Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, published a video response today to a question about whether or not nofollow links can hurt a website when it comes to Google search penalties.
The question was asked by an individual building links to drive traffic back to his website. He was concerned about an abundance of nofollow links potentially hurting his website in the long run.
Cutts responds by saying, “no, typically nofollow links cannot hurt your site.” But he adds a caveat to that, which is as follows:
“If you are leaving comments on every blog in the world, even if those links might be nofollow, if you are doing it so much that people know you, and they’re annoyed by you, and people spam report about you, we might take some manual spam action.”
Cutts brings up an example at TechCrunch where a user was blatantly commenting on posts to drive traffic to whatever he was promoting. Cutts adds that in an instance like this, if Google sees enough mass scale action that they deem deceptive or manipulative, they do reserve the right to take action.
Overall though, Cutts reiterates that nofollow links are nothing to worry about. Nofollow links are dropped out of the link graph as Google crawls the web, so nofollow links should not affect search rankings from an algorithmic point of view.
Basically don’t annoy the entire web with blog comments, Cutts says, and you’ll be in good shape!
View the full video from Matt Cutts below: