The new nofollow link tag is supposed to provide webmasters with the opportunity to add a link to their website without leaking PageRank to the page they are linking to. Unfortunately, Yahoo and MSN appear to ignore nofollow tags and we have seen links with nofollow tags appear on site searches in Google as well, so it's questionable how effective they are to prevent any PR leakage.
The nofollow tag was designed to prevent blogspam and forum spam, where people simply go onto forums and leave pointless messages, in the hope to gain some benefit from the links on the blog or forum.
Why do People post links on Blogs?
One major factor in how your site is ranked by Google is the number of links you have pointing to your site. Many webmasters are now using unethical linking techniques to secure as many inbound links as possible because of this. The most common technique used by these webmasters is to post a comment in an online blog or forum. When this link appears, it not only allows people who are reading the blog to visit the linked site, it also drains PageRank from the website which contains the blog or forum. Tthe use of nofollow tags will still decrease the amount of webmasters who try this, although as the nofollow tags are being ignored, at least by Yahoo and MSN, you can go onto any blog and see random messages from blogspammers, as they are still valuable links..
Using Nofollow Link Tags
Anyone who can write a hyperlink in HTML should be able to add nofollow tags to their links. It only takes two or three seconds.
Adding nofollow tags is as easy as typing rel="nofollow" when you are coding the link.
A hyperlink without the new nofollow tag would normally look something like this :
A hyperlink with the nofollow tag is not much different, it would look something like:
New Nofollow Tags - Good Thing or Bad Thing?
I'll answer this question as if all engines were recognising the tag, as their algorythms change on a regular basis. The nofollow link tag can be seen as good or bad, depending on how you look at it. From a blog owner's point of view, the nofollow link tag could be seen as an important tool in the fight against spam links. If they are willing to spend a small amount of time each day simply adding rel="nofollow" into any spam links added to their site they will be able to save their site from leaking its valuable PageRank to any unethical webmasters. In fact, many blog companies are already adding the nofollow tags automatically to the code, when someone enters a new link, in an attempt to discourage spammers.
One problem which the new nofollow link tag brings into light is the fact that unethical SEO companies will offer link exchanges to unsuspecting or amateur webmasters who do not realise the nofollow tag even exists. This could cause problems to anyone trying to gather links to their website to earn themselves some vital PageRank.
Nofollow Link Tag - Opinion
We have not formed a full opinion on the nofollow tags as yet. Like everything else, the nofollow link tag has its good points and its bad points. The only way to see how good or bad this new link tag will be is to wait and see how many webmasters use it and how they use it.
We cannot advise you whether or not to use this nofollow link tag but we do strongly advise you to be aware of it.
Don't worry about nofollow tags on blogs, you can only gain, as you are not offering a reciprocal link.
Anyone who values their sites PageRank should regularly check the link code used by all of their link exchange partners. If you find one of your link partners using the nofollow link tag on one of your links, you may want to contact the webmaster and ask them to remove it. If not, you may well be sharing your PageRank with their site and getting nothing back in return! At least, with the nofollow tag explained, you will now be aware of how it can benefit, or harm your site.