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Avoid NoFollow and Keep Your Links!

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 144

In the world of SEO and page ranking, it is common knowledge that links of all kinds are a key part of such an effort. Links going to and coming from a website create presence, credibility and offer more chances for indexing and page ranking. So it is crucial to ensure that all of them not only work but do not have "'nofollow'" connections as that completely negates any effort put into SEO for website and all connecting pages.

The html 'nofollow' command that is generally seen within the html code as '<i>link rel='nofollow'</i>' is a command created a number of years ago by Google as an attempt to combat comment spam which would flood blogs and websites from time to time. The command instructs search engines to ignore any connections displaying the 'nofollow' tag when searching pages and creating page rank indexes.

Link Functions In order for this to make sense, it needs to be understood how links work in general regarding indexing. Basically, search engines look for them, "follow" them to a destination, and then rank based on certain factors. These connections can be internal, going from one page on a website to another; links can also be external, going from one website to another one. Connection to an internet location with a higher assigned ranking value is very beneficial and lends credibility to an internet location. This makes it even more important to have good content and shared connections with other respectable online domains.

Spam Linking was established to allow genuine comments on a website to connect back to its originator, which was certainly good. Unfortunately, spammers used this connection to flood unsuspecting blogs with connections to their low-quality sites, creating trash coupling. This reduced the number of high-quality links and the value they provided and also associated a connection and its website/blog with low-quality traffic, eventually affecting the rank of a website, which is exactly the opposite of what is being attempted with good SEO. In many cases, the existence of spam links it is not realized so they aren't deleted. Additionally, many do not even realize that they have anything creating this problem, which is even worse, since they then do not get deleted. Worse yet, if a site has enough of these types of follows, it is possible the entire website could be banned from Google's indexes.

Combating Spam In order to combat this spamming and low-quality link value problem, Google created the 'nofollow' command; it told the search engines not to index a certain connection. While this was great for cutting down on spam, it also essentially eliminated any chance to gain good follows and the value they provided. So, while including 'nofollow' serves one purpose, it kills another which is the main issue with using 'nofollow'. Additionally, Google has since reported that they have learned that 'nofollow' does not actually prevent spamming in the way they had hoped.

Avoiding Spam The verdict is to not use 'nofollow' - ever. In order to avoid spam, there are a few recommended ways to accomplish this. All links should be checked to be sure that they work and go to the intended location. A periodic spam search is needed as well as consideration about installing a Captcha or other similar comment reducer. It would also help to consolidate website links so there are as few as possible with the remaining ones connecting to very relevant and valuable content.

This reinforces three important ideas in web building for page rank: doing good keyword research; having good content; and not using 'nofollow.' As long as incoming connections and comments are monitored for spam as mentioned above, removing all 'nofollow' links from blogs and sites should be beneficial for increasing page rank!

Chris Hunter is an expert in Web Design and Search Engine Marketing. To find out more about SEO in Houston, go to the main website at:

Source: EzineArticles
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