Being a market leader means having to make tough decisions sometimes… and this is one we’ve contemplated for more than 2 years now.
What’s happening: Effective later this month, all links in the article body will include the rel=”nofollow” attribute. That means we’ll be instructing the search engines to not crawl those links. Will they actually not crawl those links? I think the consensus is that they STILL crawl those links for indexing purposes, but unofficially.
Why is this being done? To discourage self-promotion in the article body.
The Article Body is the GIVE;
The Resource Box is the TAKE.
This decision was taken very seriously and we did a comprehensive internal stats study and found that 92.7% of our members already do include their links properly in the Resource Box. This change only affects the value or perceived value that 7.3% of our members receive.
What we’re hoping will result from this change: Self-serving active links will end up in the Resource Box where they are suppose to be and thus, user trust and referral partner trust (ie: search engines & other social media sites) will improve. When traffic referral partner trust improves, our members win and we win at a higher level together.
More traffic to us = more traffic to your website… and we’re basically placing a large bet that the negative consequences of 7% of our membership being unhappy because of this policy change will result in 100% of our members getting more traffic in the long haul. Always open to your thoughts? (please keep comments in this thread on topic)