Can anyone from Google explain to me (and the rest of the search industry) why on earth you have no documentation on how you want website owners using the "rel = nofollow" attribute on links? Honestly, I'm really frustrated and quite frankly annoyed about "speculation" and "theory" about what nofollow should be used for and not used for.
While I respect Matt Cutts, a lot of time Matt treads a very thin line between giving too much information that can be totally misconstrued, and yet not enough information.... which again, can be totally misconstrued. See the little predicament here!?
I would like to request that Google - OFFICIALLY, put a page in your FAQ's on the webmaster central area, about NoFollow and a link to that FAQ page in its Webmaster Guidelines. Please explain what Google views it as, how it should be used and how it shouldn't be used. Give examples, give webmasters something concrete to work with rather than summations from people within the search industry, who don't work at Google. You see, by not having something official, you confuse webmasters or website owners who have no clue about optimizing their site. It creates confusion, rumors and misinformation, all things that are BAD for your search engine.
I've searched, and I've wrote about this before, throughout the Google Terms of Service, the Webmaster Guidelines, the FAQ pages, the About Us section, and I can find nothing that states what nofollow is, nor how Google wants webmasters to use it. I do find that Google wants you to Report Paid Links and to use nofollow stop spiders from falling into Calendars that create spider traps. I've found a posting in Google Groups about nofollow (btw, no one from Google's posted to this thread yet), but beyond these drips and drabs of small information - there is nothing official. I don't understand why Google hasn't done this already. Maybe they like to see the search engine industry run around and try and figure it out? (I have an inkling they do LOL)
Take a look at all the interesting theories, mentions in drafts and even comments from your lead Spam Engineer all within the last couple of months:
- Why Rand Fishkin's NoFollow Post was Wrong
- Matt Cutts Interviewed by Eric Enge
- Discussion on Sphinn
- I Disagree with Danny Sullivan & Google Engineers about Link Buying Practices
- NoFollow Makes it Into HTML 5 Specifications
- Matt Cutts Clarifies Proper Use of the NoFollow Tag
See that last one in the list? Why does it have to be Matt Cutts on someone else's blog (not on Google's site, and not on Webmaster Central Blog) clarifying what the "proper use" of NoFollow is? How does someone who doesn't really know the ins and outs of this particular industry find this information when it's not on your site?
Even on the Webmaster Central Blog, I have found advice on lots of things but nothing about NoFollow. I found FAQ's on Sitemaps, best practices given to the audience at Pubcon, and how to remove my content from Google. Where's the stuff on NoFollow? Come on guys and gals - it's really not that difficult to produce a page that can be easily understood by not just the search community but by any webmaster whether they have SEO experience or not.
Google, since you've been the most vocal and the search engine who's change the meaning and use of nofollow the most since it was introduced at a SES Conference so long ago, could you please, pretty please, pretty please with whipped cream and a cherry on top - produce an FAQ page on the use of NoFollow! It probably wouldn't be a bad idea either for Matt to post about it on Webmaster Central since you do have over 25k in a subscriber base!