Google Abuses Nofollow

Posted by jonathan at 3:36pm EST on 10/24/2007

Back in 2005 when nofollow was introduced and widely adopted, we did not know the future effects it would have on the world.

Looking back 2 (almost 3) years, here are a couple other articles on the nofollow subject: Six Apart, Technorati’s Kevin Marks, and AOL’s John Panzer.

The rel=”nofollow” term was introduced into the world of blogging because of spam. So nofollow was intended to defeat spam. Spam, right? Well alright, I’m alright with nofollowing spam, spam links suck. Spam sucks, agreed? Alright, good, we’re past that point.

Q: What types of links should get this attribute?
A: We encourage you to use the rel=”nofollow” attribute anywhere that users can add links by themselves, including within comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists. Comment areas receive the most attention, but securing every location where someone can add a link is the way to keep spammers at bay.

That question comes directly from the Google post above. I’m still on board with the whole adopting nofollow as a method of censoring URLs that you may not trust.

Let’s skip forward to today. October 24th, 2007. Two years, nine months, and six days after nofollow was introduced. What is nofollow being used for today?

Nofollow is being used for things such as not giving credit where it’s due. Nofollow has corrupted the Internet and made it unnatural. What makes me think that? Let’s take a look at an example on Google’s site.

Google is abusing nofollow

The pink highlighted link is a rel=”nofollow” link. Notice where the link is going? From what I can gather, the owner of that site did not put their own link there. After visiting the site looking at a cache of the page, it doesn’t look like spam at all.

So that begs the question: why is Google adding rel=”nofollow” to a non-spam site? The answer most likely has something to do with wanting to have fewer quality-ranking sites so it increases their AdWords revenue.

2 Responses to “Google Abuses Nofollow”

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