I have been having this thought pondering on my mind so I decided to ask the community. The question is: A link that was already rel=nofollow and then crawled by Google, and later changes to dofollow or have the rel=nofollow removed, how does this affect Google's ranking?:

  1. Does it possess the same power as having the dofollow originally?
  2. Does Google sees this as trying to manipulate and not favor it?
  3. Does it possess power but not up to when it is given originally?
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    Some large sites, including Stack Exchange and Hacker News, list certain links as nofollow at first, then have some condition for changing them to dofollow later. I know that doesn't really answer your question, but I would think if it were completely pointless then they wouldn't bother. – Maximillian Laumeister Jun 19 at 22:22

Hmm, interesting. I guess first thing first. Google will generally not crawl a link that has a rel=nofollow. If you later change the link to dofollow then google will take it into consideration i.e. pagerank and the link graph. I don't believe removing or adding nofollow to links is seen as "manipulative" by Google. This is done pretty regularly across the web. I guess the question you should ask yourself is if you had originally distrusted the link enough to add a nofollow, what changed? why would you remove the nofollow now?

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