In short, you have surely heard / read these statements:
- Untracked links do not pass Page Rank.
- Obtaining nofollow external links to a project has no benefit.
- Internal nofollow links are unnecessary (interestingly this statement, without a doubt, now we’ll talk about it)
- You must have X% nofollow links in your inbound link profile.
All of this is what I want to discuss in this article based on an isolated experiment we conducted that was quite illuminating.
There are 2 important parts that I want to cover in this article regarding the nofollow tag for links. In the first part I want to tell you about the external links with the nofollow tag and in the second part it will be the internal links with this tag, where you will find the isolated experiment that we carried out and the results obtained.
You accompany me?. TO START!
The nofollow tag: A brief history
This label was born around 2005 in order to eliminate some SPAM links. Precisely this tag is used so that any webmaster can tag various outgoing links that he does not trust.
Where its use makes the most sense is in the following cases:
- Comments: Since anyone can comment and submit links.
- Forums: Anyone can enter information in any discussion thread.
- Affiliate Links: This has always been directly recommended by Google.
- Paid links / Advertising: It is Google itself, also here, which recommends that the nofollow tag be inserted in these cases.
All the official information that Google makes available to us can be found here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/96569?hl=en
As you can see from the official docs, Google says it doesn’t typically follow these links or pass Page Rank.
So far, what we already knew: The nofollow tag was born in 2005 and is used to indicate to Google that you do not trust links that have this tag, and this “Usually” does not follow them.
Nofollow external links (inbound and outbound)
We enter one of the funniest parts, the ones I love the most and right where I want to get wet.
I start with this statement:
“I don’t care how they label the link they put me as long as that link brings me qualified traffic and adds extra value to the article they link me from 😉”
2 weeks ago, in the article I wrote about Penguin 4.0I have already mentioned that what really interests a project is to receive links from sites frequented by users interested in what the project in question offers.
One approach that I always take when I think the links would be good for x projects, is to take Google out of the equation … that is: if Google didn’t exist … where would you place- I my links? The answer is simple.
If we combine this approach and deduce that a nofollow link “may” continue to depend on different factors, we could say that nofollow links are also valid.
In addition, nofollow links also have many advantages:
- They can bring you traffic interested in what you are offering.
- The traffic referred depending on the context can be significant.
- A nofollow link may get you to receive other dofollows i.e. if your link is in a widely shared post and they like it, more people may have talked about that post and linked you , and this time it can be a dofollow.
Finally, I leave you an article that chuiso did some time ago, where one of the sections talks about an experiment that moz had some time ago with nofollow links and the results are curious, as well as the reflection of our dear friend Alvaro: http://chuiso.com/experimentando-seo-google-y-chuisand-fishkin/
As you can read for yourself, you will see that nofollow links do not improve you significantly, you just have to look at case 1. In case 2, as chuiso says, there may be more of factors 😛.
The practice of internal nofollow links
As of today these links are often used to improve the exploration budget (I think more than getting better we could say … manipulate, so that the google robot crawls our page more efficiently 😉). But like everything in life … there will be some professionals who will say that they don’t use it and that it is useless and others who will say the opposite. That’s why I carried out a small experiment to leave the data of the experiment public and for everyone to draw their own conclusions.
Before the experience I want to continue to tell you a bit of history (today I am inspired) …
When this tag was born (remember it was around 2005), “SEOS Rogues” started using this tag to manipulate the flow of internal authority between pages, giving some more authority than others, this technique is known as “Page Rank Sculpting”.
But in 2009, Matt Cutts already made it clear that it was over and that this technique would no longer work.
The fact that internal nofollow links are not used to perform Page Rank sculpting is something that is clear, but what I disagree with today is that internal nofollow links are unnecessary. . In fact, depending on the projects and volume of URLs processed and which URLs we are working on that we need to show the user Nofollow internal links can still be put to good use.
Well-established internal nofollow links can help you improve your crawl budget. Remember that if there are pages in which the google robot does not spend time, it will have this time to browse others which, a priori, may be more important. “
You will surely remember (and if not I link it below) a Moz article from a little over a year ago. At this Moz article, ensures that attempting to improve the tracking budget by using nofollow links will not prevent the Google crawler from crawling those pages.
If Moz says so … NO! You have to be stubborn, you have to try, experiment, and then decide if you agree or not.
To find out how the Google robot behaves when it encounters a nofollow link and how it behaves when the link does not have this tag, we have prepared an experiment that includes the following:
Basis of experience: On 02/11/2016, two websites were set up in two different domains: experiences1lmv.com and experiences2lmv.com, with the same structures, a 300 word home page and 4 internal links to sub-categories (each of 100 words). The difference between these 2 areas is the labeling that has been placed on internal links:
- Embrace a “/ Uno”: nofollow
- Enclose a “/ Back”: nofollow
- Link to “/ Tres”: follow
- Link to “/ Four”: follow
- Link to “/ Uno”: follow
- Place a “/ Back”: follow
- Link to “/ Tres”: follow
- Link to “/ Four”: follow
*** You can enter the 2 websites yourself and see how everything is structured ***
The domains are then indexed at 5:15 p.m. the same day using Search Console.
Do you want to see the results of the experiment? Click on the video below and you will see how much fun the results are.
Experiment with Internal Nofollow Links – [VÍDEO]
The Nofollow – My conclusions
My conclusions are oriented towards internal links, towards intelligent use of this tag to allow Googlebot to crawl our website more efficiently.
The reality is often very different from the theory or from what one or the other can claim, and in this case there is data, there is an experience and there are clear results.
Of course, I want to wait more weeks and do more stuff on these websites to see how these nofollow links continue to perform and keep drawing conclusions.
The conclusion is clear:
“NOT JUST FOR READING, BUT ALSO EXPERIENCING, TESTING, BREAKING AND DRAWING CONCLUSIONS”
You can do similar experiments yourself and draw your own conclusions. The conclusion drawn from this experience is clear and everyone can do whatever they want with this information and with their projects.
In the coming days, we will continue to experiment and change things on these pages to prepare for the next experience.
Finally, I would like to know your opinion. And if you are one of those who use nofollow links internally or not. I’m going to get wet and I tell you that there are projects that I use and others that I do not use, it all depends on the situation of these projects and the benefits that this practice can bring me.