The first rel=”nofollow” test is complete and the results are as expected. To avoid the results getting tainted we were unable to provide the specifics as to how the test was being run. Well, that’s not the case anymore.
What we wanted to determine is whether a link to a website that had the rel=”nofollow” attribute attached passed on anchor text weight. To determine this we built a few links to the Beanstalk homepage from a few forums that automatically added rel=”nofollow” to all links. The anchor text we used for these links was bsiseoinc (knowing that the keyword itself fit into two criteria: it didn’t appear anywhere else and it held no value to anyone.
As of this morning we are now seeing the Beanstalk homepage among the Google results for this phrase despite the fact that that the term appears nowhere on it and there are no links pointing to it with that keyword that do not contain the rel=”nofollow” attribute.
Now, what we don’t know right now is exactly how much weight these links have. Until now the common belief was that anchor text from a rel=”nofollow” link would pass weight only if the site had other links using the same anchor text that were not “blocked”. This is clearly not the case. That said, it is clear that they don’t hold as much weight as a standard link as the Beanstalk homepage appears low in the results at this time.
And so we will continue testing this. The next test will be to determine how much weight a link with rel=”nofollow” passes. This test will be spread over months as we will be building two sites to complete for an unused term, one getting only rel=”nofollow” links and the other getting only standard links to determine how many rel=”nofollow” links are required to beat the site with followed links when all else is equal.
We will of course keep our blog visitors posted.
SEO news blog post by Dave Davies, CEO @ 1:41 pm on June 25, 2007