What is a NoFollow link?

January 2, 2023
January 2, 2023 Mark Acornley

When linking to external websites or they are linking to you, there are various types of links they can choose to place, which can affect your results in the search engine rankings.

What is a nofollow link?

A nofollow link is a link which has a nofollow tag. This tells the search engines that the link isn’t seen as a vote of confidence but for the search engine to ignore the link and nofollow it to crawl the other website.

If you’re building backlinks, you’ll want to go with do-follow links. This is because you want the link juice from the other website.

If you’re linking out to other websites, there will be times when you’ll want to use do follow or nofollow.

Use nofollow links when the website is huge, as it eats up your crawl budget.

According to Google, nofollow links don’t pass any page rank to the page it’s linking to. One of the major reasons why the nofollow tag was introduced was because of spammy comments on blog posts.

If you used to leave a comment on a website with a link back to your website, this passed on page rank or “link juice”. Unfortunately, this got abused and was filled with spammy websites.

Which links are typically nofollow?

  • Blog comments
  • Press release links
  • News sites
  • Forum Posting
  • User-generated content
  • Social media links

Is a backlink from a high-quality website that is nofollow worthless?

We wouldn’t say it’s pointless getting these types of links. According to Google, they say, “in general, we don’t follow them”.

So what does this actually mean?

In most cases, they won’t be following them, but in certain cases, they might do.

For example, let’s say you get some links from a huge website in your niche that adds a nofollow tag, there have been cases in which people have used no-follow links to increase their positions in the SERPs for targeted keywords.

What are the benefits of a nofollow link?

  • Nofollow links can help you rank higher in certain situations: Don’t ignore nofollow links because you think they won’t help. All natural backlink profiles have a selection of nofollow and do follow, if 100% of your backlinks are doing follow, this could seem suspicious.
  • Nofollow links can increase your traffic: Just because they don’t send link juice to your website, doesn’t mean that no-follow links won’t help your SEO. The more nofollow links you have on high-traffic websites, the higher the chances of getting more traffic from those web pages.
  • Nofollow links can attract attention: if you’ve got a nofollow link on a popular page, this could mean other websites will see this and want to create a news article or blog post around it. They can then link to you, if there are using a nofollow tag then you could get in touch and ask them to make it dofollow.

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