Earlier today we announced the “nofollow” account setting, which can be turned off. Here’s our guide on how to turn the nofollow setting off.
Since this morning’s announcement, some of our customers have replied with similar questions, so we thought it would be best to share our answers with everyone in a blog post.
Here’s what we’ll cover below:
- Should I leave the nofollow setting on?
- What are unnatural links?
- How can I tell if Google has taken any action against my site for unnatural links?
Should I leave the nofollow setting on?
Before we answer this question, lets review the Google Webmaster Guidelines and see what Google actually said.
What are unnatural links?
Lets start with highlighting what Google sees as unnatural links as it relates to press releases:
Additionally, creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines. Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that violate our guidelines:
Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. For example:
If we deconstruct the Google example above: It’s one paragraph with two sentences, 34 words, and 5 links with anchor text.
If your press release resembles the Google example, then it should have nofollow links as Google recommends. Here’s our guide on how to add nofollow links.
How can I tell if Google has taken any action against my site for unnatural links?
Google has provided webmasters with tools to check if they have taken any manual webspam actions.
The manual action viewer in Webmaster Tools shows information about actions taken by the manual webspam team that directly affect that site’s ranking in Google’s web search results. To try it out, go to Webmaster Tools and click on the “Manual Actions” link under “Search Traffic.”
And according to Google chances are you don’t have any manual actions and you can continue sending out press releases when you have an announcement to make.
You’ll probably see a message that says, “No manual webspam actions found.” A recent analysis of our index showed that well under 2% of domains we’ve seen are manually removed for webspam. If you see this message, then your site doesn’t have a manual removal or direct demotion for webspam reasons.
Should I turn off the nofollow setting?
If you have read this far and have reviewed all of the information above and Google has not taken any action against your site, then at your discretion you can turn the nofollow setting off.
Mario & Merrick