Nofollow backlinks – are they useful?
Obviously there are two crowds when talking about nofollow backlinks. Some people are strictly backing their opinion with search engines guidelines, that clearly states that they do not follow these links, therefore they don't use them as a ranking factor.
There is also other crowd, not sure how big compared to the first one, thinking that the nofollow backlinks are being used by SE for ranking purposes even though people from those companies openly deny it.
Where the truth lies? Is there any reputable case study about nofollow backlinks? Is it even possible to find out?
As per observations, nofollow links have been beneficial since beginning. Not following the link means, the search engine will not go to visit that linked page or website. But, search engines note the link. Even if there is not link and only domain name is mentioned as text, then also it is beneficial in ranking. The concept of link popularity applies here.