Follow vs No Follow Backlinks


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Imagine the world of backlinks as a battle between superheroes. Wondering who triumphs in the clash of follow vs no follow backlinks? Brace yourself for the short answer!

Stay tuned as we unravel the power dynamics, SEO implications, and strategies that’ll give your website an edge in this epic showdown. Get ready to unleash the backlink warrior within!

What is a Dofollow Backlink?

A dofollow link is a type of backlink that passes authority and link juice from the linking page to the linked page. 

In other words, it tells search engines that the linked page is credible and authoritative and should be crawled and indexed.

What is a Nofollow Backlink?

On the other hand, a nofollow link is a type of backlink that does not pass authority or link juice to the linked page. 

It tells search engines not to follow the link and that the linked page may not be credible or trustworthy.

What a Follow and Nofollow Link Looks Like

You can identify follow and nofollow links by looking at their HTML code. A follow link will not have any rel attribute, while a nofollow link will have the rel attribute with the value “nofollow.” For example:

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Example</a>

Nofollow Link Options for Google

In addition to the standard “nofollow” attribute, Google also supports two additional link attributes that are used to identify the nature of the link. These attributes are “sponsored” and “ugc.”

The “sponsored” attribute is used for links that are part of sponsored content or advertisements. The “ugc” attribute is used for user-generated content, such as comments and forum posts.

Natural vs. Unnatural Inbound and Outbound Links

It’s important to note that not all inbound and outbound links are created equal. While natural links that occur organically are beneficial for your SEO, unnatural links can harm your website’s ranking.

Google penalizes websites that engage in these practices, so it’s crucial to focus on obtaining natural, high-quality links.

Should I Use rel=”sponsored” and rel=”ugc”?

If you are using sponsored or user-generated content on your website, it’s a good idea to use the “sponsored” and “ugc” attributes to let search engines know about the nature of the link. 

However, if you are not using sponsored or user-generated content, there is no need to use these attributes.

NoFollow vs. NoIndex: What Is the difference?

While nofollow links and noindex meta tags may seem similar, they serve different purposes.

The Noindex Meta Tag tells search engines not to index a page, meaning it won’t appear in search results. This tag is typically used for duplicate or low-quality content.

Using nofollow to prevent Google from indexing a page is not recommended, as it may result in the page being completely ignored by Google’s crawlers.

Crawling vs. Indexing vs. Ranking

It’s important to understand the difference between crawling, indexing, and ranking.

Crawling is the process by which search engines discover and analyze the content on a website. 

Indexing is the process by which search engines add pages to their database so that they can be shown in search results. 

Finally, ranking is the process by which search engines determine the relevance and importance of a page in relation to a particular search query.

Is Google Currently Using rel=”nofollow” as a Hint?

In September 2019, Google announced that it would be treating nofollow links as “hints” rather than directives. 

This means that Google may still choose to follow and consider the content behind a nofollow link for ranking purposes, although it won’t pass authority or link juice.

It’s important to note that this change doesn’t apply to sponsored and ugc attributes. Links with those attributes will continue to be treated as nofollow links.

How Dofollow and Nofollow Links Impact SEO

When it comes to SEO, understanding the impact of different types of links is essential. 

Dofollow and nofollow links have distinct characteristics that can influence your website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results. Let’s delve deeper into how these link types affect SEO.

Dofollow vs. Nofollow Links

Dofollow links, as mentioned earlier, pass authority and link juice from the linking page to the linked page. 

They are considered endorsements and contribute to the linked page’s credibility and authority in the eyes of search engines. 

When reputable websites link to your content using dofollow links, it can significantly improve your SEO efforts.

On the other hand, nofollow links do not pass authority or link juice. 

They are typically used to prevent the linked page from directly benefiting from the linking page’s authority. 

Nofollow links are often employed for user-generated content, sponsored content, or in situations where you want to avoid endorsing or associating with specific websites or pages.

What Is PageRank and How Is it Affected By Dofollow Links?

PageRank is an algorithm developed by Google that evaluates the importance and relevance of web pages. 

It assigns a numerical value to each page, known as PageRank score. Dofollow links play a crucial role in the PageRank algorithm as they contribute to the overall score.

When reputable websites with high PageRank scores link to your content using dofollow links, it can have a positive impact on your own PageRank score. 

Higher PageRank scores indicate greater credibility and authority, which can result in improved visibility in search engine rankings.

Learning Opportunities

While dofollow links are generally more beneficial for SEO, it doesn’t mean that nofollow links should be completely ignored. 

Nofollow links still have value and can provide learning opportunities for search engine crawlers.

When search engine crawlers encounter nofollow links, they still follow those links to discover and analyze the linked content. 

Although nofollow links do not pass authority, they can help search engines understand the overall structure and context of your website. 

This information can contribute to how search engines index and rank your pages.

Should You Still Use Nofollow Links?

Yes, you should still consider using nofollow links when appropriate. Nofollow links have their purpose, especially when it comes to user-generated content and sponsored content. 

They can help prevent potential penalties or negative associations with low-quality or spammy websites.

Additionally, using nofollow links can provide a sense of control over how search engines perceive and interpret certain links on your website. 

By strategically using nofollow attributes, you can guide search engine crawlers towards the most valuable and relevant content on your site.

How You Can Effectively Build Dofollow and Nofollow Links

To build both dofollow and nofollow links effectively, it’s important to focus on the following strategies:

  1. Guest Blogging: Guest blogging allows you to contribute valuable content to other websites in exchange for a backlink. Make sure to understand the linking policy of the website you are guest blogging for, as it may impact whether the link is dofollow or nofollow.
  2. Content Marketing: Creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content can naturally attract both dofollow and nofollow links from other websites and users who find your content valuable.
  3. Social Media: Sharing your content on social media platforms can increase its visibility, potentially leading to more dofollow and nofollow links. Engage with your audience and encourage them to share your content, increasing the likelihood of attracting quality links.
  4. Influencer Marketing: Collaborating with influencers and industry experts can help you gain exposure and acquire valuable dofollow links from their websites or social media profiles.
  5. Monitoring and Outreach: Regularly monitor your website’s backlink profile to identify new dofollow and nofollow links. If you notice relevant websites linking to your content with nofollow attributes, you can reach out to them and inquire about the possibility of changing the link to dofollow.

Remember, the key to effective link building is to focus on creating valuable, relevant, and engaging content that naturally attracts both dofollow and nofollow links. 

Building a diverse and balanced link profile can help improve your SEO efforts and establish your website as a credible and authoritative source of information.

How to find out whether the link is nofollow?

To determine whether a link is nofollow, you can use one or more of the following methods:

  1. Check the HTML code: You can right-click on the link and select “Inspect” or “View Page Source” to access the HTML code. Look for the “rel” attribute in the anchor tag. If the value of “rel” is “nofollow,” then the link is nofollow.
  2. Use SEO extensions: Browser extensions like MozBar or Ahrefs SEO Toolbar can help you identify nofollow links on a webpage. These tools highlight nofollow links with a different color or an icon to distinguish them from dofollow links.
  3. Use backlink analysis tools: If you want to check whether a backlink to your website is nofollow or dofollow, you can use backlink analysis tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Majestic. These tools crawl the web and collect data on all the links pointing to your website. They can provide you with a comprehensive list of dofollow and nofollow links along with other metrics like domain authority, page authority, and anchor text.

It’s essential to identify and monitor your website’s nofollow links because they can still have value for your SEO efforts.

While they may not pass PageRank directly, they can still drive referral traffic to your site and contribute to your online reputation.

FAQs About Follow vs No Follow Backlinks

Are no follow backlinks useful?

Nofollow backlinks may not directly contribute to your website’s PageRank or authority, but they can still be valuable. 

Nofollow links can drive referral traffic, increase brand visibility, and diversify your link profile, which is beneficial for SEO.

Should I use follow or no follow?

The decision to use follow or nofollow links depends on the context. If you want to pass authority and endorse the linked page, use follow links. 

For user-generated content, sponsored content, or when you don’t want to endorse a specific page, use nofollow links.

Why do people use no follow links?

People use nofollow links to prevent search engines from associating their website with low-quality or spammy content. 

Nofollow links are also used for user-generated content or sponsored content to ensure that endorsements are not being misused.

Can you list 3 types of backlinks?

Sure! The three types of backlinks are:

  1. Natural Editorial Links: These are earned through high-quality content and genuine endorsements from other websites.
  2. Manual Outreach Links: These are acquired through proactive outreach efforts, such as guest blogging or influencer collaborations.
  3. Self-Created Links: These are links that you create yourself, such as directory submissions or forum signatures. However, these types of links should be used with caution as they may not hold as much value.

What is the best method of backlinks?

The best method for acquiring backlinks is to focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that naturally attracts links. 

By providing informative and engaging content, you increase the likelihood of other websites linking to your content organically. 

Additionally, building relationships with influencers and industry experts can help you gain authoritative backlinks.

Do nofollow links help with SEO?

While nofollow links may not directly impact SEO in terms of PageRank or link juice, they can still contribute to your overall SEO strategy. 

Nofollow links can drive traffic, increase brand visibility, and diversify your link profile, which can indirectly benefit your SEO efforts.

Is 1000 backlinks good?

The number of backlinks alone doesn’t determine the quality or effectiveness of your SEO strategy. 

It’s more important to focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks from authoritative and relevant sources. Quality over quantity is key. 

A few authoritative backlinks can have a more significant impact than numerous low-quality backlinks.

What are the benefits of nofollow?

Nofollow links offer several benefits, including:

  • Preventing association with low-quality or spammy websites
  • Maintaining control over endorsements and avoiding unwanted associations
  • Encouraging user-generated content and community engagement
  • Providing a diverse and balanced link profile for SEO purposes

What is link juice in SEO?

Link juice refers to the value or authority passed from one page to another through hyperlinks. 

When a page with high authority links to another page, it passes some of its link juice to the linked page, which can help improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results.

Should I use nofollow on social media links?

Generally, it’s not necessary to use nofollow on social media links. 

Search engines already understand that social media links are user-generated and may not carry the same weight as editorial endorsements. 

However, if you want to be cautious or if you have specific reasons to use nofollow on social media links, you can do so.

What is anchor tag in SEO?

In SEO, an anchor tag refers to the HTML element (<a>) used to create hyperlinks. 

The anchor tag contains the destination URL and the anchor text that appears as clickable text. 

Anchor tags play a significant role in indicating the relevance and context of the linked page to search engines.

Final Thoughts About Follow vs No Follow Backlinks

In conclusion, understanding the differences between follow and nofollow backlinks is crucial for a well-rounded SEO strategy. 

While follow links provide direct authority and contribute to higher rankings, nofollow links still hold value in driving referral traffic and diversifying your link profile.

 It’s important to use follow and nofollow links strategically, based on the context and purpose of each link. 

Building a natural and diverse backlink profile that includes both types of links can improve your website’s visibility, credibility, and overall SEO performance. 

By focusing on creating valuable content and earning high-quality endorsements, you can maximize the benefits of both follow and nofollow backlinks in your SEO efforts.

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!

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