Google: Nofollow Link Has Not Changed

Mar 20, 2018 • 7:50 am | comments (3) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

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An interesting question came up at the AMA with Google at SMX West last week, where Nathan Johns from Google was asked if the nofollow link attribute that launched in 2005.

If you remember way back then, you will remember the nofollow attribute for links was to fight spam on blogs, not necessarily to manage Google's search quality and search spam issues - but for managing spam on forums and blogs.

Well, it turned into more and Google has been telling folks to nofollow links to places they don't vouch for, including paid links, affiliate links and many more examples.

That being said, the fundamentals around how the nofollow link attribute works, i.e. this will instruct robots not to crawl a specific link, which will not pass any link signals from the page the link is on to the target location of the link. That, fundamentally has not changed according to Nathan Johns from Google.

So the nofollow link attribute 13 plus years later has not changed. Here are some tweets from the session:

If you want to read something fun, check out Martin MacDonald's take on this.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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