I have removed the nofollow from my comments, as I think most of the intentions of the tag were misdirected, but there are worthwhile applications from a development standpoint for the tag. I agree with Greg who leads us to dofollow and Jim on some of nofollow, but I think there are points to which everyone has overlooked.
Top 5 Reasons I like the NoFollow Tag
With a simple plugin that is widely available I can see areas of untrusted linking and try to determine the logic.
It’s a “backup” solution to indexing errors and passing link credibility to metas at a lower level in site development code. Think of it like voting for higher levels of credibility within your own sites structure.
We’ll rarely ever again be able to know which links “count” anyways without highly unnecessary testing anyways..
It’s helped to bring a whole mountain of new misinformation on “how to do SEO”, which was desperately needed, because frankly, I think it was getting about far to EASY to practice SEO about two years ago. I mean really…do you think they’re going to BRING BACK toolbar pagerank accuracy?
With dynamic publishing technology improving, and duplicate content being a constant issue, more flexibilty over what gets indexed and credited by the search engines could possibly be a good thing in cases.
Nick calls it: knee-jerk bandaid hurredly implemented to get bloggers and blog vendors off of Google/Yahoo’s back.
Which it did somewhat. It helped everyone be a little liable for the stupidity of newbie blog owners who couldn’t control their code from empowering spammers.
Nofollow is NOT really bad for the internet. It just changes things a bit, and perhaps has some substantial benefits that weren’t necessarily originally intentional.. It aids the engines in identifying block level content that is not trustworthy. It mainly hurts promisciuous linking, and assists with more precise indexing of content at the dynamically developed link level of content versus the higher page level meta tags previously available.
Nofollow will not stop spam, but it could potentially help when trying to overcome some site indexing issues at lower levels of a sites development hierarchy.
It really wasn’t the solution to blogspam, but it does potentially give trust passing flexibility for dynamically generated links which could potentially be an important variable depending on your site type and userbase.
I won’t use the nofollow on my comments anymore, but I will snip urls with an ironfist and hurl tiny bananas at anyone trying to linkdrop. It’s kinda hip to bash nofollow, but the bottom line is it gives a bit more flexibility as a webmaster or developer when making decisions about search engines and users.
What really cracks me up about most the griping is that myself included we are all using freely available software where the companies were just trying to maintain lower liability by not supporting potentially highly offensive spam. The blog software companies and SE’s now have their asses covered, and we now have a new tag to experiment with.
While my true feelings for the tag are probably ambivalent at best, as it will likely lose mass adoption and be minimal for any kind of effectiveness on near anything before too long. It DID change the link profile of the web, however, if only for an internet instant.