What We Know About Google Deciding To Consider Meta Robots Nofollow As Hints


SEO experts and webmasters should take into consideration the recent announcement made by Gary Illyes of Google regarding meta robots nofollow. Google will now treat them as hints, just like the nofollow link attribute that was also updated recently.

Originally, meta robots nofollow tags were considered as directives. This means that the crawlers from Google must obey them, keeping them from crawling all links in a particular page. Now that meta robots nofollow will not be considered as such anymore, Google has the freedom to obey them or not.

Before this change was implemented, a majority of SEO companies and webmasters used meta robots noindex with nofollow. However, this prohibits robots from crawling the page. It must be noted that the use of meta robots nofollow is to still allow a page to be indexed but effectively contain no outbound links. If used together with meta robots noindex, then crawlers will find a dead end instead of allowing them to move through a website.

With all of these in mind, meta robots nofollow might not be that useful as it can be redundantly used together with the robots meta noindex. However, some people may still find it valuable in specific situations.

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