Friday, January 20th, 2006...1:18 pm

Yahoo and Nofollow Links

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Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal posted yesterday about Yahoo indexing and displaying nofollow links – an issue that was widely noticed due to the V7ndotcom elursrebmem SEO contest. Well, this doesn’t come as big news to me as black hat SEOs have noticed this peculiarity of Yahoo a while ago and those smarter ones of them have been using it to their benefit – what is more notable about this post and otehr posts mentioning the issue is that it has been spoken of publicly now.

The interesting point about nofollow links is a different approach to links and their value. Loren Baker’s post says:

Goes to show that being covered by, participating in the comments of or obtaining a link from a blog or site using “no follow” link condoms are still of some search engine value (not to mention the real value – traffic and reputation).

– while I’d say, the real value might be much more important. I like to say, a link is a link, period. Don’t know whether “nofollow” stops the links from telling the search engines anything about a linked to site’s reputation – but the traffic bit is certainly there, and don’t forget that it’s not only the bots that are looking at the links but people do too, as well as click on them.

This bit is especially insightful:

So, even links from no follow coded pages can appear in Yahoo’s backlink index, as those links are actually being followed by search engines. I’ll also go out on a limb to say that the aspect of the no follow link is a bit outdated when it comes to search indexing & ranking, as even if those links don’t pack “ranking juice”, they will help to define you and your site’s:

* online reputation
* profiles of users who visit your site and sites they have visited in the past
* clustering of similar pages and content
* and identifying links to pages which may have not had SEO in mind when obtaining those links or contributing to such discussions.

Such variables, included in a new age algo (and some in published Google & Yahoo patent apps), sound quite revelant to me, even if those links have no “PageRank” or “SiteRank” juice.

Who cares about the old Page Rank when nowadays the number of variables involved is so much greater, making this so much more interesting?

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