What are NoFollow Links?

NoFollowLinksThere are two types of hyperlinks on the web: DoFollow and NoFollow. DoFollow links tell the search engine to pass along the page  (that is doing the linking) their page rank influence to the outbound link. For example, if I were to link to Social Media Examiner with a DoFollow, I would be saying, pass my link juice over to Social Media Examiner.

NoFollow links are exactly the opposite. NoFollow links say don’t follow this link or don’t follow links on this page and don’t pass my juice onto the outbound webpage link.

How do you create a DoFollow vs. NoFollow links on your website or blog?

The best way to think about this is that DoFollow links are regular hyperlinks. You don’t have to do anything or tell the search engines anything when you link to an outbound URL. However, if you don’t trust the content on a site or if you are paid to do a review for a product, then you’ll want to use a NoFollow link. The link will still work, it just won’t put out any link juice from your site. (In other words, no credibility/trust/endorsement from your site).

To create a NoFollow link you just simply insert rel=”nofollow” in your html, like this:

<a href="" rel="nofollow">My blog</a>

The first part of the URL in quotes in the link followed by a space then the rest of the line indicating a 'no follow' link.

How does Google handle nofollow links?

In general, they say they do not follow links with the rel=”nofollow” tag in them.  However, other search engines may handle nofollow tags differently. You should research to see how they handle NoFollow links on all of the popular search engines, especially the ones that your visitors use to visit your blog or website.

FYI: WordPress automatically assigns the no follow link attribute to all user-submitted links.

SEO and NoFollow links

A lot of SEO experts feel that more inbound links to your website or blog mean better PageRank and therefore your site will come up when people search for your meta tags or keywords. However, Google and Microsoft have gotten smart about it and are constantly changing up the way they track and filter NoFollow links.

NoFollow links are typically placed on “paid” content – where you or someone was paid to write about a product/service/company. They are also typically used on forums and in blog comments.

How do you get “follow” links for your website or blog?

The best way is to create awesome honest content. Other ways are you could link to colleague’s site and hope they return the favor. You might also try guest blogging.

Does it make sense?



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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.