May 24, 2022
Matt Cutts Says NoFollow Infographics, Widgets

Matt Cutts Says NoFollow Infographics, Widgets

Matt Cutts Says NoFollow Infographics, Widgets
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mountain View, California–Matt Cutts, the Chief Webspam Engineer at Google, has advised about using a nofollow for infographics, widgets, counters, badges, and other embedded objects. In a Google Webmaster Help video, uploaded on Monday, Mr. Cutts states that these embedded objects gained significant popularity in the past few years.

Of course with that popularity, explains Cutts, came the opportunity to place links within the code, which eventually led to spammers abusing the embellishments, often linking to gambling sites and online pharmacy outlets. Because these object became riddled with spam, they of course lost their ability to contribute in any significant way to SEO. However, these visual embellishments, infographics in particular, are again gaining popularity.

When to Use NoFollow

The main problem with embedding objects created by a third-party is such items typically contain code rife with spam links. But these objects can still serve an aesthetic and even functional purpose for webmasters. By marking such objects with rel nofollow,  site owners can take a passe on the negatives, while still taking advantage of the positives.

By marking these items with a nofollow tag, webmasters can freely embed infographics, badges, widgets, counters, and more without being an unwilling accomplice in spamming the internet, something that both Google and Bing take very seriously. The nofollow attribute allows site owners to still get use from these objects without suffering any automatic penalties or manual actions.

Link Building Deal another Blow

In the video, Cutts also explains that relying on such embedded objects to build links isn’t a sound SEO strategy, “I wouldn’t expect a link from a widget to necessarily carry the same weight as an editorial link freely given where someone is recommending something and talking about it in a blog post.”

Again, Cutts is alluding to the fact that Google is giving increasing weight to other signals, while downgrading link building tactics. Because social shares and blogging are attributable to a verifiable profile, the search engine clearly favors such content. Nofollow links are a workaround spam techniques that webmasters can use to better serve their visitors and not adversely impact their SEO efforts.


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Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search, and similar news. History buff, movie, and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband.     

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