Flickr’s use of the NoFollow tag in weblinks

<web geek mode activated>

Some years ago, Google introduced the rel=”nofollow” tag that can be added the links on websites.  The idea being that websites with user submitted content could mark any submitted links as being untrusted so while Google’s bot would follow the links, it would be aware that they were not necessarily endorsed by the website owner.

It was originally designed to help reduce the value of blog spam, if sadly as it turned out, not the volume of it.

Hence, if I added a link in a comment on another blog, then it might be nofollowed as the website owner didn’t explicity put the link into the page themselves.

However, if I were adding a link to a page that only I control, then that link would be “followed” by the search engines as normal.

Here we get to Flickr – who I link to from my blog on many occasions.

For convenience, as lots of other people link directly to some of my photo galleries, in the descriptions, I often put a note stating that more information can be found on my blog (an example is here). OK, convenience, and because I hope they will then visit my blog as well.

I appreciate that comments other people would add to a photo should be “protected” by the nofollow tag, but as I am the only person who can add a link to MY photo or set description, so shouldn’t it be classed as a legit authorised link from MY photo gallery?

Sadly, it seems that Flickr disagrees.

I appreciate they might argue that as anyone can open a Flickr account, any links added to the site are not endorsed by them, but I have paid for their Pro service and it is MY photos I am adding the links to.

So I am giving loads of lovely SEO link juice to Flickr, but they are declining to return the compliment, even when it is MY own photos I am adding the links to.

Humpf!

(update: 25th Jan – I’ve had to disable comments on this blog post due to a flood of trackback spam of biblical proportions that nearly took down my webserver)

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1 Comment

  1. vickie

    Flickr’s not playing the game!

    People send me photos and I put them in a Flickr album on our community website – I always link to the contributor and their blogs/sites in Flickr as I really appreciate them, being no photographer myself.

    I hadn’t realised they were all no follow… exact problem with an article I posted today http://www.whatsinwapping.co.uk/wapping-water-birds-230111/

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