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Old 01-19-2005   #21
dannysullivan
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I believe Google said something similar to this when they launched the NoCache tag. Remember what happend? I do! (not that it hit me, but I saw THOUSANDS of my colleagues sites vanish!)
Fair enough, Mikkel -- this could change down the line. It certainly would make it easy for search engines to decide to use it as a flag for "bad" links and some would argue that "ignore" or "untrustworthy" will be a defacto meaning of bad. It's all the more reason not to use it for your own pages, to be safe at the moment.

But as a site owner, yes -- I like the ability, even small, to control on a page element basis how something gets indexed. I want more of that easily given to me -- I don't want to have to resort to cloaking, redirection, JavaScript, etc. The bloggers cried and yelled and essentially got a pay off through this. But there's more important stuff site owners could use -- and this gives us much more leverage to push for that.

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What are those communities now going to pay such posters now? Will we suddenly see "value link" communities compete with "no value links" communites on this metric?
To me, the value of a link in a community to your own resource is the ability to point people directly to your material, to gain visitors that way. Links have always been powerful for this, predating the obsession of getting them for search engien purposes. I think we've already seen search engines devalue links in some circumstances anyway -- so at least as a site owner, I'd like to be in control of it. But more to the point, I disagree that a nofollow link = valueless link. The link has plenty of value, but it just won't contribute on the search engine side of the equation. That isn't, nor should it be, the only consideration.
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Old 01-19-2005   #22
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Now, if Google can get the blog software manufacturers to make the std setup default to "nofollow" on all links - then Google will also have finally solved the "Googlebomb" blogging issue.......

Because, just like most software installs, it will get left at the std default settings "typical user install - click here".
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Old 01-19-2005   #23
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The link has plenty of value, but it just won't contribute on the search engine side of the equation. That isn't, nor should it be, the only consideration.
Your argument is absolutely valid and I know many people would think that way but I also know that many won't. What I am talking about is how communities that have many members that value the linkpop they gain, as a kind of payment for their postings, will react to this. How will it affect the community organism? How will it affect the blogging comminity?

As an example, there are a number of local communities in Denmark where I have posted what I think is highly qualified postings but to be honest I have often done so for the linkpop - and it works great! Now, I am not so sure I will post there with the same frequency if they add this tag. The result is less quality posts there - especially if others follow me (and in the case with this particular forum they will).

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don't want to have to resort to cloaking, redirection, JavaScript, etc.
Argh, comon, Danny - why not, it's so much fun
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Old 01-19-2005   #24
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On a simliar note, I wonder if forums, that have bought links only for the SE (Jupiter etc) and not their site vistors, be using these in the outbound links?
Missed this earlier Dave. Yes, it's very possible that paid links could be surrounded with these tags. It's something I'm going to suggest Jupiter look at for the internet.commerce program it runs, which you're hinting at. Doing such a thing is exactly why I wished for some type of ignore tag earlier this month -- I specifically mentioned this in that article.

The only issue is that Google is clear the nofollow attribute should be used for links "not in your control." Paid links on a site are obviously in your control. So if you were to do this, technically you aren't following the guidelines provided. I have asked Google for more about this but haven't heard back.

Similarly, my story on the nofollow attribute I mentioned earlier described how you might possibly use it for links that are in your control. Let's say Microsoft, for example, has a section about using Excel. They might want to link to some resources about Excel. However, they could have fears that some of those resources might be "bad neighborhoods" with search engines. To protect themselves from possibly being associated, they might use nofollow within their own editorially-controlled links.

Doing so would again not follow the guidelines we have so far. But I suspect we'll see this usage expand beyond what Google has set out.
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Old 01-19-2005   #25
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Hi Danny,
I think that the sales dept. is not going to be happy and they might have the final say. Money is money and somehow it has to be raised. You know that with the tag most will pull the text "ads" off.

question:
Will these links (with the tag) count regarding PR? Example: you have 10 links on a page, 5 normal, 5 with no follow. Will Google divide that page's PR among 10 or just among the five links it can follow? It would make sense to divide only for the 5 normal links but who knows.


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Originally Posted by dannysullivan
Missed this earlier Dave. Yes, it's very possible that paid links could be surrounded with these tags. It's something I'm going to suggest Jupiter look at for the internet.commerce program it runs, which you're hinting at. Doing such a thing is exactly why I wished for some type of ignore tag earlier this month -- I specifically mentioned this in that article.
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Old 01-19-2005   #26
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Ask Jeeves Response to the Nofollow Attribute

I asked Jim Lanzone why didn't Ask Jeeves jump on board with the others. He told me and I posted in it an thread I posted in the Ask Jeeves / Teoma forum under the name of Ask Jeeves Response to the Nofollow Attribute. Maybe the response should be merged with this, but I do not want to take away from the general discussion on the tag and focus on the little engine that could.
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Old 01-19-2005   #27
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Will these links (with the tag) count regarding PR? Example: you have 10 links on a page, 5 normal, 5 with no follow. Will Google divide that page's PR among 10 or just among the five links it can follow? It would make sense to divide only for the 5 normal links but who knows.
That is what I really want to know also.

And I don't want to assume, does this only affect Blogs?

I spent 45 minutes wrapping 22 'helpful' off site links from a client page in a JavaScript. Copy and pasting rel="nofollow" would have been much easier!

But again, does it help that page's PR formula even if it is not a Blog? Where is an Google Guy when you need him?
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Old 01-19-2005   #28
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And I don't want to assume, does this only affect Blogs?
I can almost guarantee you that it's not just for blogs. For once, none of the partners in this ever said so and secondly the engines would have no way to know what a blog outside of the major blog systems. The last couple of blogs that I have set up is based on my developed blog software and I don't see how engines could see the difference between that and any other pages.
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Old 01-19-2005   #29
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I agree. if the link has this atribute it will ignored automatically, blog or no blog.

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Originally Posted by Mikkel deMib Svendsen
I can almost guarantee you that it's not just for blogs. For once, none of the partners in this ever said so and secondly the engines would have no way to know what a blog outside of the major blog systems. The last couple of blogs that I have set up is based on my developed blog software and I don't see how engines could see the difference between that and any other pages.
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Old 01-19-2005   #30
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yellowwing, those links won't count toward PageRank for Google. So no need to wrap things up in JavaScript--feel free to use nofollow.
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Old 01-19-2005   #31
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GoogleGuy,
to expand on this. Will these links be like they don't exist on the site? For example, would someone get a penalty for linking to a bad neighbohood with nofollow tag?


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yellowwing, those links won't count toward PageRank for Google. So no need to wrap things up in JavaScript--feel free to use nofollow.
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Old 01-19-2005   #32
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those links won't count toward PageRank for Google. So no need to wrap things up in JavaScript--feel free to use nofollow.
And so there's the answer -- you can use the tag for links others contribute to your pages (as with forums, comments, guestbooks) or for links you control but for some reason don't want to be counted by search engines for ranking purposes.

So coming back to:

Quote:
Will these links (with the tag) count regarding PR? Example: you have 10 links on a page, 5 normal, 5 with no follow. Will Google divide that page's PR among 10 or just among the five links it can follow? It would make sense to divide only for the 5 normal links but who knows.
Yes, that's correct the way I read it (and I also addressed this in my story). If you wanted to horde or channel PageRank like this, you could.

Of course, Google itself is likely already discounting some of your links already, say in the nav areas, those repetitive across the site and so on. The oversimplied "Google takes your page PR score and divides it among all your links" is exactly that -- oversimplified. Exactly how they do things we know has changed, and they've dropped plenty of hints that certain types of links are discounted.

As Mikkel noted, this also isn't a blog thing. IT'S NOT A BLOG THING. Folks without blogs, rejoice -- the world does not revolve around them. This is a tool for any type of web author.

Conceivably, Google could try to spot certain links that seem to be on blogs -- major blogging software leaves certain traces -- common URL styles, CGI calls. So down the line, if they wanted to treat "blog" links with nofollow different than non-blog nofollow links, they might. But it would be a guess -- and they'd make mistakes.

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I think that the sales dept. is not going to be happy and they might have the final say.
I've done some back story before on those internet.commerce links, but I'll revisit this. They predate Google and reliance on link analysis. Believe me, I know -- back when I used to roll the site myself, it was always a pain having to update them when they came to me.

I don't sell the links nor handle ads on the site, fortunately -- which is nice. But I have checked to see if they are sold with any suggestion that they'll help an advertiser with search rankings. Jupiter has told me emphatically that they are not positioned that way.

Some advertisers might by them for that -- but as I've also posted, it's pretty easy for Google to see the same links, in the same styles and places, across the entire Jupiter network -- and then do discounting as it sees fit -- just as it might with nav elements. So I certainly wouldn't buy them thinking they'd give a ranking boost.

But bringing it back home, what is annoying is that a preexisting ad program suddenly gets called into question because a search engine emerges after the program started, makes noises about "don't buy links" and suddenly, people question if you're doing something shady. As a result, you have to start considering if you need to jump through hoops. Should I redirect all the links so Google -- should it start checking things -- decide that I'm not trying something on.

Please. What a pain. What an annoyance to constantly have to wonder if something you think makes sense might have to have some wider search engine worry. And that's why I did that earlier article about wanting an "ignore" tag. We shouldn't have to be paranoid about what search engines think about our site -- but at least with this new mechanism, I can explicitly say, no -- these links aren't trying to spam you.

So yep, I'll be suggesting to Jupiter they consider this type of thing, if only because if they implement it, I don't have to hear questions about a link program that existed before Google
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Old 01-19-2005   #33
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This new tag is pretty interesting in some of the impact it can have but the one thing it will certainly NOT do is stop comment spam. Sorry to say but it won't even slow it down.

All that happens now is that an url in a comment will be tagged NoFollow just prior to the blog owner deleting it anyways. The comment is going to be deleted wether it has the new tag in it or not. Blogspammers don't expect their links to live on in live active blogs so who cares if the link if followable or not?

The worst that I can see happening here is that newly abandoned blogs won't be useful anymore but there are still millions of abandoned MT installs, wikis, et al that can be exploited for months to come.

Prediction: internet.com properties start using the new tag for their text ads and the ad renewal rate drops through the floor. You don't honeslty believe everyone buyin ads here are doing because of real surfer click thru do you? (regardless of how much it predates Google...)

I gotta hand it to the PR wizards tho - this news is everywhere: my inbox, every news/forum site I visit, IM has been lighting up over it. bakedjake and I even interrupeted SEO Rockstars last night (about click fraud) to address it because it was coming up in the chatroom.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease and nobody can squeak louder than bloggers it would seem.
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Old 01-19-2005   #34
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I'm really greatful for the definative facts! Thank you all.

Trying to get paid for guessing or repeating rumours is not a good business model

Can you imagine the career of a stock broker if he acted on rumours and hearsay of SEC rules?
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Old 01-19-2005   #35
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There is potentially another application for the link nofollow attribute, namely if you link to a site that responds with a http error code or does not respond at all. In some applications (for example web directories) it may be of interest to keep the unreliable link for a "probation period" before the link is removed. In these cases a visual cue (for example a different link color) can be used to warn the human visitor that the link is unreliable, but there has been no way to tell the robots about this condition. The nofollow attribute will become very useful in this regard.
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Old 01-19-2005   #36
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>kneecapping

>>It doesn't quite work like that. You can't link to something and "hurt" it, if that's what you mean. My story looks at this more, when it's up.

>>If bloggers do this to their trackbacks, sure -- those trackbacks won't count.

Right, there's where the kneecapping themselves comes in, Danny. Bloggers really don't understand that their built-in "no value linking" system, as Mikkel so aptly puts it, has skewed their position in the serps. When this kicks in bloggers aren't going to like the loss. There is going to be pain with this gain --they just don't know it yet.

As for all the comments about the attribute itself, yeah any tool has its place.
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Old 01-19-2005   #37
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Now watch people use this on their "links" page and ask for a normal link back
This was one of my primary concerns. I'm all for the tag but I can see how link frauders will use this in their link swaps to keep PR to themselves. I did some research and found that in Internet Explorer and Opera, right-clicking on the link and viewing properties will not tell you if the link contains the nofollow tag. On the other hand, FireFox and Netscape do. All our link researchers have just switched to FireFox so we can verify such links accordingly.
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Old 01-19-2005   #38
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So I'll just cloak my pages to show the nofollow tag to the SE but not you. Cached page will look exactly the same. For every link exchange you want to do you'll have to look at the cached page source code on one of the SEs first (our use FireFox etc as already mentioned). Nothing like burdening you with overhead to slow you down.
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Old 01-19-2005   #39
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Originally Posted by oilman
So I'll just cloak my pages to show the nofollow tag to the SE but not you. Cached page will look exactly the same. ...
Of course doing so would generally run afoul of most SE guidelines and likely be cause for penalties and/or banning if reported by a disgruntled link partner...
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Old 01-19-2005   #40
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Of course doing so would generally run afoul of most SE guidelines and likely be cause for penalties and/or banning if reported by a disgruntled link partner...
I don't think this will get you in trouble with the engines.... more it will lose you credibility with link partners as the word gets out and then you have no inbound links and the whole purpose for this dries up.
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