Ask.com 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.