Going Overboard With NoFollow

Thu, May 7, 2009

Link Building

Traditionally, the use of nofollow was a good way to help control your page rankings by making sure that only the content you wanted to count was actually counted for your site. However, as with any tool there are dangers of using nofollow too much. Today I want to talk a little bit about when using nofollow isn’t such a good idea – and how it might actually hurt your site.

Nofollow is a pretty advanced SEO tactic, and should always be used with guidelines and standards for your site. If you let people go crazy using it you can cause a lot of rank harm to your site that can take a long time to undo.

The short and sweet of nofollow is that when you link to content with nofollow in the anchor tag you are telling the search engines to not give the content “points” (as it were) for being linked too, and to not index the content. Now, for internal links on sites this can be very important – after all, you probably don’t need (or want) your terms of service, legal notices, etc. indexed – they do no good and can actually distract from your main site depending on the query people are performing.

Where people often fall down with nofollow is that they begin to use it for pages that they think is of little importance, but may actually be providing a lot of traffic for pages downstream. Many people think they should nofollow their About Us or Contact Us page, but when searching for information about a company or product these two pages can provide a wealth of information for the search engines.

So where should you not be using nofollow? Generally speaking, I recommend don´t use nofollow for:

  • Product pages
  • Contact Us
  • About Us
  • Paginated Content (Page 1 of 3, etc.)
  • Category or Topic Structures

Places where it is OK to use nofollow with little risk include:

  • Privacy Policy
  • Legal Policy
  • Any dynamic page based on user login (like a shopping cart)
  • Any product or service page that may be adult-only in nature

Through proper use of nofollow you can make sure that the content that matters the most on your site is the content that gets ranked and indexed high. By employing standards of what you use nofollow for upfront you can help prevent costly ranking mistakes from improper use.

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This post was written by:

Cassiano Travareli - who has written 90 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.

SEO Specialist! Loves everything about Search Engine Marketing.