What is a nofollow link?

by Jon Cooper
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A Nofollow link refers to backlinks that tell the search engines to not go any further, hence “nofollow”. By adding the no follow tag in a backlink, these links don’t transfer link juice. Remember that link juice is what determines Page Rank, and the more link juice you have, the higher the page rank a page has. Ways to identify this type of link is looking for a term that looks as follows: <a href=”http://www.yoursite.com”rel=”nofollow”>Anchor Text</a>. Notice the only difference from this and a Do Follow link (a link that does transfer link juice) is the rel=”nofollow” add on.

Nofollow links were originally made to stop spamming in blog posts, because users would be able to spam blogs with links back to their site that would transfer link juice, and this was abused shortly after its introduction. Nofollow links aren’t isolated to just blog posts though; nofollow links can be found in certain article directories, and anywhere a webmaster wants to put them.

When using a website to “buy a link”, legally they have to add the nofollow tag, because Google made the rule that you cannot buy and sell links that transfer link juice. Despite this rule people every day buy links without using the nofollow tag, and you will come across many cases in which they get away with it. If Google catches this, your rankings could be lowered significantly or dropped altogether.

A landmine of solid, quality links that have the nofollow tag is Wikipedia. Any URL or link added to Wikipedia that is outbound is a no follow link. Don’t let this stop you from attempting to get a link on Wikipedia – even though it doesn’t transfer link juice, nofollow links should still be targeted as part of your link building campaign; on my list, getting a link on Wikipedia is one of the top link building techniques out there. Wikipedia offers one of the top places to get a quality nofollow link, and if you pull it off and get one on their site, it can be very rewarding. The link is not only trustworthy in Google’s eyes, but also provides a decent amount of traffic (I’ve had links in average Wikipedia pages provide 50 visitors a week per link).

As said before Nofollow links are still desirable. You can build up large numbers of links to your page through techniques such as blog comment posting. By adding a few quality sentences, you can get a link back to your site on a blog that pertains to the subject of your website.

Some sites change their policies on whether or not to use follow or nofollow links, so when considering whether or not you want to pursue a website for a link, make sure you check their links to see if they are Do follow or nofollow. Make sure to check periodically, because chances are you won’t be notified if the website changes its policies on whether or not to tell the searchbots to follow the links.

If you have any more questions on nofollow links, please provide them in the comment section below.

This post was written by...

Jon Cooper – who has written 119 posts on Point Blank SEO.

Jon Cooper+ is an SEO consultant based out of Gainesville, FL who specializes in link building. For more information on him and Point Blank SEO, visit the about page. Follow him on Twitter.

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