Nofollow Backlinks.

nofollow backlinks

Are you searching for more details about nofollow backlinks? Then you are in the right place. But, what is a nofollow link precisely and how does it influence (the findability of) your site? Allow me to explain all that you need to understand regarding both “normal” (dofollow) links and nofollow links.

What is a nofollow backlink?

By adding the rel=”nofollow” HTML attribute to a link, it will be classified as “nofollow”. Google and other search engines treat these links differently from dofollow ones since nofollow links are not granted authority. On the contrary, dofollow links acquire that power.

From a user’s perspective, there is no variation between dofollow and nofollow links. Yet for search engines like Google, the distinction is enormous; Nofollow links will not be tracked by searchbots and thusly won’t carry any significance or PageRank to pages. In other words: these kinds of connections are disregarded by Google’s algorithm so it has zero influence on your website ranking in their results page.

Why are there nofollow links?

In the past, people discovered that backlinks were critical to boosting their websites’ visibility on search engine result pages. To make sure they had plenty of them, many resorted to leaving comments on other blogs or websites in order to generate numerous links quickly. This backlink strategy proved successful as it enabled them to climb up Google’s rankings and expand their rankings with ease.

Clearly, this was not Google’s initial desire. In order to differentiate between links that were added in a natural way and those which had been included by users, the company developed the nofollow tag in 2005.

Moreover, Google sought to apply the same regulations to websites enrolled in an affiliate program. These sites would accumulate numerous or even countless backlinks because of the referral system that drives them – an issue which Google wanted to counteract by introducing a nofollow tag.

What does a nofollow backlink looks like?

A nofollow link looks like a normal link, except for the addition of the rel=”nofollow” attribute in the HTML code. Here’s an example of a nofollow backlink in HTML format:

<a href=”http://www.example.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Example Link</a>

Visitors are unaware of the difference between dofollow and nofollow links, however, search engines recognize them as distinct. Search bots overlook nofollow links when ranking pages because these kinds of connections don’t transfer any value (PageRank) to the destination page. In other words: Google disregards these types of hyperlinks in its algorithm and this won’t influence your position on a SERP.

What nofollow link types are there?

In September 2019, Google unveiled two distinct forms of the nofollow tag to differentiate between those links meant for economic motivations and those used as a countermeasure against spam or buying backlinks.

  • For user-generated content, use rel=”ugc” – this includes comments sections, profile information, forum signatures and other similar sources.
  • Rel=”sponsored” should be placed on any links that are of a commercial nature, from banners to advertorials and affiliate links.
  • You can easily couple the attributes with other tags, such as rel=”nofollow ugc”, to complete your process.

Google has shifted the use of its nofollow attribute from a hard-and-fast rule to an indicator for better decision making. Google’s algorithm now scans sites and makes autonomous determinations as to which links should be followed, and how much worth they hold. As such, it may choose not to recognize any link value in an advertorial that is unmarked by nofollow – or even decide on the opposite path with news site setting all outbound links as such.

By increasing the number of websites that apply these attributes, Google’s algorithm accumulates more and more data in order to spot abuse or misuse. Unfortunately, website owners gain no direct advantages from implementing the new “nofollow” attributes – however it does create a stronger bond between Google and free webpages.

How to see if a link is dofollow or nofollow?

To check if a link is dofollow or nofollow, simply inspect the HTML code and look for rel=”nofollow”. If it’s present it means that it is nofollow.

In desktop browsers like Google Chrome, right-click on the link and select “Inspect” to open up the developer console. You should then be able to find the HTML code which will contain rel=”nofollow” if it is a nofollow link. Google Chrome also has extensions like NoFollow which makes it easier to see which links are dofollow or nofollow.

Additionally, there are quite a few online tools such as Moz’s Link Explorer and Ahrefs’ Site Explorer that you can use to analyze the backlinks of a website. These tools will show which links are dofollow and nofollow. Want to read more about the best tools to analyze backlinks? Check the link and find out!

When to use a nofollow attribute in a link?

If you want to stick with Google’s guidelines, here are their recommendations: it is up to you when to add a nofollow link, but using the appropriate tag can ensure that your website follows all applicable rules.

  • When the link points to a website that you’d rather not have your website connected with.
  • When website users create links, rather than website administrators, these links can be seen in places such as comments sections of blogs.
  • If the link points to a website that provides you with an advantage, like if it directs users to a product from which you acquire commission.
  • If the link directs to a site you don’t wish to contribute value towards.
  • If you’re referencing a website in an article that was written by somebody else.

Nurture your preconceived notions of nofollow links—there is value in them, but not as much as you might expect. Google and SEO recognize their importance, yet it may be difficult to discern what that entails.

What are the benefits of using or getting a nofollow link?

There are a few potential benefits of using or getting a nofollow link:

  • It can still be used to drive traffic to your website. Studies have shown that even though search engines won’t grant the linked pages any PageRank value, they still drive some traffic to them.
  • Nofollow links will not pass “link juice” to the linked pages, preventing them from being penalized for having links from bad other websites.
  • Nofollow links can be used as an effective way to fight comment spam. When a website uses the nofollow tag on their comments section, it makes it difficult for spammers to get any benefit from leaving comments.
  • It can still have some benefit for SEO. While nofollow links do not pass PageRank, Google has stated that they still count them as a “vote of confidence” from the linking website. This means that although it won’t directly help your SEO, it will indirectly do so when linkbuilding.
Even though search engines are instructed to not crawl nofollowed links, they still provide a certain degree of authority and the ability to drive traffic. In the end, this is what matters because more visitors equal increased conversions and additional inbound links.
The key divergence between a dofollow and nofollow link is that search engines will not grant any PageRank value to the linked page when using nofollow. This implies that unlike with a dofollow link, the target website of a nofollow hyperlink won’t benefit from SEO improvements. Therefore, in order to maximize SEO benefits, use as many dofollow links as possible on your website. However, this should be done with caution – if you are linking to a bad or spammy site, Google may punish you for it.
Google has created two new link attributes – sponsored and UGC – to help identify the source of a nofollow link. All paid links should be tagged with rel=”sponsored”, while those generated by users (e.g comments, message boards) must use rel=”ugc”. That said, Google doesn’t require website owners to utilize these new values, so many are sticking with just using the old ‘nofollow’ tag for now.
Yes, it is normal to get nofollow backlinks from other websites. Some websites may prefer to link to you with a nofollow tag as they don’t want to pass the PageRank value of their website on to yours. It is a natural part of link building, so you should not be discouraged by the presence of nofollow links when auditing your website.
Frank Dunbar
Frank Dunbar
Frank Dunbar is a specialized link building expert with over 5 years of experience in the industry. He has a deep understanding of SEO and the importance of high-quality backlinks for driving traffic and boosting search engine rankings. Frank has worked with a wide range of clients, from small businesses to large enterprises, and has helped them achieve their link building goals. He is known for his ability to identify valuable link opportunities and for his effective outreach strategies.
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