This is a democracy – use your vote

Just wanted to clear something up for a client who didn’t fully understand the use of ‘nofollow’ links when adding comments on blogs etc.

As we all know (surely!) a link to your site is generally a very good thing.  A link with good anchor text is generally even better.  This is because Google et al will understand what is at the end of that link to be summarized by the context of the anchor text.  (“Click here for Marketing Jobs” is good “Click here for Marketing Jobs” is not)

commentformSo… lesson 1… it makes sense, if possible, when you’re leaving a comment on a blog, try to get a keyword into the ‘Name’ field… as this is the anchor text of the link to your site (see above). “But wait, Dave…” I hear… “Don’t all blogs use the “nofollow” attribute, meaning that any link I leave on a blog will be useless?”

Let me clear that one up.  “No, no, no, no, no… you’ve got it all wrong”. The table below will explain why, but to summarise it in simple terms: a link to your website is followed on blogs (by most search engines) as long as the page linking to (generally this would be your homepage) had previously been indexed by that search engine. In short, nofollows ARE followed. A link to your site is a vote. Use yours well.

rel=”nofollow” Action Google Yahoo! MSN Search Ask.com
Follows the link Yes Yes Yes Yes
Indexes the “linked to” page No Yes No Yes
Shows the existence of the link Only for a previously indexed page Yes Yes Yes
In SERPs for anchor text Only for a previously indexed page Yes Only for a previously indexed page Yes

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