any open web form. Now it is used for ads, for managing your internal PageRank and to penalize sites. I am not going to go off on a rant on the nofollow attribute, so I will stop there.

The Google Webmasters Help thread has a lot of discussion around the nofollow attribute. It makes for a fun, pre-weekend read.

Forum discussion at Google Webmasters Help.

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