The Myth About The NoFollow Uselessness

When it comes to search engine optimization, nobody knows for sure what works and what doesn’t. However, there are things that have been proven to work 99% of the time and some that don’t work at all. The fact of the matter is that there are as many proven strategies as there are myths out there.

SEO myths can help nobody and they usually only do harm to people who tend to believe they are true. I am not going to go over some of the most popular SEO myths that have already been discussed in different forums or blogs. However, I am going to talk about the popular NoFollow tag that Google introduced back in 2005. That was a nice attempt to reduce spam and we have to give that to Google.

There are a lot of people nowadays who believe that the NoFollow tag is pretty much useless. Basically what the NoFollow tag means is that links that have that kind of a tag won’t transfer any page rank or anchor text and that is what made a lot of people think they are useless. Google had to introduce the NoFollow links in order to reduce spam.

However, a lot of websites especially authority sites like Wikipedia and Digg started using the NoFollow tag for all of their outbound links. This is a reason why I believe that Google still makes a difference between NoFollow links. I think it makes a difference if the link is coming from a relevant high authority website or from a comment on a non-relevant blog.

Another thing you should consider is that Yahoo! for example would still follow all the links whether they have the NoFollow tag or not. So this is another reason why NoFollow links are not completely useless.

If you still need another reason why NoFollow links are not useless, consider the fact that these links will be followed by real people sometimes. That might make them your regular customers or readers (depending on what your website is about).

The NoFollow backlinks might have no effect on the rankings of your website but they will still refer real people and this is one of the most important reasons why you should not ignore them and not use them at all.

A reason why you should ignore the NoFollow backlinks is because if you put a NoFollow link to an interesting article you wrote on a high authority website like Facebook, Twitter or Digg, other websites will most likely link to that article and the source (which is your website). And their links are probably going to be DoFollow.

Consider those things next time you decide to skip an opportunity to use a NoFollow link. It is not completely useless as you can see from the examples above.

7 Feb 2011