Sebastian's Pamphlets

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Yahoo's handling of the link condom

Folks are wondering why nofollow-links are shown in Yahoo's backlink searches, site explorer results etc., and I'm wondering why the heck they're wondering.

First, that's not a new thing, the link condom has nothing to do with the ability to locate backlinks, so Yahoo always listed castrated citations and votes in link: and linkdomain: searches.

Second, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Yahoo's handling of rel=nofollow links. The value "nofollow" of the REL attribute creates misunderstandings, because it is, hmmm, hapless.

In fact, it means "passnoreputation" and nothing more. That is search engines shall follow those links, and they shall index the destination page, and they shall show those links in reversed citation results.

There were micro formats better suitable to achieve the goal, for example Technorati's votelinks, but unfortunately the search geeks have chosen a value adapted from the robots exclusion standard, which is plain misleading because it has absolutely nothing to do with its functionality.

So, since we now know that the "nofollow" value is a notional monster, can we please have it removed from the search engine algos asap? Thanks.

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