Do You Nofollow?

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Last year, Search Engine Journal made quite a stir in the blogosphere when they condemned the nofollow link attribute. What a difference a year makes. Google made it abundantly clear that they’re not going to stand for paid links, and they’ve taken a tough stance on the issue. Unfortunately, the algorithm’s logic is flawed, and many sites have been unfairly penalized.

One of my own blog networks was affected by this mess, even though none of the sites had ANY paid links on them. Months pass, and Google still isn’t sharing any PR love with these sites. What’s a webmaster to do, when clueless advertisers put more value in the almighty PR instead of looking at cold-hard traffic statistics? Give in..

The first step? The blogroll. Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t make it easy to “fix” this issue, but thankfully I came across Justin Cook’s instructions on how to tackle this issue. Hopefully WordPress makes this a standard feature in a future version, but for now this is a fantastic work-around that takes only a minute to implement.

In addition, I decided to tag all of the affiliate links in my sidebar with rel=”nofollow”. While it’s hard to say if this is necessary or not, I’ve decided to err on the side of caution. After all, how can Gooogle tell the difference between an affiliate link and a paid link?

Lastly, don’t forget about counters, chicklets, and other tracking icons on your site! Most of those link back to their own site.. Why give them any link love? Stick a nofollow on them, and you should be all set. All of your PR juice will be kept within your site, which will hopefully help give you a higher PR when the big G rolls out their next update.


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