Weekly SEO news: 30 April 2019
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Here are the latest website promotion and Internet marketing tips for you.

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. When to use the nofollow tag (and when to avoid it)

Some webmasters are not sure when to use the nofollow tag. Should you use it in links to your own website? Can it help you with 'crawl prioritization'? When should you avoid the nofollow tag?

the nofollow tag

What is the nofollow tag?

The nofollow tag enables webmasters to tell search engines not to count some of their links to other pages. Search engines won't use these links as 'votes' in their ranking algorithms then.

The nofollow tag has been introduced by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to fight comment spam on blogs. Links to external websites in blog comments usually have the nofollow tag.

Google recommends to use the nofollow tag if you can't or don't want to vouch for the content of pages you link to from your site (untrusted content) and for paid links.

  • Here's a regular link:
    <a href="https://www.seoprofiler.com">SEOprofiler is a trusted site.</a>
  • Here's a nofollow link:
    <a href="https://www.example.com">I'm not sure about this site.</a>

Should you use the nofollow tag in links to your own website?

Some people use the nofollow tag for 'crawl prioritization'. That means that they want to guide search engine bots to the important pages of your web pages. The links to unimportant pages on the website get the nofollow tag.

Google says that this is possible:

"Search engine robots can't sign in or register as a member on your forum, so there's no reason to invite Googlebot to follow 'register here' or 'sign in' links. Using nofollow on these links enables Googlebot to crawl other pages you'd prefer to see in Google's index."

Google also says that adding the nofollow link to pages on your own website is not the best thing that you can do:

"However, a solid information architecture — intuitive navigation, user- and search-engine-friendly URLs, and so on — is likely to be a far more productive use of resources than focusing on crawl prioritization via nofollowed links."

Instead of adding nofollow tags to link on your own website, better improve the overall structure of the links on your website.

Google's John Mueller also confirmed that it is a waste of time to add nofollow links to links to your own web pages.

Don't use the nofollow tag to exclude pages from indexing

If you don't want Google to index your sign in pages, create account pages, or similar pages, do not use the nofollow tag to do that. Better include the meta noindex tag on these pages, or block these pages with the robots.txt file of your website.

Google's John Mueller has confirmed that the nofollow tag is not a replacement for disallow in the robots.txt file of a website:

How to identify nofollow links on your own website

The website audit tool in SEOprofiler shows nofollow links to pages on your own website as a 'Notice'. That means that this is not a critical error.

However, nofollow links to your own web pages are usually a sign of a website navigation structure that could be improved. As the nofollow tag is usually only used to link to untrusted content, you might create the impression that you're not trusting your own links.

How to identify nofollow links from other websites

The Link Profiler tool in SEOprofiler makes it very easy to find nofollow links from other websites that point to your website.

Just enter the URL of your website in the Link Profiler tool and then filter the links by "nofollow":

find nofollow links that point to your website

When to use the nofollow tag

Use the nofollow tag when linking to websites that you don't want to endorse. Also use the nofollow tag with paid links. Avoid the nofollow tag on links to pages on your own website. There are better ways to show Google the most important pages of your site.

If you want to check the nofollow links that are related to your own website, use the tools in SEOprofiler. You can also check the nofollow links of other websites, and you get tools that help you to improve the links that point to your site:

Optimize your links

2. Internet marketing news of the week

Google Official: how Google uses links and content to rank web pages

"In a webmaster hangout on YouTube, Google’s John Mueller explained how Google uses web page content and links to rank web pages. Both are important if you want to get high rankings on Google."

Google: enriching search results through structured data

"Google has published a new blog post in which they recommend to add structured data to your website. Structured data can make your website stand out on Google’s search result pages. [...]

Structured data enables you to provide information about your web pages and their content. Google recommends schema.org vocabulary in JSON-LD format."

John MuellerGoogle: it’s okay to get links from websites in different languages

"On Twitter, Google’s John Mueller confirmed that it is okay to get links from websites that are in a different language. [...]

In the second part of his statement, John Mueller says that you shouldn’t try to manipulate the links but that’s not related to the language of the linking website."

Google: the nofollow tag is working well (and how to check nofollow links)

"On Twitter, Google’s John Mueller said that Google thinks that the nofollow tag is working well. [...] This means that Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across these links. Essentially, using nofollow causes us to drop the target links from our overall graph of the web."

+++ SEARCH +++ ENGINE +++ NEWS +++ TICKER +++

  • Bing Ads is now Microsoft Advertising.
  • New European Google local SERPs prompt users to ‘find results on’ other sites.
  • Even Google employees don't know who runs Google.
  • Google: improving our mobile layout.
  • Will Microsoft start displaying entity information in browsers?
  • Sizing up Twitter users.
  • If you want content to be indexed, don't put it in iframes.
  • Google confirms bug that is related to canonical URLs.
  • Google My Business may offer premium features for a monthly fee.

3. Previous articles