What’s this about?

Every now and again, there’s a little ray of sunshine as I write the news articles (for TWIS SEO News & Updates 01 Sept 2017 in this instance).

And the news that guest post link spammers Forbes, Inc and Entrepreneur had nofollowed their links shone a light which brightened up my dark, dark soul.

It just shows that when Google fires a warning shot across the bow, people tend to take notice.

Read about it and ping me if you want to discuss.

#SEO #SEONews #LinkSpam #LinkBuilding #ContentMarketing

Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc NoFollow External Links


  • Following on from some Google murmuring about sites selling links, or being parts of link selling schemes  (such as we covered in Should Google Ignore or Penalise Link Spam? and Google Ignores or Penalises Guest Post Link Spam) a little while back, it appears it has had an effect.
  • The relatively open “information” sites, Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur have all modified their external links to use the NoFollow attribute.
  • This means that external links in articles no longer pass any PageRank, or any anchor text value to the destination URLs. So if you were posting (or having people post to these sites for direct SEO benefit, there is very little to be had any more).
  • Google hasn’t been explicit about this indirect link selling, but it was viewed that these links were ignored by Google anyway – many were low-quality and with a distinct lack of editorial oversight.

Forbes Etc NoFollow External Links

Actions to take:

  1. You don’t need to remove these links, or remove the articles, or disavow them in Google Search Console.
  2. You do need to start creating link-worthy content.
  3. You should always look to build links naturally. See my Basic External Linking & Mentions tutorial.
  4. You can still use Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Inc for exposure, and possibly traffic, but little-to-no SEO value.
  5. You should ignore any emails from “SEOs” offering to create articles and place them on these sites for SEO value.
  6. As these links have likely been ignored by Google for a while, it is unlikely any rankings, or organic traffic will change as a result, but keep an eye on Google Analytics.
  7. Click here to contact me to discuss how to create link-worthy content and how to find sites which may link to you. Don’t contact me to sell me Forbes links.


This is a good thing. It removes one more element of the snake-oil SEO’s armoury and means that people will get back to concentrating on how to create link-worthy content**.

It may also lessen the spam email we all get offering to build “great” content on these sites from unscrupulous people looking to trade off the brand recognition of these names.

Finally, we may see a lessening of SEOs trumpeting their being “featured” or “published”, or “an author” on these sites. It means slightly less than nothing.

**Actually, it’s also likely it will result in snake-oil SEOs finding the next loophole site to mine and exploit thoroughly.

More info:

Return to Top

The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now. I think I might even have mentioned LinkSpam in it.

Return to Top


Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

Return to Top