Digg leads the way with nofollow links
Digg announced yesterday that they are adding nofollow links to some of the posts on the leading social bookmarking sites:
“We’ve made a few changes to the way Digg links to external sites that may impact some folks in the SEO community. These changes reduce the incentive to post spammy content (or link spam) to Digg, while still flowing ’search engine juice’ freely to quality content. We’ve added rel=”nofollow” to any external link that we’re not sure we can vouch for. This includes all external links from comments, user profiles and story pages below a certain threshold of popularity.”
This will annoy spammers, but I think it’s good news to those of us doing “white hat” SEO. If you don’t know what nofollow means, it’s simply an attribute given to a link that tells the spiders not to follow it. In terms of backlink SEO juice, a nofollow will render a link practically useless, so Digg is basically saying: “Spam all you like, it won’t get you anywhere”.
I have always suggested that this would be the case – it’s the ol’ cat and mouse game. But it does reiterate the point that the only way to do SEO is to do it right, especially if you run a real business online.
This announcement does not devalue the use of social bookmarks, just reaffirms the need to provide quality content at all times.