Search engine optimization is hard work and every day it gets harder! The search engines change the rules and new technology makes time-honored methods for getting good natural rankings obsolete. Lately, building in-bound links has gotten very tough because of the “nofollow” attribute that many large sites and even directories have been adding to their links.
If you haven’t heard about it, apparently, some unscrupulous people were spamming the comments’ sections of blogs and even wikipedia.org by adding multitudes of links back to their sites. They wanted to increase their Google Pageranks and for a while, it worked.
To discourage this practice, the owners of these sites started using the “nofollow” attribute because Google and other search engines discount any links coming to your site with the rel=“nofollow” attribute in the anchor tag. They may follow the link to your site but they won’t record it. With the “nofollow” attribute added to all the links, the links then lose their attraction for spammers.
Of course, this makes it much better for those of us who want to read genuine comments and articles without having to put up with spam. However, it also means that submitting your site to a directory or placing a link back to your site in an article or blog comment might not get you the in-bound link credit that you were hoping for; and if you’re not very good at reading the source code of the pages you visit, it can be hard to tell if the links you see are no-follow or not.
Luckily, there are lots of wonderful clever people out there making life a little easier for us all. One of the most useful tools that has come along is: Search Status. It’s a great device that sits on your Firefox browser and provides information on search optimization efforts.
One of my favorite features is the “Highlight Nofollow Links”. As I surf the web, links with nofollow tags on them show up like this:
So, when I’m looking for places to submit a web site, I can tell at a glance if a directory listing is going to be valuable for attracting both human and robot visitors.
Search Status also features the Alexa toolbar so if you don’t want to send your web statistics to Alexa, Search Status is not for you. If that doesn’t bother you, you can find Search Status at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/321 along with lots of other cool add-ons for Firefox or you can go straight to Craig Raw’s site at www.quirk.biz/searchstatus/. Which are your favorite tools? Let me know.