Click here to read part III of my interview with Rand on link building strategies.
Where do you see the value, or relevance of the nofollow tag going in the coming years. I.e. as Google’s engineers build a smarter Google - do you see the relevance of the nofollow tag being diminished - or possibly being made completely obsolete?
The other thing I'd say about nofollow is that I'd advice those people who are thinking, ah ok it's leaking juice, I'll just pull all my nofollows off. Don't do that. Be very, very cautious and be very systematic about measuring and tracking that. We had I think three sites now in the last few months that we worked with, either sort of directly or through Q&A on SEOmoz. And they, all of them sort of removed all of their nofollow links and saw tons of pages fall out of the index. Like they lost a ton of indexation, and our theory around that is, maybe you're still leaking the juice but at least you're not wasting the crawl bandwidth, and now you're wasting the crawl bandwidth on these unimportant pages. Get the nofollows back on there, get the architecture back to where it was and Google sort of crawls those pages again and indexes them.
That's really interesting.
Yeah it's kind of frustrating and infuriating too! 'Cause, the messaging is, ok, don't do this anymore, and then when you don't do it it hurts you... it's just terrible. I don't know. I feel sort of strongly that... so I imagine myself working inside Google right and thinking about the things that I can do to help. And yes, I recognize that the most important customers of mine at Google are probably two people. Number one is the people who search with me, and they have to have the best possible experience, and number two it's probably my advertisers. But I think a big third group is webmasters, people who create this content from which I've become a billion dollar company. Right? 'Cause I don't create anything, I just make everyone else's content accessible and that's I think a noble cause and a great thing to do, but when I think about that third audience, I want them to have a good experience sort of working with me, I want them all to be partners of mine. Even if that's sort of a distributed fashion, I think it's really important to have that. I think it's important to have the messaging be clear and consistent and easy to use and friendly and so I get frustrated when I see this sort of thing because it doesn't make good business sense to me as an entrepreneur. That's my rant anyway!
Rand Fishkin is the founder of SEOmoz - an SEO consultancy and training site. I highly recommend them as one of the best SEO resources on the web.