There are a few reasons why this can be a good idea, most forums for example add this to all posts to cut down on spam. It also notifies Google that you do not particularly endorse the site link or want your valuable "link juice(1)" passed to the other site.
Google announced last week that it now will treat this tag as hint rather than a directive, that is it will now look at it in context, and perhaps include it in it's indexing. Google is also introducing two new attributes in addition to the "nofollow" as follows.
rel="sponsored": The new sponsored attribute can be used to identify links on your site that were created as part of advertisements, sponsorships or other compensation agreements.
rel="ugc": The ugc attribute value is recommended for links within user generated content, such as comments and forum posts.
rel="nofollow": The nofollow attribute is for cases where you want to link to a page but don’t want to imply any type of endorsement, including passing along ranking credit to another page, Google said.
So what does all this mean? Basically no change is strictly needed but our advice in respect of the escort industry would be as follows.
Apart from the fact the escort directories REALLY need to move away from the 1990's link/banner model it so loves and which Google despises which forces sites to add spammy link laden and garish banners to the home page in return for a paltry listing buried deep within their site and lost amongst dozens of others. All these links should be marked either "nofollow" or "sponsored" which hopefully will discourage the Google indexer from leaving your site from the front page and moving to theirs, which potentially deprives you of deeper indexing. As we have pointed out "nofollow" carries no endorsement and "sponsored" flags the link for what it is, a paid for(2) advert.
As always contact us if you need specific advise, we are here to help.
1. Link juice is the term used in the SEO world to refer to the value or equity passed from one page or site to another. This value is passed through hyperlinks. Search engines see links as votes by other websites that your page is valuable and worth promoting.
2. Paying for a link takes many forms, money obviously, but also exchanging links, which is the model the escort directories use, via banner on your site, listing on theirs.