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If I am correct in forums and UGC sites, typically user profile pages are very thin in content and can conflict with duplicated posts ranking for the same keywords. Except for LinkedIn where the user profile is the most important page. Should post pages not link juice out to thin user profile pages?

  • TC

    Tad Chef

    over 1 year ago #

    Good question! As always it depends. First off always remember that the nofollow attribute has been introduced in 2005 to be used for SPAM, ads, not trust-worthy pages or pages you disagree with.

    Also since 2009 any "juice" that would otherwise pass through a link simply evaporates when you use nofollow. You hurt your site then using nofollow.

    nofollow has never worked for SPAM. Most WordPress sites use Akismet for that instead. Over the years though Google has declared more and more obligatory use cases for nofollow.

    Now you can get penalized by Google for most kinds of links (think infographics, widgets, guest posts etc.) when you refrain from using nofollow on them. It's sheer madness.

    Many site owners thus use nofollow on ALL their outgoing links because they fear repercussions from Google. This is of course nonsense but you can't blame people after years of Fear Uncertainty and Doubt.

    The best solution for user profiles I have seen until now is the one by Moz. Over there only active users with at least 200 activity points get a real link.

    Everybody with an empty or inactive profile just to get the link does not get a proper link. Only valuable members who contribute to the community get rewarded.

    You get points for both activity and things like adding a description or profile image to ensure only high quality profiles get actual links.

    • NR

      Nikola Roza

      over 1 year ago #

      Yes, and those profile pages are still kept noindex, even after 200 points, to avoid thin content and index bloat. However, the link becomes dofollow and it really is a reward for being a valuable community member.

  • NS

    Nate Slavik

    over 1 year ago #

    In my opinion yes. Just like article / blog comment sections that used to get regularly spammed out by lazy SEO's attempting to generate an instant / effortless dofollow link, this is still an ongoing problem with many forum websites. Nofollow links will help weed out the spammers, and the true industry niche online influencers will still benefit from relevant forum websites, just like they benefit from their social media profiles. Forum sites will still drive high-quality referral traffic and increase on-page ranking factors. I just think forums that still have more inactive accounts than active, should lose authority and trust with Google.

  • MT

    Mat Trajkovski

    over 1 year ago #

    Well, yeah. It takes no effort to create profiles on forums and stick links in there.

    Why should anyone be rewarded for doing brain dead work that only adds more clutter and noise to the already oversaturated Internet and give spammers more easy ways to game the system?

    At first I thought this sucked. I've changed my mind. It makes more sense for everyone to have to do at least some work and contribute before being rewarded anything.

  • MS

    Martijn Scheijbeler

    over 1 year ago #

    Yes, in the end you open up a platform as a potential space for people just claiming a profile to get a backlink (this will happen, guess what SEOs were talking about before Pinterest got big). In addition there is a reason why all of the bigger social networks do this. If you still want to not give them a nofollow then I would make sure you have some kind of quality checks in control like Moz is indeed doing so you can guarantee that there is at least a certain barrier for getting it. But in the end.. is that really worth building just to give people some actual links. Likely not.

  • AL

    Alex Laribi

    5 months ago #

    I think forums should add no-follow to user profile backlink if the user doesn't participate actively in the forum.

    But for profiles who adds values to the Community through articles, posts, q&a, and if a lot of members of the Community like their contributions. Adding no-follow to this type of profile would be harsh in my opinion.

  • SH

    Sarah Hudson

    4 months ago #

    It really doesn't matter whether the link was follow or no-follow because Google doesn't index profile pages anyway.

  • RJ

    rashika jain

    3 months ago #

    Interesting question. In my opinion, all profile links must be no-follow at first. And once they become active and regular in interaction, they can be converted into do-follow. I think this is a great motivation for people to drop valuable insights in the forum.

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