Over the past few months, Google added to their link schemes guideliens page a line that basically says you cannot require someone to link to you without the nofollow attribute. If you require such a follow link in your terms of service, a contract or some other arrangement, then that is considered a “link scheme” by Google.
Here is the line that was added sometime between August and now:
Requiring a link as part of a Terms of Service, contract, or similar arrangement without allowing a third-party content owner the choice of using nofollow or other method of blocking PageRank, should they wish.
Marie Haynes spotted this and posted about it on Twitter:
This is new. Looking at archive dot org, it looks like this was added sometime between August and October this year.Making a followed link a requirement for something is against Google’s guidelines.https://t.co/rt6MFLfhZz pic.twitter.com/L5JYpOizYK
— Marie Haynes (@Marie_Haynes) December 20, 2018
So make sure you do not legally require people to link to you with a follow link. Just leave those out of our terms of service.
Funny how the nofollow concept has grown and expanded over the years. ;-P
Forum discussion at Twitter.