It’s common advice in the SEO world that if you want to check a site’s backlinks that you should use Yahoo to do it. It’s excellent advice. Yahoo provides the most complete list of decent links you can find. But did you know that Yahoo’s list of backlinks includes links that have the “nofollow” attribute? For example, here are the backlink results for our site.
In this list of links you can see a link listed from Matt Cutts blog. Lo an behold, if you check it out, you will see that the link is simply there because I commented on one of his posts. The link has the “nofollow” attribute. As a result, the link should have no impact on your rankings.
Or does it? You wonder why Yahoo would list it, if the link had no value. In any event, Yahoo help does say that the links will not be followed. I would assume that this is probably accurate.
I never noticed this in the past. I wonder if Yahoo back links check did this before they moved it into Site Explorer? In any event, if you are backlinking competitors to find sites to contact, just be aware that the links may be “nofollowed”.