— aleatory

Nofollow Stops Google Indexing Your Site

blackbox.jpgI posted about Google’s inhouse deadpool a couple of weeks back.  Strangely though although I use one of the wordpress sitemap plugins to update mine accordingly Google stubbornly refused to index it.  The reason?

Google appears not to add pages that include the rel=”nofollow” meta attribute by default.

I submitted the url manually more than a few times in case google was failing to pickup the sitemap for some reason. None caused the post to appear in Google search results. Then I went a bit deeper and analysed what parts of the post were different that would cause this. The only structural change to my posts I made where the existence of the nofollow meta attribute on external links referenced in the article.

Although I had introduced this a few posts earlier (chiefly to prevent the mass of links present in my Friday linkdump from downsizing my pagerank), I guess Google give it a few posts before such content starts ringing alarm bells. And I know PageRank has become less relevant now compared with search page ranking according to specific keywords, but I like fiddling with these things.

So I removed the nofollow attributes and resubmitted to Google. The result was immediate – #1 post for the ‘google deadpool’ query on Google.com. So don’t use nofollow within your post content.

1 comment
  1. Matthew Slyman says: 3 June 201111:33 am

    {PREVIOUS COMMENT STRIPPED OUT HTML TAGS. REPEAT COMMENT INCLUDING TAGS.}

    My website includes a page that uses the following meta tag:
    <meta name=”ROBOTS” content=”INDEX,NOFOLLOW” />

    I’ve looked at the site with Google’s Webmaster Tools and this appears to be the only page that hasn’t been ranked. Pages with the following tag appear to have been ranked:
    <meta name=”ROBOTS” content=”ALL” />

    So it seems that the problem you identified applies not only to rel=”nofollow” attribute, but also to the “NOFOLLOW” robots directive in the meta tags.

    GOOGLE: PLEASE FIX THIS. THIS IS A REALLY BASIC, ELEMENTARY AND PERVASIVE ERROR.

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