The fact is that nofollow and dofollow were the biggest contributors to the PageRank algorithm. I have noticed with the death of PR that social shares have much more SEO value today when combined with a strong dofollow link strategy. All of my niches are products in the “cool stuff” category, so social media has been one of my biggest strategies. It was better 4 years ago, but we haven’t changed a bit and I’m seeing our ranking go up again.
Problems occur when newbies hear that a social action is nofollow. So they get a ton of dofollow links, outnumbering their nofollows and boom, a footprint. It varies from niche to niche.
Let’s use an easy example:
Site A – Funny meme site, tons of social engagement, but minimal dofollows. <<<< This will rank well.
Site B: funny meme site, little social engagement, but lots of dofollows <<<< obvious footprint
One thing to note is that Google’s algorithm adjusts for human behavior and generalizes. So with all the information on the web about dofollows being the way to go, you can guarantee that novice marketers are going crazy buying backlink gigs that broadcast “dofollow” links. High-quality or not, Google’s behavior in the past indicates that we may be headed for an update that hits sites with too many low-quality dofollows, whether natural or not.
Look at 6 months ago, for example, when press release sites were slapped in the face and lost over 60% search engine visibility. That was traumatic. But we saw it coming, because every black hatter in the world used press releases to rank. It was only a matter of time before Google’s algorithm adjusted to the “trend” of blackhatters and using PR sites to rank.
SEO is an iffy game and it’s changing all the time with blackhatter behavior.
Thats the secret. Do you want to know what not to do? Hear what 90% of marketers say when they talk about “gaming” the system. ie link building.