Linking Strategies SE Optimization SE Tactics

Nofollow vs. Dofollow Links – Why Should You Care?

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If you’re relatively new to the concept of SEO strategies or if you want to learn about getting your links indexed, you’ve come to the right place. Search engines evaluate multiple onsite and offsite factors when it comes to ranking a website within its search listings. Major search engines such as Google, have resorted to using a weighted point system when it comes to determining how valuable a web page is. This point system is called PageRank.

Search engines evaluate the quality of the links that point to a website or webpage. A high-quality backlink can help to increase your site’s ranking in the search results. When it comes to backlinks they come in two different forms: do-follow and no-follow links. In today’s post, we take a look at the differences between dofollow and nofollow links as well as the importance of having a healthy balance of them when it comes to developing a powerful link profile.

What is a Backlink?

In order for you to understand the difference between no-follow vs do-follow links, you need to understand how most links operate in the world of search engine optimization. Whenever a given web page receives an inbound link – which is essentially a hyperlink to said page – the webpage gets a relatively small boost in terms of SEO value. 

You can think of this as a point. In general, the more points (high-quality backlinks) a webpage receives, the more favourable a page will appear in the eyes of a search engine. Search engines take note of the number of inbound links a given page has. They also evaluate the quality of the sites that provided the links.

In the eyes of a search engine, if an abundance of people are linking back to a specific page, then it must be of a certain degree of quality and thus, said web page will get preference in the search engine, compared to a similar page which does not have an abundance of quality inbound links. 

As mentioned above, each inbound link operates as a point, Google created PageRank in order to calculate said points. Many search engine optimization experts have referred to link points as being ‘link juice’. This link juice flows throughout the entire site and can flow into new sites via hyperlinks to other sites. 

In order words, the higher the quality of the site, the more juice its outbound links provide when it links out to other sites. So for instance, receiving a link from an established and reputable site such as BBC or New York Times would be the equivalent of getting a golden backlink which would hold more value, than a link coming from a relatively new and unpopular blog.

What are Do-Follow Links?

Technically speaking, every link on the internet is a do-follow link unless code has been customized to classify said link as a no-follow link. So for instance, if you create a new blog post right now and include a link to another website, it will be considered a do-follow link by default unless you edit the code. In shorter terms, do-follow links are essentially links that give you points as far as SEO link juice goes.

What are No-Follow Links?

In the eyes of a typical website visitor, no-follow and do-follow links look the same. But, no-follow links consist of a code that is called an attribute. This attribute essentially lets search engine bots know that they should not crawl the link. Google has proclaimed that PageRank juice, does not flow through no-follow links to the site that’s being linked to. What this means for you is that if a site inserts a no-follow link that points to your site, said link will not affect your position on the search results as opposed to a do-follow link.

Importance of Do-Follow and No-Follow Links

The history of no-follow links goes back to 2005, where two prominent individuals introduced the concept to combat comment spam. Essentially, the concept of no-follow links was created in an effort to prevent blackhat SEO individuals from getting link juice by spamming the comment section of high authority websites for the sole purposes of boosting their SEO profile.

With that said, when it comes to creating an excellent backlink profile and developing an effective link building strategy, you need a healthy ratio of no-follow and do-follow links. As a matter of fact, search engines have updated their algorithms to identify websites that only have do-follow links. Therefore, you need no-follow and do-follow links if you wish to create a more natural backlink profile.

Final Thought

When it’s all said and done, you need a healthy balance of do-follow and no-follow links in order for you to make your backlink profile more natural. Additionally, do-follow and no-follow links are indistinguishable in the eyes of the average web visitor and provide some of the same benefits such as increased awareness, increased traffic and a higher chance of eventually gaining do-follow links organically.

About the author


Emily Lamp

Emily Lamp is a professional writer. With years of writing and content creating experiences, she has been working with many organizations internationally and Noria, an affordable SEO firm in Brisbane is one of them. She is also interested in technology, business growth and self-improvement. Say hello to Emily on Twitter @EmilyLamp2.