Google assumes that if you make a link to a site, then that is a worthwhile link to remember. Your link is a “vote” in increasing the popularity of that page in the search results. When a page contains false or misleading information, you don’t want to make that page easier to find. That is where DoNotLink comes in.
The Page Rank Algorithm works on the idea that the more links to a page, the more valuable that page is. But when linking to a misleading page, you would only be increasing the effect of that misleading page. You would like to link, without increasing the rank of that page in the search sites.
I recently discovered DoNotLink (http://donotlink.com/) which allows you to create an obfuscated link that will redirect the browser there for readers, but keeps search engines from following the link to the destination.
It is easy to use. Past the URL into the input box and hit continue. It remembers that address, and gives you a much shorter address to use in your web page or blog post. licking on the link will redirect the browser to that site … after a small delay.
What about nofollow?
If you are editing the HTML, you can add an attribute to the “a” link tag named “nofollow”. When the search engines find this in the tag, they will avoid following the link, and avoid raising the rank of the page. I don’t know if every search engine follow this, but I would bet that Google does, and does any other search engine matter?
You can only use nofollow if you have control of the HTML. Blogging sites, social media sites, twitter, and any automatically converted links will not have this attribute set. The DoNotLink site will work no matter how the URL is given and no matter how the hyperlink tag is created.
Make a note about DoNotLink; save it someplace convenient. Use it whenever making a link to a site that you would rather nobody ever find again. No more guilt.