A closer look at nofollow links and how they make a difference to your SEO efforts.
There are so many different terms that are linked to search engine optimisation and nofollow is one of them. If you are new to SEO, this article will give you a better understanding of what nofollow links are, how they differ from dofollow links and how they make a difference to your SEO efforts.
Nofollow Links Explained
Nofollow is an HTML attribute that tells search engines not to follow a specific outbound link. Basically, you would use a nofollow tag anytime you don’t want to endorse or pass authority to a particular page. The nofollow attribute was introduced in an effort to reduce search engine spam and looks like this:
<a href=”http://www.mywebsite.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Visit My Website</a>
Nofollow versus Dofollow
So, how do nofollow and dofollow HTML attributes differ?
Nofollow links can be followed by humans but not search engines. This means that if a site had to link to a nofollow attribute, there would be no SEO benefits attached to it.
Dofollow links, on the other hand, allow all search engines to reach a specific page and offer SEO benefits. Website owners would also use dofollow links in their backlink strategies because it carries “link juice” and would enhance their SEO efforts. Any link that doesn’t contain a nofollow HTML attribute is automatically a dofollow link and would look like this:
<a href=”http://www.mywebsite.com/”>Visit My Website</a>
Types of Nofollow Links
Here are a few examples of nofollow links:
- Paid Links. Any paid links always need to be nofollow or you could end up being penalised by Google. This includes paid reviews or product links.
- Image and Widget Links. Any embedded widget links and image sources should be nofollow links.
- Guest Post Links. Unfortunately, guest posts have been used to rig the system by too many people, which is why Google will penalise you if it determines that you are trying to cover up a paid link with a guest post.
- Social Media Buttons. Since there’s no reason for you to offer major platforms such as Facebook and Twitter any link juice, it’s best to make all social media buttons nofollow links.
Key Benefits of Nofollow Links
Even though nofollow links don’t carry any link juice, they are still beneficial to your SEO strategy.
- Drive more traffic to your site. Any link that can still be followed by a human will drive more traffic to your site, even if it has a nofollow attribute. The more visitors engage with your content, the more it will boost your site’s SEO efforts.
- Strike the perfect balance. Websites need to have a good balance between dofollow and nofollow links if they want to avoid any penalisations when Google implements a new update. Striking a good balance between these two types of links will make your site’s link profile look more authentic.
- Boost domain and page authority. Backlinks are taken into consideration by websites such as MOZ and Alexa when calculating page and domain authority, two factors that advertisers take into consideration when evaluating sites. By increasing your number of nofollow backlinks, you can increase these metrics.
- It’s safe. Nofollow links are safe in the sense that you don’t need to worry about these types of links pointing to your site, which is particularly useful when you want to share something without being associated with that resource.
- Increase credibility. Once you start getting more referral traffic, you’ll automatically start increasing your site’s credibility. You will also be able to boost your subscriber numbers, which will have far-reaching effects over the long term.
Link building should be a key part of any SEO strategy because of the benefits that it offers. In the grander scheme of things, nofollow links won’t be the one thing that shoots you to the top of page one of Google’s search results but it will certainly make a difference to your SEO efforts.