Many people wonder if nofollow links help SEO. The answer is short and simple – Yes. So, today we will be talking a little bit about them. There is so much you need to know about SEO and these links. Of course, we will make sure to explain the basics and show you the difference between dofollow and nofollow links. The more you know the better the chances you have for improving your SEO and your rank (on Google since that rank is the most important one obviously). Also, if you have any questions left after reading this we suggest you take a look at Link Department’s blog. We talked a lot about nofollow links there so you will easily find everything you need there.
Before we start
Before we start we have a question – Do you know where do nofollow links come from? They have been around for more than a decade. As everyone is looking for ways to increase traffic to their website, the question remains whether nofollow links help SEO. Now, let’s try to answer or question more details since the answer is important for knowing how to make the right strategy and what you can expect. But first, let’s see what makes nofollow links different and special, and let’s cover our basics.
Dofollow vs Nofollow links
This is a great way to start – dofollow vs nofollow links. Both of these links are a way you can tell Google how to correlate the website you’re linking to by using either dofollow or nofollow backlinks. Dofollow links pass authority to a website, whereas nofollow links don’t do anything for the website they link to. If you are wondering this is what the nofollow link looks like:
<a href=”https://example.com” rel=”nofollow”>Anchor Text</a>
What are nofollow links?
There’s a long-going debate on follow vs nofollow links. In order to really understand the important arguments from both sides, you need to know how links work in the world of SEO. In short, when a page contains a link that points to another page, the search engine will interpret this as a sign that there’s good content on this page and will give it a priority on the search result page. This, of course, allows more people to find out about this page and gives the website more traffic. However, this is only the case with dofollow links. Or is it really?
It’s easier to see how your business can use dofollow links. The search engine will directly (“directly” being the important word) give view them as a point, and count them before giving the page a ranking. On the other side, nofollow links are very similar to dofollow links, but the difference is that they contain an HTML attribute. This specific attribute gives the search engine a sign that it’s a nofollow link, and as a result, the search engine treats them differently.
Another common question – What’s the difference between NoFollow and NoIndex?
Nofollow and NoIndex are two terms that are frequently used interchangeably, and we just wanted to make sure that our readers understand the difference between the two and what they can do to prevent Google from indexing a page. Another thing – nofollow could be used for individual links, as stated above. Nofollow can also be added to a page’s head>, which instructs search engines to ignore all links on that page:
<meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow” />
Please be aware that while it used to be an indication to Google that a page should not be crawled via a specific link, this no longer serves that purpose, and Google may still crawl the page in another way. You can’t use this strategy if Google considers nofollow links to be “hints.” The NoIndex tag must be used if you do not wish Google to crawl or index a page on your site.
How does Google treat nofollow links?
On March 1st, Google began indexing and crawling pages with the “NoFollow” attribute, so now is a good time to examine internal and external nofollow links and discuss how they can be used to your advantage. There was a widespread theory that Google completely skips nofollow links and doesn’t give them any SEO value. However, this is not necessarily true, especially nowadays.
In order to find a definitive answer, we should turn to Google. Here we have Google stating that generally, these links will not be followed. In September Google announced a huge change to how nofollow links are counted. And as of Mar. 1, Google is treating nofollow links as a hint and it looks like this will stay that way for quite some time. Previously, nofollow links mean that Google will not follow them. After the new change, Google will take nofollow links as a hint. This means the search engine will decide whether to give SEO value to nofollow links or not. Now you know a lot about nofollow links. It is time to start using them to your advantage.
What will change?
The new change will have a huge impact on link spam, link building, and other aspects of SEO. It also means that having a nofollow link on a high-profile website (such as Wikipedia) might once again have some significance for SEO. Besides these changes, other links were introduced and it’s sparked a big debate on the Internet. What’s sure is that we’re yet to see the full consequences of the new change and what it really represents.
How does this affect you?
Obviously, this is the most important question. Surely you want to learn something new every day but you need to focus on the things that are really important for you and your business. So how does this affect you? We all still need to adapt to this new change and what it means for SEO. For starters, you might need to find another way to give a signal to the search engine that you do not want a certain link to follow. Next, this means that we might see more spam. But it also means some websites will get a better ranking, based on their links on forums. Either way, this is a huge change in the world of SEO and we are yet to see the consequences of it.
But, what you can focus on is your link-building strategy and Google guidelines from before. Google guidelines have been clear that Google doesn’t approve of any tactics for the sole sake of link-building. So, it’s not a question of whether a link is dofollow or nofollow. It’s more about organic SEO signals, so keep that in mind when building exposure.
Nofollow links help SEO indirectly
Without a doubt, the value nofollow links have for SEO is indirect, at least. So, even before the new change, a high-profile nofollow link was able to give exposure so it was worth the effort. This exposure was one of the contributing factors to the visibility of your website on the search result page. A nofollow link can help your brand earn exposure by sending direct referral traffic to your website. Before the new change, it was hard to say that nofollow links affected SEO directly. However, after the change, we can safely say that it’s up to the search engine to decide how to view the link and choose whether to ignore the nofollow attribute or not.
The important part of SEO strategy
A good SEO profile should contain both dofollow and nofollow links. Now, more than before, nofollow kind of links help SEO, and their importance is not to be ignored. The truth is that nofollow ones can affect SEO, one way or the other. If the effect is direct or indirect, it’s not really that much important. What is important is not to forget on nofollow links when creating your SEO strategy.
Even before the announcement from Google, there were a lot of indicators showing the significance of nofollow links. You could find online theories and case studies from people swearing on the results of implementing nofollow links into their strategy. Either way, viewing the link as a follow or nofollow might not be the best way. Nowadays, this statement holds true even more than before.
Nofollow links can be good for your backlink building
Why use Nofollow Link for link building? There is a common misconception that link building is only worthwhile if it results in a dofollow link. Although high-quality follow links can help with search engine optimization, there are clear advantages to obtaining nofollow links. Examples include the following:
- Even though many big websites nofollow all of their outbound links, they can still send a large amount of traffic their way
- It’s a good idea to get your brand mentioned on high-quality websites that are important to your target audience.
- Your target audience will be more likely to trust your site if it has links to other high-quality websites. In addition, the more people see your brand, the more they will trust it.
- One site might not link to your website, but their viewers might link to you with a “follow” link because they trust your information.
- Way too many follow links at once make your backlink profile look unnatural, so it’s best to avoid link building until you have a natural profile. Nofollow and follow links are necessary for a natural-looking site.
- You won’t have to be concerned about Google penalizing your site for outbound links if you’re nofollowing them.
- While any traffic is welcome, the best kind of traffic is traffic that turns into sales. A nofollow link that drives your leads and sales is a priceless asset.
This is something we need to mention before we finish this little talk of ours. If you don’t have the time to focus on your SEO, you should think about outsourcing it. Of course, you need to outsource your SEO properly so you can get the best possible results.
Many business owners often leave this part to experts like Link Department. This is a way for you to focus on other aspects of your business and the experts will make sure that your website is thriving. You can also hire an expert to teach you everything about links, link building, and SEO in general and then you can continue on your own. The choice is yours. We just wanted to tell you that help is always available. All you need to do is call.
Use nofollow to your advantage
The announcement from Google changed the perspective on nofollow links. With new changes, the links that were arbitrarily nofollowed might count and it’s up to the search engine to decide. But, you can also do your part to make sure that nofollow links help SEO. And it’s not about link spamming or buying nofollow links. There are other tactics that don’t get old, and you might come up with them just by reading the Google guidelines. The organic SEO signals and driving organic traffic to your website are something that is very appreciated by the search engine, so try to keep that in mind.
Hopefully, we showed you everything you need to know about nofollow links or even pointed you in the right direction and now you can continue research on your own. If you have any more questions make sure to visit the blog we showed you at the beginning of this text and surely you will soon have all the answers. Good luck!