Keeping Our Authors’ Best Interests in Mind
I sometimes feel we should have made this decision years ago, but our members made it loud and clear to us that they valued the links in the Resource Box that didn’t include the NOFOLLOW attribute, even though we’ve felt the importance of this attribute has been muted due to the several hundred signals that search engines now use to determine rank and search results.
Today is a turning point where we believe there is more UPSIDE to moving 100% of EzineArticles.com to NOFOLLOW than a downside loss in confidence by members who may believe otherwise.
We don’t guess; we test. :-)
The goal here at EzineArticles.com has always been to help our Members to publish high quality articles that will increase traffic back to your website, help you build credibility and influence within your industry of expertise, and also to gain media exposure. Every single year, we have raised the bar and set higher quality standards to ensure we’re delivering the best end-user experience.
In the past, we allowed Members to place up to 1-2 links in their Resource Box and these did not include the NOFOLLOW attribute. This meant they instructed the search engines to infer that these links should bleed value from our site, brand and reputation.
Keep in mind that search engines now use several hundred signals to deliver their results and the NOFOLLOW attribute was only one of several hundred signals. Perhaps it had a lot of importance in the first year of its introduction, but that importance is no longer the same today in 2014.
As the criteria for page indexing and search engine ranking has changed over time, we updated our standards on what types of links were accepted. For example, on several occasions we updated our requirements in terms of overall link quality. On another occasion, we updated our criteria to ensure the link content was relevant to the topic of the article. All of this was done in order to ensure that links in the Resource Box that didn’t have a NOFOLLOW attribute adhered to the highest standards of relevance and value for end users.
Our Future with NOFOLLOW Links
Typically, sites that use NOFOLLOW links tend to be considered higher quality websites that in turn see higher overall traffic.
Also, in the past, search engines relied more heavily on links when determining how to index pages in search engine results. New data implies that search engines are relying less on the content’s links and more on other quality content aspects.
In order to evaluate how we can get our members the most exposure and traffic, we updated all links to NOFOLLOW as a test to see how articles and overall site performance is affected.
Please be assured, we gave this decision a great deal of contemplation that was backed with plenty of market research and determined it was necessary for us to test with NOFOLLOW links throughout.
Dispelling Your Concerns
Essentially, there are many pieces of the puzzle that determine how a page is indexed by search engines. We can say with confidence that links without the NOFOLLOW attribute don’t carry as much weight as they did in the past. There are many content marketers who have found success in posting to NOFOLLOW pages as the website itself holds a higher ranking.
In the grand scheme of things, transparency and quality content will always rise to the top. If you post an excellent article sharing new information that uses natural keywords and includes a high quality relevant link, your readers will be more likely to engage. These types of organic, natural efforts will result in a bottom-line that truly matters.
In addition, when your articles are shared by another person, it’s possible to gain links that may not include the NOFOLLOW attribute on other more highly-niche resource websites, which results in natural backlinking, one of the keys to search engine optimization.
There is no way to know if something works unless you test!
If we see better results for our Members, we will keep the links NOFOLLOW from here forward. If we see a negative change for a substantial amount of individual articles and our website as a whole, we will re-evaluate this decision.
This was a very difficult decision for several years, but in today’s current SEO climate, this was a much easier decision and we think it’s in our mutual best interests.
Because our goal is to deliver you the most traffic possible in exchange for your high quality unique article submissions, we believe today’s change has very little downside and most likely only an upside. Time will tell and we will monitor this closely. We don’t guess; We test.