Dofollow and Nofollow are very common terms. We usually talk about this topic but many of us don’t know the actual difference between Dofollow and Nofollow. Discover the importance of dofollow vs nofollow links in search engine optimization strategies and optimize your website for better organic traffic and higher search engine rankings.
I would like to help those people who are a novice in SEO or who are still not clear about do follow and Nofollow.
Topics covered in this post:
- What are Backlinks?
- Introduction of Dofollow vs Nofollow links
- What Are the Differences Between Dofollow and Nofollow Links In SEO?
- How to Define Nofollow?
- Where To Use Dofollow and Nofollow attribute
- How Different Search Engines Treat Nofollow
- How to identify the Nofollow links
- Why Nofollow Attribute Need to Introduce
- What Kind of Backlinks Are Good for Website
What are Backlinks?
Backlinks are the most important part of SEO. Links from external websites pointing to your website are called inbound links or backlinks.
There are many factors considered by Search engines for SERP ranking calculation. One of the important factors is Backlinks. You can categorize those backlinks in many different categories like relevancy, authority, follow, etc.
There are two types of backlinks:
- Dofollow Links
- Nofollow Links
Let’s learn about do-follow and nofollow links.
Read Also: Are Backlinks Still Relevant To SEO
Introduction of Dofollow vs Nofollow Links
By default, all links have a Dofollow attribute. The do follow attribute tells search engines to follow the link and index the page. It passes the link juice (value) and helps to achieve good authority and ranking on the search engine result pages.
Suppose you have taken a link from the betacompression.com/introducing-new-google-search-console-beta-version/.
When a search engine crawls this page, it will check external backlinks on it. Any external backlink with Dofollow attribute will get link juice from it and Google will index that page as well.
A nofollow link is exactly the opposite of a do-follow link. It doDofollowesn’t pass link juice and thus not helps to improve ranking on SERP.
The search engine doesn’t follow the Nofollow link but the human can follow that link so it helps to get visitors to your website don’t ignore it if you get it from reputed websites.
For Example. If you posted some powerful article “how to develop eCommerce website” and you get a Nofollow backlink from that post. If that website has good readers then, there are some chances to get visitors from that website who are interested in developing an eCommerce website.
A Nofollow link is defined by using the attribute rel=” Nofollow”.
What Are the Differences Between Dofollow and Nofollow Links In SEO?
The main difference between a Nofollow link and a dofollow link is that a nofollow link doesn’t get any link juice or value, so it will not help you to get a better ranking and improve authority.
On the opposite side, the dofollow link gets link juice from that page. So it will help you to improve your ranking and authority.
So, do you think Nofollow is worthless?
You are wrong.
Backlinks from Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, LinkedIn, etc. are Nofollow but still more valuable. Getting only dofollow links is not the best practice, but try to get quality backlinks. Google may also penalize websites having too many
Dofollow links as Google can easily understand spamming tactics. So it’s better to maintain a ratio between Dofollow and Nofollow backlinks to appear higher in SERP results.
Nofollow links are also counted as non-trusted sources, whereas Dofollow links are counted as trusted sources.
How To Define Nofollow?
You can define the Nofollow attribute in two ways.
1. Define the whole Page as Nofollow
<meta name=”robots” content=”nofollow” />
The above code gives signals to search engine not to follow any link from the whole page. If you have used the above tag, a search engine will consider all links on that page as a Nofollow
2. Define a Particular link as Nofollow
<a href=”http://www.google.com” rel=”nofollow”>
Here rel=”nofollow” attribute is used with a particular hyperlink, which tells Google not to follow that link. Google will only not follow URLs having the rel=”nofollow” attribute.
Where to Use Dofollow and Nofollow attribute
The people who know the difference between both are still have confusion about where to use dofollow attribute and the nofollow attribute. You can use HTML code in order to tell the search engine whether you want them to follow or not.
Where to Use Dofollow?
- If the link has good page authority and is related to your page content you can define it as a dofollow. For example, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn, Wikipedia.
- If you share someone’s article on your website, you can define original source link as a dofollow link.
- Your social media profile links on your website
- Your sister company’s website
- Internal pages
Where to Use Nofollow?
- Affiliate links on your website
- Sponsored Links
- Poor authority links
- In the blog comment section, spammers are using blog commenting techniques to gain backlinks
Read Also: Mobile SEO Strategy
How Different Search Engines Treat Nofollow
The Nofollow link at the top is good in comparison to a nofollow link at the bottom. Please note down, Google still counts the nofollow link as an outbound link to distribute link juice. So if you are getting a Nofollow link from the top of the page, it carries some impact.
Check here how different search engines treat Nofollow links:
It does not follow the Nofollow link nor link juice passed
Yahoo follows the Nofollow link to find out new content, but link juice does not pass and exclude from the ranking calculation.
This search engine does not count the “nofollow “attribute. Nofollow and dofollow links are the same for this search engine.
Bing may not follow the nofollow link, but it does exclude it from ranking calculations.
Baidu recognizes Nofollow attributes, thus link juice doesn’t pass.
How to Identify Nofollow Links
There are multiple ways to identify Dofollow and Nofollow links. You can detect Nofollow links by checking out source code, inspecting elements, and using browser add-ons or extensions.
- In browsers, right-click on a link and select “inspect element” from the menu. The full HTML code of the web page will display with highlighted that link tag. Check for the rel=”nofollow” attribute on that link tag. If you found nofollow then that link is nofollow, else follow. Again, if nothing has been mentioned then that link will consider a follow.
- You can also check out the source code by using the short key Ctrl + U. Alternatively right click on the web page and select “View page source”. Search for the nofollow attribute on the source code.
- There are many extensions available for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox to identify nofollow links
Google Chrome Extensions
- Nofollow Simple
- Nofollow SEO Link Highlighter
- NoIndex, Nofollow Meta Tag Checker
- Strike Out Nofollow Links
Mozilla Firefox Add-ons
Why Nofollow Attribute Need to Introduce
Google introduced the nofollow attribute in 2005 to fight against link spamming which is also respected by other search engines like Yahoo and Bing.
Previously people were able to get dofollow links from everywhere as the Nofollow tag was not on earth. At that time quantity link building was in demand. So, Search engines struggled to provide better results. Page rank was calculated on the basis of backlinks. Spammers had targeted blog commenting and even Wikipedia for backlinks.
The nofollow tag indicates that the link is not authorized, so Google doesn’t follow that link. Now you can’t get a dofollow link from everywhere. It is true that a nofollow link has less value (or no value), however, spammers are following those techniques by doing blog commenting and all that
But, we must agree that the nofollow link only provides visits until it is placed on the top of authority websites.
Search engines introduce Nofollow tags to prevent spam but the idea was not a success, as spammers are still trying to get backlinks from blog commenting. But we should agree that a lot of changes have been placed in SERP after the nofollow tag.
Read Also: Tips To Increase Your Website Traffic
What Kind of Backlinks Are Good for Website
Doing link building at all times and getting few Nofollow links is simply a waste of time. It will spoil your SEO strategy because Google doesn’t follow that website and those links help you to increase your ranking on SERP.
You have to find out authority Dofollow backlinks and maintain the Dofollow-Nofollow ratio by getting some Nofollow links only from high authority websites to look natural. It’s worst if you take a Nofollow link from those websites which are unable to give you visits.
It is not 100% authentic that the Nofollow link will not consider in the ranking calculation. Link juice is not passed in a Nofollow link but Google considers a Nofollow link as a backlink.
For Example, If any page has 4 backlinks: Link A, Link B, Link C and Link D. Out of that Link D is Nofollow link.
Now here, 3 links are dofollow links so all links should gain 33% link Juice. (Suppose total link juice is 100%. There are 3 Dofollow links. So per link can gain 33% link juice).
But this is not true. As Google considers all backlinks whether it’s a Nofollow or Dofollow. So here, link juice will divide among all four links, Link A, B and C will get 25% link juice, but Link D will not get any link juice.
Let’s take one more example.
Suppose there is one quality article on the topic “How to write an effective article”, which doesn’t have any backlink and on the same topic there is another quality article having 4 Nofollow backlinks from excellent sources [Here, I am not talking about low-quality Nofollow links].
In this case, Google can easily understand that the second article is more Authoritative. So it can perform well on Google.
Let’s take the above example in another way.
Suppose the first article has 4 Dofollow backlinks and the second article has 4 Nofollow links. In the case, the first article will definitely gain more benefit and will perform better on the SERP.
Nofollow has its place in a natural-looking backlink profile and can help to maintain anchor text ratios
Hope this will clear the whole fundamentals of Dofollow vs Nofollow links. However, being a human, if I have made any mistake or missed something important you can share in the comments.
Understanding the basics of dofollow vs nofollow links is crucial for effective SEO. Dofollow links carry link equity and positively impact search engine rankings, making them valuable for building authority. Nofollow links, on the other hand, do not pass link equity but serve the purpose of preventing spam and manipulating rankings.
By maintaining a balance between dofollow and nofollow links, website owners can enhance their website’s credibility and ensure a natural and diverse backlink profile. By using nofollow links where appropriate, such as for paid links or user-generated content, websites can adhere to search engine guidelines and maintain a trustworthy online presence.