When to Use the nofollow Attribute value
By Stephen Bucaro
The majority of blogs allow visitors to add comments to a post. However, the moment
this comment feature was invented, spammers started to take advantage of it. The idea
is to place a link to your website in your comment. Then when a search engine comes
to index the blog, finding the link, your website's PageRank increases. In order
to combat this problem, Google invented the nofollow attribute value.
Generally placing external links in your webpage or blog post raises its PageRank.
This, however, this only true if the external link points to information related to the
topic of your webpage or blog post. If not, the link is just search engine spam,
therefore Google will lower your webpage's PageRank.
So, when do you apply the nofollow attribute value? When you use free-to-reprint
content, the author of the content usually requires you to include a link at the
end of the article. Sometimes the webpage pointed to by the link doesn't exist.
Maybe the author moved the webpage, or maybe the author just gave up on the
effort related that content. In any case, if the webpage pointed to by the link
doesn’t exist, you can still meet your obligation to include the link, while not
reducing your webpage's PageRank, by using the nofollow attribute value in the link.
When you want to use free-to-reprint content, or you want to give attribution
to a resource, but the content pointed to by the link contains nothing but
advertising or paid links, you can include the link, while not reducing your
webpage's PageRank, by using the nofollow attribute in the link.
nofollow is a value that you assign to the rel attribute of a link. Shown
below is an example of a link containing the rel attribute with a value of nofollow.
<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.domain.com/pagename.htm">Pagename</a>
The nofollow attribute value is used to communicate that you don't want search
engines to index the content pointed to by the link. However, today's search engine
business is very competitive, and the Yahoo and Bing search engines would like to
knock Google out of the top position. To win in the search engine business you need
to succeed at finding what the user is searching for.
For this reason, search engines will follow a link with the nofollow attribute value.
However, when they discover that the link is bad, they will not index the webpage
pointed to by the link, and more imprtantly, they will not reduce your webpage's
PageRank for having the bad link.
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