David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …




Look who follows NoFollow links!

Earlier this year, I speculated on how the search engines treat NoFollow links.  For those who might be a little green, NoFollow links are not totally ignored by the search engines.  For those who really, really green, NoFollow links are believed to be totally ignored by the search engines (because they have the rel=”nofollow” attribute in the link code).

So we ran a little experiment. 

A client of ours had a fully developed website that has never been used.  Not a single link points to this website, so in the eyes of the search engines, it should not exist. 

It was not indexed at Yahoo. It should go without saying that Yahoo displayed no backlinks.

The site was indexed at Google.  (How, why and whether Google should index orphan sites that have not been released to the public is a topic for another post.) Google showed no backlinks, but the site did rank #8 at Google for one very important search, based primarily on the name of the domain. It did not show up in the top 100 for a few other key searches. All searches are for local terms specific to a certain city, so they are moderately low competition.

For three weeks, we posted comments on NoFollow blogs (yes, intelligent comments reflecting the specific content of the blog posts) to create a steady stream of NoFollow links, without creating any DoFollow or “normal” hyperlinks.

Were the NoFollow links followed?

At the end of week 4, we found Yahoo had indexed the website and showed 51 backlinks.  All of these are NoFollow links. The more important searches were all showing in the top 20, one as high as position #6. Remember that these are moderately low-competition, local searches, but this is all on the strength of a few weeks of exclusively NoFollow links.

Google showed no backlinks after 4 weeks.  No surprise there; Google is very sporadic with if, when, how and which sampling of backlinks it chooses to display. The ranking at position #8 had not changed, but a couple other search terms were now ranking at Google, one of them as high as position #11. Again, this is exclusively on the strength of NoFollow blog comments.

What can we conclude about NoFollow links?

NoFollow links still obviously count at Yahoo.  Do they count as much as DoFollow links?  A more complicated experiment might help answer that question.  Anyone feel like taking up the challenge?

NoFollow links also appear to count at Google.  Or perhaps some do and others don’t, depending on other factors Google might use to rate links from specific domains. However, we can be sure that Google does follow at least some NoFollow links.

The conclusion I would draw from this is that people really should not focus on the NoFollow/DoFollow issue. Build links that are officially followable when you can, but don’t let a NoFollow attribute in a page’s links dissuade you from creating a link you would otherwise pursue.

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122 Responses to “Look who follows NoFollow links!”

  1. LA Tax Litigator (1 comments) Says:

    I'm glad there is some value in no follows, even if it's small. You never know what efforts will help your website so as many options as possible is great.

  2. Steven Clayton Fan (1 comments) Says:

    Hey – fantastic article. I often have wondered about the value of no follow links and whether or not they in fact have any value. You've definitely given me the answer I expected and was hoping to hear. I wonder how the exact same site would have performed over 4 weeks if only do follow links had been added…thats a topic for another experiment!

  3. linkbuildr (1 comments) Says:

    I had a business come to me to do some work, I never ended up working with them but they had me check over their current link profile.

    All they had done was nofollow comments, ranging from spammy ones to coherent, and boy I was not expecting to see what I did.

    They ranked top 10 for a half dozen *insanely* competitative keywords they were after in Google. I've been working on an ecommerce site myself to see what results I can come up with in regards to this.

    Link Building is a strange mistress my friend 😀

  4. Mike Belasco (1 comments) Says:

    did you login to Google Webmaster Tools to see how many links google reported there?

  5. Mary Bowling (1 comments) Says:

    Good research, David! I agree that you should not choose to comment on a blog according to whether the link is followed or not. Instead, remember that PEOPLE are reading posts and comments and if you say something intelligent, it may prompt them to visit your website or blog. By wisely choosing blogs with topics that are relevant to yours on which to comment, you may get targeted traffic and maybe even a link or two from other websites.

  6. Ron Boracay (2 comments) Says:

    This is great piece of experiment. This really proves that a link is still a link, no matter if it is nofollow or dofollow.

    I think, Big G still recognizes nofollow links but, not taking it much. However, if your nofollow links come from highly authoritative site, I think, It will make a really big impact.

  7. David Leonhardt (158 comments) Says:

    This site is fresh and has no Webmaster Tools or Analytics accounts attached to it. But that might be something to look at.

  8. David Leonhardt (158 comments) Says:

    That is pretty amazing. I expect there were more than a few high-authority sites in there.

  9. dan (4 comments) Says:

    Wow this is a very interesting experiment. I thought that NoFollow means NoFollow and that it doesn't count as backlink at all. I have to rethink my backlink strategy now.

    Thanks a lot for sharing

  10. SEO Doctor (4 comments) Says:

    Nope I would forget Nofollows if you are looking to imporove ranking. There are too many other factors that could have caused those kwywords to start ranking. Nofollow for traffic and online public relations only.

  11. Simon (11 comments) Says:

    I think it's important to understand how Google and Yahoo define and treat nofollow links first.

    1) Just because the links have the "nofollow" attribute, does not mean that they are not crawled and/or used to find new sites/pages or used in any other way. 2) According to Google (yes i know we can't trust everything they say), the nofollow attribute is mainly used to prevent PageRank from flowing to the linked page… I would be more interetsted to hear if the site's PageRank has moved at all. I think that would be a much more accurate measure to test. 3) We can't rule out that the blog comment links aren't used in some other ranking factor (ie. mentions, buzz). I believe there was a paper produced by one of the search engines at a WWW conference recently (sorry, I can't find it right now) that looked at using links not only to pass PR, Trust, etc, but also looking at total volume of links and unlinked domain mentions over time as a measure of "buzz" regardless of whether they are nofollowed or not. I don't think we can rule something like that out in this case.

    Finally, IMO, I don't think it's possible to conduct accurate SEO tests like this. How do you know someone didn't link to your site (not unfollowed) without you knowing about it? How do you know for sure that no other ranking factors have played a role in the site's increases in ranking?

  12. Brian Hancock (2 comments) Says:

    One thought is that many blogs will display a 'Recent Comments' widget in the sidebar of the blog. Even though they nofollow comments the links in the widget are usually followed links.

  13. Smoking Hypnosis (1 comments) Says:

    This is interesting, I've always subscribed to the "make it look natural" belief when linkbuilding going after dofollow and authority nofollow links. If all of your links are dofollow that really doesn't look very natural to the Big G. Works for me anyway.

  14. David Leonhardt (158 comments) Says:

    Simon, your points are well-taken, especially the last one. This is the problem with almost any SEO test. This test is not perfect, but I think it is good enough to establish that NoFollow links do feed into a website's rankings somehow. No other links were showing up as backlinks in Yahoo or Google; this does not rule out 100% that there were none, but it's pretty likely.

  15. Karen Smith (1 comments) Says:

    Simon is right, nofollow really means notrust. Google and most other search engines follow all links they just don't pass PageRank when crawling a nofollow link.

  16. Peter (6 comments) Says:

    This is getting WAY too confusing for me. I may just give up on SEO altogether. I thought I understood it, but lately I've found myself completely perplexed and humbled, as everything I thought I knew has now been thrown into question.

    It may well be time for me to just hang up my boots and find someone smarter than me to do it for me…

  17. malcolm coles (2 comments) Says:

    Google has many ways to spot URLs … Did you have pagerank turned on on google toolbar? Click on links from the site to google (so it could capture referring URL)? Etc …

  18. Marketing Internet (1 comments) Says:

    for nofollows, what counts is the anchor text value of the link thats it.

  19. David Black (1 comments) Says:

    I have been running my first website for around 8 months now. I, like most website owners, have done loads of reasearch on building backlinks. To be honest I am no clearer now on the issue as I was back when I first started.

    Follow, no follow, page rank off the page you have the link, etc. I suppose just gotta keep plugging away and see what happens. I don't think we will ever understand the true nature of link building :)

  20. Marcos Nobre (1 comments) Says:

    Interesting test though not sure it's conclusive. nofollow links work for discovery and that's what they did for ranking in Yahoo.

  21. Alain (1 comments) Says:

    Despite the debate going on whether Google counts nofollow links or not, you still need nofollow links to make sure that your link building is balanced. If you only use dofollow links this may be a sign to Google that you're building your links artificially.

  22. Dan London (1 comments) Says:

    RT: @mattcutts: If you read http://bit.ly/PUNLm carefully you can spot at least one possible (but huge) flaw with http://bit.ly/ZieAQ

    (matt cutts' response)

  23. Coco Design (1 comments) Says:

    What about people using browser embedded page-rank apps? Has anyone ruled out Yahoo for user installed tracking applications for users that when to the new site from the blog link? Could Google have reference registrar data for the URL search result? There still seems to be other variables that may not have been eliminated before coming to the conclusion that nofollows are arbitrarily followed.

  24. David Leonhardt (158 comments) Says:

    OK, I'll buy that…but what possible flaw is he referring to. I'm not sure I see it.

  25. Andy Beard (1 comments) Says:

    1. Google has stated many times that they use nofollow links for discovery
    2. Pages = PageRank
    3. If Google discover a page, it has some minimal PageRank even without any links
    4. Internal linking can concentrate PageRank on specific pages, even on a domain that apparently has no followed links
    5. Internal linking can pass anchor text
    6. First link priority

    Ultimately too many variables to prove whether links with nofollow pass PageRank

  26. Steve (12 comments) Says:

    I think there may be other factors at play to account for the SERPS. For example, don't search engines give more value to sites early on after the domain is indexed?

  27. Rosenstand (1 comments) Says:

    I'm pretty sure that Google indeed does follow and pass linkjuice on certain sites with nofollow attribute.

  28. Ron Boracay (2 comments) Says:

    Where does the "nofollow means notrust" came from? I think this is just a huge speculation.

  29. wilson (40 comments) Says:

    David, thanks for showing us the truth behind the Nofollow links. Honestly, I wouldn't care too much about the dofollow or nofollow stuffs, as long as the comments are useful and no sounds like a spammy post to me!

  30. Juegos (1 comments) Says:

    Was a pleasure to read the article, i believe the same, nofollow links count for Yahoo, my site is ranking for the search term i want in the first 50 pages using many nofollow links but is not ranking in Google in first 100 pages.

  31. Shiju Alex (1 comments) Says:

    Andy has some good points, though I am not sure about the first one. I have heard Matt Cutts say in his Webmaster Videos that if a link is Nofollowed, it is a NO follow for google and no SERP benefits are to be expected. May be what Andy says is just that google uses them to find new URLs and follow them separately.
    Anyway, I do have real doubts about how ignoring nofollowed links will affect the basic concept of PageRank (that links are like editorial votes), in this age of twitter et al, where all links are nofollowed. Not to forget that Wikipedia and blogs use nofollow and these are places where some serious interaction happen.
    But as for this experiment, it might be possible that On Page optimization might have done the trick. After all, it was a moderately low competition niche.

  32. Noah (1 comments) Says:

    Even webmaster tools doesn't show every single link that Google counts, though. Even so, I've seen nofollowed links show up time and time again for various sites I've worked on in webmaster tools.

    Haven't cared about nofollow for quite some time now…at best, I'd say they have somewhat less value than dofollow. For authority sites, their nofollowed links probably count a lot more than numerous dofollows.

  33. Paul (3 comments) Says:

    I think this debate will go on for a long time without anybody ever actually knowing whether nofollow works or not.

  34. Scope for money (1 comments) Says:

    I think Google is not counting nofollow links in our total backlinks list and Yahoo have been including all links in our backlinks list whether they are nofollow or dofollow.

  35. Affiliate Network (1 comments) Says:

    As I understand it, Google often follows NoFollow links, for the purpose of indexed the page found at the link, but they do not pass any PR to the site, because you're basically saying with NoFollow that you don't endorse the link.

  36. Redding SEO (1 comments) Says:

    You know you never really know until you test,test and re-test. Thank you for this, it is really a starting point for everyone to follow up. I know I will be.

  37. Bailey (1 comments) Says:

    Thanks for sharing this little experiment. I find it very interesting, and many of the other comments helpful as well.

  38. Joshua (2 comments) Says:

    I believe that every link counts, but count more the ones from sites with high page rank. For example wiki links are nofollow, but because they come from Wikipedia will be indexed even by Google.

  39. corporate video (1 comments) Says:

    I never really know where i stand with no follow links; there are so many conflicting views that I have yet to make my mind up about them.
    Its an interesting point however that no follow links should be used to convince google of genuine link building rather than artificial.

  40. bowling news (1 comments) Says:

    I always knew that Google didn't follow nofollow links, but I was never sure who did follow them. I knew that some places did though. Thanks for the research and information.

  41. Arnie K (2 comments) Says:

    I agree with Andy (and others) that it is very difficult to conduct real research when it comes to SEO and experiments like this as it's almost impossible to have a control environment. However given all the circumstances, you did a nice job of presenting a decent look at NoFollow. In our opinion, website owners should not obsess over it. We wrote a post a while back on the subject if you would like to allow the link here it is: http://www.verticalmeasures.com/link-building/no-

  42. Stefano Gorgoni (1 comments) Says:

    commenting on blogs with nofollow still brings traffic. and if those visitors have the google toolbar or if website has google analytics, or google adsense, well… google knows the website is getting traffic. so i'm not sure this test can be "definitive".
    but surely it's stimulating test :)

  43. myCOMMUNITIES (1 comments) Says:

    This made for an interesting read and is good to know. There has always been a lot of fuss about do or don't follow, so thanks for sharing this.

  44. victorcrums (1 comments) Says:

    Wow I love your experiment that cool action to do…

  45. Bob Beckett (1 comments) Says:

    Success of a website depends on both no follow and do follow link. I think you have now made no-follow links popular by your post. Thanks for letting us know the importance.

  46. seo training (1 comments) Says:

    Great article and clearly written. Personally I think that some "no folllow" links will pass on some link juice, depending on what type of site they are from.

  47. Robert (4 comments) Says:

    I've noticed something similar, mostly through Yahoo!. I always figured that Google would have to read nofollow links purely because they are there. The weight that follows these links is a whole other story, but I'm willing to bet that comments on related blogs might just help enhance the theme of your site…

    Then again I could be way off the mark.

  48. Andreas - Linknami (1 comments) Says:

    I suspect that nofollow links pass pagerank. Why? Because I have seen nofollow links recognized by google when searching for 'link:http://www.domain.com' and google does not easily recognize links. It probably also depends on the environment in which the links are placed in.

  49. adsVilla (1 comments) Says:

    Nice post, thanks for that info. I had been searching for dofollow ones, checking the following of the blog. I think I should not care about the following anymore

  50. blackwargreymons (1 comments) Says:

    Thanks that great tips about no follow link, now I understand the easy way…

  51. Dan Kneely (1 comments) Says:

    Yahoo is far less sophisticated than Google. Both probably follow the link to see where it leads but I sincerely doubt that Google will give any credit to a nofollow link. That's the reason it's there.

  52. Hicham (2 comments) Says:

    This is an interesting experiment, David! I also see 'NoFollow' links counted "somehow" by 'Yahoo' since 'SiteExplorer' shows up many backlinks form NoFollow blogs.

  53. Art (1 comments) Says:

    I hope something transfers because tons of old links have changed to no-follow on blog comments.

  54. Remi van Beekum (1 comments) Says:

    From the day the Google and some of the blog-software-makers came up with the nofollow (at SES NY), Yahoo said they thought it was not a good solution and they proposed an other one. But they were to late.
    But they also said, from they one, they would follow those links, but tread them a little different.

  55. Scott G. (1 comments) Says:

    This is a nice experiment that proves a link is a link. It's almost like the SEs way of rewarding those who leave comments regardless of the value they're gaining in return; sure hope that’s not the case. If this holds true then it will also make it easier to diversify your link building strategies. Thanks for sharing this information.

  56. SEO Manchester (2 comments) Says:

    Jeez! think i might be re-thinking my posting tactics if they are taken into account by the SE's this much-has anyone come up with a strategy to test this out properly in Google?

  57. Chris (11 comments) Says:

    Thanks for the information about the NoFollow links. I just wanna ask how do you guys or i mean what is your ways to determine if it is DoFollow links or NoFollow?

  58. geobak (1 comments) Says:

    Google's business model is based on their precious algorith… In it fully understandable that noone knows how their algo exaclt functions

    What we have to do is what the author of this post did…

    Test Test Test

    Personally i do various tests on my webpages and measure the results. Then i just do more tests…

    Reading some authority blogs and forum on search engine optimization helps but testing is the best guide for everything…

  59. Denny (1 comments) Says:

    What ratio of Follow to NoFollow would you recommend? Would you just be sure to "throw in" some NoFollow for good measure?

  60. vivo per lei (1 comments) Says:

    Wow, so if someone wants to be in the first rank in yahoo, just try no follow. and that's all right?

  61. sedurre ragazza (1 comments) Says:

    Umm, by the way, i think that google can decide the fate of a site, something have to change in the SEO world…. umm, isnot it?

  62. Kyle Fresh (1 comments) Says:

    Nofollow is such a fallacy – a backlink is a backlink. the nofollow attribute has been devised to ensure that there is no leakage of PR from the outbound site – but it still adds value as a link to the site . Therefore, if you dont worry about PR, go out and get nofollow links!!

  63. jiaho (1 comments) Says:

    nofollow backlinks maybe effect your site on yahoo,but it is not effect on google,you know nofollow links has no pr,and if you want to have a good position on google,you should have a high pr.

  64. Jason Phillips (1 comments) Says:

    I've been testing nofollow blog commenting myself recently. The funny thing I've discovered is that google indexed my blog through nofollow link and showed it as cached. However after 2 days, they stopped showing it in the index, until some of my articles from ezinearticles started to pop up, then they started showing it again with the date when they have indexed it through nofollow. That is weird in my opinion…

  65. Roger101 (1 comments) Says:

    Ugh. Have I wasted time searching for DoFollow sites ? I wonder if anyone will really crack the Google code ? (Gurus selling the "latest, greatest" excluded of course).

  66. Kris Malena (1 comments) Says:

    Thanks for confirming what I always suspected. Did you keep count of all the nofollows you commented on? What kind of ratio did you get?

  67. Web design Marbella (1 comments) Says:

    It makes sense. I've notices on the google webmaster tools many nofollow links I've posted months ago are displaying and counting as external links. I guess not only Yahoo has a methodology to analize websites and make the links valid but also Google.

  68. SEO Pakistan (1 comments) Says:

    I 100% agree with you, nofollows do count, linkjuice do passes through it but its not that much effective than the dofollow ones but still they count and they do help in improving rankings.

  69. philosophy (1 comments) Says:

    lol it seems like google uses a random number generator to include links, but ive seen someone from google say that they hold more links than they show.

  70. VH Writer (1 comments) Says:

    Great lead, thanks for the new info. So nofollows aren't always dead ends on Yahoo. As an outsourced SEO writer, that's good to know.

  71. Paul the Accountant (1 comments) Says:

    I have to say that, especially for low competition keywords, I have found a large group of no-follow links to be more than enough to start ranking well in both Yahoo and Google

  72. Sydney Web Design (1 comments) Says:

    Interesting experiment. We will never know how Google treats nofollow links. But, I think its a safe bet to say they don't give as much juice to them as dofollow links.

  73. Rick (5 comments) Says:

    This is a great post. Finally i knew the difference betwen nofollow links and dofollow links. Dofollow rocks!

  74. collaboration tool (1 comments) Says:

    I observed that no follow links are counted by google too.

  75. Akim (1 comments) Says:

    One of my web site ranking fine on Yahoo has no backlinks. lol

  76. Banner Advertising (1 comments) Says:

    Glad you guys did the experiment for me… I was thinking of doing it but it would have taken forever. Thanks guys.

  77. cell phone news (1 comments) Says:

    no follow made my website rank great for some keywords, i think search engines are counting no-follows backlinks.

  78. Computer Tech Tips (1 comments) Says:

    Great information and very useful. This was a well done experiment and provides some clear imperical data to draw conclusion from as opposed ot lots of conjecture and speculation. Thanks for making this information available. The nofollow / dofollow area is pretty muddy and this adds a sliver of clarity.

  79. SEO wizz (1 comments) Says:

    I think the rel=nofollow simply avoids link juice flowing to a particular page, the page of this site may have ranked due to 1 or more of Googles other 100 ranking factors. Even though links are no followed this does not mean google cannot peak at the site or even index the page it is flowing to it simply means PageRank won't flow, this is why Google recommend using the nofollow on sponsered links. If Google allowed link juice to flow through nofollow links they would be basically endorsing selling links to boost PR which is strictly against their terms of service.

    Saying this there is a lot more than link juice that flows through a link ie, anchor text, authority and relevance and this is an area for more investigation.

  80. Divorce in Texas (1 comments) Says:

    I'm using no follow and do follow site to get my backlinks from and I think its working great, although I'm not sure if i'm getting some link jiuce from those no follow site.

  81. Kelsey (1 comments) Says:

    What a great article, I've always wondered about nofollow links because they do appear to send a lot of traffic to my website, especially when I post at really popular sites like Mashable.

  82. New York Glass (1 comments) Says:

    Interesting experiment. Looks like Google does use nofollow for indexing purposes. However, I think the experiment has failed to prove that it helps in rankings since as you've mentioned the keywords weren't competitive and could have scored high ranking without any off site SEO.

  83. Bryce Harper (1 comments) Says:

    I was wondering about this. Thank you for doing the experiment. I guess no link is a wasted link.

  84. Fatboy Bean Bags (1 comments) Says:

    From my own research I would have to say that search engines to give a certain amount of link love to sites that have the no follow attribute. I know they arent meant to but I have seen sites with 99% no follow links and they still manage to rank

  85. controlled boats (1 comments) Says:

    Yes, I also have heard this about no-follow links.

  86. Kilua Freccs (1 comments) Says:

    This is a great news, everyday of my work is on posting links and finding sites that are DO FOLLOW, if i found a site that says no follow on my software, i ignore it with no thinking twice. Now I can try posting in no follow sites to gain visibility on search engines.thanks for the article.

  87. nemetc (1 comments) Says:

    Wow this is a very interesting experiment. I thought that NoFollow means NoFollow and that it doesn't count as backlink at all. I have to rethink my backlink strategy now.

    Thanks a lot for sharing

  88. Tyy (1 comments) Says:

    Thank you so much for this article and test. I have been trying to find facts on the nofollow for a while now and it seems there are a lot of opinions out there. This confirmed my thinking and some of the results I have seen. I will definitely take the advice to not worry so much and focus more on quality.

  89. Ash Esguerra (1 comments) Says:

    thanks for sharing i know there are some value even in no follow links. you can never tell

  90. Hanna (1 comments) Says:

    After doing my own research kind of like what you have written about here I have come to the same conclusion. Even though a link is no follow it has been my experience as well that Yahoo and Google do follow at least some of these so the end result is try to find the do follow links but do not stray away from the no follow links.

    Thanks for posting your results, its great to see others experimenting too and not just being a follower, well no pun intended! :-)

  91. Fizber (1 comments) Says:

    David, thanks a lot for the time you spent for the research and for the post. The question regarding no-follow and do-follow was one of the most unclear for me in the SEO job. I've already sent the link to your post to my colleagues who insisted that no-follow links have no value! Now I have a good argument – thank you one more time.

  92. Johnton (1 comments) Says:

    Yea, there has been a lot of talk about the value of no follow links. its great to hear that they have some value. Excellent article. Thanks for this.

  93. Call Center Services (1 comments) Says:

    I tried this before too–I had a feeling Yahoo didn't care about rel=nofollow. There's this forum that I have thousands of posts in, but all signature links are nofollowed. I just changed my signature to a keyphrase that I wanted, and surprise surprise, it ranked #1 in Yahoo for that keyword. What's more surprising is it also ranks #1 in Google if you do an exact search.

  94. silver rings (1 comments) Says:

    Hey, Thanks for this great info, Now I know the value of "no Follow Links" aside from "do follow" . I've been curious about this. Sometimes, It's the content that counts not the "no follow"/ "do follow links".

  95. Carmen (1 comments) Says:

    That's a great experiment. I tend to believe that No-Follow will soon be a thing of the past.

  96. TonyP (1 comments) Says:

    It really tragic that I avoided no follow links like the plague for so long. I am now starting to see the light and realize a backlink is a backlink, especially since i do allot of social bookmarking.

    You just never know if those sites will makes their links do-follow in the future also, and i do believe that google places allot of emphasis on link diversity.

  97. reviewsgoldmine (1 comments) Says:

    Thanks for the article. Like Wilson i also wouldn't care too much about the nofollow or dofollow links as long as the comments are useful

  98. Garden Netting (1 comments) Says:

    Webmaster tools is better at showing links in, but still seems to miss alot out :)

  99. joanne delaine (1 comments) Says:

    I really thought that "no follow" links is not count as backlinks.. This article got me interested!!!

  100. bankowned (1 comments) Says:

    I think you need nofollow links to make sure that your link building is balanced. If you only use dofollow links this may be a sign to Google that you're building your links artificially.

  101. oahu (1 comments) Says:

    This is great piece of experiment. This really proves that a link is still a link

  102. Liam (1 comments) Says:

    No follow links are still good for all search engines but google give don't give them a lot of power. I always add no follow links to my link building because they are still counted as a link!!!

  103. diciembre 2009 (1 comments) Says:

    So far, that's their story and they're sticking to it. This won't be the first time that one has to listen very carefully to the words they say. As this little test showed, there probably still are some teeth to NoFollow, but not enough that I would write off all NoFollow links.

  104. chinajiaho (1 comments) Says:

    Yes,i can found lots no follow backlinks in my google webmaster tool.and i think sometimes they can indexed it.

  105. ronaldmalvoy (1 comments) Says:

    I always doing Dofollow link, but forgot about Nofollow Link. Thanks to remind me about NoFollow, I will try the best one.

  106. Locksmith_Seattle (1 comments) Says:

    Thanks the information was really useful. But I wonder why all search engines do not index on the same terms, that would have been much easy for us internet marketers
    Locksmith Seattle

  107. P.O.G. (1 comments) Says:

    Great post David..

    Awesome demonstration of the different search engines. I look forward to your next post.

    Keep up the great value!

    Jason Braud

  108. Boston SEO (1 comments) Says:

    I have seen the same success with nofollow links based on a pretty similar test pattern. In creating links that were about 80-90% nofollow, we still saw significant gains in our results. Some just believe that nofollow means NOfollow, which it clearly should, but, for whatever reason, this is just not the case. This is yet another aspect of SEO that falls into art rather than science.

  109. Harrison Stuart (1 comments) Says:

    So that only means that even nofollow links are useful. However, not for Google, but to other search engines. Not that bad. At least you get a minimal benefit from it.

  110. Patrick (1 comments) Says:

    I use no follow links in my link building because it looks natural to google. Even if they don't give power to No follow links, Yahoo, bing and other SE's give power to them.

  111. netclick seo blog (1 comments) Says:

    Just link to other people's website in a natural way. At the end of the day you might see your inbound links increase, by people who link back to you.

  112. Magento (1 comments) Says:

    Nice research. It's good to have a healthy balance of do-follow and nofollow. Although some search engines don't count the link they still associate your anchor text with the URL so are good for discovering your site.

  113. herbs ayurvedic (1 comments) Says:

    Such a very great and informative post. you still need nofollow links to make sure that your link building is balanced. Google and most other search engines follow all links they just don't pass PageRank when crawling a no follow link. thanks for sharing with us.

  114. team collaboration (1 comments) Says:

    great post & experiment. thanks!

  115. Frederik Trovatten (1 comments) Says:

    Nofollow changes constrantly – I refuse to use it.

  116. Valgren (1 comments) Says:

    Matt Cutt has done a video where he clearly stage that nofollow links are irreverent to search engines.

  117. Rosetta (1 comments) Says:


    I tend to do nofollow and dofollow, as google likes things to look natural and some people say no follow is relevant, so I tend to use both.

  118. herbal spice (1 comments) Says:

    I don’t think there is any way to tell how much they factor in. All you can do is continue building as many links as possible – within reason

  119. Whoisbid (1 comments) Says:

    I believe people have underestimated google and cookie technology. Google is following most of us through cookies and even if there is a no follow link, the cookie will know that someone found that link interesting and followed it. There is your link juice , well.. maybe we should call it some milk to a relevancy algorithm.

  120. Siju George (1 comments) Says:

    Earlier I too believed nofollow links are totally useless. But when I checked my Google webmastertools account I was surprised to see nofollow links as backlinks. I understand that nofollow links do not carry too much weight but they still (at least some of nofollow links) carry some weight.

  121. Arun Mohan (1 comments) Says:

    You are right Mr.Siju. me too shows no follow links.

  122. Jennifer (4 comments) Says:

    I had no idea no-follow links could add value, thanks for the awesome post! If you had to estimate the relative value of no-follow to do-follow (if that can be done), what would you say the ratio is? 100 no-follow links to 1 do-follow?

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