Is Google penalizing no-follow sites?

Five years ago no-follow links were introduced to combat comment spam. In the beginning all links were do-follow.   It didn’t take long before blogs were being inundated by those who left insincere comments that added nothing to the discussion just so they could get a backlink, so no-follow links were introduced.

Today many blogs and content management systems, including WordPress, Blogger (Blogspot blogs), Typepad and most of the main blogging platforms have no-follow links enabled by default on comments and to change the links to do-follow links that pass PageRank action must be taken.

Meanwhile we hear the drama lamas who blog for money projecting the silly notion that the internet is full of no-follow blogs. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Matt Cutts answers todays’ webmaster video: Will Google penalize sites which only link using the nofollow attribute?

Related posts found in this blog:
Links: No-Follow and Do-Follow
More from Matt Cutts on no-follow no sculpting

8 thoughts on “Is Google penalizing no-follow sites?

  1. Hey, Time Thief!

    From your article: “…those who left insincere comments that added nothing to the discussion just so they could get a backlink,…”

    Although sometimes it’s quite obvious (for example, if my comment just mentioned handbags with an outside link, or said “Great post! Very informative!” with a link to a Viagra site), who’s deciding whether a comment does or doesn’t add to a discussion?

    Who is the judge of whether this question is thought-provoking or discussion-inducing enough to avoid the spam label?

  2. At about 0.52 seconds into the video, Matt says

    “I certainly do not expect that Google will penalize sites that are only nofollow.”

    …which makes me wonder why he did not simply say that Google will not penalize sites that are only nofollow.

        1. Yes. Matt Cutts is the head of Google’s antispam section and the “Rekated posts found in this blog” I linked to also provide a clear understanding.

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