Link Building

What is a Nofollow Link?

Michael Kuzmin

Among other key factors, such as content quality, length, key phrases, and so on, backlinks serve a great purpose in search engine optimization. However, this article will narrow down to one special backlink kind, the nofollow link(s). What are they? Do they have any significance towards top search engine ranking?

If you can spare a few minutes and read this entire article, you will have the most fulfilling answers you need, including applying the nofollow links.

What is a nofollow link?

Firstly, it is essential to remember that links form a critical part of SEO, but how?

Note, Google, and other search engines use these links to discover new content. When they do so, they acknowledge this content as a vote of confidence to a particular page or website. These recognitions escalate into page indexing. Whenever quality backlinks refer to your site, your page or website will receive much more credit in the top search engine rankings.

What happens sometimes is that not all the referring links can be vital to you. If this is the case with you, then a simple consideration would be the nofollow links. Google or any other search engine uses these types of SEO backlinks for indexing. 

So how do search engines recognize nofollow links? 

It would help if you made your link a nofollow type by adding a rel=”nofollow” tag. Anytime a search engine recognizes this, it automatically ‘understands’ that that’s a no follow link; hence ignore it while indexing.

Examples of Nofollow links

Below are practical examples of nofollow links. Using the same URL format, try creating your links by adding the rel=”nofollow” tag.

Original link; <a href=””>Text</a>

After adding the nofollow tag, here is how the link will be; 

<a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Text</a>

If you are learning this for the first time, be keen not to meddle up with the rest of the link to avoid cases of broken links. After adding the tag, click the link again to confirm that it’s working.

Other link attributions: UGC and sponsored

Other than the simple “nofollow” tag, Google in 2019 introduced new link attributes, which serve as alternatives. As a beginner, you might want to understand all these comprehensively to diversify your knowledge of nofollow links and how to create and use them conveniently.

Here are the various tags:

  • rel =” UGC”: User Generated Content (UGC) tag is one alternative tag to use for nofollow links. Its key usages apply mainly in writing comments and various posts on different forums. Its UGC tag prevents people from exploiting your message by posting spammy links.
  • rel=” sponsored”: When you are using this, it means you are getting paid for a promotion you are doing. It could be a page advertisement of some service or content.
  • rel =”nofollow”: This is the standard tag; you can use it if the rest do not apply. rel =”nofollow” tells Google not to give your URL any SEO juice.

Difference between nofollow and dofollow links

The closest term you might hear of SEO nofollow links is the dofollow link. Both are backlinks and act mainly in the search engine optimization strategies towards quality SEO. 

As described earlier, no follow backlinks are special links within a text but do not contribute to page indexing. A dofollow link is the opposite.

When you have a link that Google and other search engines recognize for PageRank indexing, that is a dofollow type. Usually, external or internal links connect various web pages without the rel=”nofollow” tag. 

With that, let’s see why it’s essential to use a no follow link.

How to Add a Nofollow Link in WordPress

WordPress now presents the most accessible way on how to add nofollow links to your content. Start by adding any SEO plugin, for instance, All-in-One SEO. This plugin allows you to add the nofollow tags without code editing. 

Here is the procedure on how to insert a nofollow link in Classic Editor (WordPress) 

  1. Highlight the word or phrase you intend to link.
  2. Click the ‘Insert Link’ symbol from the navigation bar.
  3. Click the gear icon.
  4. From the resulting pop-up window, check the regular nofollow box, sponsored or UGC.
  5. Add title and check out by clicking the Add Link option.
  6. Update and publish your post.

In Block Editor;

  1. Highlight the phrase you intend to link.
  2. Click the Link icon.
  3. Pick the relevant nofollow link option; sponsored, UGC, or nofollow links.
  4. Update and publish your post.

Once your post is up and running, it is always easy to track the performance of each of these SEO nofollow links. Google Analytics is one most recommendable web analytic tools you can use for such verifications. In WordPress, it exists as a plugin. You can download it and start monitoring the performance of each of these links. 

When should I use nofollow links?

A lot of you might find this a little confusing. Now that no follow backlinks do not contribute to google indexing, why then should you use them? The answer is simple, page optimization. If you have a live website, nofollow links will help you achieve the following at its best. 

  • Look authentic: Google and even other search engines ‘hate’ spammy content. A simple example of this is the repetitive use of the same link on-page. If you use the link anyway, then you must make some dofollow and others nofollow. 
  • Show you are advertising for payment: Leaving a promotional link as dofollow can attract penalties from Google – those that may affect your domain authority. Always tell Google that you are advertising and that you are getting paid for it. 
  • Prevent Spam: The UGC tag helps promote meaningful interactions on forums and comments forums. Inconsiderate posting of links can draw severe penalties on your page/ site to attract low SEO rankings. 
  • You will be reserving SEO benefits to yourself: The use of nofollow links tells Google that you intend not to share any SEO juicy benefits with the sites specified by the URL. In most cases, these sites could be unverified sources, competitors, or unrelated sites to your niche.

Do nofollow links help SEO?

Evidence already points towards the fact that nofollow links offer a tremendous contribution to the top SEO achievement. Nonetheless, these attributions are majorly indirect. Looking at various top leading sites like Forbes, they always have lots of nofollows that offer them even much more SEO recognition at the end of the day. 

Critical points to remember on nofollow backlinks SEO include:

  1. Anchor text never counts: Even though you tell readers to follow the link, the keyword mentioned in the anchor text never matters. Use a meaningful word/ phrase.
  2. Keep on republishing: Doing this will most likely attract a lot of newer audiences to your page. Post your content on various social media pages to achieve more traffic.
  3. Try mentioning your brand as much as possible.
  4. Do lots of referral links.
  5. Try reaching out to influencer’s audiences.

By now, there are multiple tricks on how to escalate to the top SEO levels. Note, however, that these ways must agree to the rules and regulations laid down by the search engines. 

We believe you already understood what nofollow link is, what they do, and how significant they are up to this instance. While pursuing your SEO training, you can practice more along the given instructions to achieve your yearn expertise. 

Michael Kuzmin
Co-Founder 10х Agency. 10 years in Sales&Marketing. The last 4 years specializing in link-building processes and outreach development.