Anti-Nofollow FUD

Seems like the concerted effort of the comment spammers to spread FUD about the nofollow initiative is working. Jeremy Zawodny just linked to an anti-nofollow site that claims to be a parody. But things are not always what they seem.

Take a look at the ads at the bottom:

  • Text Link Brokerage - confirmed good link network (rel="nofollow" no where in site)
  • Powerstorm Web Hosting - safe hosting for aggesive SEOs.
  • ArticleBot - easy peasy content generation. Where's my thesaurus?

So, let's see. A "link network". That could conceivably be legit. And safe web hosting for "aggesive" [sic] SEOs. Does everybody know what aggressive SEOs are? Yep, they're link spammers, kids.

And finally, a content generation system. Whatever would that be useful for? Well, a couple of things. True SEO scumbags use content generation scripts to populate their banner farms with plausible text. Where does that text usually come from? Generally, it's stolen from other sites, on the assumption that people won't find out about the copyright violation. (I've had this happen personally.)

And who published this site? A company whose services include Search Engine Marketing and whose first listed client reference sells -- wait for it -- pills online! Who'da thunk?

I'm not saying all people who have misgivings about nofollow are link spammers. I'm saying all link spammers have misgivings about nofollow

And, once more, for those of you who still don't have the bullet points:

  • nofollow gives a site owner the choice of whether to pass PageRank to you. They've always had this choice, by using redirects or javascript. Now it's just easier. (Or automatic.) Having options is good.
  • Ranking that is conveyed by someone linking to your site from a post on their own site is not affected. Don't believe the hype.
  • Blogging is supposed to be about communication, in my understanding. nofollow affects the way search engines rank sites, not whether you write content that is meaningful to your audience or whether it prompts your readers to respond.

Finally, PageRank is not a contest. It's a calculation. The source materials explaining the motivations behind it are available on the web. See the Anatomy of a Search Engine (Brin and Page; 1998) and the PDF of The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web (Page, Brin, Motwani, Winograd; 1999).

Tags: