Whether by mistake or design, it appears that Twitter has removed the nofollow attribute from links, which enables search engines to follow links from tweets.
That’s left some people wondering whether search engines will count these links as backlinks to their site, creating a potentially detrimental effect on their search engine optimisation (SEO).
What is the nofollow attribute?
The nofollow attribute tells search engines to not pass any link authority to websites linked. This can be easily set on your website, and is especially important to implement if you have reciprocal links, meaning your site and another site are linking to each other. Failing to do it can affect your website’s performance and SEO, as it is seen as bad practice by Google and other search engines.
Plenty of people in the SEO industry have recently been talking about the removal of the nofollow attribute from all links within tweets, profiles, and other pages on the Twitter platform.
SEO folks, you might be interested to know that Twitter is apparently no longer using rel="nofollow". So, profiles, tweets, and other pages on Twitter may now contain followed links!🔗‼️ Observations🧵👇 pic.twitter.com/P5ldLSfaxq
— Chris Silver Smith (@si1very) June 10, 2022
Back in 2008, it was announced the Twitter would add nofollow to links in bio sections of profile, and a year later this was introduced to all links in tweets and other sections of the social media platform.
Will these links count?
It is still unclear if links on Twitter will now be counted by search engines as a backlink to your website. Search Engine Land notes that there are instances when Google treats links as though they have a nofollow attribute even though one hasn’t been set, perhaps because it detects that the link shouldn’t be targeted by its crawlers.
If the nofollow attribute continues to be removed from links on Twitter, this could potentially lead to link spam which will hurt the usefulness and reputation of Twitter.
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