Google following no follows

Keep up with the very latest developments in the digital marketing world

By Guy Levine
on 3/9/08

No follow is very simple, at least that's what we fought.  Stick a no nofollow relation tag in a link then not only would Google not follow the link it also wouldn't pass any Page Rank or Link Juice.

Not the case anymore.  For a while we've heard underground stories that Google wasn't strictly complying with the no follow rule.  We've also began to see this in our  own projects yet Google seemed to be experimenting with how to use no follow, rather than following set rules.  Recently we've spotted some hard and fast reasons why Google is now following no follows.

Since no follow was brought out I've been waiting for Google to create an exception rule.  After all it makes sense as it has swapped one big problem and made it into a far greater one.  No follow is an attempt to purge the web of all the useless links on the web.  It's heavily open to abuse,  now Webmasters wasting their time doing numerous link swaps for Page Rank purposes have to be aware of the abuse that no follow opens them up to.  Despite the simplicity of no follow and the fact that it has been around for a while, there are plenty of webmasters who aren't fully aware of it's implications.  Even then it's a pain checking each link.

It's no surprise Google have taken this tack.  No follow goes against the very nature of the web, that is a library of related documents.  It also goes against the nature of Page Rank,  one link equals one democratic vote. Is it really fair to pick and choose which links your democratically voting for?  A link is after all a link and if you don't want Google to follow a link then why is it there in the first place? We now also have a new breed of marketer who's clogging up the net with more worthless links.

In a ironic turn of events a Californian couple recently sued Google for following a no follow sign to their house and publishing a picture of it via Google Street View in Google Maps. Following No follows seems like a new trend!