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Misuse of No Follow Links

Misuse of No Follow Links

In an effort to prevent companies from buying their ways up in the search indexes, Google came up with the “no-follow link,” which is basically a normal looking link that a person can use to get to the specified site that the search engine bots cannot follow.

This essentially makes links that are usable for readers but invisible to the bots that index the pages. These links were created so that advertisers could purchase links off of websites and get traffic without manipulating the google search index.

But this no-follow attribute is being abused.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Istanbul, Turkey- March 7, 2009
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Many webmasters seem to think that they can leak page rank by linking to other sites, or that outlinking can somehow damage the rank of their page. This is not true:

Relevant links to other sites from a webpage helps Google to further define the content of the page, which means that linking to other sites is good for your site.

It is links more than anything else that define pages in the Google algorithm – what sites link into which sites, what sites have links pointing to them from which sites, what are the keywords on which pages, what is the text in the link titles – all tells the search engines what your site is about.

The more defined your pages are, the better they will show up in the search indexes.

Abuse of No-Follow Links

A couple weeks ago I received an email from a webmaster, who has a travel site about Turkey, asking if he could put up the Discounted Shoeshine in Istanbul entry on his site.

I give him permission just so he keeps the bio box, that is in the center of all the entries on the blog, unaltered with all of the links functioning.

He agreed.

Out of curiosity I checked the page that my entry was duplicated on and found the bio box slightly altered. So I checked the source code and discovered that the back links to the provenience of the entry were manipulated to be “no-follow” links, which are invisible to the search engines.

These no-follow links are neither good for me, nor are they good for him, because linking to me defines his page. I wrote him an email to let him know.

If you borrow someone else’s content, then they at least deserve a true, functioning back link. It is my impression that Google came up with no-follow links to keep their search engine from being dominate by companies with enough money to buy their way up on the index, not as a tool for webmasters to spite each other.

Oh well.

Filed under Travel Blogging

Misuse of No Follow Links

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Filed under: Eastern Europe, Europe, Turkey

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3161 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Ulladulla, AustraliaMap

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