Andy Beal reports on Marketing Pilgrim that Google’s Lasnik wishes "NoFollow didn’t exist". In a discussion that Andy had with Lasnik, Lasnik disclosed that he wished that NoFollow did not exist.
“Lasnik explained how difficult it would be for Google to identify a web site selling the odd link, or a blogger adding a contextual link, in exchange for payment. What Google looks for are patterns that suggest money is being exchanged for links. A casino site buying a link from a blog about gardening, would raise a red flag, said Lasnik. As would an influx of links in a single day. However, links from one relevant site to another, would not likely cause a reaction from Google (although they would still prefer you to use a nofollow tag).
Punishments for buying and selling links vary, according to Lasnik. Google could focus on the seller or the buyer. Sellers that offer lots of links for sale, could find their outbound links filtered on a page level, or site-wide. Buyers, purchasing links from dozens of locations, could trigger Google to filter out the value of their inbound links – as Lasnik explains, why penalize hundreds of sites that sell just a single link, when it’s the recipient that is clearly benefiting?”
Andy reveals that Lasnik sounded very frustrated when he said “I wish nofollow didn’t exist”.