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I recently noticed that Google Webmaster Tools counts the blogroll link on every page of a Wordpress blog as a separate entry in 'Links to Your Site'. If the Wordpress site has 100 posts that all show the blogroll (which is typical), that will generate 100 separate entries in 'Links To Your Site' in Google Webmaster Tools for each site linked from the blogroll.

Given recent news that Google is starting to penalize sites with 'unnatural' incoming links, I'd like to figure out how to prevent a Wordpress blogroll from doing that. Frankly, I think GWT should be smart enough to figure this out, but I don't have much hope that Google will rationalize this.

It's also not clear that this kind of thing will actually be penalized, or whether Google is able to make the distinction. But who wants to take the chance?

Aside from configuring the sidebar with the blogroll to appear only on the home page, is there any way around this? Would 'nofollow' help? Then again, I've heard that use of 'nofollow' may also be penalized. Geez, Google.

Here's a link to one of the recent stories making the rounds: http://www.seroundtable.com/google-link-spam-notifications-13652.html

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I found the answer in a simple plugin called 'Nofollow Blogroll SEO': http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/nofollow-blogroll-seo/

This plugin has no settings. It simply adds 'rel=nofollow' to all your blogroll links, unless the blogroll is being shown on the home page. Perfect!

Here's some information from Google about how they handle 'nofollow' links: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=96569

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I've confirmed that the 'rel=nofollow' tag is appearing in all blogroll links on pages other than the home page, but the original problem remains: thousands of links from the Wordpress site appear in Google Webmaster Tools for linked sites. Is this really just an issue with GWT? – boot13 Jun 7 '12 at 13:57

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