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Twitter to NoFollow to “www.” links

Rae Hoffman posted that Twitter recently decided to “nofollow” links left in the “bio” section of user profiles at the behest of Google. In the post she asks:

The “web” link has long been a nofollow link, but the bio links passed popularity until Dave Naylor exposed it, which alerted Matt Cutts (a Google engineer) who sent a tweet to @ev (a twitter founder) about Dave’s forementioned post and *poof* bio links were nofollowed.

If Google is the one who wants that web link nofollowed because some twitter profile pages may be automated bots or spammers, then it is time they realize that THEY are responsible for determining which of those individual pages is authoritative, trusted and legitimate enough to pass link popularity, by a method other than demanding that other websites and social networks change the ways they do business to help Google stop links being used as a form of currency and to manipulate their algorithm – an issue Google and Google alone created and profited from.

Matt Cutts says:

I totally support if Evan wanted to lift nofollow for real users in some way, but I figure that Twitter probably wanted to protect themselves against spam as a first step. Given that a month or so after I dropped them a note, Twitter hired a full-time spam person, I’m not surprised if Twitter was starting to see more spammers show up and wanted to take strong action to push back on spam as a first step–if Twitter got gummed up with spam that would be bad for everybody. Perhaps down the road they’ll look at ways to keep flowing PageRank to real users while not opening themselves to a spam attack. I would imagine that they have pretty good signals that would let them separate (most) real users from (most) bots/spammers. So Twitter could take steps such that most users would still get PageRank by removing the nofollow on sufficiently non-spammy users.

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