Twitter, sometime over the past week or so, has removed the nofollow attribute from its links. This is unusual for a number of reason, the largest is that Twitter had nofollowed links on its social network since 2008 on bio links and 2009 on all tweets. So why change it now?
I reported this news at Search Engine Land on Friday after Chris Silver Smith posted about it on Twitter saying “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.”
Here is that tweet:
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
Truth is, I doubt Google will count these links, even if they are followed but hey, why did Twitter drop the nofollow from the links? I emailed Twitter on Friday but I have still not heard back yet from Twitter on this topic. I initially thought this was removed by a developer by mistake, not knowing what the nofollow was and just removing it when pushing a code update. But who knows.
The redirect itself is a weird one, and some are even seeing the nofollow, as Glenn Gabe pointed out:
Regarding Twitter removing nofollow, it’s interesting to see the wayback machine showing nofollow there (even when checking snapshots from yesterday & today). But not sure it matters anyway, since Google could be devaluing all links there (like it can for social networks.) pic.twitter.com/X9wnfXk8hv
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) June 11, 2022
It is just weird and Google also has not commented on this change – not that they need to.
I wouldn’t run and start spamming Twitter with links, although Twitter is already super spammed already with links, even when nofollow links were there. So the nofollow didn’t really help that much reduce spam but can this lead to more link spam on Twitter?
This change by Twitter is just unusual and I do wonder if we will see the nofollow return soon.
Forum discussion at Twitter.