No Follow Tags Removed on Links from Tweets

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No Follow Tags Removed on Links from Tweets

A few weeks ago, Chris Silver Smith tweeted that Twitter no longer uses the rel=”no follow” tags on links seen on tweets, profiles, and other pages on the micro-blogging site.

We can hear the gears spinning inside your heads: What’s the implication of this move to marketers and SEOs, you may ask?

The jury is still out! We care because with this move, and with many links of this nature, this may usher an era of link spamming, considering Twitter has 330 million active users and is regarded as one of the leading social media platforms globally.

Our curiosity is aroused as to how Google and other search engines will treat the removal of unfollow links in tweets and posts. Will the search engines assign value to Twitter links, most of which are user-generated? The guys at Search Engine Land assume that Google will treat Twitter links the way it would treat links found on other social networks, as they are generally suspicious and difficult to trust.

Back in 2008, Matt Cutts announced that Twitter allowed a “follow” attribute on links left on users’ bios. A year elapsed and we saw the same change leach into nearly all pages on the app and website, not just tweets.

Many speculate that the change may be temporary. In fact, it is uncertain why Twitter decided to make this decision or if it was done deliberately. Others opined that Twitter might recant the policy and attribute the nofollow links back once more people catch wind of it. Those with playful imaginations theorised that Twitter developers might have accidentally removed the nofollow parameters from the links. Or that this error was a Trojan horse for Elon Musk who wanted to acquire Twitter in its entirety. Recall that Elon already is Twitter’s biggest shareholder (holding 9.2% in stake in the company), though he doesn’t occupy a seat on the board.

In one of his other tweets, Chris Smith revealed that while Twitter links can pass PageRank, Google can choose to treat the entire Twitter domain as “No Followed.” Matt Cutts also said that Google could use any ranking signal it could find useful. This all comes with a host of caveats, mainly Google still relies on the quality of links on posts, so spamming Twitter with links won’t work better than when links carried a no follow tag. That’s a warning for those wanting to move the needle with black hat techniques. On the other hand, the social media giant is warned to be likely a bigger target for spam if there was no clear intent behind the nofollow.

We are yet to see how this story will unfold in the coming weeks. Most of the stuff above are no more than observations and conjectures. As of this publication, Twitter is yet to give an official statement about this move.

As marketers, what are the implications of this move to you and your clients?

Have you evaluated your social media marketing recently? Do you describe your strategy as a well-thought out plan or is it just mere guesswork? SEO Premier offers a complete suit of digital marketing solutions fit for your goals and budget. Contact us today!

Drin Priestly
Google Partner

SEO Premier is a Certified Google Partner

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