Matt Cutts: Reasonable NoFollow Links Won’t Hurt You

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Search Engine Spam, released a new video in the Google Webmaster Help YouTube channel.  The main topic of the video today was NoFollow links, and what kind of effect they can have on your rankings.  Cutts said that typically, NoFollow links won’t harm your rankings in Google, but if a webmaster is spamming them on a massive scale, it could get the attention of the Search Engine Spam team, and trigger a manual review.

He didn’t mention exactly what was considered massive, but if it will trigger a manual review of the site, it seems like it would have to be tens or even hundreds of thousands of NoFollow links.  In addition, it seems reasonable that these links would have to be built in a fairly short period of time, because over the course of years, all good websites will eventually build up thousands of NoFollow links.

As usually, Cutts didn’t give too many specifics, and likely left most webmasters with more questions than answers.  Why, for example, would Google ever take any action on these types of links when they are already devalued?  If a webmaster wants to waste their time spamming links, isn’t that their prerogative?  In addition, giving NoFollow links any negative attention at all is only going to encourage people who participate in negative SEO attacks on their competitors.

Apparently Google feels they need to police the web, and not just manage their own search results.  Of course, this is not really a surprise to anyone.  What do you think about this information from Cutts?  Is it useful at all, or just more of the same vague comments from Google?



What's your opinion?