[pmwiki-users] Nofollow in external URLS

Patrick R. Michaud pmichaud at pobox.com
Mon Oct 21 20:44:09 CDT 2013

On Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 08:09:54PM -0400, John Rigdon wrote:
> This is an important issue for me.  [...]
> I find there are a half dozen or so references to 'nofollow' in
> pmwiki.php.  From what I understand of the dialogue, adding the line to
> config.php should override these so the indexing will occur.
> Is this correct?

Well, let's make sure we're in agreement as to what rel=nofollow
actually does.  In PmWiki, rel=nofollow ends up on *external* links --
i.e., the links that lead *away* from your PmWiki site.

rel=nofollow links in your PmWiki pages have no impact on whether 
your pages are indexed or not, and they have very little impact 
on the ranking your site's pages receive.  The ranking your site 
receives will depend more on the content of the pages, and the links 
that are coming *in* to your site from other locations.

(...which may somewhat answer why your traffic has fallen.  When
converting the site over to PmWiki, were a lot of incoming link 
targets broken in the process?)

Even if a link has rel=nofollow on it, search engines will often
follow the link anyway.  What rel=nofollow really means is "this is
a link to this other place, but don't consider the link as an
endorsement of its value".  In other words, search engines will 
still tend to follow the link, but they don't give the link 
much weight when calculating the value of the target page.

Hope this helps,


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