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Former good article Nofollow was one of the Engineering and technology good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 16, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
July 5, 2010 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article
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Google follows nofollow links anyway[edit]

I think it should be made clear that the no follow is applied to mentioned links to limit unintentional or corrupt search credibly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:35, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

I removed the statement "Google follows nofollow links anyway" from the "Criticism" paragraph, because the reference itself [1] states already: "Unfortunately, this little experiment cannot prove whether Google counts nofollow links or not". --roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 06:29, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

I cannot tell what this sentence means: Google announced in early 2005 that hyperlinks with rel="nofollow" attribute[1] would not influence the link target's PageRank.

  • Does it mean the tag is disregarded entirely?
  • Does it mean that "nofollow" links will be followed and crawled, but will not be used in reckoning the page's PageRank?

The reference in the sentence is to a spec at W3C, but I did not perceive its relevance. Maybe I'm just dense. -- Rob C (Alarob) 20:30, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

  • If you add the rel=nofollow attribute to a HTML link, this link will not cast a vote for the linked to page. Search engines see links as "pro-votes" and have more or less impact on a sites ranking in the individual search engines. The famous Pagerank algorithm is based entirely on that. Pagerank is today only one of many (over 200 [2]) factors for a sites ranking in Google though.
  • Whether the linked to page is crawled or not is different from search engine to search engine who support the attribute. I hope this clarifies it.
  • Regarding the W3C. "rel" is a standard attribute in HTML standard that existed before. The value "nofollow" for the attribute "rel" is new and not HTML standard. Does that make sense?--roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 00:09, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
Yep, that's right. Prior to nofollow there was a standard link formula via a google redirect but it wasn't recognised by all search angines. Links with nofollow are very valuable to spammers in lots of ways: although the links won't directly count for page rank they get pages spidered (try putting a WP link to a new page linked nowhere else and the googlebot turns up) and so since the spidered content carries intrinsic pankrank weight they indirectly increase pagerank to a spammers sites as well as bringing actual traffic etc. Since on WP there is always high dilution (lots of links) this effect was always arguable more valuable. And of course with Wikipedia there is the little matter that links from Wikipedia were only a fraction of the link value from all the mirrors and forks without nofollow (at least for article space... less true with talk space): but that's another story. --BozMo talk 09:50, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

"Meta tags can exclude all outgoing links on a page, but you can also instruct Googlebot not to crawl individual links by adding rel="nofollow" to a hyperlink. When Google sees the attribute rel="nofollow" on hyperlinks, those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results."

That certainly implies that Google follows the link, but does not include it in rank calculation. -- LeCourT:C 17:41, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
It was tested and you can also read what Matt Cutts said during an interview (which is already part of the references for the article) [3] --roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 14:42, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Note for anyone who cares - I can confirm that Bing follows and indexes "nofollow" links... I just noticed that I've had bing robots caught in a near-infinite loop for at least a month now, despite the fact that those links all have nofollow on them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:45, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

do search engines respect nofollow tags recursively?[edit]

Consider three hypothetical sites, A, B, and C. Suppose that A contains a nofollow link to B, which contains a normal link to C. When search engines crawl B, would they normally treat the link to C in the same manner? Or does this totally depend on the search engine? If search engines do not respect nofollow tags recursively, wouldn't spammers be able to defeat the purpose of nofollow by including self-links on their sites? --Ixfd64 02:30, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

As far as I understand it, B will get no "vote" from A but C will get a "vote" from B. This makes sense, because if A is a blog and C is "" the spammer wants to boost C's PR. If they post links to C in a comment on A they will get no PR "vote" if the link is nofollow. If the owners of C create B and link to C, then C is getting a vote from B but this wont help a lot. A nofollow link from A to B wont help B either. Comment spam worked because the owner of C can go to many pages like A and post links to C getting votes from all of them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Humbug88 (talkcontribs) 05:05, 3 February 2010 (UTC)


I have reverted this back in. I agree that the citations etc are weak/blogs but that's pretty true of the whole article. You can't pick and choose to drive a POV --BozMo talk 06:27, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

most search engine marketing or internet marketing articles will have to back up their claims with citations by blogs, because that is the medium of choice by industry experts and now also general internet publications who cover that subject. Many of those publications that can be compared to print press (in layout, structure and how they work) switched their CMS from whatever they had before to a blogging platform. I just mention this, because blog <> weak by default as you implied with your comment. Blog citations can be weak, no doubt about it, but that does only means that we need to be more thorough and careful when it comes to the evaluation of a reference. --roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 14:49, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

GA review[edit]

  • Crystal button ok.png Well written: article is clear and readable
  • Crystal button ok.png Factually accurate and verifiable: has an appropriate amount of references
  • Crystal button ok.png Broad in its coverage: Can't find anything that I felt was left out
  • Crystal button ok.png NPOV: Meets standard
  • Crystal button ok.png Stable: Not subject to ongoing edit wars
  • No image.svg Images: Not applicable

Crystal button ok.png Congratulations! I feel that this article does meet the GA criteria. Two areas of improvement before you take the article further would be to expand the lead and the "Usage on other websites" section (2 of the 3 paragraphs are about Wikipedia). Other than that, great job working on this article! —Scott5114 [EXACT CHANGE ONLY] 20:44, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the review Scott. I added a paragraph about social bookmarking sites that use nofollow, such as, Flickr, and others. I also included a reference for that of course. What are the next steps from here (I nominated the article, just FYI)? Thanks --roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 21:05, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, at the very top is featured articles, which is the highest rating any article can achieve. It can be difficult to achieve and requires a lot of work (see featured article criteria), but only featured articles can appear on the front page. Before going through FA, though, you may want to consider peer review to get more opinions on the article. In addition, some WikiProjects have an A-Class review system, which approves articles for A-Class, an intermediate level between FA and GA; check with the appropriate WikiProjects to see if they have any such system.—Scott5114 [EXACT CHANGE ONLY] 23:50, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Scott and I know. I am still working hard on getting the article to Affiliate marketing to the status of Good Article and eventually to featured. That one is a bit bigger of a task, due to the importance and complexity of the subject. I took a "break" after it just barely failed to meet the criteria and worked on some other articles that are easier to get clean and ready for Good Article status. The nofollow article is IMO good, which is the reason why I nominated it. It still needs a bit more fine tuning though to meet the criteria of a featured article. We will get there :) --roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 19:01, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

WordPress and nofollow[edit]

In regards to:

The widely used blogging platform Wordpress version 1.5 and above automatically assigns the nofollow attribute to all user-submitted links (comment data, commenter URI, etc)

I would like to submit a modification to state:

The widely used blogging platform Wordpress version 1.5 and above automatically assigns the nofollow attribute to all user-submitted links (comment data, commenter URI, etc.) However, there are several free plugins available (such as Remove Nofollow) that automatically remove the nofollow attribute value.

Disclaimer: I wrote the plugin and it's my website, which is why I'm not adding the information myself. The plugin is free and under GPL. The website is regarded by wikipedia to be generally acceptable as a valid source and has been cited over 40 times around wikipedia (and not by me, I might add!) -- LeCourT:C 17:29, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable and helpful to me. Sean Martin (talk) 23:05, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Yep I think that was a good addition. --BozMo talk 14:11, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
I removed the example plugin. Not because I don't think that it is useful, but because there are several plugins that do this and I don't want that every "do follow" plugin author starts adding his plugin to the article. If we add a link, then I would suggest to add a link to the Wordpress Plug-in directory for the tag "nofollow" [4]. --roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 14:22, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Took your suggestion and added the generic link.. -- LeCourT:C 19:13, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

p.s. Richard, your plug-in does not seem to be listed there. You might want to register it at the WP site. --roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 14:27, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

  • It was approved for listing over a month ago, but a technical glitch with WP's SVN repository has made it inaccessible, even to me. And I'm getting exactly the amount of support I'd expect from a free open-source project community. Precisely none. :) -- LeCourT:C 19:13, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry to hear that. It is hard for people to see value in something that is free. That's one of the problems open source has and will have for the time to come. It's a misconception that is burned into most people's minds. --roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 04:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

nofollow is a non-standard HTML attribute value[edit]

This statement in the lede is incorrect, there is nothing to be non-standard, the rel attirbute is valid HTML (see and the value of it can be anything. You wouldn't say that having a id or a class value of nofollow was non-standard HTML. Whether the agent chooses to do anything with the value us another matter. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:29, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

You are correct and incorrect as well. I used the wording that was used by the W3 itself to distinguish between standard attributes that only have predefined (=standard) values to choose from (such as "top", "left" , "right" etc. for the standard attribute "align"), standard attributes with dynamic values (such as "width", which can have a large number of possible values) and non-standard values for standard attributes. standard values for the standard attribute "rel" are for example "prev" and "next", see [5]. "nofollow" on the other hand is not a standard value. The "non-standard" part in "non-standard HTML attribute value" refers to "value" and not to "HTML attribute". I can imagine that some people read that wrong. If you have a better idea to make it more clear and prevent misinterpretations, let me know. --roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 04:27, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Good points, I guess for me, I would say standard HTML was somthing that passed the w3c validator (i.e. following standards), which a rel attribute of nofollow would. However I see your distinction, perhaps the word recognized is more useful in this context as the w3c don't recognize nofollow as an attribute( For compleatness, W3C recongnized values for rel are alternate, stylesheet, start, next, prev, contents, index, glossary, copyright, chapter, section, subsection, appendix, help, bookmark (i'm impressed with any one who's used more than two from that list!). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:30, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi Mr. :). English is my second language, so that "handicaps" me already. However, if possible, the same name or wording should be used in the Wikipedia article as it is by the sources. Wikipedia is not the appropriate place to coin new words and phrases or come up with interpretations (haha that was an insider joke hehe). The other important thing is to be consistent. If you name it one way for whatever reason, that you have to stick to it. I am not sure what wording is used in other Wikipedia articles related to this subject. I think the wording used in this article was taken from discussions at the W3C, but I am not 100% sure (it has been a while since I did some research for references for this article). --roy<sac> Talk! .oOo. 00:08, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Drive by comment[edit]

This article's lead is rather short - could it please be expanded to better summarise the whole article (see also WP:LEAD)? —Giggy 08:54, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Nofollow on internal links section bias[edit]

Whoever wrote the previous version of this section was extremely biased and did not disclose just how controversial the practice is. The SEO community is intensely divided on the subject and a great deal of information was omitted by the previous contributor.

I have done my best to present the most relevant facts of the controversy in as unbiased a way as possible, but I do happen to be one of the people participating in the controversy. I offered no personal citations, per Wikipedia policy, and have included references showing that the story is not as cut-and-dried as the previous contributor would have led people to believe.

This section should probably be looked over some more to help ensure that a neutral point of view is maintained (as much as possible, given just how divided the community is on the topic).Michael Martinez (talk) 16:33, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't know what any of this means. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

"Concept and Specification" section needs improvement[edit]

In the "Concept and Specification section:

"The nofollow tag is installed by default in WordPress and Blogger blogs": Not clear what "tag is installed" means. Where is the tag used? Presumably not in all links.

"There is no mention of this fact to the blog owner and it cannot be turned off": This sounds opinionated, as if it's a bad thing. Blogging software does a lot of things behind the scenes, and most of it is not mentioned to the blog owner.

"There is however a 5 star rated plug-in from the WordPress community called No Follow Free ...": The 5-star nature should not be relevant here; but if it is, an in-line citation should be given for what it means.

"...which makes it easy for the blog owner to turn off the nofollow tags so the search engines can properly index comments links as they were intended by the readership": The word "properly" seems incorrect; either a comment gets indexed, or it doesn't. Also "as they were intended by the readership" makes no sense; was it the intent to say "as intended by the person writing a comment"? If so, we can't be sure that the average person leaving a comment cares about having a web page index via that comment.

The plug-in description could be simplified to: "A Wordpress plugin called No Follow Free can be used by the blog owner to disable the nofollow tag". More factual, less opinionated, and more clear.

Rahul (talk) 18:30, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Nofollow/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

I don't feel that this article meets the GA criteria any more. The lead section does not comply with the manual of style (per WP:LEAD). There are several legitimate maintenance tags, some of which have been there since 2008.--BelovedFreak 12:30, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

As no edits have been made to address these issues, I'm delisting the article.--BelovedFreak 20:52, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Typographic fine point[edit]

Near the article's beginning I see the phrase:

" HTML a element..."

I'm a web developer and I had to think for a split-second to realize what that meant; it looks like a typo or grammatical error. In my own tech logs, I usually capitalize the A even though that isn't technically ideal, or I write it <a> or "A tag" or something like that. I wonder if there isn't some typographic way in the article to make clear that "a" refers to a tag and not the indefinite article.

Maybe a element? Herr Kriss (talk) 08:35, 13 February 2013 (UTC)