So there I am, trolling through my blogs, behind as always, when I come across this line from SEO Black Hat:
If you have verified the link and you are putting it on your site, do not put a nofollow on it. It's bad form.
Well, this threw me for a loop. And that's not a coding joke.
Back before I even started seriously screwing around with SEO, I ran across a few blog posts (and I won't even begin to fathom where they were) that seemed to know what they were talking about that explained the problem with bleeding PageRank. Basically, if you link out to a page, you give them a skoche of your PageRank. At the time, PageRank seemed like something you wanted to hang onto. And in my case, since I was trying to build a site properly, hang onto for dear life.
The way to get out of this was to stick a rel="nofollow" on your outbound links. This would tell the search engines that mojo leakage was not in order, thank you very much.
Okay, fine. Makes sense.
But here's where we learn that SEO is a lot like medical science. I shall explain.
One of my problems with doctors is that you get a lot of facts with your diagnosis but also a ton of opinion and interpretation. And also, they can't ever seem to agree on a lot of things. That's why red meat and caffeine are like Schrodinger's Diet–they exist in a "good for you/bad for you" state simultaneously, because nobody can make up their mind whether or not one or the other or both will kill you.
Same thing with SEO. Because it's a bunch of folks peering in through frosted glass at the inner workings of the search engines, they're guessing. And at the time, it seems like a lot of people were making honest guesses about nofollow and what it meant and what you should do about it.
But anyway, so this post at Black Hat really took the wind out of me, honestly. I've always considered myself a "black" hat SEO guy just because I only wear black, so I'm kind of one of them by default. But still–"bad form"? Fuck, the last thing I want to be accused of is bad form. I mean, if I'm going to be accused of being an asshole, I'd prefer it to be for something I meant to do.
So I started combing around. Here's this from Scobleizer. Which led me to this from Search Engine Journal:
Linking to someone with a NoFollow attribute is a sign of not trusting them. It's like reaching to shake someone's hand, but stopping to put on a pair of latex gloves.
Now, excluding for a moment that I might wear latex gloves when shaking somebody's hand because in my old age I'm finding I'm about three steps away from becoming Monk, still…FUCK. Now they tell me.
And upon reflection, since I am, after all, a Machiavellian bastard who wants to come out on top of everything (but at least I tell you this up front), I decided this makes sense. First of all, I don't want to look like an asshole unless I am an asshole. And I have plenty of other opportunities to be assholish that actually make sense. So. Second, I can't honestly tell you what PageRank does for me when it comes to Search Engine standings. I don't have the best PageRank in the world, and yet I seem to make out just fine. So. Fuck it.
I just went and did an uber-find-and-replace and all the nofollow shit should be gone on Needcoffee. Effective immediately. If you find anything that is, let me know. I'll fix it on here soon enough…I've got other stuff broken on here since the move.