For several months, I’ve been using the
Search Status plug-in for
Firefox to highlight links that are flagged with the
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
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.