Yahoo Violating NoFollow Attribute?

The nofollow attribute is supposed to mean no follow.  More specifically, the major search engines have committed to not following any link that has a nofollow attribute attached.  So why do we see Yahoo following links from comments in Matt Cutts blog?  Here is an example of where Yahoo’s SiteExplorer lists at least two comments in blog posts as backlinks:

Check the source code in the blog:

<a href=’’ rel=’external nofollow’>Aaron Pratt</a>

Here is another example:

Do those links factor into Yahoo’s algorithm?  Who knows?  But just the fact that they are being reported…

Saaaaayy … this wouldn’t be one of those tricks to mess with webmasters’ minds, would it?  Like that silly green PageRank bar that means so little and has cost so many sleepless nights and missed link exchanges?

I would love to hear your opinions on this. 


  1. I’ve long been suspicious of the nofollow attribute. I’ve done some experimenting with PR sculpting, with no noticeable effect in terms of PR or placement in SERPS. Some of the sites I’m affiliated with have 2-3 times the number of links reported in Y Site Explorer than with Webmaster Tools. Most of the “extra” links are either blog comments with nofollow or Reddit search results pages using nofollow on the links to that site.

    Additionally, I have on occasion even observed nofollow links showing up in webmaster tools, but these are few and far between compared to the amount that appear in Yahoo’s backlink tool.

  2. When i look for one of my websites i have about 4900 backlinks with yahoo and when i check it ith google i have about 2700 backlinks.But in yahoo i rank lower than in google so i fink you need plenty more backlinks in yahoo than google to me on the same place.So yes maby yahoo give more about the number of backlinks than the NoFollow Attribute.

  3. It seems odd that Yahoo would violate the no-follow attribute when most other large search engines abide by it. You would think Yahoo would want to keep the trust of top-ranking Web sites. I also have noticed the same site receiving different and/or lower rankings on Yahoo than on Google.