The History of the No-Follow Tag and What Using it Means For Your Site Now

0 comments, 08/02/2012, by , in Plugins and Tools, SEO

No FollowIn 2005, in order to combat link spam appearing on blog comments as a way to manipulate search engine page rankings, the no-follow html tag was created.  Links that have been tagged with no-follow tell search engines that the link with the tag applied to it does not carry the same weight as a normal link, and that the appearance of that link shouldn’t influence the page ranking of the site that is being linked to in the search engine’s index.  This has been used to improve the quality of results that search engines bring back, and has also been useful in preventing spam.

No-Follow Changed Again in 2009

The no-follow tag was eventually used by SEOs as a way to influence page rank by what is known as “page rank sculpting.”  This prompted a change in the way the tag behaves in 2009, where now using no-follow leads to the evaporation of the target site’s page rank.  SEOs were able to develop alternative techniques that would replace the no-follow tag with a JavaScript code that would allow page rank sculpting to continue.

The most widespread usage of no-follow tags are in weblog software packages.  These software packages will automatically assign the no-follow tag to any links that a reader may post in the comment section.  This happens by default and often there is no way to disable this function unless you were to modify the code of the software.  This is in line with the original intent of the introduction of no follow to prevent bots from spamming comments on blogs, disrupting user interactions and falsifying page rank data.

Recent Changes to Internal No-Follow

Recently, search engines such as Google have been attempting to modify the no-follow tag yet again in order to prevent paid links from showing up in the results of their search engine.  This sparked a large debate since there are many companies whose entire business models are based around paid links that have a direct impact on search engine page rankings.

SEO professionals have used no-follow to their advantage by using it to control the page rankings within a specific website.  However, it wasn’t long before Google caught on to this and now any link that has a no-follow tag attached to it will decrease the page ranking that the site can pass on, which is an entirely different use than was originally intended.  Many SEO professionals have suggested that an internal no-follow tag should function just like no-follow for external sites since pages such as the “terms of service”, “contact us”, and “about us” pages on a site as these are not important enough to earn their own page ranking.  It is advised that instead of using no-follow that webmasters use alternative methods such as click hierarchy in order to manipulate internal page rankings.

The Pingler No-Follow Finder Tool

By using the Pingler No-follow Finder tool, you can easily search your site (or any other site you please) in order to find any no-follow links on any website.  By using a tool such as this, webmasters have the opportunity to remove no-follow links or tags from their website in order to help page ranking.

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