Over at Search Engine Journal, editor Loren Baker makes a good point in a short post titled, “SEO Red Flags & SEO Misinformation : Let’s Put an End to It“. The post was a response to an article one of his writers published a two days ago questioning if the use of the “nofollow” tag alerted Google and set off perceived SEO penalties. (note: If used as intended, it most certainly does not.)
The original post “NoFollow: An SEO Red Flag?” got a lot of attention, setting off a lot of comments and receiving 60 Sphinns (or votes) at Sphinn.com. The fundamental flaw with the assertion of the article is that it was, in fact, wrong.
As a good editor will, Loren makes a good catch in his reply. He also opens debate about the number of SEO Myths out there, including the mega-myth that there is an over-SEO penalty Google applies to sites that have obvious hallmarks of search engine optimization.
There are no such penalties, something Google’s Matt Cutts has pointed out on more than one occasion. In response to the original article’s assertion that using nofollow to control the flow of link juice is a gigantic red flag, Matt wrote, “Nope, itâ€™s not. Or at least, not at Google. I wouldnâ€™t know about Yahoo/MSN/Ask, of course. :)”