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Are nofollow links irrelevant?

Are nofollow links irrelevant? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

CUTTS: We have a question from Dan in Bucharest, who asks, “Are nofollow links worth getting? Or are they almost irrelevant?” Well, let’s step into the right mind set here. Nofollow links are dropped out of Google’s link graph. So, they are irrelevant from the search engine’s point of view. But guess what, search engines are not the entire limit of the world, there’s also users. So nofollow links can absolutely be worth getting if you intend to get users view those links. So if someone shows up in my blog and leaves a really insightful comment. Oftentimes, I’ll click through to find out more about them. And then a lot of other readers do that as well. So, even if you’re participating in a forum which nofollows, the members profile link, or something like that, if you’re saying useful stuff, you can still drive visitors to click on those links and visit your site. So, don’t get so focused, don’t get the blinders on thinking only about search when you can drive traffic in a lot of different ways. There was a site that I was talking about recently that said. “They get more traffic from Twitter than they do from Google.” So, driving those users don’t have to happen through search. You want to look at the entire, spectrum itself. So, nofollow links can absolutely be worth getting in terms of visitors. You know, if you’re just spamming a bunch of blogs or doing your first spam, or guest book spam, and no one ever looks at those links and they’re nofollowed, those are probably not going to be very useful to you. But don’t forget to think about users in addition to search engines.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: