Macy StormSenior Content Creator
- 8 minute read
- Macy is a marketing writer with over five years of experience creating content for dozens of industries including food and beverage, home services, and education. She also specializes in creating SEO and PPC content. Her work has been featured by Search Engine Journal, HubSpot, Entrepreneur, Clutch, and more. In her free time, Macy enjoys trying new crafts and reading comic books.
If you’re looking to improve and diversify your link profile, it’s crucial to understand all the components of your profile. As you look at different links and link building, you’ll notice you may have some nofollow links. What is a nofollow link, what does nofollow mean, and how does it benefit your business?
On this page, we’ll discuss what a nofollow link is and provide you with five benefits of having nofollow links. Keep reading to learn more about these links or contact us online to learn more about how to manage your link profile for search engine optimization (SEO).
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What are nofollow links?
Nofollow links are links to your website with the rel= “nofollow” tag.
The nofollow tag tells search engines to ignore that link and not count it towards your site’s backlink profile. Since search engines don’t count these links, they don’t count towards improving your ranking in search results.
Users can still click on these links to visit your page, as well as copy them and use them like any other link on a website. Behind the scenes, however, these links aren’t counting as a backlink to your site.
Why do nofollow links matter?
Since nofollow links don’t count as a backlink, they won’t help improve your ranking or domain score purely through linking. Now you’re thinking, why do nofollow links exist? What’s the point in having links that don’t count towards your site?
They were created to combat blog comment spam because back in the early 2000s, companies found that leaving their website URLs as a comment on blogs allowed them to rank better in search results. Spam companies started overloading blogs and similar sites with links to their websites, which ultimately allowed spam sites to rank higher than more credible and valuable sites. As a result, Google rolled out nofollow links in 2005 which allowed companies to prevent spam sites from using comments to improve search rankings.
They’re now a fundamental tool in ensuring that spam companies can’t cheat their way to the top of search rankings.
When should you use nofollow links?
There are a few instances where companies will automatically use nofollow links:
- Blog comments: Nofollow was designed for blog comments. Many website builders, like WordPress, include the nofollow plugin as a part of your website to prevent spammy link comments. It’s the most commonplace to use nofollow links.
- Forums: Forums are another place where spam sites post their links. Using nofollow links here prevents spammy comments and keeps the content authentic for visitors.
- Paid links: If you’re paying for a link to be in a particular place, it shouldn’t count towards organic link traffic. Google frowns on using or promoting paid links as “organic” links.
These are a few instances where you’ll see nofollow links used. Nofollow links are a great protective measure to ensure sites don’t get spammy, and companies can interact and build relationships with real customers.
Nofollow vs. dofollow: What’s the difference?
We can’t talk about nofollow links without addressing dofollow links.
- Dofollow links count towards your site’s backlink count and help increase search engine rankings.
- Nofollow links don’t count towards your site’s backlink count, and generally, Google does not use them to determine search engine rankings.
When you look at nofollow vs. dofollow, there is no visual difference between the two of them. The links look the same. The difference lies below the surface, where nofollow links have the HTML rel=“nofollow” tag attached.
The most significant difference in nofollow vs. dofollow links is SEO. Dofollow links count towards your Google ranking. These backlinks help build your domain authority and increase your ranking in search results.
Most companies aim to get dofollow links so they can improve their site’s authority and drive more valuable traffic through increased rankings. Nofollow links don’t impact SEO rankings directly. There are indirect ways that they affect rankings, though, like by driving website traffic and links from website visitors, but generally, nofollow links don’t have the profound impact dofollow links have.
How to check nofollow links
Are you curious to know which links are nofollow vs. dofollow? The easiest way to inspect any link on a page is to use Google Chrome’s Strike Out Nofollow Links extension. When you add this extension to your Chrome browser, you’ll see which links on your page are nofollow.
Nofollow links will have a line through them. This extension is helpful if you want to analyze an entire page to see what types of links you have on your site.
5 benefits of nofollow links
Nofollow links offer numerous benefits for your business.
Let’s take a look at five benefits of having nofollow links:
1. Nofollow links drive traffic
Even though nofollow links don’t count towards your backlink profile, the traffic still counts. Nofollow links drive quality traffic to your page because people can click and interact with them like any other link. This traffic will check out your business and your content.
More traffic on your page can lead to better rankings, more leads, and more conversions. Even though the link itself doesn’t directly impact your site, the results of the link do. All the traffic from nofollow links counts for your site.
You attract more interested leads that spend more time on your website. It leads to an increase in dwell time, which sends a positive signal to Google about the relevance of your page that can increase your rankings in search results.
2. Nofollow links build brand awareness
Nofollow links help you build brand awareness. As stated previously, nofollow links still drive traffic to your site. When this traffic gets to your website, they learn about your business, as well as products or services.
These links can help leads discover and get familiar with your company. Brand familiarity is a crucial component of building your business online. If someone is familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to select your business when they’re ready to convert because they recognize your brand.
Brand awareness is crucial to growing your company online, and nofollow links can help you build awareness.
3. Nofollow links normalize your profile
You may think that your profile should only have dofollow links, but it’s good to have nofollow links! They make your profile look normal and are part of a natural profile, so it’s good to have this type as well. If you don’t have nofollow links, it’s suspicious to Google.
Google may think you’re using some black-hat SEO techniques to fix your stats. Popular sites like YouTube, Amazon, and Facebook have nofollow links. No matter the authority of your website, it’s always good to have nofollow links to normalize your link profile!
4. Nofollow links can lead to dofollow links
Nofollow links serve as a gateway to dofollows. Even if an industry authority uses a nofollow to your site, it still drives valuable traffic to your website. This traffic contains people interested in your business.
From this traffic, you’ll attract credible leads. Those leads, like a blogger or industry influencer, may link to your content with a dofollow link later. This process leads to more links to your profile, which helps build your website’s authority.
5. Nofollow links can improve domain authority
Domain authority is an integral part of your website. This score, developed by Moz, doesn’t have a direct impact on your ranking but gives insight into how likely you are to rank in search results. You want to have a good domain authority, so you can outrank your close competitors.
They help improve your domain authority because they drive reputable traffic to your site. They help increase your site’s credibility and trust, which leads to an increase in domain authority.
Start reaping the benefits of different links today
Nofollow links, despite their function, benefit your business greatly. They help drive traffic to your site and increase brand recognition.
These links will help you maintain a diverse link profile for your business, which is why nofollow links remain important for SEO. At WebFX, we can help you build a better link profile. We’ll help you manage and improve your link profile, as well as your overall SEO strategy. With over a decade of experience in SEO and improving link profiles, you can count on us to help you drive valuable results for your business.
Macy is a marketing writer with over five years of experience creating content for dozens of industries including food and beverage, home services, and education. She also specializes in creating SEO and PPC content. Her work has been featured by Search Engine Journal, HubSpot, Entrepreneur, Clutch, and more. In her free time, Macy enjoys trying new crafts and reading comic books.
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