Difference between Meta Robots Nofollow and Rel Nofollow

Published: 16th August 2011
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It is evident that every website on the internet would love to see its site cited on the first page of search engines. No matter what is the search engine, google, bing or yahoo, at the end of the day, what matters the most is the pagerank. Many website owners employ search engine optimizers, who promise them a better pagerank. However, many of these site owners do not know the codes and algorithms that an SEO company uses to optimize the page. Terms like META robots nofollow/noindex and rel = nofollow seem to be some sort of alien conversation to them. Hence, they avoid the technicalities and focus their attention mainly on the outcome, which is a birth in the first page of the search engine.

Even people with sound knowledge in web designing do not completely understand the significance of Meta robots nofollow and rel = nofollow. For them, both these tags do the same functionality, but with different names. It is absolutely not true! Meta robots nofollow and rel nofollow do have similarities in their function, but then, there is a difference that defines their apt usage. In this article, we will look at the need for Meta robot nofollow/noindex and rel = nofollow and their variance.

Firstly, let's take a look at Meta-robots. A Meta robot is responsible for the crawling and pagerank flow. It can dictate terms to moderate the flow of pagerank within a webpage. It also stipulates whether the current page needs to be indexed or not. Usually the default value of this tag is set to index and follow, which means the webpage needs to be indexed and the links on the page are ought to be followed to another page when clicked. Nevertheless, there will be several webpages, which need not follow the links in the page and that is when Meta robots nofollow comes into play. When nofollow is effective, pagerank does not flow through the webpage.

Therefore, by using a Meta robot nofollow, the page links are impassable and the page just remains as a slack page. This method could be used when the user does not want an internal page to be followed.

Moving on to rel nofollow technique, it is an element used to wedge the anchor links. This ensures that there is no pagerank flowing through the links to the destination page. However, some search engines do crawl the rel nofollowed pages, even though the pagerank does not flow. Which means that unlike Meta robots nofollow, in rel = nofollow, there is no cent percent evaporation of pagerank of the page links. So, those who would like to avoid pagerank loss should divert their attention towards rel nofollow. But beware of using this tag when borderline spamming is involved. This will alert google engineers and they will penalize the page owner.

On the whole, usage of Meta robot nofollow and rel nofollow are purely based on the requirement and the level of indexing or pagerank flow desired.

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