What is NoFollow Link?
This is a common question for new blogger – “Hey, what is nofollow link? What is’t going to do with me?” Put it simply, it’s a link that attributed with a “nofollow” relationship tag. A nofollow link implies to Search Engine that the publisher is NOT endorsing or “voting” for the website that he/she links to. Therefore, no link juice is passed to the website being linked. For instance, link with nofollow attribute added in source code looks like this (in red font):
<a href="http://www.anylink.com" rel="nofollow">Your Anchor Text</a>
On the other hand, a “DoFollow” link looks like this (in blue font):
<a href="http://www.anylink.com" rel="dofollow">Your Anchor Text</a>
<a href="http://www.anylink.com">Your Anchor Text</a>
By default, link without “NoFollow” attribute is a “DoFollow” link which will give SEO points (“vote”) to the site that you link to.
Why Use NoFollow Links?
As nofollow links tell Search Engine to stop following the links, it helps to prevent spammer from creating spammy links when nofollow attribute is enabled (e.g. in blog comments, free user-generated content sites etc).
It should be noted that spammy links could distort search engine result and Google will penalise websites that are believed or seen to be engaging in (or related to) spammy activities. As such, it’s important to manage your links with care by using nofollow attribute, where appropriate.
When to Use NoFollow & DoFollow Links?
Basically, links are either created by your own team or by visitors. Links created by your own team could be inbound (internal) or outbound (external) links whereas links by visitors are mostly outbound links. Let’s break them up and go through one by one below:
Links Created By Your Own Team
- Inbound links – DoFollow. As every dofollow link will pass on some SEO points (or link juice) to the site being linked, this could probably maximise the link juice to your internal posts and enhance your site’s SEO value. Having said that, do not spam your post with excessive inbound links, it may have opposite effect.
- Outbound links – This depends on the nature of the outbound links. If it’s:
- Affiliate link – NoFollow. As affiliate link is a money related link, it’s better to add a nofollow attribute to avoid conflict of interest.
- Paid link – NoFollow. Similar to affiliate link, this refers to link which people pay you to place on your site (e.g. advertisement link, sponsored link etc)
- Other link (e.g. statistics or references from other site) – Up to you to decide whether you would like to pass on your link juice to that site. By and large, we would want to add nofollow attribute for site with untrusted content.
Links Created By Visitors
Unless you’re able to vet through every visitor’s comment or post and moderate the link attribute to your desire before it’s published, otherwise, it’s always advisable to use NoFollow attribute when your blog allows visitor to post comment or content (e.g. guest post) instantly without any moderation.
If NoFollow attribute is enabled for all links created by visitors, this could prevent your site from becoming the target for spammy links and also reduce the risk of getting penalised by Search Engine. Google had also given some examples on nofollow links usage here.
I hope the explanation above help you understand better about nofollow links. Although nofollow link doesn’t look as attractive as a dofollow link, it does carry some impact in the eye of SEO. After all, a healthy SEO structure should comprise a combination of both dofollow and nofollow links.
Now, it’s your turn to go back to your blog and check your links. Don’t take it for granted, use nofollow links wisely!