I have a website which has a lot of user-sourced content that accounts for a significant portion of our organic search traffic.
In an effort to avoid spammers or link bait type scenarios, we made the decision to globally make all of the URLs inside these posts have the
rel="nofollow" attribute. This seems to be what StackOverflow/StackExchange does and I generally assume that what they are doing is roughly the "right" thing to do SEO-wise.
After making this change, I have seen significant drops in organic search traffic, and I want to know if this could be the culprit.
Does anyone have any advice to offer? Seeing as we don't (yet) have a spam problem I would be fine with turning these back on. We could toggle it on/off for posts from approved authors and/or approved posts specifically.