Ok, so I was just reading the official Google blog today about their new 3D virtual experience product called Lively when I noticed some big red lines.

Anyone who uses the SEO for firefox extension knows that red means the ‘nofollow’ attribute is being used on a link.

So what are Google applying the ‘nofollow’ attribute to on their own blog?.

google hypocrisyTheir own ‘What We’re Reading’ list, which includes respected industry sites such as Phillip Lenssen, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable & Traffick amongst others.

Can Google please explain how that can make sense?.

Google are actively saying they read these sites, they get value from these sources which they must respect enough to link to in the first place. Yet they won’t allow any pagerank or link juice to be passed unless its to another Google property?

Googles nofollow advice from their help center in summary –

  • Untrusted content (comments, where there is a lack of editorial control)
  • Paid Links
  • Crawl prioritisation (‘Sign in’ links etc)

So which of these exactly does their own reading list fall into?.

The Hypocrisy is scary. This is exactly how the nofollow attribute should not be used.

Say One Thing, Do Another

Use ‘nofollow’ for sites you can’t vouch for or necessarily trust is how Matt Cutts has always expressed it.

In an ideal world, nofollow would only be for untrusted links.

So why do Google add nofollow in this case on content that is editorally controlled?.

Matts own words on what makes a great link

So, what are the links that will stand the test of time? Those links are typically given voluntarily. It is an editorial link by someone, and it’s someone that’s informed. They are not misinformed, they are not tricked; there is no bait and switch involved. It’s because somebody thinks that something is so cool, so useful, or so helpful that they want to make little sign posts so that other people on the web can find that out.

The funny thing is, Googles own link based algo is what made them the biggest search engine in the world and yet they are contradicting it by creating a FUD campaign that even their own employees have failed to understand.

Google created the directive, they created the rules on how it should be used and yet they don’t adhear to them. Taking away the hyperlink structure of the internet is destroying themselves in the process.