Everything you need to know about Follow and Nofollow links
June 21, 2018
When you start blogging you come across all sorts of new terms you’ve never heard of before and it can be very confusing. One of the questions we see a lot of people asking in Facebook blogging groups is “what are follow and nofollow links?”
It’s a subject that can be hard to get your head around but it’s important you know the difference between the two and when to use follow (also called do follow) and no follow links as they can have an impact on your site’s SEO.
We’ve put together some information for you that hopefully makes it easy to understand what kind of links you should be using, why you should be using them and how you set them up correctly. Read on for everything you need to know about follow and nofollow links…
A little background on links…
First of all, let us quickly explain links in general. Inbound links or backlinks are links pointing toward your site and external links are links pointing away from your site.
When other websites include a hyperlink to your blog you get a small SEO boost. The more links pointing to your site the better as this tells Google that other websites think your site is trustworthy and worth visiting.
It can be easier to think about links in terms of ‘link points’. The more reputable websites that link to your site, the more ‘link points’ Google awards you. For example, a link to your blog from the BBC or Huffington Post would be more beneficial than links from small sites with low authority with Google.
Google wants to deliver the most relevant quality content to its users, so gives preference in the search results to the pages with the highest Domain Authority.
What is Domain Authority?
Websites are measured by their Domain Authority (DA), the higher the site’s DA the better it will perform in search results.
Domain Authority is measured on a scale from 1-100 (with 100 being the highest) and is largely dependent on how many links on the internet point towards your site. The more links pointing to your site, the higher your DA score will be.
If you want to keep an eye on your blog’s DA, we recommend installing the MOZ toolbar to your browser.
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Now you understand links and DA, we can look at the difference between follow and nofollow links…
What are follow links?
Follow links (or do follow links) are those links we’ve just mentioned that count as ‘points’ in your website’s favour.
Follow links improve your SEO and increase the authority of your site with Google. All of this helps your site to move higher up the search engine results page (SERPs).
What are nofollow links?
Nofollow links don’t count as ‘points’ in your site’s favour as these links specifically say “don’t follow this link” so Google will drop them.
Nofollow links don’t improve your SEO or the authority of your site but they will still help to direct to traffic to your blog.
Why you should use no follow links
Now you know the difference between follow and nofollow links, are you confused about why you would even use nofollow?
The answer is simply because Google says not to.
It may surprise you with the amount of people who might try to buy links on your blog, but it goes against Google’s guidelines to receive payment for a link.
Without no follow links, companies could pay their way to the top of the search rankings. This would result in the websites at the top of the search results being those from the companies who can pay the most, rather than relevant and high-quality content.
When to use no follow links on your blog
If you’re still confused about when you should use nofollow links, it’s best to stick to the below list.
Use nofollow links when…
- You’ve received payment in return for a link
- You’ve received a product in return for a link and/or review
- You’re using affiliate links
- You have a comments section and want to avoid spammy links
- You’re not confident that the site you’re linking to is trustworthy
How to set your links as no follow
Luckily it’s really easy to set up links on your blog as no follow.
If you blog in WordPress you can install the Ultimate Nofollow plugin which lets you choose which links should be nofollow by simply ticking a box.
If you don’t have WordPress or don’t want to install a plugin, then there’s just a really simple bit of html you can use to make your links nofollow.
Once you’ve added a link in your post, go into the Text or HTML editor section.
Find the link you want to set a nofollow, it will look like this:
<a href=”http://www.examplelink.com”>Link text here</a>
All you need to do to make the link nofollow is add the following htmel to your links:
Once added your links will look like this:
<a href=”http://www.examplelink.com/” rel=”nofollow”>Link text here</a>
If you also want your link to open in a new tab, it needs to look like this:
<a href=”http://www.examplelink.com/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Link text here</a>
So after reading the above info, hopefully, you now understand that you should use nofollow links where you’ve been paid and you now know how to add them in your content.
How to get follow links
Whilst you need to include nofollow links within your own blog content, you want your site to receive as many follow links as possible to help improve your blog’s SEO and domain authority.
You can also try guest blogging on other sites in the same niche as your own. Contact companies and bloggers and pitch them your ideas for a guest blog post – just make sure they include a link back to your blog in return.
Has this cleared up your confusion around follow and nofollow links? Let us know in the comments if you have any questions.