I've seen someone using search operator -nofollow to find websites where links are dofollow and he claimed that this query can exclude websites whose HTML source code contains nofollow.

Well, personally I've tried a couple of times with -nofollow but still can find nofollow websites.

I can't help but wonder, does it work for real?

According to this support page:

Add a dash (-) before a word or site to exclude all results that include that word.

In other words, does "results" include HTML source code?

  • I'm pretty sure that "results" does not include HTML code. I seem to recall a tool that let you see what Googlebot sees, and it only sees the text of a page (excepting meta tag instructions). If I can dig up a source I'll turn this into a real answer.
    – ale
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 12:54

1 Answer 1


No, that search operator would not work as nofollow is used as a link relationship. Search operators don't check against markup but only visible content at the front end - the same search functionality that the search engine uses...

No idea why this was migrated from webmasters stack exchange. It belongs there... Not at web applications.

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