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    Question Removing "nofollow" from all links across website - good idea?


    Hello,

    I have joined a company where every link in the html body of the website is automatically assigned a rel="nofollow" tag.

    Will removing this on all links on all pages of the website instantly damage our rankings in search results? I'm worried that dramatically changing our link profile on such a large scale might look spammy to Google etc.

    I don't know why it was done but it seems like a bad idea as it's cutting off a lot of relevant links (either internally to our own site or to high quality external sites) from Google robots etc.

    So, I'd like to remove it, which is easy to do. However, it's a Drupal site and the way it has been set up means you can either leave all links as they are or remove from all across the entire site instantly.

    What do you think would be the best way to proceed?

    Thanks,

    Ed
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    Hey Ed, do you know how people were linking out previously? Are you sure all the links are good links?

    I have a personal anecdote: I once bought a website on Flippa and all the external links were made nofollow. I thought it was a bad idea and removed the bulk nofollow script. Within two weeks I got "Unnatural outbound links" warning in Google Webmaster tools. I got out very quickly (I just added the bulk nofollow script back) but who knows: Maybe I was just lucky

    That being said, if there's no way to follow certain links by exception, I'd rather not experiment unless you are sure of all those external links
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    The internal links are being nofollowed here, meaning there is no authority distribution between pages. Your ranking potential is seriously hindered, so I would remove the nofollows. However, as Ann mentioned, there is some risk in doing this. The risk can be mitigated, but the easiness of doing so is pending how large your domain is. Hopefully you can go in and add nofollow to individual links. Low quality outbound links you should probably just remove outright.

    Comments on this post

    • Ann Smarty agrees
    • edcilip agrees
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    Originally Posted by Adam.W
    The internal links are being nofollowed here, meaning there is no authority distribution between pages.
    Didn't realize that internal links may be nofollowed as well! Good point! If that's the case, I'd remove nofollow now and spend the next few days going through all the pages removing questionable external links as well

    Comments on this post

    • Adam.W agrees
    • edcilip agrees
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    Hi both,

    Thanks for your replies. It is both internal and external links so I agree it would be best to remove them. Do you think it would lessen the risk if it was done in stages? e.g. remove all "nofollow" tags from links in one website section, then another a few weeks later etc. until the entire site has had the "nofollow" links removed.
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    Originally Posted by edcilip
    Do you think it would lessen the risk if it was done in stages? e.g. remove all "nofollow" tags from links in one website section, then another a few weeks later etc. until the entire site has had the "nofollow" links removed.
    I'd just go ahead and remove it and spend that effort diagnosing my external links as well.
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