How Search Engines Handle The Nofollow Attribute

Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal has a nice write up on how the search engines handle the nofollow attribute now just over two years since it was introduced. still does not follow the tag, so here are the takeaway for Google and Yahoo:

  • Google won’t follow the link, Yahoo will (note)
  • Google and Yahoo won’t pass link popularity for that specific link
  • Google would hope that Wikipedia would not take such an “absolute approach” on the nofollow link attribute being applied so widely.

Note From Danny: Google WILL follow nofollow links in the sense that if someone else links to a page without using nofollow, then Google might find the page that way. Nofollow on one link to a page doesn’t somehow cause ALL links to be off limits.

In addition, if a new site goes up, even if no one links to it at all, Google in particular is known to crawl anyway when it sees a domain registration happen.

In short, if you put something up on the web without a password-protection barrier, there’s a chance a search engine will find it, nofollow or no nofollow. Nofollow is not designed to be a spider blocking system.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | SEO: Blocking Spiders


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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