Google and No-Follow Attribute

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Posted by Amish Keshwani | Posted in Google, SEO | Posted on 06-06-2010

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Hello Friends,

Its been a month since I posted my last post on this blog & my mail box have flooded with the emails with complains that the blog is not getting updated. Well, I can not afford to let go my readers like that & hence here is some interesting post for you friends. No, Its not an ordinary article on “NoFollow” attribute, but this is purely based on my research which I have done as a part of my project recently. I would love to know your thoughts & experience about this. So, here you go.

How Google treats “No-Follow” attribute ?

Last week, I was working on an interesting project. The site is comparatively old but does not have a good PR for home page as well as internal pages. The main objective was to get the Service / Product pages in Google SERP ranking. So, I was working hard on back link analysis of successful pages as well as competitor websites which have good rankings in Google. I did good comparative analysis & found few strange patterns. Yes, you get it right, something strange in Backlink patterns. I studied the Google Webmaster Tool to get an idea of how Google treats backlinks patterns.

Now here the great surprise comes to me. I found that, Google shows hardly 10 links for a page which I am targeting & 4 out of 10 links are “No Follow” which has been shown in Google Webmaster Tool. STRANGE … Isn’t it ? As per the Google’s stand on rel=”nofollow”, Google crawler supposed to not follow that particular link. That simply means that, this link is just for the information of visitors & have no value in terms of Google Search Engine, so Why Google needs to count & show this backlink in Webmaster tool ?

On the contrary, I have very good other backlinks for the same page (backlinks from EZine & other reputed PR sites) which has been indexed & shown by Yahoo but Google is not showing up this high reputed backlinks & instead showing up the “No Follow” backlinks. So, Couple of queries arise in my mind.

  1. One side Google says that they do not give any importance or value to NO FOLLOW links, then why they show these selected NO FOLLOW links in webmaster tool where they have ignored showing some important other backlinks like EZine ?
  2. Matt Cutt says, Not Every backlink shows in Google webmaster tool necessarily has value. But then, why they are showing them, when they have many other good links to show. What they want to convey to Webmaster by showing “NO FOLLOW” links. Do they want to make us Fool Or “No Follow” has now no importance and treated same as “Do Follow” ?
  3. The same results for Internal Links as well. I also tried to check Internal links (Links from home page & other pages to target page with “No follow” attribute), Google again show those “No follow” link as Internal back links. STRANGE …. Don’t you think that, this is something strange ?
  4. Did Algorithm update for Page Rank Sculpting did some mess in this ? As we know, If you have 3 outgoing links from your page, your link juice get divided into 3, but if you have 1 NoFollow link out of those 3 then still your PR gets divided into 3 but passed to only 2. links, and 3rd potion simply gets wasted. So, to calculate & pass the right PR juice to DoFollow pages, Crawler needs to crawl all links on that page & then assign PR juice & pass it accordingly, but this process requires crawler to crawl & calculate the links. BUT then, If they don’t have to pass any PR, why that links are appearing in Google Webmaster tool ?
  5. Yahoo shows more back links then Google. The simple reason is that, Yahoo consider your most of your backlinks & hence it shows the most of back links. So, We can understand If yahoo shows up “NoFollow” links. But, Google shows less amount of backlinks, because Google do not consider all your backlinks. It simply means that, Google shows up only those backlinks which he considers else it should show as many backlinks or atleast near to what Yahoo shows up ..right ? So, Does it mean that, Google considers “No Follow” backlinks now ?

Well, I hope you didn’t get bored till these discussion, lol 😛 , but these are some critical questions which directly effect the ranking of any webpage and to get the answers of these are really interesting.

What I found as a result ?

Well, I have studied on various forums & blogs to find out the real issue. Surprisingly, many webmasters are facing the same issue. One thread which has been started on this discussion in 2006 is still continue… (wow.. I haven’t seen any other interesting topic so far). I have checked SEOMoz also,they have done some research about this, but again at the end, they are clueless 🙁

I discussed this with my friends & other experts in the field, and finally what I concluded based on all these is, Google Webmaster do show the NO Follow links, but I doubt they give/pass any PR from these “NoFollow” links. They show up the NOFOLLOW links because it may be coming from some interesting / content rich webpage which is a part of reputed domain & thus hold weight in terms of Search Engine. How Google considers these NOFollow links is still a mystery for me 🙁

Have you ever done these kind of research for your projects ? Did you also find “NoFollow” links in your Google webmaster tool account ? Do you feel that its helping to boost your webpage rank ? I would love to get your responses on this issue. Friends, this is a time where we all need to add one more area in our JOB PROFILE & that is RESEARCH . Yup, If you are in the field of SEO & you are not involved in research, you are missing something very important.

Small Update from Google

Anyway, On the closing note, Just would like to update you guys that, recently Google has started to display WALLPAPER for its home page, just like BING. But you need to sign in to your google account to activate it. Just check the left bottom of Google homepage & you will notice a link to add background image. Hope this will be enjoyable experience. Happy Googling 🙂

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