The impact on NOFOLLOW links on search engine rankings and penalties is discussed controversially. Google published that such links would be completely ignored. We believe that NOFOLLOW links can under certain circumstances still be harmful to search engine rankings and result in manual penalties, because Google generally tries to identify spamming intents.
We regularly hear from clients that their penalty was only lifted after they investigated and removed large quantities of NOFOLLOW links. From this, we conclude that Google in certain cases tries to identify intents of spamming even if NOFOLLOW links are used. We therefore explicitly give you two possibilities to run our software:
- Ignoring NOFOLLOW links - which will mean assigning a zero DTOXRISK score to all links in our software.
- Activating the NOFOLLOW evaluation - which will result in the calculation of DTOXRISK score for NOFOLLOW links - albeit with a different risk scoring in the algorithms of Link Detox® than for FOLLOW links.
The results of Method 2 (Evaluate NOFOLLOW) are alternative evaluations of DTOXRISK® for all links including NOFOLLOW links, based on the assumption that NOFOLLOW links should be evaluated as well, although with a different calculation of risk scores.
That's why the NoFollow evaluation is pre-selected as the default option in Link Detox, but you can always switch it back to ignore NoFollow links fully, also when reprocessing a report.