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From Mark <mark-li...@xeric.net>
Subject PR, SEO and nofollow
Date Wed, 20 Apr 2011 17:11:08 GMT
I noticed that the Tapestry website uses nofollow on all the external
links. Perhaps there is a reason for this, but I wanted to point out a
few thoughts about how it might be less than optimal from the
standpoint of spreading information about Tapestry.

When nofollow was first introduced the search engine optimization
benefit that wasn't passed to nofollow links was available for other
links.  So if you put nofollow on all external links it helped you
push more SEO value to your internal pages links that didn't use
nofollow.  This meant that adding nofollow to external links could
help your internal pages rank better.  This is no longer the case.
The seo value that would normally be assigned to external links is
simply lost when they are marked as nofollow.

So there is no advantage to http://tapestry.apache.org in marking each
external link with no follow. However, there is a significant
advantage to the Tapestry community by making Tapestry related
resources easier to find in search engines.  For example, if you do a
search for:

Tapestry 5 IDE

I'd expect to find at least the following pages in the first pages results:

1. Tapestry's pages and wiki articles talking about IDE integration and setup.
2. Jet  Brain's page about their Tapestry integration
3. The loom plugin

2 and 3 don't show up in the search results unless you dig down a few
pages into the results. It is much more likely they would show up on
the first page if the links on
http://tapestry.apache.org/community.html were not marked with
nofollow.

Another example is what you get when you just search for the word
Tapestry.  The top result is http://tapestry.apache.org.  This is
good, but if you look down the page, you'll see that all the other
results are all about fabric. This isn't too unexpected.but here is
basically how Google is thinking.  Google recognizes that Apache
Tapestry is the most important website for someone looking for the
word Tapestry. Then it looks to see what websites Apache Tapestry
considers important. All it finds is a bunch of links that Apache
Tapestry has flagged as "don't trust these, they might be spam".

Anyway, there is some food for thought.  There may be some reasons
that it needs to be this way, but I wanted to make sure we aren't just
doing something out of habit because it was beneficial 5 years ago
when it might be detrimental today.

Mark

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