If you’re new to SEO, one of the most important things to understand is link building.
Links are an important part of search engine optimization (SEO) and help in achieving top ranking positions in SERP.
But you have to understand the value of links. In this article, I’m going to cover EVERYTHING you need to know about nofollow vs dofollow links:
What they are? Why they’re important? And how do they impact SEO?
So let’s dive…
Brief Descriptions of The Content
What are Dofollow Links
Dofollow links are links that help increase page rank, boost your website SEO, make your backlink profile stronger and your site rank higher in the SERPs.
Dofollow links allow search bots to follow the links (linked website). This passes the “link juice” from the source website to the linked website.
If you receive a link from a high-authority website, the search engines will trust you and rank higher in the search results.
And most importantly, if more quality links pointing to your site, then search engines will see your site as an authoritative one.
HTML Tag for Dofollow Link
By default, all links are dofollow, so you don’t need additional HTML attributes to make the link dofollow. And look like this:
The “JustBrightMe” here is a follow link.
How Do Dofollow Links Affect Site Rankings
Dofollow links increase the credibility of your site in Google’s eyes.
As I already said, dofollow links are links that allow search bots to follow the link. They pass link juice and help your website get a higher rank.
The more dofollow links you have, the higher your site will rank. But dofollow links must be from a reputed website.
For example, when a reputable site with high PageRank links to you, search engines will see your site as more reputable and may increase your PageRank.
How to Get Dofollow Links
Building a dofollow backlinks from athority site is not an easy task. But by following the right technique, you can easily get. Here i am going to tell you quick tips:
- Publish Quality Content on Your Blog (So that another website or blog link your content. This increases the chances of getting dofollow backlinks).
- Submit Guest Post to the Top Blog (One of the best ways to get dofollow link).
- Broken Link Building Method (Just contact the website owner to report the broken links and recommend other websites or your own website).
- Create Internal Links (Proper internal linking help the visitor navigate from one page to another and increase the overall user experience. And is considered most important for improving website ranking and pageview and decreasing bounce rate.
- Write Testimonials (You can offer to give a testimonial to a company for a link back to your website).
- Create Backlinks Through Infographics (Another one of the best ways of creating valuable dofollow links).
What are Nofollow Links
Nofollow links have no impact on search engine rankings.
Nofollow links do not allow search bots to follow links (linked websites). This nofollow tag does not pass link juice and does not play any role to increase your ranking in search results.
However, nofollow and dofollow links look similar but nofollow links have an HTML attribute and it looks like this: rel=“nofollow”
If you have questions about how to add nofollow links, here is a guide: How to Add Nofollow Link in WordPress
HTML Tag for Creating a Nofollow Link
Just you have to add a little piece of code (rel=“nofollow”) to your link. And it looks something like this:
<a href=”https://justbrightme.com” rel=”nofollow”>JustBrightMe</a>
“JustBrightMe” is a nofollowed link here.
Why Did Search Engines Create the Nofollow Tag
The nofollow tag was originally created to fight comment spam. The two major reasons:
- First, spam sites started ranking well in Google.
- The comment link strategy worked well, so spammers left links back to their site in the comments.
To tackle all this, Google has developed nofollow tag.
History of Rel=” Nofollow”
The nofollow tag was originally created by Google in 2005 to combat blog comment spam. Below is a clear explanation from Google
If you’re a blogger (or a blog reader), you’re painfully familiar with people who try to raise their own websites’ search engine rankings by submitting linked blog comments like “Visit my discount pharmaceuticals site.” This is called comment spam, we don’t like it either, and we’ve been testing a new tag that blocks it. From now (January 18, 2005), when Google sees the attribute (rel=”nofollow”) on hyperlinks, those links won’t get any credit when we rank websites in our search results. This isn’t a negative vote for the site where the comment was posted; it’s just a way to make sure that spammers get no benefit from abusing public areas like blog comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists.
In today’s times, WordPress and many other CMSs use nofollow tags for comment links by default.
On 10 September 2019, Google announced two new link attributes to identify the nature of particular links.
Before September 2019 “Nofollow” was the only way to mark sponsored or advertised links. But after, there are 3 ways to flag these links:
rel=”sponsored”: Use the sponsored attribute to identify links on your site that were created as part of advertisements, sponsorships or other compensation agreements.
rel=”ugc”: UGC stands for User Generated Content, and the ugc attribute value is recommended for links within user generated content, such as comments and forum posts.
rel=”nofollow”: Use this attribute 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.
These three attributes can be used as hints, which links should Google include or exclude in search.
Do I Need to Replace My Existing Nofollow
Google explains this,
No. If you use nofollow now as a way to block sponsored links, or to signify that you don’t vouch for a page you link to, that will continue to be supported. There’s absolutely no need to change any nofollow links that you already have.
How to Check If a Link is Dofollow or Nofollow
All nofollow links contain with rel=”nofollow” HTML attribute. And there are a few ways to check if a link is dofollow or nofollow:
- Check the HTML code
- Use browser SEO extensions
- Use backlink analysis tools
Viewing HTML Code
To check the Nofollow link, right-click on the link, then click on “Inspect” (This may vary depending on your browser) and search for rel = “nofollow” tag. As you can see in the screenshot,
If you see a rel=”nofollow” attribute, that link is nofollowed. Otherwise, the link is dofollow.
Using Browser Extensions
However, it may take time for you to check with HTML manually, and where browser extensions come handy:
You just need to install NoFollow Chrome extension. This tool automatically marks any nofollow links with a dotted enclosure.
Usinng Backlink Analysis Tools
You can find the nofollow and dofollow of any website (even your competitor’s website) with a backlink analysis tools such as:
What Types of Links Are Nofollow
Any link that contains the rel=”nofollow” tag is technically a nofollow link.
You should add nofollow to all the external websites you do not trust. Also, add nofollow attributes for affiliate & sponsored links and untrusted content. It protects you from Google penalty.
1. For Affiliate & Sponsored Links
According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, any link you pay must be nofollow. Google’s Matt Cutts also made it clear on this video that all paid links should be nofollow.
If you use affiliate links, paid links and sponsor links to your blog, set the nofollow tag for them. Otherwise, Google can reduce your site ranking.
If you use the plugin to manage affiliate links on your blog, you can easily set the Nofollow attribute for your affiliate links. Here’s a list – 10 Best WordPress Affiliate Plugin to Manage Your Affiliate Link
2. For Untrusted Content
For the reference of your content, linking to a site that you do not trust, you should use the nofollow tag.
3. For Sidebar Links
If you use external website links or affiliate links in the sidebar of your blog or website, it is good to apply a nofollow tag for them.
4. For Comments
If you allow commenting on your site, then you must have seen that people post their website link to get link juice. Some of them are spam comments. So nofollow tag should be used to deal with this.
And these popular sites use the rel=”nofollow” attribute on all of their outbound links:
Do Nofollow Links Help with SEO?
Nofollow links do not allow search engine bots to follow any link. They also do not pass link juice. And Nofollow links do not help you in increasing page rank, website ranking and have no SEO value.
However, some SEO experts say “Nofollow links do not impact SEO”. And folks believe “Nofollow links are not as powerful as dofollow links … but they help”.
But, what does Google say about nofollow links?
When nofollow was introduced, Google would not count any link marked this way as a signal to use within our search algorithms. This has now changed.
All the link attributes — sponsored, UGC and nofollow — are treated as hints about which links to consider or exclude within Search.
We’ll use these hints — along with other signals — as a way to better understand how to appropriately analyze and use links within our systems.
Benefits of Nofollow Links
Nofollow links do not directly increase your website’s PageRank, yet they contribute value in many ways.
Nofollow Links Balanced Your Backlink Profile
If a blog only has only dofollow links or a high percentage of dofollow backlinks links. (Especially if those links all had the same anchor text), Google may consider it a suspicious activity. And if that’s the case, you might get a Google penalty.
Therefore you must have a combination of nofollow and dofollow backlinks.
Bring Traffic and Increase Brand Exposure
One of the best advantages of nofollow links is that they boost your site’s referral traffic and increase brand awareness.
For example, if your website link to a website with a vast audience, then its visitors likely land on your site.
Nofollow Links can Help Grow Your Dofollow Links
You can get more awareness when popular sites link. As more people know about you, chances are they can also link you, which can increase dofollow links.
They Protect You Against Google Penalties
Google stated that the dofollow paid links violates their webmaster guidelines.
Use the sponsored attribute or nofollow attribute for advertisements, sponsorships or other compensation agreements.
What’s the Best Ratio of Nofollow to Dofollow Links
Are you thinking about what is the best dofollow and nofollow ratio? If yes, then I have to tell you that there is no optimal ratio for the follow/noflow link.
… and here Alexa states,
There’s no “best” nofollow to dofollow backlink ratio for links pointing to your site. Some folks think 50/50 is a good mix, some say 40/60, and still others target 30/70 nofollow/dofollow links. Looking at top websites by Alexa Rank in the United States, the mix may be closer to 25/75, which signals that the most successful websites have a greater number of dofollow links.
The best mix for your site will naturally include a variety of link types. To get an idea of what might be natural for your industry, examine a sample of websites in a similar space or industry. Follow the lead of sites that already rank high.
To check the ratio of dofollow vs nofollow backlinks for your website, you can use SEMrush or Ahrefs.
How to Create Nofollow Links on My Site
Manually Adding Nofollow Links in Post and Page
Gutenberg is a new WordPress content editor. Since no plugins are currently compatible with Gutenberg. So you have to manually create nofollow links in Gutenberg editor.
First of all, you need to click Posts >> Add New or edit your post.
Next, select the text you want to add a link. Then click the “link” icon and add your link.
If you want to open the link in a new tab, you have to click on the down arrow icon and you will have to click on the “Open in New Tab” toggle box.
Now let’s make it nofollow links… click on the three vertical dots (Block Setting) and then select “Edit as HTML” option.
Your content (link) will now appear in the HTML code. As you can see in the screenshot,
You just need to add nofollow attribute in the link. Simply replace noreferrer with nofollow.
Now, your link has changed to nofollow link. Apply the same process to add nofollow attribute to another link.
Adding Nofollow Links in Post and Page Using a Plugin
If you still use Classic editor on your WordPress blog, you can easily set the nofollow attribute with the help of the plugin.
There are a lot of plugins available to set nofollow tag but here I will use the Ultimate Nofollow plugin.
After installing and activating the plugin, open the post or page and add links to the text. Then click on the pencil icon.
Then click on the Gear icon.
A popup box will open in which you will see a checkbox – rel = “nofollow”. Check that box and click on Add Link.
This will change your dofollow link to nofollow link.
Add Nofollow Link to WordPress Menu
Click on Appearance >> Menu. Next, click on the Screen Option. Then check the Link Relationship (XFN) box.
Now add your link by clicking on the Custom Link option. Then click the Add to Menu button.
Now the link you have added will appear in the menu structure column. Next you have to click on the downward arrow. And type nofollow in the “Link Relationship” box.
Click on the Save Menu button. This will add the nofollow attribute to the link in your WordPress menu.
Make All External Links Nofollow in WordPress
Want to set the nofollow attribute for all the external links? If you are a WordPress blogger, you can easily do this.
First of all, install and activate the Nofollow for external link plugin in your site. This plugin sets the rel = “nofollow” attribute for all your external links.
If you are building backlinks to your site, then focus more on creating dofollow links. Because they pass link juice and PageRank and have a direct impact on SEO.
But remember you must have a combination of nofollow and dofollow backlinks to stay safe from Google penalty.
What’s your experience with dofollow and nofollow links? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Now it’s your turn… find this article helpful? Don’t forget to share!
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