Why I dislike no-follow:
- Nofollow was intended as a way to help prevent blog spam. It didn’t work, for the obvious reason that links have value regardless of whether search engines assign value to them or not. Those seeking link value continue to seek link value.
- Nofollow is redundant. Nofollow says to the search engine “I don’t trust this link”. If a webmaster does not trust the link, then s/he should not place that link.
- Nofollow is lazy. If you don’t want people placing links on your site that shouldn’t be there, find a way of preventing people from placing links on your site in the first place.
- Nofollow distorts linking. Tim Berners-Lee wrote “A normal hypertext link does NOT necessarily imply that one document endorses the other; or that one document is created by the same person as the other, or that one document is to be considered part of another”. A link is not necessarily an endorsement, yet search engines often frame links this way, often to suit their own purposes.
- Nofollow implies that commercial links don’t have editorial value. A curious position, given that search engines make a fortune selling commercial links.
For example, the webmaster of a PHP discussion site is offered money to place a casino advertisement. She turns this offer down on the basis she doesn’t like gambling, and gambling doesn’t fit with her sites subject matter.
The webmaster is then offered money to place a PHP solutions company advertisment. She accepts, on the basis the advertisment matches her sites subject matter, the solutions company is legit and offers services her readers may find useful, and the funding allows her to keep her PHP discussion forum running.
Why should that link be no-followed? She has both reviewed it, and she has put a level of trust in it.