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Paul Silver

Making websites for companies and helping advertise them

An easy way to check for the rel="nofollow" attribute on links

Google has recently announced they are supporting a new attribute in links which means no Page Rank will be given to the person you are linking to if this tag is used. This is being brought in to try to fight 'comment spam' on blogs and other places, which is when people or automated programs post comments in blogs just to advertise their customer's websites. All the links they can get help boost the customer site's Page Rank, so they get a higher position in Google.

Unfortunately there are worries that people will 'horde' Page Rank by putting this attribute on all links out of their websites. This can be a very bad thing if you are exchanging links with people for SEO purposes - you will give a link to them, transferring some Page Rank their way, but if they use the nofollow attribute then your site will not receive any in return. What's needed is a quick way to see if someone is doing this to their links so you are not giving away PR to someone who is not returning it in a link exchange.

Google Blogoscoped has come up with a user stylesheet to show Nofollow which works in Firefox. But what's really needed is something that works in any browser. I was talking about this with various members of the local freelancers network I'm in and asked if it was possible to turn this in to a bookmarklet - a bit of code you can have as a bookmark and if you click it the nofollow links are highlighted. Andy Budd stepped in and has made an excellent bit of code that works in PC IE6, Firefox, Mac IE5.2 and Safari (that I've tested.)

Click and drag this link in to your links bar or bookmarks, and whenever you click it the nofollow links on the page will be highlighted: Show Non PR Links. It also works if you click it right now and will highlight one of the links below:


Paul Silver. January 2005

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