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Google+ Profile Links Now No-Followed

Interesting catch by +Ben Fisher of +Steady Demand. I just checked and it appears the same to me: the only followed link I could find on my G+ profile is the link to my own profile.

Frankly, I'm surprised Google left them followed this long. Too much temptation for setting up profiles and then spamming them with links. Of course, unless the profile gains real authority, those weren't doing much good, but the spammers probably never understood that.

Attn: +Joshua Berg +Barry Schwartz 
 
All Profile Links Now No-Follow
Profiles and Brand Page links appear to be all no-follow now.

We used to have followed links in the "Links" section of our profiles. Well it appears that Google has taken away this privilege from us.

This could be in retaliation due to link spamming or just part of the master plan.

I am seriously hoping that at least embedded link in posts do not lose the follow ability.

How about you, do you have follow links on your profile?

Tag +Mark Traphagen +Joshua Berg +Eric Enge +Stephan Hovnanian +Steady Demand 

#googleplusupdate   #googleplus   #links   #nofollow   
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54 comments
 
Thanks for the share and hat tip bro
 
nice catch +Ben Fisher! in my view cynical view +Mark Traphagen they probably left them clean for so long in order to pump up G+ numbers, sadly it's a very common tactic for anything with a profile these days 
 
Thanks +Craig Fifield , and that is exactly what I alluded to in a comment on the original post.
 
I'm not so sure that makes sense +Craig Fifield. I don't see Google intentionally setting up an incentive to spam links. 

To me it is more likely that they hoped that wouldn't happen, but it did, and so they shut it down. 

Maybe I'm not cynical enough ;-)
 
All of my links and contributor links are still on my profile and working +Mark Traphagen or am I misunderstanding something? 
 
+Bradford Lowry sorry, probably should have explained this a little further for non-SEO's.

The links are still there and still work. What is at issued is whether they are "followed" or "no-followed." Followed links pass Google PageRank authority to the sites/pages to which they link. Years ago Google introduced a "no-follow" attribute which allows a webmaster to tag any links that he doesn't want to pass PageRank.

Most of the links on your Profile About tab used to be "follow." Now they are "no-follow." But they still function and can send traffic to the places they link to.
 
I understand what you are saying +Craig Fifield.

Eventually they will all be Nofollow. Not to long ago YouTube did the same thing with links in the profile. Even the G+ link in YouTube profiles are now nofollowed.


 
Were people abusing the links? I hadn't noticed. Maybe it was more just unifying standards across Google products.
 
Perhaps it's in preparation for further integration of YouTube or some other product with G+.
 
Sit still Google! I just got all my contributor links uploaded on my about page for Google+ this weekend. Sigh 
 
+Ben Fisher I'm not surprised since your experience is as old school as mine! We need to chat again soon :)

+Mark Traphagen It makes sense on many levels - internally to validate to the product they need those numbers or the product will be cut, externally they need the numbers for the press and to entice others to join, and all the while leaving the links clean acts like a magnet to highlight spammers. It's a win for the platform in every way and causes them no harm. I obviously can't say for sure that's what Google did here, but I'm very comfy saying they never once overlooked that these links were clean. Also, I can say I've worked on teams at Google's level where tactics like this were employed regularly and thought of as standard practice.
 
+Mark Traphagen, from what I can tell links in the "Story section" are still followed as are post and link shares.
 
There are certainly new nofollows that have been added to profile About pages, which is interesting & I kind of like the idea.

However there are still other follow links:
1. The post hyperlinks are still follow.
2. The +1 page links are still follow. - But of course only useful if a users +1 page is public.

Hmm... The lowly +1 ? I wonder where they're going with that.
 
I never knew if they were followed or not. Make a great profile and I think it doesn't matter much.
 
+Mark Traphagen You didn't make a mistake explaining it. It only depends if the reader understands follow v. nofollow.
 
+Wade Harman meh not really, it is a link still, just not passing pagerank.
+Jessica Mays contributor link have been nofollow for a while.
+Craig Fifield we def need to connect agin man.
+Brian Jensen Check again, the story section links are all no follow as well.
+Joshua Berg Yup +1's are still followed.
+Eli Fennell I agree, it was just a bonus

To me this just shows that Google is doing a few things.
1. Reducing spam link ( link stuffing )
2. Controlling the flow of PR in the ecosystem, G has been pouring in PR from rel=publisher, author from websites for a while. Now they have a way of controlling the PR leak even further.

What is great about this is that also means more PR is flowing to the author profile ( or brand page ) allowing more "authority" to be attributed to the entity. 

This is evident in the fact that the only follow link is back to the main profile URL.

The question is does this mean we can now really use our about page to create a curated resource of links without the "penalty" of leaking so much PR - what say you +Stephan Hovnanian 
 
+Dan Petrovic - Try it again, even with your video ( which was cool  ) the links are now still nofollow.
 
Google seems to have been transitioning us from link authority in profiles to profile authority.
 
+Ben Fisher not on my end. Have you checked Google's cache for your page and see if it's nofollow there too?
 
So (in non-SEO terms), is it now more or less (read them as two separate alternatives, not a phrase) pointless to cram as many links into your About page than before?

I'm asking because us regular +Google+users we don't care if you contribute to 100 other places. If you don't produce quality content on G+, we will not circle you!

Also, your Klout score is massively irrelevant to the 99+% of all Internet users, simply because they have never seen or heard of Klout and the majority of us who have heard of it, put absolutely no value in it.

I totally understand that you are all protecting your way of doing business, but, every now and then, I feel someone needs to remind you that the rest of us don't care.

Feel free to ignore this rant, because I also realise that it is of course this very truth that makes your work possible, that the public doesn't care (enough) that you guys manipulate their search results.

Phew, now I feel much better. :-)
Now you can go back to work. Nothing to see here.

(Don't dismiss me entirely. I totally respect your ingenuity in working the systems. I just don't like the results.) 
 
It's "nofollow" not "no-follow" ;-) Google hates links so they will cripple or remove them all both on their own services and on the Web as a whole. Soon the only links left will be proprietary Google+ connections.
 
+Ben Fisher re: about tab. Don't know. What I do know is my About tab is something I refer people to frequently for resources and ideas, and they find it valuable. If that's a good SEO strategy then great but I would probably never make the recommendation to use your About tab as such a resource on the grounds of SEO strategy. Hope that makes sense.
 
+Dan Petrovic - ok so try this, go incognito, view the source of the page, and look for the following rel\u003d\"nofollow\" , you will see that all story links are nofollow.
+Eli Fennell I tend to half agree on that, I think links will always play a role, but personal and brand authority are moving up in the ranks as far as weighting is concerned.
+Kim Nilsson - I appreciate your insight, but the contributor to section is essential to Google for the two way trust authentication from site to author, not just to cram a bunch of links in a profile. The Links section ( which is what we are talking about ) is the self promotional part. But, can also be used as a list of resources.
+Stephan Hovnanian - Actually I was referring to your strategy as a very good one and one that should be a part of best practices, and addressing the broader topic to those who do care about Pagerank leaking :) 
 
+Ben Fisher in another thread +Barry Schwartz, when I showed him that, commented "Google is cloaking nofollows!"

I'm not sure whether he was being serious or not, but do you think that's what they're doing?
 
Well, I am half kidding. It wouldn't be as bad as "cloaking" b/c signed in vs signed out is not as extreme.  Obviously GoogleBot is signed out, so they get the nofollow?
 
What I see as intriguing is this, I think +Barry Schwartz is dead on, they crawl as signed out. 
What I would like to see is a larger data set from multiple users.

Same test:
1. logged in look at Mark's profile and my profile - are about links follow or nofollow in source ( use right click -> inspect element )
2. Open incognito
3. Repeat step 1 - expected result - should show with nofollow tag formatted like  *rel\u003d\"nofollow\"*
4. Come back to this thread and report results.
 
+Ben Fisher did you look at the source code of the cached page like I suggested? What renders in your browser is irrelevant as far as link graph is concerned. Cached page will show what really matters (e.g. what Googlebot knows of the page).
 
afaik you cannot see a cached version of a plus profile, when I try I get a 404 error
 
+Ben Fisher SEOquake can help you with cached; it shows the date the page it's been cached as well, but I do not know it accuracy.
+Dan Petrovic I saw you video 'Google+ and Nofollow Links', if you reload the page after you resize it the links become dofollow.
 
+Dan Petrovic I get nothing but a blank screen for that webcache link

EDIT: Never mind, the page is blank, but viewing source for it works.
 
+Dan Petrovic is correct. The cached version shows followed links in Story; whether logged in or out. 

So why are nofollows showing up when you view source (non-cached) in incognito???
 
Links from Profile still work but became harder to get. Cheers
 
I noticed today that all links posted in link box also nofollow. Google hates all shared links??
 
I found that the post hyperlinks are now nofollow on Google+
 
+Kevin Vitali "tear sheet" links is Ben's term for the link share posts that show the full-column image with the shared page title underneath. He calls them that because they have a ripped paper look across the bottom of the image.

Those link shares have a followed link buried in the code, even though the visible links are no-followed.
 
+Ben Fisher links in the "Story" section still look followed. I looked at the html in firefox private window and the rel="me nofollow" tags dont kick in until the "Links" section of the code
 
It appears that +David Leslie you are correct. They are follow again change is a constant here
 
There is a caveat here, when viewing you own profile they appear nofollowed but in incognito mode they are followed.
 
are links on the mobile version dofollow cause they are showing as dofollow for me
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