Google May Change its Take on NOFOLLOW – An Analysis of its Impact on Websites

Written by Pavan Kumar on June 12, 2009


Nofollow was used as a very powerful SEO tag for all websites and blogs. Nofollow tag reduced the total number of links as seen with the eyes of search engines like Google and hence it resulted in better flow of link juice to all dofollow links we link inside our articles.

A recent entry on Search Engine Watch reported that Matt Cutts gave a hint on what exactly is going to happen with Google SEO tactics wrt NOFOLLOW in coming days. Lets see how it all works.

Say, I have a blog post with PR5, 5 outgoing links, 50 comment section links and other 45 internal links meant for navigation. Currently, my blog has all comment links NOFOLLOW. In previous days, the PR juice which flow out of that page was calculated this way:

Total links: 50 (excluding the nofollow).
Page PR: 5
PR juice to all links: 5/50=0.1 to all links.
I have 45 links to internal pages, and 5 outgoing. So, a PR of 0.5 used to flow out of my blog and 4.5 used reside inside my domain.

Now, the case has changed:

Total links: 100 (including nofollow)
Page PR: 5
PR juice to all NON NOFOLLOW links: 5/100=0.05.
PR juice which flow internally on my blog: 45*0.05=2.25
PR juice which flow to outside links: 5*0.05=0.25
PR juice which evaporates(useless): 50*0.05=2.5

This is how it all going to work from now on.

Simple analysis on Google's new nofollow policy

Here is what Matt Cutts confirmed:

Google Nofollow

When I modified my theme recently, I made a lot of SEO tweaks like adding nofollow to all links on TOP MOST nav bar (home, about etc.). My intention was to bring all category pages into my sitelinks. I know it is possible to get them there quite easy by removing category base. Though this is not a proved fact, but chances are more.

Effect of new Nofollow policy

Not so much if you are working genuinely. If you are practicing any black hat SEO, chances of being busted are more. As a matter of fact, all nofollow links are definitely going to contribute to the low PR juice to normal links. This is mainly to reduce all SEO tweaks by webmasters.

Shall I dofollow my comment section?

If you ask me, I can’t say yes. Read carefully, I never said nofollow links will pass PR juice. Nofollow links still have their own value and are still opposite of dofollow links. If you make your comments as dofollow, there is again a chance that you are hit more by comment spammers. It also increases keyword comments in a bad way. Its always wise and safe to keep your comment section nofollow as you don’t know how many spammer comments (may not be spams, but from link hungry casinos etc.) you have approved till now.

I still want to send more juice to normal links as I did earlier

Ok, no problem. Just remove all nofollow links. Yes, I meant it – Turn all your nofollow links to NO LINKS – this will send more PR juice to sites you link genuinely. Don’t blame me if your site navigation and hence the bounce rates are affected adversly. Wait for my next post if you want to remove all comment section hyperlinks 🙂 .

What impact of the new nofollow

What I feel about it is absolutely nothing changed. To be more simple: Earlier, we used to have exams for 100 marks and the exact scores used to be entered on marks sheet. And now, I feel we have exams for 50 marks and they are going to multiple it by 2 while entering on marks sheet 😉

What about Wikipedia?

No special treatment for them, they too are a website like all of us. No chance of any changes to occur for them. Wikipedia sends no links outside their network. So, the mass at which internal PR sharing used to be may get reduced, but still Wiki rocks with its Black Hole SEO. Black Hole SEO is something when a website behaves like black hole in terms of links(no outgong links).

I wonder what steps is Google going to take on fake / forged page rank. 😐


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    Pavan Kumar

    Pavan Kumar completed Engineering in Electronics and Communication in the year 2008. He is very enthusiastic and keen to work on different aspects of computer, internet and mobile related fields. The articles here reflect his creativity. This blog was started as a showcase of solutions for different problems and today it has got a good reputation in the blogosphere. Read More...

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