The Ins and Outs of Dofollow and Nofollow Links
What is difference between dofollow and nofollow links? An important point about nofollow links that have been insufficiently discussed is why anyone would use them. As a blogger, how would nofollow links benefit your website or SEO?
Here is a short backgrounder.
Many years ago, there were many web pages with sections where users and readers could post comments. Everybody could write what they wanted to write. They could even write irrelevant comments that had nothing to do with the content of the page.
If there is a link selling site and they get caught for selling links, and they just happen to be linking to you, the value of that link that the site was providing, just goes away. – Matt Cutts, Former Head of Search Quality at Google
Worst, they could also post links that link the page to their websites, which is a way to increase a website’s domain authority. This linking practice became rampant on authority sites like Quora, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and Wikipedia.
For only $5 a link, this was an inexpensive way of promoting a website and increasing domain authority. This technique was later called “comment spam” Another name for it is link spam, wiki spam, and blog spam.
Link spamming is the posting of out-of-context links on discussion forums, guestbook sites, blogs, and other channels where user comments are allowed.
Link spammers frequently do not write comments of any value together with their links.
Then Google Intervened
Google hated the technique because it did not foster real community discussion on blogs. Meanwhile, website owners had to deal with the garbage piling up on their web pages.
To combat the black hat SEO technique, Google introduced the rel=“no follow” link attribute, an attribute that allows website owners to render links posted on their sites as no-count links in terms of page ranking or link juice.
Difference between Dofollow Links and Nofollow links
Both dofollow links and nofollow links are important for SEO. Dofollow links indicate that the purpose is for linking only, but mixing both tells Google that the website being linked to is gaining traffic organically or naturally.
In the days when nofollow links did not yet exist, all external links that point to a website were called inbound links. These days, they are now called dofollow links because of the introduction of the nofollow link attribute in 2005.
When a page gets an inbound link, such a page gets a little SEO boost, allowing it to get a higher ranking on SERPs. The more websites link to your website, the higher is your ranking on SERPs.
Google is like, “Let’s give this a high ranking because many people link to this page. Because many people link to this page, it must have relevant content. So, let’s deliver this page to our users.”
Google uses their metric called PageRank, which is their method of calculating link points gained by websites. Points are collectively called “link juice.”
If the site that links to your site is highly reputable, you will get more link juice than from less reputable sites. Being linked from BBC, New York Times, or Wikipedia is pure gold for your SEO!
So, what are dofollow links? These are links that count as points or link juice.
In time, the practice was abused by link spammers to game Google, but Google responded by introducing the nofollow attribute. Now, website owners have the power to make links posted on their sites as non-count links.
Examples of nofollow websites are Quora and Wikipedia. On Facebook, nofollow links are marked red, while dofollow links are marked green. However, the nofollow links on Facebook significantly outnumber their dofollow counterparts.
So, should you use nofollow links? Why do people still use nofollow links despite their being non-count for SEO? Here is the answer.
Benefits of Nofollow links
Despite the non-count character of nofollow, webmaster SEO experts claim they hold value for ranking. They cite several reasons, including:
SEO boost to referenced pages
A great means to drive traffic
Protects your website ranking
SEO boost for your pages
It may sound deceiving, but yes, nofollow links boost SEO just like dofollow links. How can that be when the whole point of having nofollow links is to stop Google from assigning domain authority through such a type of linking?
However, Google is aware of that. Google knows that websites protect their SEO by preventing other sites to boost their own SEO by using other websites.
However, it does not mean that Google totally ignores the effort of those trying to build backlinks. The truth is, lots of case studies have shown that .
It, therefore, appears the men behind the Google algorithm still managed to put away to provide benefit to the pages referenced by the nofollow links.
To make things fair for everyone, Google must be trying to keep authority websites from totally ignoring the efforts of those who put links on their pages and blog posts.
In fact, the latest move from Google is that it now interprets nofollow links as a “hint.” In that case, nofollow links are not completely ignored by Google.
Together with this change in interpretation, Google has also announced two new link attributes – sponsored (rel=“sponsored”) and user-generated content (rel=“UGC”).
A sponsored link means that it is a link that is related to an advertisement, sponsorship, or some compensation agreement. On the other hand, a UGC link is a link associated with a comment on a blog post.
Drive Traffic to your site
Nofollow links give your website the most crucial factor for your business – the traffic. A relevant forum post, dofollow or nofollow, can drive huge traffic to your website, which you can turn into conversions and revenues.
Nofollow social media sites can also be leveraged for your campaigns. Though that will not boost SEO directly, the direct effect of such a strategy is increased traffic. It is also a strategy to prevent Google from penalizing your website.
Protect your webpage ranking
Using nofollow links is a way to protect your site in several ways, including:
If you have many low-quality links, using the nofollow tag can help protect your site’s ranking.
You can also use nofollow links to control websites that link to your site. Some spammy websites maliciously link to other websites. You can stop this from happening to your website by using nofollow links.
Use nofollow links to boost particular pages of your website by preventing the flow of link juice to undesired pages.