Crossed Over Into… The Nofollow Zone: Livejournal SEO And What Nofollows Mean For You

November 22nd, 2011 by Search Influence University

It’s been a bit over three years since I’ve used the once-titanic blogging site LiveJournal for anything. LiveJournal’s still got an active community, but it’s true that asking “What’s your LJ name?” of a new acquaintance is a little bit more embarrassing today than it was in 2003. My account’s dead (nah, it’s not on DeadJournal), but every few months, some brave archaeologists attempt to set up some horrible advertisements within the internals of this hibernating brute.

Here’s one of the emails I got:

Here we see a knucklehead posting a comment in a misguided attempt at link building. It’s not really the fault of the “spammer” that the link building attempt is for naught: this is an obvious mass-submission. Really, enough sites were probably hit by this submission machine that this message had some kind of benefit, and if so, congratulations to your diet supplements, dude.

Still, the fact stands that this carpet bombing of links missed its target with any LiveJournal comment fields it was posted on. Not because of LiveJournal’s disabling of HTML-formatted links on anonymous comments, or because this little comment is formatted in BB-code, but because of a little attribute on links that Google doesn’t like:

After joking with our very own Anthony Coleman about offering “LiveJournal SEO” services at our company, he admitted to researching the viability of this. Sadly or possibly as expected, he said that this was an empty pursuit, letting me know that every external link on LiveJournal is “nofollow,” as depicted and highlighted in the above picture. While my area of expertise in this company does not qualify me to comment on the exact benefit (or lack thereof) a “nofollow” link provides to a page’s rank, such links are certainly less desirable for SEO.

LiveJournal’s not the only site practicing the nofollow tactic to dissuade would-be spammers: Twitter takes the same approach, and so do the other social media giants. Even so, this doesn’t stop Search Influence from getting our clients a nutritious glass of “link juice” when we put links into our proverbial Juiceman Juicers all around the web. While “LiveJournal SEO” may not be a service that Search Influence will offer anytime in the future, we’ll always hold the site dear to us, and I’d personally like to thank my new pal “Odzywki” for reminding us of the respectable approach that Search Influence takes to SEO.