What you need to know about nofollow link

Building a quality blog requires a combination of multiple elements. First of all, all articles should be well-written. Second, HQ images should have all the necessary attributes, and the proper structure of the article should be used. Another crucial aspect of a good article is the use of links and backlinks. However, understanding links is not always easy. There are many rules one needs to understand. With that in mind, I decided to cover everything you need to know about nofollow link structure. When I was starting to run my blog, this type of link was the most difficult for me.

To understand nofollow links, let’s talk about do follow links first

As mentioned before, the link building can benefit your business. They boost the SEO rank of your website. That’s the main job of do follow links. Whenever you put an inbound link in an article, it counts as virtual a point towards boosting your page. It is commonly known as “link juice“.

However, that feature was massively used to build page rank by spamming links and using other dirty tactics. Before the discovery of nofollow links, you could find many examples of blogs or forums where people would spam links in comments or guest articles, simply to boost their website. Well, all that was put to a stop with the invention of nofollow links.

What is the main use of nofollow links?

As the name suggests it, a nofollow link is a link that does not count towards boosting page rank. Nofollow links do not contribute to the amount of “link juice”. If you want to make a link to be a nofollow one, you simply add an attribute to it:

<a href=”http://www.yourwebsite.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Link Text</a>

It is that simple. As you can see, the life of nofollow links seems ugly when compared to do follow links. They don’t have any other purpose besides stopping spam, right?

Sign showing Stop Spam.
One of the main reasons why nofollow links are so useful is that they stop URL spam on websites.


Even though nofollow links do not count as virtual points that boost your SEO rank, what they can do is create a good amount of natural traffic for your website. If you have quality content, nofollow links can turn out to be very useful.

So, now that we know what nofollow links do, and how to use them to contribute to your blog, let’s talk about the technical aspect.

Placing nofollow attributes on spam links seems like a lot of work!

Unfortunately, that is correct. However, if you organize yourself in the most productive way, you will quickly understand all the necessary steps.

You can add nofollow links manually, or use a plugin. Since some of the plugins still have issues with Gutenberg in WordPress, let’s talk about the manual way first.

Adding nofollow links in WordPress

Adding nofollow links in WordPress is easy. When you are writing an article using Gutenberg, first:

  • highlight the text you want to use as an anchor
  • click on the “link” icon in the toolbox menu above
  • paste the link
  • click on the 3 dots on the right side of the screen, and locate “Edit as HTML” option
  • this will open the page in HTML code, and that’s how you can add the nofollow attribute based on the example above

If you are using the old classic format, you will find two options in the upper right corner of your editor window. They look like tabs labeled “Visual” and “Text”. When you switch to the “Text” mode, you should be able to see HTML attributes.

People joining hands on a meeting, with words LINK BUILDING in the front.
Quality link building is the main tool of every successful blog.

Another important thing to remember is that WordPress, by default,  assigns nofollow attributes to all links submitted by users. With that in mind, let’s talk about which links to mark as nofollow.

Which links to mark as nofollow links?

By the rule of thumb, all links that lead towards untrusted external websites should be marked as nofollow. If you have your doubts regarding any website, do everything you can to protect yourself. Before marking their links as do follow, make sure to check the authenticity of the website.

On the other hand, all links that come from websites that have a certain level of authority should be marked as do follow. To give you a few examples, Wikipedia and New York Times count as trusted websites. To learn more, do a little research about the most influential websites of all time.

Here are some other examples where you should most definitely add nofollow attributes:

  • sponsored or affiliate links – they are mostly used for product placement. The reason why you should always mark these links as nofollow is because a search engine may label your website as if it’s selling links.
  • sidebar links – when you add sidebar links, you have to understand they will be visible on every page you make. If you have 30 pages, you are “giving points” to all links placed in the sidebar. That is not a good idea, especially if you have external or affiliate links in your sidebar.
  • external links – when writing articles, you cannot always find an authority website to back up your writing. If you want to link towards external websites for which you cannot vouch for, set those links as nofollow. The only exception is if you link towards trusted websites.

Are there any downsides to using too many nofollow links?

The answer is yes. Even though these links do not count towards your search rank, Google will take preemptive measures against all websites that spam nofollow links. Sometimes people just don’t care about this attribute and they continue to post multiple links without real need.

A chart showing website traffic percentage.
Even though nofollow links can increase your traffic, do not spam them too much!

With that being said, you can always reward the best users who contribute to your website by allowing them to post do follow links.

Another way to boost your website is to hire professionals that will help you get powerful backlinks for faster rating. They can find a balance between do follow and nofollow links.

That’s what you need to know about nofollow link

I hope that this article provided you with enough information. These are the basic things you need to know about nofollow link. The goal is to understand how links function. After that, you should be able to not only create quality content but make sure that search engines treat your website with great care. Good luck!

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