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  • Nofollow: Twitter Now Distrusts Everything You Say

    Twitter and nofollow is the topic of this week’s Twitter column: While even Google who has introduced, along with other search engines, the nofollow attribute to combat spam a few years ago does not propagate the use of it anymore, Twitter went nofollow big time just recently. What does this mean?

    Twitter distrusts everything you say.

    Not only outgoing links get the so called link condom so that search engines ignore them. No, now also internal links from your tweets on Twitter get wasted. This means that even when you address us with @seoptimise we don’t get the Google juice due.

    While you might argue that you don’t tweet to get links or for the SEO of it this means that everything you say gets treated like spam.

    Andy Beard, a well known figure in the SEO industry, has even quit Twitter due to their new disdain for their users. Now many people don’t know Andy Beard, he’s not Danny Sullivan or John Battalle but his voice gets heard on the marketing community. Also he’s an early adopter. This means he also knows when to leave a site and seek alternatives. He’s quite active on Google Buzz right now instead.

    Andy points out that the nofollow attribute and other hurdles lead to very poor indexing and searchability of tweets. In other words: Your tweets get lost very quickly. In order to archive your tweets and relationships you basically need a third party tool or rather more than one. I don’t know one single tool that is able to both save all of my tweets and those of others who address me and make them all easily searchable while keeping an up to date list of my friends.

    I archive my own tweets using RSS readers. I simply subscribe to them. A backup of my relationships is not that easy though. I haven’t found a perfect social CRM tool for that. Most tools that add a social CRM layer to Twitter depend on the data from Twitter itself. So in case you want to discontinue your Twitter account like Andy Beard did you lose your relationships. In case they don’t rely on Twitter you have to add your contacts manually which means more effort and work.

    Twitter seems to obstruct indexing of tweets on purpose. Pagerank sculpting by using nofollow does not work anymore these days so

    Twitter does not use nofollow for SEO reasons.

    They either assume that all user generated content is potential spam or they want to sell searchability in future. They might want to charge for archives and search of older tweets. I don’t like this idea of selling your content and relationships back to you. It’s time to re-evaluate the way we use Twitter.

    Twitter has stopped access to its data for many free tools out there. Now they limit the access of search engines to the content. What comes next? Follow 100 people for free and pay for more? Just in case, follow me on Google Buzz as well.

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    I help people with blogs, social media & search. I help you succeed on the Web. I've been online publishing for 15 years. I started back in 1997.

    23 Responses to “Nofollow: Twitter Now Distrusts Everything You Say”

    1. Andy Beard says:

      I still have to do at least one more video, but the worst offense in my opinion isn’t the new nofollow, but the robots.txt on pagination.

      That is deliberate as well

      I decided I need some infographics to explain things which is taking time…

    2. Kev Green says:

      Good read, and top points.

      We decided to move in on Twitter simply because it was a super fast relay station for passing on updates without using our own servers. The USP is the delete button that we can hit if twitter start trying to sell our content back to us unless it benefits our clients which is what its all about, they can get the benefit of a listing other ways. That said, we suspect Twitter will be forced to go back to its old ways or atrophy and die with the likes of Google Buzz et al and the wedding of Microsoft and Yahoo, our view, don’t dismiss it out of hand, we’ve seen over the decade and more that many major events have a habit of going back on themselves.

    3. Marko Novakovic says:

      Twitter is not a tool which purpose is for link building. It is also important to Twitter to use nofollow attributes, cause they want to have the good page rank. I think that twitter will be important for real time search engines, like Wowd.com, which have different rules from classic search engines. It is also a big popularity of real time search engines, and Google has implemented real time search, for the 3 newest results for keywords.

    4. Almost everything online that creates a stream of traffic like Twitter is going to get beaten up by spam. It still works well for creating traffic relevant to your topic.

    5. With this move that twitter made, I guess everyone else will be turning to Google Buzz for those things that twitter can now not provide.

    6. Chris Peterson says:

      Twitter is important for real-time search engine. It is one of the popular search engine who give better result then other.

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    12. SEOWebHelp says:

      Bad move Twitter.
      Interesting read.

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    16. Josh says:

      Try http://identi.ca/ ( http://status.net/ )
      You control it. You can even put it on your own domain.

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    21. I found this article significant & informative… Great… Thanks…

    22. Ali says:

      Actually its not twitter only fault.. here everyone distrust each other. like the guy you mentioned in your post “Andy Beard”. who leaves twitter because of nofollow links but posting comment on his blog is also nofollow. that mean’s he distrust his site visitors and also here on SEOptimise. comments are nofollow.. so why we call it only twitter fault when normal bloggers don’t trust each other.

    23. Andy Beard says:

      I was one of the instigators of the dofollow movement back in 2006/2007 – I am pretty sure Tad, the author can remember those times.
      I still maintain Dofollow comments for members of my community – the rules have tightened up a little due to excessive abuse, and I only “dofollow” comments after a certain amount of participation.

      The thing is, it is my blog – I have that control over who I link to – on Twitter my link equity is being used to rank spam accounts over which I have little to no control if I am to use the features.
      At the same time Twitter are blocking my content from being indexed normally using robots.txt, have sold access to my information to a couple of search engines, but they so far haven’t got around to indexing historical content.

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