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Presently, users with reputation over some threshold don't get rel=nofollow on their "official web site" link in their profile, which is nice. Can the same apply to links in the About Me section of the profile, for users with 3000+ rep?

Obviously, we don't want to encourage link spammers to generate S[OFU] accounts, so setting a pretty high barrier is appropriate. But with that addressed, I would argue that whatever linkjuice a user's profile has is largely the effect of their contributions, and it'd be nice to let them have it.

It's also worth noting that under Google's new policy for nofollow logic, having nofollow links on the page damages the effect of the non-nofollow links. So if you have any stuff going on on the web besides your "official web site", you have the choice of not linking to it in your profile or hurting your "official web site" by listing it, as matters stand.

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citation needed for "Google's new policy for nofollow logic". can you provide a link to explain what this new policy that is? –  Kip Jul 18 '09 at 18:43
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blog.360i.com/search-engines/… –  chaos Jul 18 '09 at 18:46
    
from what i'm understanding of the article, having a nofollow link point to your site will not in anyway reduce your site's pagerank--it just reduces the amount of pagerank that you get from normal (NOT nofollow) links –  Kip Jul 18 '09 at 18:53
    
Correct. What I mean by hurting your site is hurting it relative to the pagerank contribution you'd get without any nofollow links on the source page. –  chaos Jul 18 '09 at 18:54

3 Answers 3

up vote -13 down vote accepted
+100

Why would we allow this? We already give users the benefit of a non-nofollow link in their profile (when they achieve 2k reputation), extending it to "About Me" would open up a world of potential linkspam exploits.

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If that's the concern, would raising the bar address it? Possibly we have some 3000+ rep linkspammers; do we have 10000+ rep linkspammers? –  chaos Jul 31 '09 at 8:59
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Love how this got down voted and greyed out :) –  Alexander Rechsteiner Sep 25 '13 at 7:55

Here's a good article about the issue: Stackoverflow amongst nofollow web abuse sites

Basically what StackExchange is trying to do is not pass any page rank to linked sources to stay on top of the Google rankings themselves. I hardly believe that the motivation here is to prevent link spam as it is rather hard to get above 2'000 or even 10'000 reputation, so I believe you could safely remove the nofollow attribute for those users.

This practice could be considered black or grey hat SEO. At least in my understanding it is.

One can only hope that Google does their own kind of evaluation on nofollow (i.e. follow some of them if they seem reputable sources) to prevent this kind of strategy.

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According to the linked article, there is now no difference between having a no-followed link on hte page and not having that link no-followed.

Each link gets assigned the same amount, but no follow link amounts are 'thrown away' instead of being distributed among the other links.

There aren't that many 3k+ users, and the other links on the page are hardly going to be affected by the existence of a nofollow or two on the page, so I don't think your last point has merit.

Also, it may not matter anyway. My user page doesn't have a pagerank (though it's linked to hundreds of questions that do). I wonder if the user pages are in the supplemental index, and if so they probably don't give much to their links. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supplemental_Result

This, of course, would mean that using nofollow is good for anti-spam measures, but there is no real benefit for those users with high enough rep to remove the nofollow.

Can anyone else find a user page with a google pagerank?

-Adam

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stackoverflow.com/users/22656/jon-skeet to start. :) A lot of the Page 1 users have toolbar pagerank (and you don't have to have toolbar pagerank for your links to matter). Also, the article talks about how the relative contribution of the non-nofollow links is the same, but what they downplay is that (right there in their diagrams) the absolute contribution has been halved (in their 50/50 example setup). –  chaos Jul 31 '09 at 8:48
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Wow, my profile's page rank is 4. I had no clue. –  Joel Coehoorn Aug 2 '09 at 23:43
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My SO profile page has higher page rank than my blog. I should just start posting in the "About Me" section every week. –  Bill the Lizard Mar 30 '10 at 22:34
    
@Bill - yeah, that's interesting - my SO user page is now PR3, which is the same as my long stagnant blog. Interesting... –  Adam Davis Mar 31 '10 at 1:18

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