Dofollow vs. nofollow links: What’s the difference?

When we speak about search engine optimisation (SEO), some of the often-used terminology that you’ll come across are words such as:

  • Noindex,
  • Doindex,
  • Nofollow,
  • Dofollow, and
  • Meta robots

All of these terms hold equal weight in the SEO playbook. In this article we’ll be chatting about nofollow and follow links. In addition, we’ll be explaining what the difference is between these two and how to use these in your SEO efforts.

What is a ‘dofollow’ link?

The term ‘dofollow links’ refers to HTML attribute which are used to permit search bots to go along to follow the links. If a webmaster is forming a link to your website and uses a dofollow link, search engine bots as well as people can follow you. These types of links pass on link juice and truly benefit your website in allowing them to get a higher Page Rank.

Google takes note of Dofollow links. When they notice this, they figure out how many users are linking to your page in order to get a good idea of how really good the page is. The more dofollow links that you have, the increased number of points which you will get.

It is vital not only to get dofollow link from anywhere but rather to gain a follow link from a reputable website such as the New Your Times or CNN.

What is a ‘nofollow’ link?

A link which is categorised as ‘nofollow’ is a link which does not count as a point in the page’s favour. In other words, this link does not boost PageRank nor does it assist with where a page is placed in the SERPs.

A nofollow link is created by using the nofollow link HTML tag. This tag looks like this:

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

In laymans terms, the nofollow tag is ultimately a notice sign for search engines which says “don’t count this”.  Nofollow links are very often utilised in digtial blog or forum comments to try and take away the motivation for automatic link spammers to put their links there.

How to ascertain if a link is dofollow/nofollow

The easiest way to see if a link is a nofollow or a dofollow link is to view the HTML code of a website page and check out the “<a href” HTML tag. If you can see the attribute “rel=”nofollow” between the starting <a> and the closing </a>, then it means that the link is nofollow.

As we said further up in this article, the natural dofollow type of links is utilised by Google in order to evaluate PageRank. More links results in more link juice. The increased amount of link juice that your website has, the higher your website pages will rank. Unfortunately, many have employed black hat SEO techniques and have used link building techniques to artificially increase the rank of a particular page.

The nofollow link tag has a lot of benefits for the online world. WordPress automatically assigns the nofollow link attribute to all links which are submitted by users. Wikipedia does exactly the same thing in its reference section.

Here’s a quick guide about when to use nofollow links:

  • Paid links,
  • Comments,
  • Forums, as well as
  • Anything the involves what Google calls “untrusted content”.

Some webmaster may deactivate the nofollow attribute as a reward for people who comment on blogs who are making valuable contributions to the blogging community or online discussion. Remember that, ultimately, on your site you need a healthy balance of dofollow as well as nofollow backlinks in order to achieve the perfect link profile. Dofollow links may be more beneficial for SEO, however both types of links deserve a place in your online marketing strategy.

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