Google Finance's Untrusted Links & Spotting Nofollow

Google Finance Closeup, Nov. 21, 2006: Nofollow Links Highlighted

For several months, I've been using the Search Status plug-in for Firefox to highlight links that are flagged with the nofollow attribute, a way for site owners to say they don't vouch for or necessarily trust a link. You see the web in a entirely new light after discovering how often and where people are saying "I don't trust this." And today, I finally noticed it happening over on Google Finance.

The image above show how Google Finance looks when links with nofollow are highlighted in red, for the page on Google stock price. All the news stories -- which come from Google News -- are flagged as effectively untrustworthy. But if they are untrustworthy, why are they in Google News to begin with?

Down below (see the whole page here), Google Blog Search results are also flagged that way also. Google Blog Search is effectively open to anyone, so I can understand the use of nofollow there more. But it still feels kind of odd, for this entire swath of the page to be considered untrustworthy in some way -- even if that way is invisible to virtually all visitors to Google Finance.

FYI, this isn't a new change. I did a search and found others talking about it earlier this year when Google Finance launched.

Go get Search Status and select the "Highlight Nofollow Links" option. Believe me, it's an eye-opening experience.

About the author

Danny Sullivan was the founder and editor of Search Engine Watch from June 1997 until November 2006.

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